Of all the “end of summer” bashes we’ve covered the last couple of weeks, none stands up to the amazingness of Montauk SUPERBURGER. No joke, we are still licking our lips and drooling over the grilled feast that was held recently at the Montauk Yacht Club. Eleven chefs or chef pairs competed for a trophy and a coveted spot in the NYC Food & Wine Festival. Here’s a rundown of what you missed –sunshine, waterfront views, open bar, perfection.
In anticipation of a lawn full of hungry guests, the folks behind SUPERBURGER thought ahead and thankfully included The Burger Joint in the game plan and allowed everyone to grab a snack during the cook off. Between the bottomless Amstel Light and the refreshing Tito’s Handmade Vodka drinks, we were able to stave off the hunger for an hour. Once the meat started coming off the grill, the crowd dove in.
Take a look at our notes on each of the samples we tasted:
- SEAMUS MULLEN, Tertulia – Saucy and well done
- JESSE GERSTEIN & DAN ALDWORTH, 2011 Superburger Runner-up; Bacon grease made it unforgettable this year
- ALEX STUPAK, Empellon – Had a very soft bun and a spicy kick for this “Mexican Hamburguesa”
- ZAK PELACCIO, Fatty Crab – Lamb burger on English muffin with southwestern toppings. So incredible.
- RYAN SOLIEN, Montauk Yacht Club – Cooked perfectly, juicy and topped with avocado
- HAROLD MOORE, Commerce – Good flavors but cooked a little more than we prefer
- MEHDI BRUNET-BENKRITLY, Fedora – Pickled cucumbers and BBQ mayo, very unique
- MIKE DEFONZO, PJ Clarke’s – Potato bun stood out from the pack but couldn’t withstand the burger and fell apart
- SARAH SIMMONS, City Grit – Crispy slider with caramelized onions and a hint of a flavor kick
- JAMES RAMSEY & STU WILLSON – Slaw topping and a spicy kick, very good
- PJ CALAPA, Michael White’s Butterfly Burger – Topped with possibly the best cheese we’ve ever tasted. To die for!
This year’s judges had a difficult challenge in picking a winner and agreed that the contest was bigger and better than 2011. The brave souls who took on the task:
- PAT LAFRIEDA, LaFrieda Meat Purveyors
- SPIKE MENDELSOHN, 2009 South Beach Burger Bash Winner
- JOSH CAPON, 2009 and 2011 NYC Burger Bash People’s Choice Champion
- KATE KRADER, Food & Wine Magazine
- LEE SCHRAGER, NYC/South Beach Wine & Food Festivals
- MARK PASTORE, President, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors
Coming in just a percent or two lower than the second place spot was Jesse Gerstein and Dan Aldworth, who were runners up last year. Harold Moore of Commerce took second place with just a fraction of a percentage between him and the 2012 winner Seamus Mullen, chef at Tertulia.
Once the winners were announced guests enjoyed relaxing in the sunshine with beer or spiked lemonade in hand, taking pics at the Amstel Light photo booth, and playing ping pong. As if we needed any more food to stuff our faces, we inhaled a slice of Momofuku Milk Bar’s ridiculous Grasshopper Pie with homemade whipped cream for dessert. All in all, a perfect afternoon on the East End and you can bet we will be lined up and waiting for next year’s event.