CityBeat's Iron Fork Food Fight

Local chefs battle to see who cooks it best at CityBeat's Iron Fork

No more hours spent arguing among fellow foodies about which local chef’s food artistry is the best because on Oct. 15 the true victor will be revealed as CityBeat hosts Cincinnati’s first annual Iron Fork competition. 

Three select chefs will battle it out to see who is the best; the winner will receive the prestigious “Golden Fork” award and bragging rights for the year. Each chef will make three dishes, to be reviewed by a panel of judges. The judging panel includes kitchen director and resident chef at Gabriel’s Place Kristen St. Clair and CityBeat's own dining writers/reviewers Anne Mitchell and Illene Ross. 

The contenders are some of Cincinnati’s favorites: Frances Kroner, Jose Salazar and Joe West. 

Frances Kroner is currently chef at Oakley's Sleep Bee Cafe. With an inspirational farmers market mentality, Kroner has helped transform the Northside Farmers Market, consulted on the menu for Bakersfield OTR, and developed an edible dress for The Art of Food. She also founded Random Snacks of Kindness, a self-funded promotional tool that creates customized snacks for community focused organizations in Greater Cincinnati, as well as FEAST, her artful catering company that creates edible installations.

A more than worthy opponent is Jose Salazar, a Cincinnati favorite who incorporates ingredients and techniques from America, Spain, France and Japan. And Salazar has already been awarded the title of people’s choice “Best New Chef (Great Lakes region)" by Food and Wine magazine. He currently mans the kitchen at his eponymous OTR eatery, Salazar. 

The final contestant is newcomer Joe West. The Kansas City native arrived in Cincinnati in May as Executive Chef at The Cincinnatian Hotel and Palace Restaurant. West has worked under many award-winning chefs, and was the youngest Executive Chef to achieve a 3.5 star rating by the Kansas City Star at age 22. 

Hosted by Sara Celi from Fox 19, the evening will be complete with samples of award-winning cuisine and cocktails from more than 20 of Cincinnati’s best restaurants. Plus one lucky auction winner will receive a fourth plate, prepared by the chefs, and get a chance to sit in with the judges. 

A portion of the proceeds, as well as cookware donated by Cooks’Wares and Chantal, will benefit Gabriel’s Place, an Avondale-based nonprofit that strives to educate the community on beneficial health choices while enabling better eating habits by growing food and providing meals along with the recipes. Iron Fork is presented by SYSCO, Christian Moerlein Brewery & Four Roses.

5:30-10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15. $30. Christian Moerlein Tap Room, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine,

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