The Downtown Food & Wine Fest is a “A Treat for the Senses” with great food, wine, and music. It’s an opportunity for guests to try dozens of restaurants at their leisure, enjoy two days of diverse live music with well know national headliners, choose from over 50 wines, hang out at the Sports Bar and watch the Daytona 500, or mingle with friends at The Liquid Lounge.
Forty top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings including the return of the 2012 Foodie Award winners as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters, and celebrity chefs.
Foodie Award 2012 (based on one food item for taste, unique flavor and culinary excellence)
Pork Belly Slider – PRIMO by Melissa Kelly at JW Marriott
Best of Show 2012 (based on overall menu creativity, depth of offerings, and quality)
Tuscany at Orlando World Center Marriott
Spirit of the Fest 2012 (based on fun factor, overall energy and crowd vibe with the booth)
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Fogo De Chao
Maxine’s on Shine
Christener’s Del Frisco Steakhouse
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
The Pub at Pointe Orlando
Copper Canyon Grill
Nona Tap Room
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice
The Meat House
Old Hickory Smokehouse
Hard Rock Cafe
Primo at JW Marriott
The Vineyard Grill at Ritz Carlton
Shari Sushi Lounge
Siro Urban Italian Kitchen
Bananas A Modern American Diner
Nick’s Italian Kitchen
Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine
Date / Time:
Saturday, February 23 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, February 24, 2013 (noon to 7 p.m.)
Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola along Robinson Street
Admission is $10 per person, per day with advance online purchase beginning
January 15, 2013 at www.DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com. Advance tickets
are also available at Mercedes-Benz of Sanford, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, and Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando.
Admission at the door is $15 per person, per day. Admission for children under age 12 is free. Food tickets are available at the event for $2 each; food and wine offerings range from one to four tickets. New for 2013, VIP ticket packages include parking, a private pavilion, and additional Fest perks and privileges. A limited number of VIP tickets are available only at Mercedes-Benz of Sanford, Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, and Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando.
Q and A with the Organizers of the Orlando Downtown Food and Wine Festival 2013
TastyChomps.com: How did the Downtown Food and Wine Fest all begin?
Kim McFadden, National Sales Manager, CBS Radio Orlando - (Founder of Downtown Food & Wine Fest): The Fifth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest (previously known as The Orlando Food and Wine Fest) has established itself as a signature event for Orlando. The Fest was created in 2008. Orlando did not have a major food festival and given the growth of downtown and a burgeoning restaurant scene we thought it was time to create something. The original producers of the Fest were WLOQ and Orlando Leisure Magazine. The city of Orlando was receptive to the idea and we received a good deal of support from The Downtown Development Board.
Today, the Fest is presented and produced by CBS RADIO, led by Orlando favorites MIX 105.1, 1059 SUNNY FM, and 102 JAMZ in partnership with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.
TC: Who are the main beneficiaries and what do they do?
Al Gardner, FRLA and Downtown Food & Wine Fest Chairman: A portion of the proceeds benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, the FRLA Educational Foundation, Valencia College, and University of Central Florida Hospitality Education Programs.
TC: What are some of the restaurant highlights who will be there at the event?
Kim: We try to offer as much variety as possible with 40 of Orlando’s premier restaurants with well-known returning restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Dexter’s of Thorton Park, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Primo Restaurant Orlando at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes, and new concepts including Hawkers, Marlow’s Tavern, Tap’s Restaurant Bar and Lounge, and Truffles Grill, plus neighborhood gems such as Maxine’s on Shine and Nona Tap Room.
TC: What does the FRLA think of the current Orlando food scene? Any upcoming trends for the near future?
Al: Orlando is considered a melting pot and a good cross section of the United States. Many companies test their new prototypes in Orlando before going national. Check out the major chains that are opening new restaurants in Central Florida for predictions of new offerings that may go national.
Two Daily Admission Giveaway Contest!
1 random winner will be chosen from the contestants. The Prize is 2 daily admission tickets with date of attendance of choice (Saturday or Sunday). Contest ends 12pm Sunday February 17. Answer in the comment area below this post (make sure to fill out your e-mail).
1. What and whose dish won the 2012 Best Foodie Award from the Downtown Food and Wine Festival?
2. Which restaurant are you most looking forward to try?