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Brooks vs. Erickson at Heart of a Chef

Two of Miami's best chefs will go head-to-head this Sunday at the annual Heart of a Chef festival and culinary competition.

Normally, we'd frown on chefs fighting, but this epic battle is for a good cause. Heart of a Chef is a fundraiser for the Florida Heart Research Institute.

This Sunday, April 28, from 3 to 7 p.m., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will host the family-friendly event, which includes interactive displays, food and wine samplings, and a cooking demonstration by Ellen Kanner, vegan chef and author of Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith, and What to Eat for Dinner.

Things will really heat up at 5:30 p.m., when Aaron Brooks, executive chef of Edge Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Miami, takes on Todd Erickson, executive chef at Haven in a culinary battle for the ages.

Each chef will be tasked with making a delicious heart-healthy meal using mystery ingredients that will be revealed at the beginning of the competition.

We asked Erickson how he feels about challenging adversary Brooks to a food-fueled duel. He simply said, "Chef Aaron is riding high on the hog right now after last weekend's Cochon 555, but my job this week is to knock him off."

Last year, Eating House's Giorgio Rapicavoli beat Crave's Joshua Wahler by creating a pan-seared salmon with a dried-cherry reduction.

Tickets for Heart of a Chef cost $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Each paid adult ticket includes admission for two children, which is a great deal for families. To purchase tickets, visit

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss