Mar 2, 2010

Chef Michael Schwartz takes coveted prize

SOUTH BEACH, Fla. (Mar. 2, 2010) – What do you get when you take 7,500 pounds of 10 different varieties of ground meat – all provided by premium meat purveyor Allen Brothers Steaks – 400 pounds of smoked bacon, 125 gallons of Heinz ketchup and mustard, 27 of the country’s best-known chefs and food personalities and 2,500 burger-loving attendees? You’ve got a night of mouth-watering, belly-filling, burger-flipping competition for the Golden Grill Award at the 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Amstel Light BURGER BASH presented by Allen Brothers Steaks and hosted by Rachael Ray.

The annual competition, which is set on the white-sand beach of The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, gathers the country’s best burger-makers together to show off their unique creations – including that of Chef Michael Schwartz from Miami’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink restaurant, who sailed past the competition with his Michael’s Genuine Bacon Cheeseburger. The sumptuously juicy patty featured Allen Brothers USDA Prime Chuck and was accompanied by house smoked bacon, white cheddar, heirloom tomato and local lettuce – all on a brioche bun – served with a side of crispy hominy with chili and lime.

Rachael Ray presided over the fête, which also included best-in-class burgers from the likes of four-star Chef Daniel Boulud of db Bistro Moderne, Chef Stephanie Izard of Girl & The Goat, Food Network Chef Rocco DiSpirito and Bobby Flay, famed chef personality and proprietor of numerous Bobby’s Burger Palace locations.

“We are thrilled that Allen Brothers presents this coveted Golden Grill award. It offers recognition to top chefs and lets their creativity shine,” said Allen Brothers President Todd Hatoff. “It also confirms our belief that to be the best, you have to use the finest ingredients – and to make the best burgers, you should start with the highest quality USDA Prime beef from Allen Brothers.”

The group of gourmand grillers was judged by an esteemed panel of food world luminaries and burger experts including: Kate Krader, Restaurant Editor, Food & Wine magazine; Chef Art Smith of Table 52 in Chicago; Ryan D’Agostino, Articles Editor, Esquire magazine; Divya Gugnani of Behind The Burner; and Bravo TV’s Top Chef fifth season finalist and owner of Alchemy Caterers, Chef Carla Hall. The burgers were judged on taste, creativity, presentation and overall appearance.

In honor of his Golden Grill Award, Chef Michael Schwartz received an engraved Christofle platter, $2,500 of Allen Brothers products and a $1,000 donation on his behalf to the charity of his choice.

Allen Brothers Steaks is proud to be a sponsor of the 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which benefits the educational programs at Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. To date, the festival has raised more than $8 million for the school.