The New Times Iron Fork/Miami Spice Kickoff, presented by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, promises to be one of the most memorable and delicious evenings this summer.
On July 31, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Miami, you'll be able to sample bites from Miami's best restaurants, including Miami Spice participants so you can plan your schedule of "spicing" in advance.
In addition, there's the totally awesome Iron Fork competition, which pits Aaron "Thunder from Down Under" Brooks from Edge Steak & Bar against Todd "Top Shelf" Erickson from Haven and Huahua's Taqueria in an epic battle that entails knives, fire, and a mystery ingredient.
To "sweeten the pot," so to speak, this year features a silent auction, where 100 percent of proceeds benefit Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, which provides nutritious meals to children in our own community.
Chef Allen Susser, founding chairman of Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation South Florida (and host of our Iron Fork competition) tells Short Order that the No Kid Hungry campaign's goal of providing children with good food is important for a number of reasons. "Kids need a healthy breakfast to succeed and focus on learning. The goal is for every kid to get a free breakfast. They get to school on time, they share the community of talking and eating together, and they get higher grades in the classroom. When a child starts the day off right, they're prepared and they feel better. It works."
Susser explains that the program is even more important during the summer months, when children are off from school. "Sometimes that free summer lunch is the only meal they'll have all day. Providing that is so important."
The chef explains that Share our Strength resonates in the culinary community for one simple reason. "As chefs and restaurant people, we love to feed people. This is our profession and our passion. Share our Strength allows us to feed kids. This is something we can build upon. We get a lot of satisfaction and gratification from doing this."
Right now, New Times is collecting items for the Iron Fork silent auction. If you're a business owner, a chef, or a restaurateur and would like to donate an item, we'd love to talk to you. Especially interesting are "experiential" items, like a chef cooking a specialty meal, cooking classes, a beer or wine tasting, a mixology class, or a trip.
If you'd like to participate, contact our director of marketing, Jennifer Nealon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don't forget to purchase your Iron Fork tickets. Tickets for this 21-and-over event are only $45 for general admission and $75 for VIP and are available through ticketfly.com. But hurry, because prices increase July 1 -- and you don't want to miss this epic battle!