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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
On SOBEWFF‘s last day, a smokin’ hot new event made its mark on the weekend lineup. Hosted by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos from the Cooking Channel’s hit show Extra Virgin, the Festival’s first ever Swine & Wine took over The Biltmore Hotel‘s elegant outdoor courtyard. This swine-celebrating evening soiree brought together more than a dozen celebrated chefs who served their tastiest version of whole roasted pig.
Each pit master spent the day preparing all natural, farm-raised Duroc and Hampshire breed hogs using a variety of techniques. Whether smoked, stuffed, roasted, glazed or rubbed down, succulent pork was spotlighted and paired with a selection of sides, wines and heavy-handed mojitos.
Representing six of the fourteen tasting stations, New York chefs had a strong showing at the swine showdown. Nick Anderer dished out tender Maialino al Forno, Marc Murphy carved up Southern-style porchetta stuffed with cornbread and andouille, and Michael White presented porchetta tigelle with pesto di lardo and salsa verde. Seamus Mullen smoked juicy Berkshire pork jowl and whole suckling pig, while Yuhi Fujinaga paired suckling pig with heirloom bean casoullet, morcilla dip and chicharrón, and Jonathan Waxman rolled out tangy blood orange pig tacos with creamy avocado.
In between savory bites, the crowd enjoyed the Biltmore’s dessert buffet, puffed Padron and La Flor Dominicana cigars, danced to live Latin beats from the Chirino Sisters and voted for their favorite pork dish. In the end, celebrichef Ingrid Hoffmann—Miami restaurateur and host of Food Network’s Simply Delicioso—snagged the coveted crown for her savory-meets-sweet mini pulled pork tacos with guava salsa negra and pickled mustard seeds.
“It’s all about the meat on meat, baby!” exclaimed Michael Symon as he proudly displayed his second People’s Choice Award trophy during last year’s 2011 SOBEWFF Burger Bash. A year later, his meat mixing mastery has paid off again.
“This year, we ground the bacon right into the burger meat,” said Symon of his winning Porky Burger — a bacon-speckled ground pork patty topped with pulled pork and slaw, with crispy pork cracklings on the side.
One of the most popular events of the Festival, the annual “best between the bun” throwdown hosted by Rachael Ray drew dozens of top name chefs and Food Network personalities from around the country to cook up their best burger creations. Thousands of attendees gathered into a massive Miami beachfront tent to nosh on a whopping amount of burgers and sides, sip Amstel Light and vote for their favorite patty.
There were 32 different burgers in all — more than enough to satisfy even the hungriest carnivores. Josh Capon (Burger & Barrel) put a sweet and savory spin on his with onion and bacon jam, shaved pickles and secret sauce, while Angelo Sosa (Social Eatz) spiced things up with his Korean-inspired bulgogi burger. The Meatball Shop guys impressed during their Bash debut with a chili-flavored cheddar and caramelized onion version, and the Amstel Light-sponsored Fatty ‘Cue patty from Zak Pelaccio was also a favorite—succulent lamb meat with salted chilis and rye barrel aged worcestershire.
Surprisingly, beloved burger joint Shake Shack switched up their classic Shack Burger for an American and applewood smoked bacon-topped beef patty slathered with pepper relish and Shack Sauce. Not surprisingly, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray drew the biggest fan mobs.
Event judges Gail Simmons, Emeril Lagasse, Marc Murphy and Susie Fogelson picked the crispy shallot, bacon and swiss burger from Whisk for the Golden Grill Award, and Guy Fieri snagged the Heinz Best Dressed Award for topping his bacon patty with thick tomato, onion rings and oozy “donkey sauce.” Many congrats to all the participants — this year’s Bash was juicier than ever!