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by Emily Brainard

Chef Joseph Burnett of The Osprey Tavern in Baldwin Park was recently awarded the accolades of Best Chef and Best New Restaurant by Orlando Magazine.

“In order to create a productive kitchen that works, hammering and pounding, like a blacksmith to metal, is the wrong approach. Cooks and chefs need nurturing and discipline, but this is about the long haul. A kitchen is a garden and what it needs is gentle guidance. Each kitchen and each chef is unique, some flourish with a more hands on approach and others with a more laid back one. They don’t all grow at the same pace or with the same tenacity, but it takes a lot of careful manipulation to create something and someone that can produce.”

I didn’t expect this kind of patient, methodical, even somewhat spiritual rhetoric from such a stoic looking man. “You’re comparing managing a kitchen to tending a garden?” was my initial reaction when Joseph Burnett told me his approach to being an executive chef.

And the more time I spent watching him, the more I realized that he molds these young minds much in the way he constructs a dish. He works the kitchen the same way he works over an item, taking care that each ingredient/chef is utilized so that it tastes/works the best and each plays its own integral role in everything tasting delicious/coming together.

It’s so meticulously orchestrated that if you aren’t paying attention, you could easily miss it. The management of The Osprey Tavern’s kitchen is as artistic as the food it’s putting out.

I sat down with Chef Joseph Burnett to find out more about where this artistry and thoughtfulness comes from, the journey it took to get here, and where he hopes it will take him.

Chef Joe Burnett
Chef Joe Burnett of The Osprey Tavern

Q. Where did your initial drive for cooking come from?

A. Well, very simply, my parents never had crap around the house. There weren’t any instant snacks to indulge in. Everything I wanted to consume or share with friends, I had to prepare myself, so that’s what I did. We also had a food-centric household. My mother, grandmother, and aunt were constantly cooking so I started with them at a young age.

Q. Where did your professional culinary journey begin?

A. I started washing dishes at 15, and then I was a line cook. I did catering and coffee for a while. I moved to Boston and got a degree in graphic design. After school, I just wanted to be back in a kitchen, so I made a list of best restaurants in Miami, applied, and was hired at my top choice-Norman’s. My wife, Viviana Alestor, and I then made our way up to Norman’s Orlando. I was sous and eventually chef de cuisine there.  I tried my hand at Loews Hotels to see if I enjoyed the corporate hotel aspect of cooking. I didn’t. Shortly after, I became chef de cuisine at The Ravenous Pig where I was allowed to cut my teeth. Finally, roughly a year ago, I ventured to Osprey.

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Q. How was your transition to Osprey?

A. Difficult and great. I hit the ground here running. There were some things that needed to be changed immediately, and others that took more time. It was a team effort getting Osprey to where it is now. Initially, there wasn’t anyone here I trusted. It takes a while and is difficult to get to know someone and develop the trust that comes from the long haul in an intense environment. Elek Kovacs (chef de cuisine) joining the team was a relief.  I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather have by my side. We worked together at Norman’s and later at the Pig. There wasn’t a task you could give him that he didn’t complete faster and better than what you envisioned. His attention to detail is unparalleled. We are creative in different ways. It took me years to train myself to be organized. For Elek, the organization is more engrained which makes his implementation flawless.

Q. Why Osprey?

A. I had worked under national and local celebrity chefs and I felt like it was time to be on my own. Jason allowed me that platform (Jason Chin owns The Osprey Tavern, as well as Seito Baldwin Park). I admire him. I admire his business sense and his ability to take a vision and bring it to fruition.

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Q. Is this style the culmination of what you want to be doing?

A. The style is perfect. I get to mix in ethnic food and comfort foods. I have the ability to work with great ingredients.

Q. How do you continue to find the drive necessary to maintain the quality of your work?

A. The challenge drives me and it’s always challenging. If there’s not challenge, you’re playing it too safe.
There are very few art forms where the result is seen in just a few hours. And although a lot of things we do can take several months for end results, quite a few are fairly quick and the satisfaction is there.
There are also even fewer forms of art that sustain life. And as an artisan it’s incredible to create something that is visually appealing, as well as something that nourishes you.

Dish sketches and concepts by Chef Burnett
Dish sketches and concepts by Chef Burnett

Q. Do you ever feel stagnant? How do you get yourself out of that rut?

A. It’s a very intense creative process. Sometimes I think, as so many others, “I’m never going to have another great idea again.” Then something stimulates me, another chef, nature or, another art form triggers something within me. Sometimes these ideas come too quickly to act on and of course, it’s not always a reliable process, but I have a great team that I can lean on and their fresh eyes help. Our paths will intersect, like a brain trust and any block is removed by what we can create together.

