New York Food and Wine Festival Blue Moon Burger Bash 2012 – Winners Announced

The Food Network NY Wine & Food Festival Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats, hosted by Rachel Ray. Winners announced!

In the U.S. Army there are a lot of commissioned officer titles. You have Lieutenants, Captains, Majors, Colonels and Majors. They’re all very important but none of them are more important than the General. From Private to Corporal to Sergeant and all the way up the Officer Ranks, they all take orders from their military Mack-Daddy, the General. In the world of Burger Events, The Food Network NY Wine & Food Festival Blue Moon Burger Bash is the General. No one does it bigger. No one does it better and no one raises as much money as they do for the Food Bank For New York City. 100% of the proceeds from not only the grand stand Burger Bash event but the entire festival go to support this awesome charity.

It happens once a year, every October as the entire city is taken over by the dozens and dozens of events that happen all over the city during the Festival. But none of them are as heralded, anticipated or more talked about than the Burger Bash. In fact, you could say that it’s the General of it’s own Army as well. It’s presented by the Jay-Z of meats, New York’s own Pat Lafrieda. Attendees are guaranteed a great time with great Burgers from great Chefs and restaurants using great Meats. This year the event moved into Manhattan into the patio at Basket Ball City as the South Street Seaport. This allowed them to expand the event up to 3000, hungry and excited attendees including yours truly.

It’s the one day a year I truly go from being  Burger Famous to Burger Royalty.

People’s Choice Award
Winner: Burger & Barrel / Josh Capon
Bash Burger- Caramelized Onion, Bacon Jam, Pickles, Secret Sauce and American Cheese

Judge’s Choice “Burgermeister” Award
Judges David Burke, Anne Burrell, Adam Richman, and Andrew Zimmern
Winner: Ai Fiori / Michael White
White Label Burger – Nueske’s Bacon, White American Cheese, McClure’s Pickles and Mustard. Pommes Dauphines on the side.

Participating Restaurants and Chefs:
Alain AllegrettiBistro la Promenade
Philippe BertineauBenoit Bistro New York
Jim BotsacosMolyvos
Jimmy BradleyThe Harrison
Terrance BrennanArtisanal Bistro
PJ CalapaAi Fiori
Josh CaponB & B Winepub
Floyd CardozNorth End Grill
Emile CastilloThe Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien
Michael CouryOTG Management
Cliff CrooksGo Burger
Paul DenamielLe Rivage
Seth LevineSons of Essex
Bobby FlayBobby’s Burger Palace
John Greeley21 Club
George HirschGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle
Mark IsrealDoughnut Plant NYC
Craig KoketsuPark Avenue Autumn
Spike MendelsohnGood Stuff Eatery
Pat & Gina NeelyNeely’s Barbeque Parlor
James NuetziThe Capital Grille
Ashley PalmaSTK OUT NYC
Alfred PortaleGotham Bar and Grill
Rachael RayRachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cookoff
Brett ReichlerBill’s Bar & Burger
Mark RosatiShake Shack
Jonathan SchnipperSchnipper’s
Greg & Marc SherryOld Homestead Steakhouse
Jacques TorresJacques Torres Chocolate
Laurent TourondelLT Burger

The Burger Bash, in its extended capacity this year brought a whopping total of 28 different Burgers from various Chefs and Restaurants. Even with the full 3 hours of time, it takes some hardcore dedication to eat all 28. I only had 60 minutes of time myself so some personal guidelines had to be established:

  • No more than 2 bites per Burger
  • Pass on any Burger that has won the Bash before
  • Try to eat only Burgers I haven’t had before
  • Minimal Chit Chat
  • No time for note taking

The last one proved to be the most difficult but it was definitely the biggest time saver. It seems weird to not be taking notes or writing full reviews of Burgers because that’s pretty much what this site is about. So to simplify, every Burger I ate is rated into 1 of 3 categories:

  • SWIM!: I would swim across any body of shark infested and toxic-waste polluted water wearing only chain mail and ballerina slippers to eat this Burger.
  • ‘HOOD: I would consider eating this again if I happened to be in the same neighborhood.
  • NICKEL: The Nickelback of Burgers, a lot of people like this but me, not so much.

