As you all know, the best fall food event, Iron Fork, is fast approaching.
On October 18 at Grand Central, chefs Daniel Serfer (Blue Collar) and Kenny Gilbert (Top Chef alum and Swine Southern Table and Bar) will battle to the death in a cooking competition worth sweating over. And of course, we will be objective about this....Miami New Times is the sponsor.
We caught up with competing chef Serfer to see how he's mentally and emotionally preparing for the big day.
Is he tossing back the egg yolks every morning to prep for the competition?
"Well, I was told I could bring a couple things that I won't have time to do during the competition, so I'm bringing a pretty cool sauce that I make," Serfer says cooly.
He admitted that when the man he considered his mentor, Allen Susser, asked him to participate in the culinary competition, he didn't know much about it, let alone how to prepare. "I'm not fancy," he pressed. Still, he accepted the challenge.
"You have to understand that blue collar isn't just the name of a restaurant -- it's a way of life. So... is there, like, a website where I can find out more about it?"
After a fit of giggles on our end (and the assumption that Serfer still owns an AOL account), we passed on a link to the Iron Fork site where he was able to get a better understanding of the intense gladiator battle (the one with aprons, of course).
As we debriefed Serfer, he was able to better gather thoughts on his strategies to win.
"I think I'm going to first try to think of what Kenny would do with the ingredients. Then I'm going to do something completely different so I can be distinguished. I think being different from what he's doing is gonna be the one instance where comparing apples to oranges would work out in my favor.
"You can have two bowls of chicken soup and easily say that one is better than the other -- but if you have to compare chicken soup to something else, it's harder to pick a favorite."
In all honesty, that's some serious Inception stuff Serfer's got going on in terms of a way to trick the judges' minds, but, hey, whatever works!
"I definitely won't sous vide anything," he says. "I'm taking my blue collar attitude: super simple, quick, and tasty. We don't have fancy bells and whistles... and money. So I'll just translate what we do here over there."
We noticed a Twitter exchange between the two chefs from a few days ago where Gilbert elected not to speak a word until the day of battle:
No smack talking here.
Indeed, may the best chef win. See you there!
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Tickets for Iron Fork 2012 are $40 general admission and $70 for VIP (which gets you into the event at 6 p.m. for an extra hour of eating and drinking). Click here to buy your tickets now.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.