Q. What words of advice could you offer to aspiring chefs?

A. Be humble. Start from the bottom. Stay out of culinary school. It’s harder at first, but ultimately an easier route. You’ll avoid a ton of debt to pay off. You will learn the technical tools required on site, as well as all the rest.

Pea Salad at The Osprey Tavern
Pea Salad at The Osprey Tavern

Q. Tell us about how you learned on site.

A. My first time in a kitchen, I had one knife to bring to the table. I didn’t know culinary terms like c-fold or hotel pan. I would write down what I didn’t understand and go home and look it up. I wasn’t going to be made fun of for a lack of knowledge. “Food Lovers Companion,” and Harold McGee books were my reference system. “Becoming a Chef,” was my spiritual and philosophical guidance.

Q. What keeps you humble?

A. I think the mentality a lot of chefs keep, myself included, is that “you’re only as good as your last dish or your last service.”

Striving to constantly make myself better is grounding.

You see egos in kitchens, people who think they’re great and they usually fall flat where it counts. I don’t want that ego. It’s the death of creativity.

Dish sketches and concepts by Chef Burnett
Dish sketches and concepts by Chef Burnett

Q. Most people don’t pair artistry with management. Is leading a team something that you ever wanted?

A. Certainly. I enjoy the human aspect of it. I count myself lucky to be part of so many journeys. You can’t ever completely know where someone is headed and sometimes an artist comes out, flourishes and goes on to do the most incredible things. It can be frustrating at times, of course.  At this level, it’s a thinking man’s game. Leading a pack of “yes men” is not something I want. I want opinions that count. I want thinkers. I want them to question recipes, question ingredients, question delivery. I do not want a team of people going through the motions. Most chefs learn early with multiplying recipes that you have to question everything. One teaspoon of cayenne can multiply to one cup in no time, so an open door is everything. The kitchen is a crash course in psychology. You find yourself running into the same personalities, culling the herd to avoid drama and ego. Eventually, you tailor your approach to different people. Some are best set free and some thrive with discipline or a gentle mix of both.

Q. Do you ever find it difficult to comingle passion with business?

A. Yes. Ingredients that I love to work with are sometimes expensive and therefore not economically viable, for example, European white asparagus.
However, it’s becoming easier with the tremendous development of Orlando’s palate in last 10 years. If we would serve squab, some guests would see the little feet and flee the dining room. Now, guests are ordering second and third plates of chicken liver mousse.

Q. If someone doesn’t enjoy a dish on your menu, what’s your reaction?

A. I know that every dish or message isn’t for every person and I keep that in mind when something isn’t well received. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t take it personally and get angry or disappointed, initially. But it quickly transforms into a learning opportunity. We look for patterns in things. If something is constantly getting a bad reception then it has to change. If we failed as a team, it has to be addressed. But if it isn’t a common occurrence and just that a particular guest doesn’t mesh with a particular item, my mindset is “to each their own.”
Often guests want what they expect rather than our interpretation of a dish. It’s the classic “dish in quotes” dilemma. The quotes are suggesting there is riff on this and it may be whimsical and fun, but that’s not always suitable to where their mind has taken them and that’s quite alright.

Q. What gets you to work every day (other than your car?)

A. Creativity, building something.
People creating together is an incredible thing and it’s interesting to see what they are going to bring to the table each day.
I feel like I’m just beginning.

Q. What brings you joy?

A. My children. It’s always good to come home. No one is more proud of me than my kids. Sebastian, 7, and Isabelle, 3, call my crew “my friends”, and they aren’t wrong.

Q. What are your hopes for The Osprey Tavern?

A. I hope it will be another jewel in the crown of Orlando’s culinary scene.

Dish sketches and concepts by Chef Burnett
Dish sketches and concepts by Chef Burnett

There is no doubt in my mind that The Osprey Tavern is quickly earning its position as “another jewel in the crown of Orlando’s culinary scene.” While in it’s first year, Osprey went through many changes and growing pains, Chef Joseph never shied away from acknowledging its flaws or making the necessary modifications. He readdressed, regrouped, and represented whether it was to endure criticism or praise. The Osprey Tavern is clearly carefully tended. It is to be concluded that if as many people took the kind of approach to their lives that Joseph Burnett takes to his kitchens, the world would in fact be a much finer, kinder, and more delectable place.

The Osprey Tavern recently began Sunday brunch service in sunny Baldwin Park.

The restaurant  by owners Jason and Sue Chin, is led by an impressive team of acclaimed pedigree including Executive Chef Joseph Burnett, Executive Sous Chef Elek Kovacs, and Kristy Carlucci, Pastry Chef.

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WAFFLE 11 – caramelia cream, salted caramel, toasted peanuts

The decor and interior was designed by owner Sue Chin and it deserves to be praised as one of the most gorgeous new restaurants in all of Orlando – a truly breathtaking, rustic, yet refined Southern feel to it. It’s like walking into a page of Southern Living magazine.

