That's Aarti in the background working on another assignment for a future Food Network Magazine issue. Often times when many of us hosts are in town for something like this festival, other people utilize the fact that we'll be together to get work done. So, once she was done with carving pumpkins, Aarti also had another feature to finish for a future Food Network Magazine. If you are wondering why we did work this year for next year's Halloween issue, well it's pretty simple. Magazines are usually produced and planned 3 months in advance and 3 months before Halloween is the worst time to look for carving pumpkins. Pretty forward thinking and I was happy to be invited. If you are looking for some ideas this year, never worry! Because this month's issue has pumpkin carving ideas from many other Food Network hosts, which makes me wonder ... did they do theirs a year in advance as well? I guess so, eh? There were pumpkins left when we were done today so I took two with me for carving at home. Can't wait! It was good quiet creative time! Can't wait for you to see all of our creations ... next year :-).
After carving the pumpkins this morning, I headed off to run some errands before the Burger Bash. I called up my girl Lisa Evers and we hit Brooklyn ready for burgers, beers and shakes. It was sooooo crowded! Here we are with Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern ...I mentioned before Andrew and I met at an industry event in Chicago and since then we've done some interview stuff for his website and each time I see him he's such a joy. Really nice guy. We said our hellos and I headed out to search for Bobby Flay's burger and found it was still "Crunchified" with blue corn tortilla chips, jalapenos and a creamy cheese sauce over a juicy slider ...That's a tequila shake in the brown hand :-). Crazy! I actually wish I had a couple of them, I'm not a real tequila-only drinker. I like to mix it, but this was a very good combination. Very good. I headed over to another section of the Burger Bash tent and immediately ran into my buddy Spike, dressed up for the occasion ...Teeheehee, he is so funny! His burger (king) was a play on a Vietnamese Banh mi. He followed up the theme with his own shake, a Vietnamese Coffee Shake, pretty smart! His shake, again maybe I have a thing for shakes like cupcakes, but they just make me happy and his, well I couldn't slurp through the custom-cut straw fast enough! My starter shake is a Shake Shot, simple and easy ... what I'm all about! Give it a try if you have a frozen hard corner of vanilla ice cream somewhere and a shot of vodka :-).
Not long after having Spike's burger everyone headed to the stage area to hear the results of the competition ...
Oh, wait ... I didn't tell you? Well, burger bash is more than just a festival of eating, it's a competition. Each chef puts out their best burger and each is evaluated by a judge. Those scores are added to the amount of chips each chef gets deposited in a bank on top of their display table and those chips come from each attendee at the party. If you have a burger and like it, it gets your chip. Can you imagine being a judge and having to eat 24 or so sliders? That's heavy duty work. I had 2 of Bobby's and one of Spike's, that was enough to call it a night for my belly! Ahem, save for a pumpkin ale beer :-). After all the dust settled, it was neither of the guys with the top braggin' rights. Bobby Flay did win the People's Choice award and for the Heinz award of the night and the big overall trophy ... seems us ladies know how to make a burger right!!!Congrats to the team at The Shake Shack! (Ahem, I'm sure there were some guys that helped out, but it's the ladies holding the trophy, quick joke, not a stab at the whole team I'm sure it took to win Burger Bash). Although I didn't have one of the @ShakeShack sliders at Burger Bash, I've had a Shake Shack experience and I know the award is very well deserved! I mean people share tables and pack it in tight for a Shake Shack burger! It's so hard to get around to all the burgers at this event. Anyone that does it deserves a button, plate or a beer stein like the Volksmarches I did growing up.
Ok, that's it. I'm heading out to Comix tomorrow for a cooking demonstration at 130PM. If you have tickets I can't wait to hang out and Cook, for real :-). I have an easy menu perfect for this weather changing that's goin' on ... Take care and a special hello to blog reader and occassional comment maker, John. It was great running into you and thanks so much for taking time to say hi! What an event, eh? Ok, I'll see you out and about if you are in town for the NYC Wine & Food Festival!