New Times' Iron Fork, the official Miami Spice kickoff event presented by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, starts tonight at 7 p.m. (or 6 p.m. if you have a VIP ticket, good for early entrance) at the Hyatt Regency Miami. In just a few hours, there'll be much to do including watching the Shuck It competition, where chefs from Mignonette, J&G Grill, Lure Fishbar, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, and the much-anticipated Izzy's will compete to see how many oysters they can shuck in a set time limit.
That's just a mere prelude to the main bout — the Iron Fork chefs' competition between MC Kitchen's Dena Marino and Finka Table & Tap's Eileen Andrade, who will battle for the coveted skillet of excellence and bragging rights. Each chef must prepare delicious dishes for judges Danny Serfer (Mignonette, Blue Collar), Jamie DeRosa (Tongue & Cheek, Izzy's Fish & Oyster), Adrianne Calvo (Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Bar), and Ralph Pagano (Naked Taco, Naked Lunch).
But let's face it: You're going for the food. In all, more than 50 of Miami's best restaurants will be on hand serving favorites. Many of the restaurants are participating in Miami Spice, which begins this Saturday, August 1, so you'll be able to preview the restaurants in one evening. To save you some time, we've gone through the menus of the participating restaurants and come up with the top ten dishes you absolutely must try at Iron Fork.
180 Degrees at DRB
Tuna poke with sesame seeds, miso, and sesame oil accompanied by a mango avocado jalapeño salsa.
Barbecue Kurobuta pork belly with Georgia peach and red onion marmalade, zucchini bread, and boniato chip.
Apeiro Kitchen& Bar
Lamb merguez with butterbean baklava.
Pork-belly slider with Asian slaw.
Donut Divas & Fun Foods
Red velvet fried Oreos sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with cream cheese frosting.
Finka Table & Tap
Six-hour smoked brisket with a bourbon reduction and boniato mash.
Fresh American Bistro
Roast pork belly with smoked potato mousseline, and a red onion and cilantro salad. For dessert, there's caramelized white chocolate cremeux with cashew nougatine and chocolate pearls, with chocolate cake.
Key lime ash-cured Florida cobia sashimi and crispy Kurobuta pork shoulder confit.
Burrata with truffle porcini and rollatini cheese with soppressata and olives.
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Selections from the oyster bar served with Oceanaire salt.
If you haven't purchased your tickets to Iron Fork, they cost $65 at the door for general admission and $100 for VIP, while supplies last. Tickets are available online via ticketfly.com.