Haute Event: 2011 Amstel Light Burger Bash Kicks Off South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Hundreds of hungry Miamians (and visitors) flocked to the beaches of the Ritz-Carlton South Beach last night for the kickoff of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

The most coveted ticket of the evening? The fifth annual Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Allen Brothers and hosted by the foodie Queen herself, Rachael Ray.

The enormous white tent on the sand was hopping inside, with legitimate Code Red security blocking every entrance. No surprise considering on average tickets cost people paid on average $250 for a chance to taste test the best burgers in the nation! (There were even a dozen or so ticket scalpers out front looking to cash in on their high demand.)

The annual Burger Bash pits some of the best chefs in the nation to compete in a grill-off to see who can craft the best burger. This year’s event featured past years’ People’s Choice Award-winning chefs along with some burger bash rookies.

Chefs included Michael Schlow (of Boston’s Radius, Altastrada, 606 Congress, and Via Matta), MorimotoShake Shack, Spike Mendelsohn (of NYC’s Le Cirque and L.A./Vegas’ Bouchon), Jose Garces (of Philadelphia’s Garces Restaurant Group), Michael Schwartz (Miami’s Michael’s Genuine) and the Ritz-Carlton South Beach’s very own Executive Sous Chef Oscar Vides.

But the winner of the evening was, (again!) Michael Symon from Cleveland’s Lola restaurant for his “Yo! Burger,” which was actually burger made of fried salami.

To view more photos from last night’s Amstel Light Burger Bash, visit Haute Living’s Events Gallery.

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