The judging panel at Burger Bash
With almost two dozen burgers to try, there was a daunting task ahead for the Burger Bash judges, who included (from left) Kate Krader, Art Smith, Alex Guarnaschelli, Suzy Buckley and Todd English.
After some serious judging (and we mean serious—lotsa heavy pondering and munching going on), the panel awarded this year’s critics’ prize to Landmarc’s Marc Murphy, whose “Big Marc” burger was served on a homemade black pepper and cheddar bun. (Fun fact: Murphy told us that his team drove their ingredients from NYC to Miami—a two-day road trip.) B Spot’s Michael Symon, meanwhile, won the People’s Choice Award for his creation, which was topped with fried salami.
So how did Guarnaschelli prep for this gluttonous Olympic-level feat? "I drink coffee, I listen to the soundtrack of 'Rocky,' I drink raw egg yolks," she cracked. "Tomorrow morning for breakfast, I'm gonna have a double patty melt." As for her criteria for a great burger, it's all about "serious juiciness, a toasted bun, the taste of beef that really tastes like America, some serious cheese spilling over it. I’ll take fried shallots, bacon, something crispy, something pickle-y, and something slightly sweet."
Art Smith admitted, "The ones that were my favorites tasted like a burger. It shouldn't taste like a taco, it shouldn't taste like a pizza, it should taste like a burger."