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My dining companions and I were in the mood for brunch and so decided to drop by the Baldwin Park location to try out the new menu.

During brunch hour, they have a little charming push trolley full of pastries that get rolled around – kind of like at a dim sum restaurant, known as gueridon service by the French – filled with wonderful house made scones, coffee cakes, chocolate hazelnut turnovers, and more made by the talented pastry team led by chef Kristy Carlucci.

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First, we started with some seasonal oysters – all very fresh and delicious, with some house made cocktail sauce accompaniment. I also enjoyed the crunchy shisito peppers, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, served with a tarragon aioli sauce for dipping.

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OYSTERS 11/21 – cocktail sauce, crackers

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FRIED SHISHITO PEPPERS 5 – tarragon aioli

If you are in the mood for something light, but are tired of the “usual” salads, try the farm stand crudite – a colorful and unique arrangement of the season’s freshest vegetables and produce, featuring some of the most vibrant colored veggies we’ve ever seen – and they are as delicious as they are beautiful to look at.

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FARM STAND CRUDITE 9  – creamy herb & french dressing

For my entree, I chose the porchetta with eggs, a healthy slab of pork served with roasted potatoes and an Italian red eye gravy. The nido, a house cured ham with manchego cheese, egg, and tomato sounded tempting but the last one had just been ordered before we arrived, so my dining partners chose the tavern sausage burger and the spicy egg pizza, both very delicious from what I had sampled. I liked the meatiness of the sausage burger and how well all the components went together – a perfect “breakfast” item. The spicy egg pizza was savory and had a sunny side up egg baked right into the middle, perfect for dipping

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PORCHETTA WITH EGGS 18
sunnyside up egg, italian red eye gravy, roasties

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TAVERN SAUSAGE BURGER 14
beef summer sausage, english muffin, avocado, fried egg, roasties

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SPICY EGG PIZZA 12
spicy marinara, snow peas, manchego, bantam egg

Overall, one of the best brunches we’ve had in Orlando so far – and I really think you should try it soon. Truly, a favorite.

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The Open Kitchen
The Open Kitchen
The Chef's Table area
The Chef’s Table area

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Wood fired oven
Wood fired oven
House cured meats in process
House cured meats in process

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The Osprey Tavern
4899 New Broad Street
Orlando, FL 32814 407-960-7700

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Chef de Cuisine of Osprey Tavern Joseph (Joe) Cournoyer-Burnett, who graduated from Clark University in Atlanta, formerly served as Chef De Cuisine at Norman’s New World here in Orlando from 2001 to 2010, and then Chef De Cuisine at Loews Hotels before joining the Ravenous Pig.

Drawing inspiration from the available seasonal and local seafood, owners Sue and Jason Chin tell us the most popular dishes Osprey Tavern include the oysters, pizzas from the stone hearth oven and the delmonico steak out of the Josper, which is a wood burning oven/grill from Spain. Their craft cocktails have also been hugely popular.

The Osprey Tavern Joseph Cournoyer-Burnett Executive Chef

What are your favorite dishes on the menu right now?

Chef Joe: The Dutch Baby found on our newly released brunch menu. It is a brunch pastry that is baked to order, and it could be described as a cross between a popover, Yorkshire pudding and crepe. We bake it with blueberries and top it with maple syrup

Jason Chin: The Porchetta and Charred Peel & Eat Shrimp

When people think of The Osprey Tavern, what do you think should come to mind?

Chef Joe: An escape from the “touristy places” in Orlando; a local, go-to place that still has a very metropolitan feel

Jason Chin: Comfort in a classy setting with everything done in a thoughtful way, from preparation of the food to the layout of the dining room, the wine and cocktail list and style of service. We want our guests to feel like they have been transported to a different city, not that there is anything wrong with Orlando, haha.

What is popular right now at the Tavern?

The Grouper, Peel & Eat Shrimp, also the Blue Jacket and Rye or Die cocktails

What excites you most about the dining scene in Orlando?

The vibrant and growing culinary scene. It is exciting to see how far it has come in the last several years and how much potential it still has.

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I was invited to Osprey Tavern for a media dinner the other night and have to say I was immediatetly left impressed by the decor -there’s a sweet rustic and homey ambience to the dining room.

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…and a high contrast between whitewalls and black seatings, with plenty of windows to allow natural lighting to seep through.

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There’s an open kitchen that allows the guest to observe the process of their dishes being made and expedited.

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The space is more welcoming with an island bar in front of the restaurant.

We started off the meal with a simple, yet elegant oyster shooter.

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Amuse
Oysters with paddlefish caviar. Smooth, clean, and bit creamy while withholding the true taste of the oysters.

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Heirloom Beet Salad
One of my most favorite salads ever.

