At last night's New York City Wine and Food Festival Burger Bash, hosted by Rachael Ray, 28 chefs grilled their burger creations for a ravenous crowd. The coveted People's Choice Award unsurprisingly went to Josh Capon (his third Burger Bash win!) for his Bash Burger (caramelized onion, bacon jam, pickles, secret sauce and American cheese) from Burger & Barrel. The Judges' Award went to Michael White from Ai Fiori for his White Label Burger -- the one we dubbed the most food-pornographic -- a juicy patty with bacon, American cheese, pickles and mustard strung with pommes dauphine on a skewer.
Though we liked the winners in both categories, we had five favorites that we happily would have eaten all night if we had had the room. Shake Shack's burger was an unexpected surprise -- a juicy patty with a bit of heat from chopped cherry peppers. Artisanal's burger, with a cheese "fondue" patty croquette, was a nice play in textures. The Capital Grille's wagyu burger with quail egg and crisp onions was a superb example of less is more when you use high-quality, flavorful ingredients. Good Stuff Eatery's Brit Burger was well-balanced with sharp cheddar and horseradish mayo. And, in a sea of mostly all beef burgers (there were veal burgers from La Promenade des Anglais and buffalo burgers from 21 Club), the Greek-style lamb burger from Molyvos was a revelation.
See all the burgers in the slideshow below!
Burger & Barrel - People's Choice Winner
<strong>Bash Burger</strong> Caramelized onion and bacon jam, shaved pickles, secret sauce and American cheese. Salt and vinegar potato chips on the side.
Ai Fiori - Judges' Choice Winner
<strong>White Label Burger</strong> Nueske's bacon, white American cheese, McClure's pickles and mustard. Pommes Dauphines on the side.
The Capital Grille - A HuffPost Favorite
<strong>Wagyu Cheeseburger</strong> With quail egg and crisp onions. Crispy white cheddar-and-chive tater tots on the side.
Artisanal - A HuffPost Favorite
<strong>The Big Cheese</strong> Special blend with cheese "fondue" patty croquette on a Romano cheese roll. Pickled beef tongue slaw on the side.
Terrance Brennan Of Artisanal
Chef Brennan assembles burgers, which are topped with cheese "fondue" patty croquettes.
Good Stuff Eatery - A HuffPost Favorite
<strong>Brit Burger</strong> Smoked English cheddar, caramelized onions, horseradish mayo. Sticky toffee shake on the side.
Good Stuff Eatery
The queen even attended Burger Bash direct from London, England ... sort of.
Spike Mendelsohn Of Good Stuff Eatery
Chef Mendelsohn makes Sticky Toffee Shakes.
Molyvos - A HuffPost Favorite
<strong>Arnisio Bifteki</strong> House ground lamb burger topped with spiced tomato sauce and Vlahotiri cheese. Domata salata (tomato and feta salad) on the side.
Bobby's Burger Palace
<strong>Napa Valley Burger Crunchfield</strong> Fresh goat cheese, watercress, Meyer lemon honey mustard and potato chips.
Shake Shack - A HuffPost Favorite
<strong>SmokeShack</strong> American cheeseburger topped with Niman Ranch all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShakeSauce. Pumpkin pie concrete on the side.
<strong>The Harrison Burger</strong> 100% ground short rib, cheddar cheese, pickles, fried onion and special sauce. Baked beans and burnt bits on the side.
Sons Of Essex
<strong>Bacon Crusted Burger</strong> Applewood smoked bacon crusted burger. Truffle mac and cheese on the side.
North End Grill
<strong>Short Rib Burger</strong> With pickled grilled onions and chipotle mayo. Twice-fried spiced potato skins on the side.
Park Avenue Autumn
<strong>Park Avenue Burger</strong> Chuck, brisket and short rib patty on a potato roll with american cheese, lettuce, tomato and sautéed onions. Sweet potato tater tots on the side.