With that and only 60 minutes, I was able to try 15 of the 28 Burgers. Let’s start with my top 4 (in alphabetical order.)

“The Big Cheese
” –  Special blend with Cheese “Fondue” Patty Croquette on a Romano Cheese Roll. Pickled Beef Tongue Slaw on the side.

Rating = SWIM!

“Arnisio Bifteki” – House ground Lamb Burger topped with spiced Tomato Sauce and Vlahotiri Cheese. Domata Salata (Tomato and Feta Salad) on the side.

Rating = SWIM!

Shake Shack
SmokeShack” – American Cheeseburger topped with Niman Ranch all-natural Applewood Smoked Bacon, Chopped Cherry Pepper and ShakeSauce. Pumpkin Pie concrete on the side.

Rating = SWIM!

Picture courtesy of Huffington Post. See more great pictures clicking the link!


2012 Superburger Winner
Hamberguesa Ligeramente Ahumada”  – Lightly Smoked Beef Burger, Smoked American Cheddar, Caramelized Onion Jam, Nora Pepper Ketchup, and House Pickle. Early Autumn Vegetable Salad on the side.

Rating = SWIM!


Old Homestead
Prime Chuck And Brisket Burger” – With Onion Relish, Peppered Bacon, Wonton Crisps and American Cheese on a Potato Roll. Onion Crisps on the side.

Rating = SWIM!

Park Avenue Autumn
Park Avenue Burger” – 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.

Rating = ‘HOOD

The Harrison
The Harrison Burger” – 100% Ground Short Rib, Cheddar Cheese, Pickles, Fried Onion and Special Sauce. Baked Beans and Burnt Bits on the side.

Rating = ‘HOOD

Sons of Essex
Bacon Crusted Burger” – Applewood Smoked Bacon Crusted Burger. Truffle Mac and Cheese on the side.

Rating = SWIM!

Bill’s Bar & Burger

BBQ Bacon BurgerSmoked Mozzarella and BBQ Bacon Mayo. Sweet Potato Tater Tots on the side.

Rating = SWIM!

Good Stuff Eatery

“Brit Burger” – Smoked English Cheddar, Caramelized Onions, Horseradish Mayo. Sticky Toffee Shake on the Side

Rating = ‘HOOD

Neely’s BBQ Parlor
WTF Burger” – 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.

Rating = NICKEL

Le Rivage
French Onion Soup Burger” – 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.

Rating = SWIM!

North End Grill
Short Rib Burger” – With Pickled Grilled Onions and Chipotle Mayo. Twice-Fried Spiced Potato Skins on the side.

Rating = NICKEL

Custom Burger OTG
American Burger” – American Cheese and Ketchup. Fried Pickles on the side.

Rating = ‘HOOD

Gotham Bar and Grill
Gotham Burger” – With Gruyère Cheese and Aioli on a Sesame Seed Bun. Fingerling Chips on the side.

Rating = SWIM!

I LOVE the Schnipper’s. Their Burger is one of the Best Burgers in NYC. I did not eat one at the Bash but I am sure it was excellent. However, I would love to give them a special mention here for bringing one of the items I enjoyed the most at the Burger Bash: Hot Apple Cider! Not only was it perfect for the chilly night on the pier but it was delicious!!! You guys deserve some kind of award for the Cider!!

About the Food Bank For New York City
Three million New Yorkers have difficulty affording food.  The Food Bank For New York City is there with a solution.  The Food Bank helps by offering a meal today, resources for a more secure tomorrow and nutrition education to help them lead healthy lifestyles.  Food Bank For New York City is the only hunger-relief organization to take this integrated approach.  The Food Bank tackles the issues of hunger on three fronts: food distribution, through soup kitchens and food pantries; income support, by connecting those in need to benefits available to them, such as food stamps and earned income tax credits; and nutrition education, helping individuals and families make healthful food choices on limited budgets.  Get more information at

Major thanks again to Robin Insley & Associates for the pass into the festival. I truly appreciate your Burger generosity.

Special thanks to Phil Aguas from Manhattan Beer Distributors for giving me his pen for which to take notes. Without that, this post would’ve not been possible:

573 Burgers

October 12, 2012 – 8:04 pm

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