You have marinated beets with a shallot vinaigrette along with gooseberry, hazelnut. goat cheese, and salmon roe. It all looks so simple but it is filled with incredible flavours of earthiness, a sight tang, and bursts of natural sweetness.

The goat cheese really tied the entire dish together, it’s more mellow than most goat cheese I’ve had, but nonetheless smooth and rich like how goat cheese should be.

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Alaskan King Salmon – Gnudi, black radish, artichoke, shellfish broth.

The salmon was cooked nicely, with a pink center. For me, the most flavour in this was from the bone marrow foam and shellfish broth. Quite savory with a comforting familiarity.

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Whole Roasted Chicken

Organic whole chicken, duchess potatoes, peas, and carrots. The chicken was incredibly tender and juicy and wasn’t overpowered by seasonings, only enhanced by the bit of salt and pepper.

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Standing Rib Roast

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Standing Rib Roast

Incredible tender cut of primal rib with a minerally essence from the beef.

Paired with tomatoes, romaine, morel mushrooms, rutabaga puree.

Note: I was quite full by this point, but forced myself to finish off the rest of the beef, it was delicious. I have no regrets.

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Chocolate Caramel

Of course there’s always room for dessert.

So I indulged myself in their flourless chocolate cake, salted caramel, caramelia cream, roasted cocoa nib ice cream.

The Osprey Tavern is a modern interpretation of the classic American Tavern. Owners Sue and Jason Chin created a place that would serve as a cornerstone of the community, where neighbors could commune.

Osprey Tavern is a must try in the Baldwin Park neighborhood, a welcome addition to the Central Florida food scene.

The Osprey Tavern Dinner Menu Summer 2015 The Osprey Tavern Happy Hour Menu The Osprey Tavern Dessert Menu The Osprey Tavern Bar Menu

Osprey Tavern

4899 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 960-7700

Click to add a blog post for Osprey Tavern on Zomato

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First on TastyChomps.com – Chef Joseph Cournoyer – Burnett, who is currently the Chef de Cuisine of the Ravenous Pig is joining the team at The Osprey Tavern as the new executive chef.

The most popular dishes Osprey Tavern include the oysters, pizzas from the stone hearth oven and the delmonico steak out of the Josper, which is a wood burning oven/grill from Spain. Their craft cocktails have also been hugely popular.

Chef Cournoyer-Burnett, who graduated from Clark University in Atlanta, formerly served as Chef De Cuisine at Norman’s New World here in Orlando from 2001 to 2010, and then Chef De Cuisine at Loews Hotels before joining the Ravenous Pig.

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Chef Joseph Cournoyer joins The Osprey Tavern

Biography  – “Masterful technique and fearless flavors abound with Chef de Cuisine Joseph Cournoyer-Burnett, born in England and raised on Florida coast, Joseph’s extensive travels in India, Vietnam, Mexico and Europe add inspired techniques and components to his repertoire. As he rose in the ranks, from line cook to sous chef working under chefs such as 2010 Food & Wine Best New Chef Clay Miller, Joseph developed his own distinct approach to cooking. It was Miller who planted the seed that would soon blossom into an insatiable interest in locally-produced artisanal foods and, ultimately, guided Joseph to become chef de cuisine at NORMAN’S at The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes in Orlando. He’s cooked alongside some of the world’s most renowned chefs, participated in a dinner at the prestigious James Beard House and presented at the 2007 Star Chefs Congress.”

The Osprey Tavern owner Jason Chin is excited to have Chef Joseph on board and looks forward to expanding the menu.

“We will also be working on a Saturday and Sunday brunch service, that will probably be ready around June or July,” Chin told us.

The Osprey Tavern
ospreytavern.com/
4899 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 960-7700

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The Osprey Tavern will open in Baldwin Park at 4899 New Broad Street, Orlando, Florida 32814 this fall, according to sources.

It will be run by the owners of the sleek Seito Sushi, the wildly popular Japanese restaurant, also in Baldwin Park.

Jason Chin, owner, tells us, “The place will be featuring seasonal new American cuisine, a raw bar, charcuterie and cheese, craft beer, fine wine and scratch cocktails featuring small batch spirits. The chefs will be announced soon and we hope to be opening around October of this year.”

The restaurant will take over the place once occupied by Bullfish, a merchandise and post office store on the corner. There have been quite a few closings along the New Broad Street corridor in Baldwin Park these past few years, but Seito Sushi has been one of the few restaurants able to remain very popular with the local residents for its quality sushi and sophisticated atmosphere.

You can follow The Osprey Tavern on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Osprey-Tavern/459200480850163.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

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Orlando Ramen Rumble
Orlando Ramen Rumble

Chef Austin Boyd of Seito Sushi, Chef Greg Richie of Baoery Asian Gastropub, and Chef Chau Trinh of Sushi Pop Restaurant will battle each other on Monday March 7th from 6:00pm  – 9:00pm in Orlando’s first Ramen Rumble.

