Iron Fork: Food, Cocktails, and Two Incredible Battles (Photos)

Categories: Iron Fork
All photos by Laine Doss
Robyn Almodovar and Alfredo Montero are friendly competitors.
Thousands of hungry and thirsty people converged upon Grand Central Miami last evening to eat, drink and be merry at New Times' fifth annual Iron Fork.  Over three dozen of Miami's hottest restaurants served up some fine eats while a host of open bars attended to the liquid needs of party goers with cool refreshing beverages.

Phillip Bryant on Getting Ready for Battle 

As the sun set on the indoor/outdoor event, the evening started to heat up with two fierce Iron Fork competitions, hosted by chef Allen Susser.

Both events were judged by a trio of formidable and experienced chefs -- Michael Gilligan, executive chef at the Rusty Pelican; Sean Brasel, executive chef at Meat Market; and Janna Wardle, pastry chef at BLT Steak, who were tasked with the job of eating and critiquing the chefs' dishes.

Each chef had 30 minutes to make five servings each of three different dishes. Chefs were provided with a decked out kitchen space, an extensive pantry from which they could use any item, and a mystery ingredient that must be used in each dish. For the Iron Fork chefs, the mystery ingredient was bacon. The food truckers were assigned butter.  

The competition was fast and furious, with each chef completing some pretty decadent dishes in the short time allotted. After careful deliberation, winners were chosen.

Daniel Serfer of Blue Collar won the Iron Fork 2012 title, beating out Yardbird Southern Table & Bar's Phillip Bryant. His secret (besides lots of bacon)? Plenty of heat in the fire roasted stuffed peppers.

Palate Party chef/owner Robyn Almodovar took the food truck win from Mr. Good Stuff chef/owner Alfredo Montero. The chefs were tasked with making three different sliders for the judges, and Amodovar's upscale "open faced" sliders (and liberal use of butter) tipped the scales in her favor.

Bradley Kilgore, new partner at both Route 9 and Exit 1, dishes out indulgent foie gras wraps.

STK Miami's Aaron Taylor presents braised beef cheeks on a bed of horseradish mashed potatoes.

Chef Ze Carlos Jimenez of The MexZican Gourmet, serves pork and shrimp tacos, along with an array of housemade salsas.

ironfork alfredovanessa.jpg
Mr. Good Stuff's Alfredo Montero and wife Vanessa prepare for battle with a few cocktails.

Chef Carlos Torres of 660 at The Angler's Resort makes a refreshing scallop ceviche.

The entire Latin House Grill team strike a pose.

Blue Collar's Danny Serfer and sous chef Eric Serebrenik have a little outdoor strategy session before the competition.

Rusty Pelican's Michael Gilligan grabs a Guinness Black before heading to the judges' table.

You can't fight City Hall's spicy shrimp and grits -- especially when Steven Haas is dishing it out.

Robyn Almodovar and wife Faiza serve truffle mac 'n cheese and crab cakes to the crowd.

VIP'ers got a sneak peek of Swine Southern Table & Bar's fare.

Whisk Gourmet executive chef Brendan Connor's fritters from the restaurant's popular shrimp and grits dish.

Will Call's Mark Grigsby presents us with a roast beef slider.

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Location Info


Grand Central

697 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Music

Rusty Pelican

3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL

Category: Restaurant

Meat Market

915 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

BLT Steak

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Blue Collar

6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

STK Miami

2377 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

The MexZican Gourmet

5904 S. Dixie Highway, Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

660 at The Angler's

660 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

@ChefRobynHK Congratulations Robin on the Food Truck win!!


@BillyCorben Is your sandwich the reason they won? ;)


Butter and Bacon?   Could there be bigger softball ingredients?!


How disappointing was this event????  There was no “comfortable seating” as advertised for VIP admission.  It was standing room only.  Super

uncomfortable juggling food and drinks in high heels‼   And what was that rank smell emitting from the second floor????


Had a Great time, awesome food,  Thanks Clean Plate Charlie for chance to attend!!!


@Joshg333 Haha nope. Secret ingredient was bacon not brisket. You can check it with one of yer nudie scanners. Or not:


@BillyCorben I think I'll Opt Out lol. Im at MIA now, we have those new machines.

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