2012 (Montauk) Burger Bash
At this point I consider myself a veteran. I believe I have been to all the burger bashes over the years. This year marks the 6th. The first one was at a house in the dunes of Amagansett on the back porch. The second year was the same. The third year was at a home on Bluff Road in Amagansett where there was an expansive backyard, the fourth year was the same. The fifth year the event took place in Bridgehampton and it lost some of its intimacy and appeal. This year might have been the best year ever.
The grills were set around the permiter of the grounds. Picnic tables were set up in the middle. There was even a ping-pong table. Seamus McMullen of Tertulia is flipping his burgers here. Lightly smoked burger with lightly smoked cheddar cheese, caramelized onion jam and peppery ketchup.
Next to him was Mike DeFonzo of PJ Clarkes. One of the classic burger joints in the city. PJ's meyer ranch burger blend, Mexco Bay farmhouse cheddar cheese, Sir Kensington ketchup, matchstick fries on a bacon brioche bun. The photo is Alex Stupak of Empellons burgers. I really liked these. Very different. Short rib burger with chorizo, refried black beans and chihuahua cheese.
Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly from Fedora. I adore Mehdi and truly believe him to be an absolute food genius. Smoked cheddar, pickled cucumbers, thinly sliced and fried potatoes like chips and BBQ mayonaisse.
Few other entries. Jesse Geerstein and Dan Aldworth with the Beach bacon burger. Emile Castilo from Burger Joint cheeseburger with "the works". Ryan Solien from Montauk Yacht Club with the super Tuscan including provolone, lardo, avocado, bacon and lettuce. PJ Calapa (Michael White's The Butterfly) with mustard, garlic pickles, onions and American cheese.
The judges this year were Kate Krader of Food and Wine (a veteran too), Spike Mendelsohn from the Food Network, Lee Schrager from South Beach Wine and Food Festival and more, Pat LaFrieda from LaFrieda meats who also provided everyone with their meat (special blends of course) and Josh Capon from Lure Fishbar and B&B Winepub and another opening this fall.
Drum roll please. The third runner-up was Jesse Geerstein and Dan Aldworth out of the agency world. Second up was Harold Moore from Commerce and the winner of this magnificent trophy was Seamus McMullen of Tertullia. Tough call. All the burgers were really amazing.
Hats off to Ben Leventhal this year. Burger Bash was a winner. Only thing missing which I do miss is the People's Choice. Always a fan of crowd sourcing. Maybe next year?
If anyone is interested...I tasted almost every burger there.