2/27/2012 11:03:00 AM

Michael Symon Takes the Prize at the SoBe Burger Bash

Photo: Alexander Porter/BFAnyc.com
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival went down over the weekend, and Friday night's Burger Bash, one of the smokiest, most coveted and competitive events of the fest, saw lots of pork mixed in with the usual ground beef this year.

And who was the true burger king? Iron Chef Michael Symon, who took his third consecutive win against nearly 30 contenders including Andrew Carmellini, Marc Forgione and even Rachael Ray, who again hosted the festivities.

Symon’s secret seemed to be multiple layers of pork on an unbeatably delicious burger. This year’s ribbon-taker, the Porky Burger, featured ground pork loaded with bits of bacon, then topped with strings of juicy pulled pork. A few crispy pork cracklings helped seal the pork-centric deal.

Guy Fieri rocked his usual circa-1950 bowling shirt and hair-gel overkill hair gel, but when it comes to burgers, he knows how to dress 'em. He was the winner of the Heinz best-dressed burger while local contender Whisk took home the Allen Brothers Steaks Golden Grill award.

On Sunday afternoon, the Cooking Channel’s Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos hosted an elegant pig roast at the historic Biltmore Hotel with more than a dozen chefs competing for top Swine & Wine winner. Ingrid Hoffman took that honor with her mini pulled pork tacos with guava salsa negra and pickled mustard seeds.

The festival closed on Sunday night with a wildly popular and crowded Trucks on the Beach bash with 20 trucks offering everything from smoked brisket to cupcakes. Local food-on-wheels contender Ms. Cheezious, who dished up grilled blue cheese sandwiches with green onion and bacon on sourdough bread, took the grand prize. Meanwhile, a live band played covers from the '70s and '80s and guests danced, played volleyball and ping pong on the beachfront. Host Andrew Zimmern even took to the stage to sing some Otis Redding.

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