The chefs come together in a friendly competition to see whose bowl of ramen reigns supreme. The prize to the winning chef is not just bragging rights, but the decision to which charity the proceeds will go. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the growing culinary scene in Orlando through these magical bowls of slurping wonderment.

We all win as long as we have one of these bowls in front of us!

Orlando Ramen Rumble

Ramen, the Japanese noodle dish that has continued to grow in popularity in Orlando, will be made by the chefs from scratch from the broth to noodles.

The event is organized by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com in partnership with Jason and Sue Chin of The Osprey Tavern to bring together local chefs and the local Orlando community in appreciation of ramen.

The proceeds from the event will be donated to the winning chef’s choice of charity.

The ticket prices are $30 and will feature a tasting bowl of ramen from each chef, 1 draft beer, and housemade sweet desserts.

For tickets, visit http://ramenrumble.bpt.me

Illustrations by Sue Chin

Orlando Ramen Rumble

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Alton Brown, the Food Network television personality of Good Eats, Iron Chef America, and Cutthroat Kitchen fame, will be returning to Orlando for his live “Eat Your Science” show at the Dr Phillips Performing Arts Center on April 22, 2017.

On his last visit to Orlando, he stopped by some local favorites such as Beefy King, Credo and Lineage Coffee, Skyebird Juice Bar, Olde Hearth Bakery, Kappo at East End Market, The Ravenous Pig, Pho 88, and Pom Pom’s Tea House and Sandwicheria.

On March 14, Alton Brown posted this on Facebook:

“Dear Orlando: The last time I was in your fine city for Alton Brown Live, you directed me to these fine establishments. Well…I’m coming back April 22 (http://bit.ly/EYSOrlando) and need your help again. Where should I go? #ABRoadEatsORL”

I humbly submit a few places for his next visit, including a few of my favorites.

Knowing he is probably on a tight schedule, I recommend visiting the Mills 50 area first, where he can hit up a few spots at once:

1. Mamak – Malaysian street food

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Dishes to try: Wontons in hot peanut sauce and the roti canai.

Mamak
1231 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 270-4688
www.mamakasianorlando.com/

2. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

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Dishes to try:  The Oak-smoked St. Louis ribs (half-rack $14.99, full $22.99) are truly among the best, if not the best, ribs in all of Orlando – slow-cooked with a crispy surface yet tender, fall of the bone meat within and a nice sweet flavor. Try it with the crispy sweet fennel apple salad.

Pig Floyds
1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 203-0866
www.pigfloyds.com

3. Chuan Lu Garden – Sichuan Chinese cuisine


Dishes to try: La Zi Fish, fried with Sichuan peppercorns and the pan fried house made dumplings.

Chuan Lu Garden
Phone (407) 896-8966
??1101 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
http://www.chuanluorlando.com/

4. Vietnam Cuisine:


Dishes to try: Banh cuon, a rice noodle crepe dish filled with mushrooms and pickled daikon radish.

Vietnam Cuisine

1224 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

5. Seito Sushi at Baldwin Park:


Dishes to try: Pork Tonkotsu Ramen – made with a 24 hour pork broth, and topped with slices of braised pork belly, poached Lake Meadows soy pullet egg, and house made garnish

Seito Sushi
4898 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 898-8801
www.seitosushi.com

6. The Osprey Tavern:


Dishes to try: Spicy Egg Pizza

The Osprey Tavern
4899 New Broad Street
Orlando, FL 32814 407-960-7700

7. The Donut King in Winter Park


Dishes to try: The Cronut or the Traditional Glazed Donut

Donut King
3716 Howell Branch Rd Winter Park, FL 32792
(321) 316-4817
http://www.thedonutking.com/

8. Viet-Nomz


Dishes to try: Vietnamese pork tacos and Vietnamese coffee

Viet-Nomz Vietnamese Pho & Street Fare

7581 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
Phone: +1 407-636-6069
http://vietnomzfl.com/

9. Shishco Mezze and Grill

Dishes to try: The Gyro bowl, a generous bowl with a large lavash flat bread base overflowing with bulgur wheat grain, sliced pickled red onion, chopped tomatoes, and slices of beef and lamb doner / gyro.

Shishco Mezze and Grill
118 Lake Ave, Maitland, FL 32751
Phone:(407) 661-1336
Menu: shishcomezzegrill.com

10. Bulla Gastrobar in Winter Park

Dishes to Try: Huevos Bulla, made with eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam and truffle oil. The dish is mixed at the table.

Bulla Gastrobar
110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (321) 214-6120

Where would you send Alton Brown? Use the hashtag #ABRoadEatsORL on facebook, twitter and instagram to send him your recs.

