It’s that time of year again—the Annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Heineken Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Guy Fieri will be making its triumphant return to Miami! Fieri, the legendary restaurateur and star of Food Network’s own Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives will be leading a star-studded panel of judges in determining which of our 27 participating restaurants will be taking home the coveted prize of being deemed The Very Best Burger.
And since we always demand the very best in everything we do, it’s no surprise that this year’s Burger connoisseurs include some of the biggest names in culinary arts, media, and fashion. Let’s meet a few of our critics preparing for the big day!
Andy Cohen is an Emmy Award-winning host, producer, and author best known for Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Bravo’s late night interactive talk show. The series consistently makes headlines with bold interviews viewers don’t see anywhere else. Because of this, the show has become a nightly destination for some of the biggest names in pop culture including Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Reynolds, and Lady Gaga. He also serves as executive producer of The Real Housewives franchise and hosts the network’s highly rated reunion specials.
In 2016, Cohen also launched his own book imprint Andy Cohen Books, and in November became a New York Times best-selling author for a fourth time with the release of his latest book, Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries.
In his 10 years as an executive at Bravo he was responsible for an aggressive slate of unscripted series and specials, receiving an Emmy when season six of Top Chef won Outstanding Reality Competition Program at the 2010 primetime Emmy Awards, and has been nominated for 17 additional Emmy Awards as Executive Producer of Project Greenlight, Project Runway, and Queer Eye for The Straight Guy. Cohen is currently on the board of directors for charity Friends In Deed and resides in New York City.
A native Floridian, David Grutman is responsible for several successful and world-renowned brands. His influence on the hospitality and music world has proven to be global, and his larger-than-life personality and natural ability to steal the spotlight has catapulted him into continued success and fame.
In 2008, Grutman opened internationally acclaimed LIV nightclub at Fontainebleau. His “buzz” style tactics and high-profile celebrity clientele made the cornerstone of his empire the third highest grossing nightclub in the United States. Grutman has been hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as the 11th most important person in Electronic Dance Music. As a follow-up to the groundbreaking success at LIV, Grutman opened mega club Story in 2013, again showcasing his unique energy to the nightlife scene. In 2015, Grutman opened his first restaurant Komodo, a 600-seat restaurant in the heart of Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. Komodo combines top food, atmosphere and a unique blend of energy that has helped take his worldwide lifestyle brand to the next level. On the heels of Komodo’s success, Grutman partnered with NYC’s The Smile to open OTL, an approachable neighborhood café in Miami’s Design District, which serves as a go-to community hangout with coffee, breakfast, drinks, sandwiches and pastries. OTL also features an upstairs, multifaceted creative event space.
Despite his continued success, Grutman isn’t slowing down any time soon. “My goal is to bring our trademark lifestyle brand to every corner of the world. I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” he says. The avid art collector and graduate of the University of Florida currently resides in Miami Beach with his wife, Isabela, two dogs, and two cats.
Zac Posen launched his eponymous collection in 2001, with a vision for modern American glamour that married couture technique with striking innovation. Raised in New York, he attended London’s Central Saint Martins University in the womenswear degree program. In 2004, he was awarded one of fashion’s most prestigious honors, Swarovski’s The Perry Ellis Award for Women’s Wear by the CFDA and in 2015, Posen was also awarded Designer of the Year by Women’s Wear Daily and Variety Magazine.
Today, Posen is known globally for his technique in artisanal craftsmanship, anatomical construction, and textile manipulation. His daywear, suiting, and eveningwear are infused with his bold sophistication, sexy femininity, and distinctive glamour. Worn by leading women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, and Rihanna, he has become a staple on the red carpet. He currently serves as a judge alongside Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia on Lifetime’s mainstay Project Runway.
Philanthropy is an integral part of the Zac Posen brand. Along with consistent support of St. Jude’s, the LGBTQIA community, and City Harvest, Posen also acts as a board member of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. The documentary, House of Z, chronicling his career, premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival in April 2017. His latest project, a cookbook entitled Cooking with Zac, is currently available worldwide.
Chef Marc Murphy has logged more than 25 years in the restaurant business, working in some of the world’s most highly esteemed kitchens, including Le Miraville in Paris, Alain Ducasses’ Louis XV in Monte Carlo, and Le Cirque in New York. Today, he serves as the Owner & Executive Chef of Benchmarc Restaurants (Landmarc at the Time Warner Center and Landmarc Tribeca Events) as well as his catering arm, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy. His involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants, with a regular role as a judge on The Food Network’s top-rated hit shows Chopped and Chopped Junior as well as numerous appearances on Chopped After Hours, Guy’s Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, and Good Morning America, among others. Marc is the author of Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, his debut cookbook that was released April 2015 and continues to be a top seller.
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