Cesar Zapata of Phuc Yea and Aaron Arditti of the Brick: American Kitchen & Bar competed for the coveted Iron Fork Skillet of Excellence. This year, the competition offered a twist: Each toque was paired with a culinary influencer who served as a sous-chef. Chat Chow's Gio Gutierrez assisted Zapata, while May I Take a Bite's May Alvarez helped Arditti.
Each chef was tasked with making dishes for a panel of judges in three rounds of cooking. The teams were challenged to use different mystery ingredients for each round.
Round 1's mystery basket included quail, rabbit, mango, and plantains. For Round 2, the mystery ingredients were king crab, Key West pink shrimp, and chorizo. The final round's ingredients were Wagyu beef, bone marrow, and petite green beans.
New at this year's Iron Fork was the peoples' choice award. Guests voted for their favorite bite of the evening, and Dr. Limon prevailed for its mixed seafood ceviche.
If you enjoyed Iron Fork, be sure to get your tickets for New Times' Tacolandia. From 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 16, Magic City Studios will be transformed into a palace of tacos.Tickets cost $30 to $70 via newtimestacolandia.com.