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Central Florida’s annual Cows ‘n Cabs is set to return for its sixth year on this Saturday, October 22 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Hosted by ABC Fine Wine & Sprits’ David Larue and 4 Rivers Smokehouse founder John Rivers, the event will be benefitting the Community Food and Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando.

It will be returning to 150 North New York Avenue in Winter Park’s West Meadow and will feature more than 20 of Central Florida’s top restaurants.

Prices include general admission tickets at $110 with VIP packages starting at $140 for early admission.

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.cowsncabs.com. Guests must be 21 and older to attend.

Confirmed participants include 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Black Rooster Taqueria, K Restaurant, Hunger Street Tacos, Morimoto Asia, Orchid Thai, Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park, Pop Parlour, Puff ’n Stuff, Tapa Toro, Taverna Opa Orlando, The COOP, The Osprey Tavern, The Sweet Shop, and more!

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Orlando’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry brings together the area’s top chefs who donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in Central Florida. Along with culinary delights, guests have the opportunity to sample select wines, cocktails and premium beers and enjoy silent and live auctions and entertainment. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Florida Impact.

Tasty Chomps’ Nhi Nguyen’s Top 5 Tastes at the Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016

  1. The Capital Grille

    Chef: Jason O’Neill, Matthew Price
    Kona Rubbed Sliced Filet with Horseradish Cream and Sam’s Mashed Potatoes. “Melt-in-Your-Mouth” with very simple seasonings and sides making the beef the star of the dish. It had us coming back for thirds.
    Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016

  2. Seasons 52 Fresh Grill

    Chef: James Messinger
    Fresh Summer Truffle Risotto with shaved Italian Black Truffle, Roasted Mushrooms, Corn, Chive Oil
    Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016

  3. Artist’s Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

    Chef: Michael Gonsalves
    Local Hen Egg-Yuzu Custard with Hibiscus, Lingonberry, Matcha, Garden Sorrel, and Wild Blooms. Incredibly engaging dessert with a slight acidity from the Yuzu. Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016

  4. Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

    Chef: Nathan Hardin
    Braised Pork Belly from Palmetto Creek,  Zellwood Corn, Favas, Fennel, and Mustard Frills.DSC03174

  5.  Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi

    Chef: Ray Leung
    Sesame Soy Glazed Baby Octopus
    , Chilled and Skewered, Served Cold. I believe this caught everyone’s attention like an episode of “Bizarre Foods”. It gave me the familiar feeling of nightly street fares in Asia that’s fun and tasty.Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
    This list was just a small compilation of the many participating restaurants in Orlando. Here some more memories from the night:

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Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Chef Hari and Jennefer Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant in Deland
Chef Hari and Jennefer Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant in Deland
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Gaylord Resort team
Gaylord Resort team
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Disney's Artist Pointe team
Disney’s Artist Pointe team
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
The Capital Grille's Chef Jason
The Capital Grille’s Chef Jason
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Eddie V's Team
Eddie V’s Team
Seasons 52
Seasons 52
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016

Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016

Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Chef Fabrizio Schenardi of Four Seasons Orlando
Chef Fabrizio Schenardi of Four Seasons Orlando
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Marlow's Tavern Team
Marlow’s Tavern Team
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
A Land Remembered at Rosen Shingle Creek team
A Land Remembered at Rosen Shingle Creek team
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Chef Bryan Thoman of Canvas Restaurant
Chef Bryan Thoman of Canvas Restaurant
Chef Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant
Chef Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant
Chef Kathleen Blake and team of The Rusty Spoon
Chef Kathleen Blake and team of The Rusty Spoon
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Chef Ray Hideaki Leung and Chef David Song and team of Dragonfly Orlando
Chef Ray Hideaki Leung and Chef David Song and team of Dragonfly Orlando
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016
The Osprey Tavern Team
The Osprey Tavern Team

Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016 Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016 Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016 Orlando Taste of the Nation 2016

The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree
Chef Ashley Nickell of Ash
Chef Ashley Nickell of Ash

Through all the fun and excitement the event exuded the important message that brought everyone together is that no kid should go hungry.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OrlandoTaste
Twitter: @OrlandoTaste
Instagram: @OrlandoTaste
#OrlTaste

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Orlando’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry brings together the area’s top chefs who donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in Central Florida. Along with culinary delights, guests have the opportunity to sample select wines, cocktails and premium beers and enjoy silent and live auctions and entertainment. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida. Local beneficiaries include Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Florida Impact.

Central Florida’s most distinguished chefs will join forces August 27, 2016 to help fight the nation’s childhood hunger epidemic at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry. Forty-five of the area’s most accomplished chefs will showcase tasting portions of signature dishes, accompanied by fine wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails at the Orlando World Center Marriott to ensure children struggling with hunger in our city and across America are connected to the meals they need.

