Iron Fork

Iron Fork 2019: Phuc Yea's Cesar Zapata Will Face the Brick's Aaron Arditti

Phuc Yea's Cesar Zapata takes on the Brick's Aaron Arditti at Iron Fork 2019.
Phuc Yea's Cesar Zapata takes on the Brick's Aaron Arditti at Iron Fork 2019. Chef photos courtesy of Phuc Yea and the Brick
Get ready for a battle royal when two of Miami's hottest chefs face off at Iron Fork 2019.

New Times' 12th-annual Iron Fork, presented by Wild Fork Foods, will take place Thursday, October 3, at the James L. Knight Center and Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami. From 6 to 10 p.m., Miami's best restaurants will offer delicious food while guests enjoy music, fun, and the evening's headlining Iron Fork cooking competition.

This year, Cesar Zapata and Aaron Arditti will take the stage for the ultimate showdown of skill and determination. Only one can be victorious. Last year, Planta's Benjamin Goldman took home the Iron Fork Skillet of Excellence.

As the chef/partner of MiMo's Phuc Yea, Cesar Zapata is well loved in the Miami culinary community. His restaurant, created along with partner Aniece Meinhold, was featured on the Bravo series Best New Restaurant and has won numerous awards, including New Times' Best Restaurant on the Upper Eastside. Zapata has worked alongside venerable chefs such as James Beard Award-nominated chef Timothy Keating and the two-Michelin-star chef Shawn Hergatt. He now shows his wide range of skills at Phuc Yea, marrying Vietnamese and Cajun flavors in his dishes.

The Brick: American Kitchen & Bar's Aaron Arditti began his career at the iconic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables before moving to New York to work at Jean-Georges on Perry Street and the Modern at the Museum of Modern Art. Upon his return to Miami, Arditti found himself in the kitchens of heavy hitters like Scott Conant's Scarpetta, Azul, and Michael Mina's Stripsteak. At the Brick, Arditti specializes in farm to table cuisine.

In addition to the headlining Iron Fork competition, guests can enjoy food from dozens of Miami's finest restaurants including:

General Admission Restaurants
  • 107 Steak & Bar
  • Brain Freeze Nitrogen Ice Cream
  • Del Frisco's Grille
  • Donna Mare Trattoria
  • Dr. Limon
  • Ember Miami
  • HBK Burger
  • Japan Inn
  • Los Ranchos Steakhouse
  • Matador Room
  • Miami N' Ice
  • Mora Pizza
  • New York Chinese Buffet
  • Olivia
  • Pez
  • Pink Pie
  • Planet 57
  • Rodilla
  • San Bernardo Ice Cream
  • Sala'o Cuban Bar & Pescaderia
  • SilverSpot Cinema
  • Top Golf
  • Vacillate Wine Bar
  • Vicky Bakery
VIP Area Restaurants
  • Barton G. The Restaurant Miami Beach
  • Shimuja
  • Shokudo
  • Three Wynwood
  • Drunken Dragon
This year, Iron Fork will also present a People's Choice award. Attendees can vote for their favorite bites of the evening, and the winning restaurant will receive a special honor.

Iron Fork tickets cost $40 for general admission and $70 for VIP. General admission includes entry to the event at 7 p.m.; unlimited samples from participating restaurants; access to cash bars in the GA area offering wine, beer, and spirits by Estrella Damm beer, Ziami Rum, Blue Martini, Tito's vodka, Riboli Wine Estates, Barcelo Rum, and Strega Mule; entertainment; and the Iron Fork culinary competition. At the door, tickets for this 21-and-over event will cost $50 for general admission and $80 for VIP, if available. Purchase tickets at

VIP ticket holders have access to all of the GA food and fun, entrance to the VIP lounge with complimentary drinks in that area, food from Barton G. the Restaurant, and early entry to the event at 6 p.m.

A portion of all proceeds will benefit Special Olympics of Florida, so you can feel good about your evening in more ways than one.

New Times' Iron Fork Presented by Wild Fork Foods. 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, October 3, at James L. Knight Center and Hyatt Regency Miami, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $40 to $80 via
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss