Miami New Times Iron Fork/
Miami Spice Kickoff Event

Thursday, July 28, 2016
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

American Airlines Arena
601 Biscayne Blvd.

Miami, FL 33132

Tag Team Chefs Face Off for the Fork-Off Chef Competition at New Times’ Iron Fork 2016

We're excited to announce the chef's that will compete for the prestigious Iron Fork Award at the 9th annual Miami New Times' Iron Fork event happening July 28th at American Airlines Arena.

This year's competition will be a tag team event featuring the "Wonder Twin Chefs" of Fabrizio and Nicola Carro from Via Verdi versus the "Dynamic Duo Chefs" of Dustin Ward from BLT Prime and Sean Brasel from Meat Market. As always, this year's competition will be moderated by Chef Allen Susser.

Join us as we kick off Miami Spice and enjoy samples from more than 70 of Miamis top restaurants!

"Wonder Twins" Fabrizio and Nicola Carro of Via Verdi versus the "Dynamic Duo" of Chef Dustin Ward of BLT Prime and Sean Brasel of Meat Market

MIAMI, FLJune 21, 2016 — For nine years in a row, chef Allen Susser has scoured Miami's culinary scene to choose the fiercest competitors for the annual New Times’ Iron Fork Chef Competition. This year, with a new home for the event, Chef Allen came up with a twist.

"Cooking talent and excitement for everything food has gone into hyper-drive cuisine. This year’s Iron Fork Tag Team bout will be about the cooking, the creativity, the taste, and some damn talented chefs who have something to prove," Susser says.

So he invited the "Wonder Twins" — chefs Fabrizio and Nicola Carro of Via Verdi Restaurant — to compete against the "Dynamic Duo" — chefs Dustin Ward of BLT Prime and Sean Brasel of Meat Market.

"This has never been attempted before in Miami," Susser says. "We have seen some crazy restaurant antics. Each knows the stakes are stacked high against the odds of coming out on top."

Twins Fabrizio and Nicola Carro have been executive chefs with more than 18 years of experience working in the U.S., Italy, Europe, and Africa, with a focus on catering operations and starting up and managing both fine-dining and high-end casual restaurants that focus on Northern Italian cuisine. Working together is something the brothers have done on and off since 1998 in Italy and Kenya before coming to Miami in 2005 to run Quattro Gastronomia Italiana and Sosta Pizzeria. Their newest restaurant, Via Verdi Cucina Rustica, opened in 2013 and concentrates on cuisine dedicated to Italian regional food.

Dustin Ward infuses the famed modern American steakhouse's menu with a distinct Floridian flavor, best showcased through BLT Prime's weekly blackboard specials highlighting his passion for cooking and his love for fresh local ingredients. In 2003, he was lured by the famed Breaker's Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, where he spent three years at L’Escalier, the resort's signature fine-dining restaurant, rising from chef de partie to sous-chef. From 2006 to 2012, Ward helmed the kitchen at Gordon Ramsay's Cielo at the Boca Raton Resort before joining the opening team for chef José Andrés' the Bazaar at the SLS Hotel in South Beach. Ward has teamed up with Sean Brasel of Meat Market. It's a see-and-be-seen dining destination, and as a result, Brasel has cooked for some of the best-known celebrities in the world, from professional athletes like Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Scottie Pippen, and Alex Rodriguez to Hollywood big names like Jerry Bruckheimer and famed culinary personalities like Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri. A well-known name in the culinary scene, Brasel not only is a go-to chef/restaurateur in the South Florida broadcast market but also has appeared on a number of national TV shows, including Food Network's Chopped and TLC's Miami Ink, where he did a cooking demonstration on-air for Kat Von D. Brasel also knows his way around a galley thanks to his experience as a celebrity chef on Celebrity Cruise Lines in 2011 and Holland America's Alaskan cruise in July 2013.

"Only one team can emerge victorious," Susser proclaims.

This tag-team competition will take place on the Monark Kitchen Stage presented by Amazon Pepper, located on the American Airlines Arena floor, and the chefs will use cookware courtesy of Macy's. In addition to organizing the Fork-Off Chef Competition, Susser has also curated the Shuck It Oyster Competition. Chefs from select Miami Spice restaurants will be timed to see who can shuck a dozen oysters the fastest. The competitors include chefs from Edge Steak & Bar, Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, Midtown Oyster Bar, Lure Fishbar, and JWD Prime Steak & Seafood. At-home cooks, South Florida foodies, and seasoned chefs alike will have the chance to view these culinary competitions at New Times Iron Fork, presented by the Downtown Miami Development Authority, Thursday, July 28, 2016, held at the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami. The event opens to VIP ticket-holders at 6 p.m. and to general-admission ticket -holders at 7 p.m.

The epicurean event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. for general admission ticket-holders and will bring together thousands of young professionals, local businesses, and foodies for an evening of gourmet food selections, tasty libations, and live entertainment. Guests who prefer a more intimate dining experience can purchase VIP tickets, which include entry to the event one hour early, at 6 p.m., and access to a private VIP bar and lounge area featuring exclusive entertainment and an elite selection of Miami's best luxury dining establishments.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit NewTimesIronFork.com or like us on our New Times Facebook Page

About Chef Allen
A James Beard award-winning chef, Allen Susser's new world cuisine, which takes influences from Caribbean, Latin America and modern American cooking styles, helped shape Miami's culinary scene. Susser, who has been called "the Ponce de Leon of New Floridian cooking" by the New York Times, has also authored several books, has his own line of sauces and marinades, and is involved with Burger Bar by Chef Allen and The Daily Melt. Susser also consults on many projects, helping Ben & Jerry's develop a line of tropical flavors and Kraft work on new salad dressing profiles. Susser is also involved with many chartities, including March of Dimes and Share Our Strength.