New to this year’s event are 10 of the area’s most popular and exciting restaurants including Benihana, Canvas Lake Nona, Eleven and Forte at Reunion Resort, Hemisphere Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, Nova Scratch Kitchen, The Osprey Tavern, Restaurant ASH, STK and The Rusty Spoon.

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Several popular brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors have also been tapped for this year’s event, including Brew Bus USA, Cigar City Brewing, Crooked Can Brewery, Orlando Brewery, Red Light, Red Light Beer Parlour, Small Town Brewery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, Lakeridge Winery, Nestle Waters | S. Pell & Acqua Panna, Onli Beverage Co., Funky Monkey, Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey and Tito’s Vodka.

In its 27th year, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is the region’s longest-running and most trend-forward food and beverage event raising funds and awareness for children’s nutrition programs provided by national beneficiary Share Our Strength, regional beneficiary Florida Impact, and local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

In addition to appetizing food, fine wines, craft beers and premium spirits, guests also enjoy a fully automated mobile silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways.

The Giving Tree raffle, sponsored by Edible Orlando, returns for the second year inviting guests to win a taste of Orlando’s most popular establishments. For a $50 donation, guests can select a Giving Tree envelope hanging from a towering tree containing a gift certificate ranging from $25 to $300 in value. The event’s ever-popular Instant Wine Cellar game offers participants a chance to win more than 150 bottles of wine valued at more than $2,500. There are only 250 chances to win this exquisite wine cellar. Each key is a $25 donation.

Guests can also win fine bottles of wine with the all-new Ring Toss for Wine fundraiser. Rings are available for purchase to toss onto wine bottles ?$5 for two tosses or $10 for six tosses. When a ring lands around a bottle neck, the guest wins a bottle of wine to take home.

A handful of students from The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program will be at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation this year to lend the cooking skills they have mastered in Second Harvest’s 14-week program designed to provide qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.

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“For our culinary students to be able to work alongside Orlando’s top chefs at Taste of the Nation is a one-of-a-kind experience and learning opportunity that we cannot teach in the classroom,” said Chef Israel Santiago, head training chef at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

For a limited time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is offering a special promotion on tickets to this year’s event. Buy 1 ticket, get 50% off the 2nd ticket using the code LASTCHANCE. To purchase tickets, visit NoKidHungry.org/Orlando.

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is offering several fundraising experiences to sip and nibble on before the main event.

Eola Wine Company welcomes guests to raise a glass to end childhood hunger with a series of weekly wine tasting events on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. from now through Aug. 24. For a $15 donation at the door, guests will receive free tastings of select wines. Offering fine varietals by the glass, flight and bottle, plus light fare, Eola Wine Company is located in downtown Orlando at 430 E. Central Blvd., Orlando.

The Ancient Olive is fighting childhood hunger with olive oil by donating $1 for each bottle of ultrapremium extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, and flavor-infused olive oils sold between now and August 31. The tasting bar for premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars is located at 324 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. The Spice & Tea Exchange, located at 309 Park Ave., North, Winter Park, will donate $1 for each gourmet spice blend grinder sold.

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Proceeds from these three events benefit Share our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger, which includes local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

For the first time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation introduces the Golden Ticket Giveaway, offering an exciting new way to win a pair of complimentary tickets to this year’s event. Guests who dine at select, participating establishments can ask their server for a Golden Ticket to receive a concealed envelope that may contain a pair of tickets to this year’s event. Chances of winning are 1 in 10. Follow hashtags #OrlTaste and #GoldenTicket for a list of participating restaurants and updates on remaining
Golden Tickets. The Golden Ticket Giveaway runs from Aug. 1 – 22.

Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored by OpenTable, San Pell/Acqua Panna and media sponsor Food Network. Special thanks to local sponsors Darden Restaurants, Regions Bank, Harris Rosen Foundation, Spotlight, Noble Marketing, Disney, FreshPoint, Hilton Grand Vacations, Bright House, Darden Federal Credit Union, Ernst & Young, Patriot National, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Universal Orlando Resort, Quality 1 and Amerifactors.

Taste of the Nation Orlando

August 27, 2016
Event Tickets : $150
6:45pm – 10:00pm
Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Dr.
Orlando, Florida
http://ce.strength.org/orlando

