The biggest event of the South Beach Wine and Food Fest—which starts next week—is hands down the Burger Bash. To get everyone appropriately pumped for this year's event, Eater NY has been gradually interviewing the top contenders. But this year, the Bay Area has an unlikely chef in the running, so The Mothership let us do the honors. Here's what Napa's resident veggiemaster had to say on the matter of the '09 Burger Bash:
So how does a veggie burger find its way into the famed Burger Bash? Maybe Lee Schrager had the foresight to know that a few vegetarians might accidentally end up at the event, and he didn't want them to starve.
The big question: what are you serving? Any accompaniments? I am serving a vegetarian "blood sausage" burger with sauerkraut & mustard, and serving it with a smoked potato salad with black garlic.
What goes in a vegetarian blood sausage burger? Italian black rice, apple, onion, thyme, parsley, spices, gelburger. Garnish: caramelized sauerkraut, smoked potato salad, black garlic. What kind of bun will you be using? I'm not sure whether or not I'm doing sliders or full-sizers, but it will be a vegan bun.
What's your strategy? Have you ever done anything like the Burger Bash before? Even though I am not allowed to actually win, my strategy is to go all vegan. If I can put up a good fight against all those cow patties without using any animal fat, then I will be proud. I have never participated in a cooking competition, but I used to play tennis...so it's pretty much the same thing, only different.
Why are you not allowed to win? Can you still win the people's choice prize? I am eligible for the people's choice award, just not the "Allen Brothers Golden Grill Award" which requires the use of Allen Brothers meat. Of course if my burger sucks, it doesn't really matter, does it?
What made you decide to participate in the Burger Bash? For the challenge...I enjoy the fear of the unknown. Any plans to serve the burger at Ubuntu sometime down the line? I don't see why not.
Your favorite burger (besides your own)? I prefer a plain cheeseburger-my favorite is an In-n-Out double double.