Five Reasons You Need to Go to New Times' Iron Fork 2014

On Thursday, July 31, New Times' Iron Fork Miami Spice Kickoff, presented by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, will take place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami, and you don't want to miss all the excitement.

There's much to do at Iron Fork. Of course, there will be lots of noshing on the best bites offered by dozens of restaurants, as well as sipping libations. But there's also entertainment, including the totally awesome Iron Fork chef competition.

If you haven't bought tickets yet, here are five reasons for you to jump on them now.

See also: Iron Fork 2014: Aaron Brooks and Todd Erickson Talk Strategy

5. The Heritage Area

The Iron Fork Miami Spice Kickoff features a heritage area showcase, with food and entertainment from restaurants in Miami's most historical and culturally diverse neighborhoods. You can enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors of Little Havana, Little Haiti, historic Overtown, and Coconut Grove Village West in one evening.

4. The Silent Auction

For the first time, Iron Fork will host a silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength. Bid on cool items like a Brew Bus experience for two, brunch for two at Zuma, a one-year membership to Lock & Load, and tickets to Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias in concert. Amazing items for a good cause. Win-win!

3. The VIP Experience

Sure, a general admission ticket gets you all the food and entertainment you could ask for, but you're the kind of person who likes the VIP treatment. So go for it. With the VIP ticket, you get one hour early entrance at 6 p.m.; exclusive restaurant samplings; live entertainment; complimentary beer, wine, and spirits; and full access to the Iron Fork Miami Spice Kickoff. Because that's how you roll.

2. The Chef Competition

Humans love a side of battle with our food. From ancient Romans, who wined and dined while gladiators fought to the death, to modern times, when we enjoy chomping on giant turkey legs at Medieval Times, nothing whets the appetite like a brawl. That's why the Iron Fork competition, in which two chefs fight for supreme culinary victory, is so awesome. This year, Edge Steak & Bar's Aaron Brooks will take on Haven and Huahua Taqueria's Todd Erickson for a duel steeped in glory. Watch these talented toques get all creative with their "mystery ingredient" as they prepare dishes to impress judges Timon Balloo (Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill), Jamie DeRosa (Tongue & Cheek), and Adrianne Calvo (Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Bar). Chef Allen Susser will moderate this epic battle.

1. The Food

Sample dishes from dozens of Miami's finest restaurants, including many Miami Spice participants. Savor bites from A-listers such as the District Miami, Estiatorio Milos, Lure Fishbar, Dolce Italian, Florida Cookery, and Tuyo, and enjoy food from new favorites like Siena Tavern, Loba Restaurant, Ferris Pop-Up, and Uvaggio Wine Bar. With so many restaurants to choose from, plan your evening wisely and catch some of your all-time favorites (while leaving room to fall in love with new ones).

Advance tickets for Iron Fork cost $50 for general admission and $85 for VIP, but use promo code IF10GAF to take $5 off your VIP tickets and $10 off GA tickets. Visit ticketfly.com to get your tickets now.

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