Miami New Times' Iron Fork Is Tonight: Five Best Reasons to Make the Drive

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Miami New Times' Iron Fork 2015/Miami Spice kickoff, presented by the Miami Downtown Development Authority is tonight, y'all. This epic evening of food, fun, and drink goes down from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Miami, and it's an event not to be missed. In case you're thinking of blowing off the evening in favor of sitting in front of your TV to catch yet another epic Donald Trump rant, we've come up with five reasons you should get off your rear end and come down to Iron Fork.

5. The Entertainment
Worried about all the calories you're consuming? Just shake it off and dance to some of Iron Fork's live entertainment. Aura the Band will have you grooving to its rock, blues, and alternative fusion, and DJ Fielo and DJ Knockers will spin fresh beats. Be sure to check out the Heritage Neighborhood Showcase, where the sights, sounds, and tastes of Miami's Little Haiti, Little Havana, and Overtown come alive.

4. The Charity
All this partying has a purpose. Miami New Times has partnered with Share Our Strength to bring awareness of childhood hunger in America. Restaurants participating in the kickoff event will be a part of the movement that brings food to the mouths of low-income children in Florida with the donation of leftover food to the organization end of the evening. Guests will be able to bid on items and restaurant gift certificates at the silent auction, with 100 percent of the auction proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength. 

3. The Food
Nearly 100 of Miami's best restaurants will sample their best bites at Iron Fork, making this a great way to catch up on everything that's happening culinary-wise in Miami. Experience offerings from old favorites like the Oceanaire Seafood Room and Rusty Pelican, and discover new restaurants like Tantalize Miami and Finka Table and Tap. Plus, many of the restaurants are participating in Miami Spice, so you'll be able to preview their menus before you make your final Miami Spice decisions. Here's a complete list of Iron Fork restaurants to whet your appetite. 

2. Oh, Shuck It
Tonight's Iron Fork debuts a first-time Shuck It competition, where five of Miami's best seafood houses will prove once and for all who can shuck the fastest. Chefs from Mignonette, J&G Grill, Lure Fishbar, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, and the much-anticipated Izzy's (by chef Jamie de Rosa) will compete to see how many oysters they can shuck in a set time limit. This is probably the most fun you'll have watching other people shuck their stuff.

1. The Death Match
If you're a fan of cooking shows like Top Chef and Chopped, you won't want to miss the Iron Fork competition, which pits MC Kitchen's Dena Marino and Finka Table and Tap's Eileen Andrade against each other in the ultimate battle of culinary supremacy. These two talented toques will battle it out for the coveted skillet of excellence and bragging rights. Each chef will have to prepare delicious dishes for judges Danny Serfer (Mignonette/Blue Collar), Jamie DeRosa (Tongue & Cheek/Izzy's Fish & Oyster), Adrianne Calvo (Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar), and Ralph Pagano (Naked Taco/Naked Lunch), each using a selection of farm-to-table items carefully curated by host and MC Chef Allen Susser. Of course, there's a mystery ingredient to throw them off. 

If you haven't gotten your Iron Fork tickets, now's your chance. Advance-purchase, general-admission tickets for Iron Fork cost $50 online and increase to $65 at the door (while supplies last). GA tickets allow entry to Iron Fork from 7 to 10 p.m. and include unlimited samplings of food from dozens of Miami's finest establishments. VIPs get into Iron Fork at 6 p.m. for an extra hour of fun and have access to the exclusive VIP lounge. Advance-purchase VIP tickets cost $85 online; VIP tickets at the door are $100 (while supplies last). Purchase tickets at newtimesironfork.com.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

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