Iron Fork and Miami Spice Kickoff: DeRosa, Rapicavoli to Compete

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The super-mega Iron Fork/Miami Spice Kickoff, presented by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, is getting closer, and two chefs are training hard for a battle of skills and wit in a challenge that is so intense that only one can make it out alive.

What two Miami chefs are brave enough to accept this competition filled with knives, fire, and blood?

Jamie DeRosa, chef/partner of Tongue & Cheek, and Giorgio Rapicavoli, chef/partner of Eating House, are rising to the challenge.

Thursday, August 1 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, these two toques will face each other armed with a pantry full of food and a mystery ingredient. Out of these humble beginnings, each must prepare a meal worthy of royalty. The best chef will be crowned the Iron Fork champion of 2013. The loser will be thrown into a pit of vipers out back (not really; no chefs will be harmed in the making of Iron Fork, though an ego might be bruised).

Who better to judge this competition than two chefs who have won this noble battle? Timon Balloo (Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill), the 2011 Iron Fork champion, and Daniel Serfer (Blue Collar), the most recent Iron Fork winner, will taste -- and judge -- their peers' food, while Miami's best-loved chef, Allen Susser, will keep the pace moving along as master of ceremonies.

Of course, Iron Fork is so much more than a cooking competition. The event is also the official kickoff to Miami Spice, a two-month celebration of good taste during which Miami's finest restaurants offer three-course meals (lunches $19 or $23, dinners $33 or $39) featuring signature dishes created by South Florida's best chefs. At Iron Fork, you'll be able to sample more than 45 restaurants and get a first bite of some of Miami Spice's participating restaurants, including A Fish Called Avalon, Baoli, Cibo Wine Bar, Atrio, Il Mulino, Catch Grill and Bar, Tuyo, DB Bistro Moderne, Biscayne Tavern, City Hall, Oceanaire Seafood Room, West Avenue Café, Toro Toro, Brasileiro Steakhouse, Taverna Opa, and the Trapiche Room.

VIP ticket-holders will be able to indulge in fine wines of Chile, enjoy Bacardi cocktails, and drink Stella Artois. Plus, VIPs will be able to access the event at 6 p.m. for an extra hour of food and fun.

Tickets cost $40 for general admission and $75 for VIP. Visit microapp.miaminewtimes.com/ironfork/2013 to purchase yours today. Stay tuned to Short Order for restaurant updates and chef interviews.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook , on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

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