Iron Fork 2010: Jose Luis Flores Takes the Pan; Short Order Award Winners Announced

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View photos from Iron Fork 2010 at Grand Central here.

De Rodriguez Cuba's Jose Luis Flores won the 2010 Iron Fork title last night in a battle against defending champ John Critchley of Area 31. The chefs were given 45 minutes to prepare one appetizer and one entree using stone crab for a panel of four judges that included chef Dewey LoSasso and Adrianne Calvo.

Flores won with a "fire and ice" appetizer that paired lime juice granita with a ceviche of snapper, stone crab and shrimp. His entree, a "surf and turf" was made up of a tuna causa with stone crab and a steak tartare.

But Flores wasn't the only winner last night. New Times editor Chuck Strouse announced the winners of the first Short Order Awards to a thinning crowd near the end of the night.

Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill took the award for Best Restaurant

(surprise, surprise). Chef Timon Balloo accepted the award and didn't

have to leave the stage for too long since he won the award for Best Up

and Coming Chef. Chef Michelle Bernstein also scored double: she

garnered the most votes in the Best Chef category and her pastry chef

Vanessa Paz won the Best Pastry Chef award.

Elad Zvi of the Living Room at the W Hotel won Best Mixologist; and the lechon asado at

El Palacio de los Jugos prevailed over fancier nominees as Best Plate.

This year's event saw 1,200 people come out to Grand Central, a nice venue, but not

as nice as last year's Bank of America Tower, which not only offered

beautiful views but also allowed a lot more space to move and mingle.

Not to mention stay cool. Thankfully the folks from Moon Thai helped a little by handing out paper fans.

Beer was the drink of choice for it ran out early, so if you didn't like gin (which there was plenty of at three Bombay Sapphire bars) or wine, you were out of luck. The food offerings seemed to be dominated by sushi. Seriously, there was sushi everywhere. And while we were more impressed with last year's restaurant line-up, we found some good bites during the evening.

Chef Allen's served one of our favorite dishes last night: a mango barbecued pork served with rice. Gibraltar served a nice tuna tartare. Taverna Opa was quite popular with a generous spread of food; the moussaka was particularly tasty. Whisk Gourmet brought back the barbecue pulled pork it served last year but it was just as good. And while we're not huge fans of cupcakes, Misha's guava-filled cupcakes were not only pretty but delicious.

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