MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Fourteen competitors from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania will face off at the upcoming 2016 New York Bull Burger Battle, each hoping to win the honor of cooking at this year's World Food Championships.
The event will take place on Saturday, June 18, at the Best in Backyards superstore in Mahopac, 119 Route 6, for the third consecutive year. Admission is free and families are welcome to come watch the competition unfold while enjoying product demonstrations and food samples, as well as live radio entertainment. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the winner will be announced at about 3 p.m.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to enter a giveaway and win a Bel Air Grill cart, valued at $499. There will be lots of entertainment for children, too, who are free to play on the swing sets and trampolines, have their faces painted and get a balloon animal.
"We always look forward to hosting the New York Bull Burger Battle, and that's especially true this year, given the talented pool of applicants we had to choose," said Rolf Zimmermann, vice president of sales for Best in Backyards.
With a highly talented group of contenders whose experience ranges from professional training and chef positions to catering to involvement in the competitive barbecue circuit, it was only fitting that Best in Backyards track down a group of highly qualified judges. They include Chef Michael Schmutzer, president of the Chefs Association of Westchester and Lower Connecticut; John Turiano, an editor at Today Media’s Westchester Magazine; and Kansas City Barbecue Society certified judges Dave Prosser and Ben Ronne. The judges will score each burger on appearance, taste and execution. Previous winners and runners-up have done everything from incorporating lobster to sticking to the traditional sesame seed bun and lightly seasoned beef.
The Bull Burger Battle is an official qualifying event for the World Food Championships, where champions can win a portion of $300,000 in prize money. Additional Bull Burger Battles will be held this summer in Chicago, Indianapolis and San Diego
The list of competitors is as follows:
• Admir Alibasic of the Bronx
• Craig Bellomo of Floral Park, N.Y.
• David Conti of Seymour, Conn.
• Skip Day of Wantagh, N.Y., 2014 New York Bull Burger Battle champion
• Robert Ericsson of Sicklerville, N.J.
• Greg Friedman of Mount Kisco
• Kelvin Dickens of Coram, N.Y.
• Dan Herman of Bellmore, N.Y.
• Chrisopher Holihan of Mahopac
• Rocky Julianelle of East Haven, Conn.
• Eugene Philbin of Pittston, Pa.
• Dana Reed of Bergen County, N.J.
• Joe Saccente of Shrub Oak, N.Y., 2015 New York Bull Burger Battle champion
• Ray Sheehan of Neptune, N.J.