As the Fit to Fight challenge comes to a close in just two weeks, a dozen Miami chefs are going full force in the final stretch to shed pounds and raise funds. Dinners, brunches, cooking classes, and workout sessions have all been part of the fun events chefs and supporters of the challenge have participated in.
Part of the Fit to Fight challenge is raising a minimum amount of funds to go toward Live To Fight, a non-profit organization that brings together people in the martial arts and mixed martial arts communities to raise money and offer additional support to people with life-threatening illnesses.
The duo, who previously worked together at Azul before shuttering for renovations and are good friends, will be in the kitchen together again come Monday at 7 p.m. "We moved to Miami at the same time and started at Azul one day apart," says Kilgore, who's lost 12 pounds and counting. "My goal was 20, so I'm going hard till the end."
The pair thought it would be interesting to do barbecue because it's not something people usually associate with healthy eating "We wanted to get creative with it but represent what the Fit to Fight challenge is for too," says Kilgore. "As chef we don't like to do anything easy."
Round one will be cooked up by Kilgore and will be a beef tartare, which will be served with tapioca "chicharron" and Mexican chiles. From there, Anaya and his Hawaiian influences step in for the family-style huli-huli barbecue whole chicken with a pineapple citrus brown sugar glaze. Anaya has lost 10 pounds, and says he's permanently altered his lifestyle, with the exception of ice cream. "I love ice cream so that's definitely been my biggest challenge, although I cut out a lot of sweets and definitely noticed a change." Sweets and drinking, especially beer, is what did the trick, says the chef.
Speaking of beer, those attending the dinner will be poured gratis beer. Owner Michael Sullivan is keeping the beer pick a surprise till the night of, but we can only imagine it will be some type of wheat beer to go with the healthy theme.
To accompany Anaya's barbecue chicken, Kilgore will be making coconut cornbread. "One of the changes I have made is trying to replace heavy cream and butter with more organic fats like coconut, whether it's milk, butter, or oil," says Kilgore.
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For dessert, a stone fruit galette with sweet Greek yogurt (instead of ice cream) will keeps things light and refreshing. Chef Anaya says once the competition is over he's definitely going to keep to the lifestyle change, but maybe give himself the guilty pleasure of having ice cream once a week. "I definitely want to upkeep the regimen. I just turned 39, have a son and in one year, I'm going into my 40s. This is important."
OTC's Fit to Fight barbecue dinner is on Monday, September 22, at 7 p.m. and is priced at $60 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha