With dozens of flaming-hot grills set up in the sand, hundreds of hungry guests filling the tents and a cool ocean breeze wafting through the air, the scene was set for South Beach Wine & Food Festival‘s most-anticipated event: the ninth annual Burger Bash. In true festival fashion, your favorite Food Network stars, as well as local and national chefs, delivered a whopping 30 burgers in over-the-top form, each piled high with classic and creative toppings. Once again, Burger Bash veteran Rachael Ray was on hand to host the sold-out soiree as familiar faces like Iron Chefs Jose Garces and Masaharu Morimoto came together to cook up signature between-the-bun offerings and judges Geoffrey Zakarian, Katie Lee and Chrissy Teigen, among others, welcomed the meaty challenge of sampling every burger and deciding which reigned supreme.
While the judges dug into their burger offerings, fans, too, were bellying up to chefs’ tasting stands to get their hands on some of the most-craveworthy bites of the night, including Shake Shack’s Roadside Shack, Emily’s Emmy Burger and STK Miami’s lil’ BRGs. Everyone was given one token upon entering the event, and with that came the power to vote for the People’s Choice winner.
After a few hours of indulgent burgering, Rachael, the judges, and the Schweid and Sons team came together to announce the winners, and sure enough, thanks to his fail-proof Bash Burger, Josh Capon of Miami’s Lure Fish Bar earned the Judges’ trophy this year. Capon’s now-infamous patty topped with sweet, savory and welcomingly rich bacon-onion jam has become a good-luck charm of sorts for the chef, as it’s earned him several Burger Bash titles at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, and tonight it clinched his first-ever victory in South Beach. “I’ve always wanted South Beach so bad, baby. So bad,” Capon exclaimed on stage. “Burger Bash forever!”