Thousands of hungry and thirsty people converged upon Grand Central Miami last evening to eat, drink and be merry at New Times' fifth annual Iron Fork. Over three dozen of Miami's hottest restaurants served up some fine eats while a host of open bars attended to the liquid needs of party goers with cool refreshing beverages.
As the sun set on the indoor/outdoor event, the evening started to heat up with two fierce Iron Fork competitions, hosted by chef Allen Susser.
Both events were judged by a trio of formidable and experienced chefs -- Michael Gilligan, executive chef at the Rusty Pelican; Sean Brasel, executive chef at Meat Market; and Janna Wardle, pastry chef at BLT Steak, who were tasked with the job of eating and critiquing the chefs' dishes.
Each chef had 30 minutes to make five servings each of three different dishes. Chefs were provided with a decked out kitchen space, an extensive pantry from which they could use any item, and a mystery ingredient that must be used in each dish. For the Iron Fork chefs, the mystery ingredient was bacon. The food truckers were assigned butter.
The competition was fast and furious, with each chef completing some pretty decadent dishes in the short time allotted. After careful deliberation, winners were chosen.
Palate Party chef/owner Robyn Almodovar took the food truck win from Mr. Good Stuff chef/owner Alfredo Montero. The chefs were tasked with making three different sliders for the judges, and Amodovar's upscale "open faced" sliders (and liberal use of butter) tipped the scales in her favor.
Bradley Kilgore, new partner at both Route 9 and Exit 1, dishes out indulgent foie gras wraps.
STK Miami's Aaron Taylor presents braised beef cheeks on a bed of horseradish mashed potatoes.
Chef Ze Carlos Jimenez of The MexZican Gourmet, serves pork and shrimp tacos, along with an array of housemade salsas.
Mr. Good Stuff's Alfredo Montero and wife Vanessa prepare for battle with a few cocktails.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.