Celebration Exotic Car Festival’s Portofino Food and Wine Party 2012

Celebration Exotic Car Festival’s Portofino Food and Wine Party 2012

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The Celebration Exotic Care Festival’s Food and Wine Party at the Loews Portofino Hotel at Universal Studios took place this past Saturday, an event hosted to raise money for children’s charities including Make-a-Wish, Special Olympics and Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital. Last year the festival raised over $800,000 for charity and this year they hope to outdo that number.

Several celebrity chefs from the Bravo television show “Top Chef” were on hand at the event, including Chefs Michael Voltaggio, Kevin Spraga, and Kenny Gilbert. Voltaggio’s new Los Angeles restaurant, “ink” was just named the “Best New Restaurant in America” by GQ magazine.

It was truly a wondrous, beautiful evening. Last year the event was held inside of a jet hanger in Kissimmee and was also a fundraiser for the Bocuse D’or Foundation. This year they moved it to the Portofino hotel’s courtyard to make it more comfortable.

The Portofino hotel is designed as a virtual duplication of the beautiful seaside town of Portofino, Italy, with a great little lake built right up to the courtyard where the event took place.

Ferraris, Nissan GTRs, Bentleys, and other exotic cars lined up the sides of the lake and a huge stage with crazy moving lights was set up at the courtyard’s center where live bands, models, the Blues Brothers, and others performed through out the evening during the food and wine party.

Oh yeah, the food and wine…so much good food, so little space in my tummy. The event had chefs like James Beard award nominated Chef Kevin Fonzo of College Park’s K Restaurant, serving a wonderful pork belly dish with a homemade bacon marmalade and fresh tomato jam…yes it is as good as it sounds, and probably my favorite dish there. John Rivers of 4Rivers Smokehouse was on deck serving up his rendition of a spicy gumbo and the oysters “texasfeller” a twist on the oyster rockefeller and a preview of some of the concepts in the works at the Cowboy Kitchen.

Special thank you to Pearleen of Megayummo.com for the invitation!

Here are the photos:

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ichael Voltaggioink. Los Angeles, CAThe Best New Restaurant in America"...GQTop Chef, Season 6WinnerTop ChefKenny GilbertTop Chef, Season 7Most PopularKevin SbragaTop Chef, Season 7Winner

ichael Voltaggioink. Los Angeles, CAThe Best New Restaurant in America"...GQTop Chef, Season 6WinnerTop ChefKenny GilbertTop Chef, Season 7Most PopularKevin SbragaTop Chef, Season 7Winner

ichael Voltaggioink. Los Angeles, CAThe Best New Restaurant in America"...GQTop Chef, Season 6WinnerTop ChefKenny GilbertTop Chef, Season 7Most PopularKevin SbragaTop Chef, Season 7Winner

ichael Voltaggioink. Los Angeles, CAThe Best New Restaurant in America"...GQTop Chef, Season 6WinnerTop ChefKenny GilbertTop Chef, Season 7Most PopularKevin SbragaTop Chef, Season 7Winner

Ricky Ly founded TastyChomps.com in 2008 as a local Orlando food blog dedicated to finding the tastiest bits and pieces of Orlando as well as around the world. His first book, Food Lovers' Guide to Orlando: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers' Series) is available now on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Photography is taken using a Canon EOS 6D and a Sony Nex-3. In 2017, he was inducted into the Orlando Sentinel's Culinary Hall of Fame. He is also featured in the Orlando Sentinel's Central Florida 100, a weekly opinion column featuring 100 of the most influential people in local government, politics and culture. In 2018, he was chosen by the Orlando Weekly as one of the "Ten People Making Orlando a Better Place to Be." E-mail him at tastychomps(at)gmail.com. Google

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