Top Chef Loser Wins

Spike Mendelsohn, the hat dude of Top Chef season 4, won the Burger Bash last night at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. His sliders--topped with applewood bacon, sharp Vermont cheddar, fried Vidalia onions, and chipotle barbecue sauce--grabbed three of the event's four awards. The burger, from Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery in DC, narrowly beat out meat pies from Bobby Flay and Radius, last year's winner. However, not everyone agreed with the judges' decision (and indeed one of Spike's awards was a "people's choice"). Both Josh Ozersky at the Feedbag and Eater say they preferred Bobby Flay's burger, and Eater notes that Spike's win might have had something to do with the pretty girls serving his meat and handing out "Vote for Spike" buttons.

In other Top Chef alum news, Mark Simmons, also of season 4, has left Double Crown for  Park Slope's Get Fresh Table and Market (370 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn). Meanwhile, Fabio, the most recently departed of the current season, tells Grubstreet that he has a cookbook coming out in April. "It will be at Wal-Mart, it will be everywhere," he says, as only he can, "And what it talks about is how to do easy, stress-free Italian food, pairing with martini instead of wine."

(photo: acaben/flickr, some rights reserved)

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