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Memorial Day Burger Throwdown Pits Amateur Chefs Against Pro

May 23, 2010 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Food & Restaurant News  | 1 Comment

Above: Chef Jorge Montes will pit his award-winning burger recipe against the recipes of several amateurs.

So I’ve spent the past week experimenting with different burger recipes while stuffing my face as I waddle my way to next week’s Memorial Day Burger Throwdown.

My goal is to come up with a recipe that will topple Chef Jorge Montes’ award-winning burger.

And that’s going to be hard because not only is he a professional chef, but his burger placed second in the nation out of hundreds of contestants in the Amstel Light Burger Recipe Contest at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival earlier this year.

I’ll be happy if I just beat the other four contestants who are amateur chefs like myself.

Hell, I’ll be happy if I can shed the five pounds I’ve gained this past week from eating an average of four burgers a night.

The Burger Throwdown kicks off at noon on Memorial Day at Treetops Park in Davie, which is in Broward County. Tickets are $15 and that includes burgers and beer. Click here for more info.

Judging the burgers will be our very own Burger Beast and Dori Zinn of the Fat Kids Club.

I will be submitting the Southwestern Burger, which is inspired by my years living in New Mexico.

It is topped with green chiles and guacamole. It also includes pepper jack cheese and bacon.

And I will serve it on a Cuban roll because that’s the Miami in me.

I won’t give away the entire recipe for the actual burger, but I will admit that I started off my mixing Tecate beer in the meat and I ended up going with red wine instead, which gives it a much bolder taste.

It also keeps the burgers moist (and ladies, raise your hand if you hate that word).

Here is a list of the contestants and their burgers.

  • Amstel Light Burger by Chef Jorge Montes
  • Bolio Popper Burger by Christina Ramsey
  • Blue Fueyo Burger by Kristi Fueyo
  • Roly Brioche Burger by Roly Masferrer
  • Southwestern Burger by Carlos Miller
  • Steak & Blu Burger by Ayman Mohamad

This is how Montes describes his award-winning burger, in which he was required to use Amstel Light as an ingredient.

“It was a burger stuffed with smoke Gouda,” he said. “Then I made a barbecue sauce from scratch using Amstel Light, honey, onions, garlic, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.”

Contestant Christina Ramsey said she entered the contest to explore her “inner Rachel Ray/Bev Smith.”

“What sets my burger apart from everyone elses is my cream cheese and jalepeno pepper ‘magic stuffing’,” she said.

Contestant Ayman Mohamed said he is keeping his burger recipe simple.

“My burger is simple but has some sharp tastes,” Mohamed said. “I am a burger fan and always think the meat and cheese on the burger make the burger.”

And simplicity is what is what it takes to win a burger competition, according to the Burger Beast who once attempted to eat a four-pound burger. He also collaborated with the Miami Tour Company on a burger taste test tour.

“Simplicity is the way to go,” he said. “You don’t want to add so many toppings that the flavor of the meat gets lost. It is about the burger, after all.”


Related Categories: Miami: Food & Restaurant News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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1 Comments on

"Memorial Day Burger Throwdown Pits Amateur Chefs Against Pro"

Mustang Bobby says:

The Southwest burger takes me back to the days of living in Albuquerque and going to Blake’s Lottaburger for a Black Angus Green Chile Cheesburger with their excellent fries.  That and huevos rancheros are two of the three things I miss from my years there.

Posted on 05/24/2010 at 9:47 AM

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