We’re hardly broken up about Spike Mendelsohn pulling out of tomorrow’s Burger Brawl, the big beefy benefit that Rouge’s Rob Wasserman cooked up to raise money for the William M. Meredith Elementary School. With homegirl Jennifer Carroll participating, we’ll get our Top Chef fix. And she’s just one of the 20 top toques — Barbuzzo’s Marcie Turney, Adsum’s Matt Levin and Ladder 15’s David Ansill are a few others — stepping up to cook the best burger. But what we’re most excited about is the promised visit from the Burger Baron himself, Pat LaFrieda. He’s coming down from New York to show support for Pub & Kitchen’s Jonathan Adams, whom he credits with spreading LaFrieda Meat’s good word throughout the region. “Someone was telling me that the popular vote is swaying toward other chefs,” LaFrieda told Grub Street. “I love coming in with the underdog.”
While rooting hardest for P&K’s Adams, LaFrieda added that several others competing tomorrow will be flipping burgers wrought from his high-profile ground beef blends. He’s throwing his support behind them as well, and to larger extent, everyone involved in the benefit. “I’m coming to support a great Philadelphia event,” LaFrieda said. “I was born and raised in Brooklyn, but I spent the core of my life in the Philly area while in the Army Reserves for eight years.”
As for his post Burger Brawl plans?
“I am not leaving Philadelphia until I get a nice pasta dish at Osteria,” LaFrieda said. “I’m really looking forward to being blown away.”