Neely's BBQ Parlor
<strong>WTF Burger</strong> Chargrilled burger topped with pepper jack and American cheeses, smokehouse bacon, pulled pork, chipotle bbq sauce and coleslaw. Buttermilk battered vidalia onion strings on the side.
Pat And Gina Neely
The Neelys were present to hand out burgers.
Old Holmstead Steakhouse At Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
<strong>Prime Chuck And Brisket Burger</strong> With onion relish, peppered bacon, wonton crisps and American cheese on a potato roll. Onion crisps on the side.
<strong>French Onion Soup Burger</strong> Pat LaFrieda blend topped with caramelized onion soup and emmentaler on a baked bun. Dark chocolate dipped potato chips sprinkled with sea salt on the side.
Paul Denamiel Of Le Rivage
Chef Denamiel hams it up for the camera.
<strong>Cheeseburger with "The Works"</strong> Cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard and mayo. French fries on the side.
La Promenade Des Anglais
<strong>The LP Veal Burger</strong> Veal, ricotta, arugula and tomato sauce on a brioche bun. Zucchini chips on the side.
2012 Superburger Winner Tertulia
<strong>Hamberguesa Ligeramente Ahumada</strong> Unfortunately, Tertulia ran out of food before we got to take a photo. But they served a lightly smoked beef burger, smoked American cheddar, caramelized onion jam, nora pepper ketchup, and house pickle. Early Autumn vegetable salad on the side.
Michael Coury Custom Burger OTG - Delta Airlines Terminal D, LGA
<strong>American Burger</strong> American cheese and ketchup. Fried pickles on the side.
Michael Coury Custom Burger OTG - Delta Airlines Terminal D, LGA
You can eat these burgers the next time you fly with Delta out of LaGuardia.
Sears Grilling Is Happiness With George Hirsch
<strong>The George Burger</strong> Grilled Tuscan-style burger with caramelized onion, grilled pepper-tomato marmalade and arugula. Potato chips on the side.
George Hirsch Of Sears Grilling Is Happiness
Chef, television host and lifestyle expert George Hirsch for Sears Grilling is Happiness.
<strong>Schnippers Classic Burger</strong> Special cheese blend, caramelized onions, thick cut bacon, baby arugula and Schnipper sauce. Thick-cut potato chips with chipotle ranch dipping sauce on the side.
Go Burger Bar And Grill
<strong>Steakhouse Burger with Caramelized Onions</strong>
Justin Warner, Winner Of Food Network Star
<strong>Smashed Smoke</strong> Black peppercorn bacon, NY State cheddar, Spanish onion and sweet catch-up. BBQ ranch dirty chips on the side.
<strong>"21" Buffalo Burger</strong> Signature "21" blend with cheddar cheese, fried onions in Buffalo sauce, and blue cheese and bacon sauce.
The buffalo sauce goes on the buffalo burgers.
Gotham Bar and Grill
<strong>Gotham Burger</strong> Plymouth cheddar, braised short rib, Niman Ranch bacon, and pasilla pepper aioli on a browned sesame seed bun. Fingerling chips on the side.
<strong>The Penultimate Bacon Cheese Burger</strong> Burger blend by Pat LaFrieda topped with cheddar, McClure's pickles, fried onions and special sauce made with Sir Kensington's ketchup. Bacon tater tots with chive and sour cream powder on the side.
Adding the final touches of bacon tater tots.
Bill's Bar & Burger
<strong>BBQ Bacon Burger</strong> Smoked mozzarella and bbq bacon mayo. Sweet potato tater tots on the side.
<strong>Benoit's 100th Anniversary Burger</strong> Custom blend with a touch of espelette pepper on a housemade bun with béarnaise, sucrine lettuce, tomato and onion.
Alain Ducasse's Benoit restaurant in Paris is celebrating its 100 years.
The cover band does a great job of getting the crowd geared up.
Lee Brian Schrager And Rachael Ray
Lee Brian Schrager and Rachael Ray thank all the sponsors of the 2012 Burger Bash before presenting the awards.
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