2016 PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS

Artist’s Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
B Resort & Spa | American Kitchen
Benihana
Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse
Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine
Café Tu Tu Tango
Canvas Lake Nona
Capa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
The Capital Grille
CFHLA Food & Beverage Council
Cress Restaurant
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar at Pointe Orlando
Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi
Eddie V’s
Empress Sissi Cake & Specialty Pastries
Florida Nitro
FreshPoint Central Florida
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center | Old Hickory Steakhouse
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center | MOOR
Hemisphere Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando, featuring Whisper Creek Farms: The Kitchen
K Restaurant and Wine Bar
Marlow’s Tavern
Nestle Professional
Nova Scratch Kitchen
Orlando World Center Marriott
The Osprey Tavern
RA Sushi
Red Wing Restaurant
Restaurant ASH
Rosen Shingle Creek ?A Land Remembered
Rosen Shingle Creek ?Cala Bella Restaurant
The Rusty Spoon
Seasons 52 Fresh Grill
SeaWorld Orlando
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
STK
Tapa Toro Tapas Bar and Paella Pit
Taverna Opa Orlando
The Whiskey
Universal Orlando
Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Updated list of participating beverage vendors for the event this year:
1 Brew Bus USA
2 Cigar City Brewing
3 Coca-Cola
4 Cooper’s Hawk
5 Crooked Can Brewing Company
6 Florida Farm Distillers, Home of Palm Ridge Whiskies
7 JM Smucker Co Beverage/Folger’s Coffee
8 Lakeridge Winery
9 Nespresso
10 Nestle Waters ? S. Pell & Acqua Panna
11 Not Your Father’s
12 Onli Beverage Co.
13 Orange Blossom Brewing Co.
14 Orlando Brewing Company
15 Pernod Ricard
16 Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour
17 Small Town Brewery
18 Tito’s Vodka
19 Tsingtao
20 Uinta Brewing Company
21 Vermont Cider Co.
22 Woodchuck Cider

Leading up to the 27th Annual Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry, we will be holding a Golden Ticket raffle. If you find the Golden Ticket at any participating restaurant, you will win two tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation.

How do I win? Visit any one of our participating restaurants or beverage partners, and ask your server if any Orlando Taste Golden Ticket envelopes are available. Open up the provided envelope – you could win the Golden Ticket – two FREE tickets to Orlando’s Taste of the Nation!

What are the rules? There is only one concrete rule: In order to participate, you must be dining at that establishment. Please note that some restaurants may limit the number of envelopes per table, per day. We just ask that you play fairly, have fun, and be sure to share on social!

I found a Golden Ticket! What now? Now is the fun part! In your envelope, you will also find two tickets to the event on the 27th. Celebrate! Inform your server. Pull out your phones/cameras, snap a shot, and share via your favorite social media channels with hashtag #OrlTaste. Be sure to tag us!

And that’s it! Have fun with it, and thank you again for participating in our first ever Golden Ticket Game! If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Melissa Kear at mkear@feedhopenow.org.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OrlandoTaste
Twitter: @OrlandoTaste
Instagram: @OrlandoTaste
#OrlTaste

Red Wing Restaurant
12500 State Road 33
Groveland, FL 34736
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Red-Wing-Restaurant-119968615387
Twitter: @RedWingRestaura
Instagram: @red_wing_restaurant

Benihana
1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Benihana
12690 International Drive
Orlando, FL

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BENIHANA.ORLANDO.1
Twitter: @Benihana
Instagram: @benihana

Tapa Toro
8441 International Dr #260
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tapatoroorlando
Twitter: @tapatoroorlando
Instagram: @tapatoroorlando

Taverna Opa
Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr #2240
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Opa.Orlando
Twitter: @TavernaOpaOrl
Instagram: @tavernaopaorl

Dragonfly Robata
7972 Via Dellagio Way
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dragonflyorlando
Twitter: @DflyOrlando

Canvas Restaurant & Market
13615 Sachs Avenue
Orlando, FL
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CanvasLakeNona
Instagram: @canvaslakenona

The Whiskey
7563 Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/whiskeyorlando
Twitter: @whiskeyorlando
Instagram: @whiskeyorlando

Yak & Yeti
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Facebook: www.facebook.com/YakandYetiRestaurant
Twitter: @WaltDisneyWorld
Instagram: @WaltDisneyWorld

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive Suite #1004
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CubaLibreOrlando
Twitter: @CubaLibreOrl
Instagram: @cubalibrerestaurant

JWMarriott, Grande Lakes: Whisper Creek Farm
4040 Central Florida Parkway,
Orlando, FL 32837
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jwmarriottorlando
Twitter:@RC_Orlando
Instagram:@jwmorlando

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Winter Park
108 S Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32751

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Dr. Phillips
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd, Suite 108
Orlando, FL 32819

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BosphorousTurkishCuisine
Instagram:@bosphorous

RA Sushi
Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive Suite 1008
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RASushi/
Twitter: @RAsushi
Instagram: @rasushi

Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour & Brewery
2810 Corrine Dr
Orlando, FL
Facebook: www.facebook.com/redlightredlight
Twitter: @redlightx2
Instagram:@redlightredlight

Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park
1008 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92)
Winter Park, FL 32789

Marlow’s Tavern – International Drive
9101 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819

Marlow’s Tavern – Waterford Lakes
547 N. Alafaya Trail Building J1
Orlando, FL 32828

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarlowsTavern
Twitter: @MarlowsTavern
Instagram: @marlowstavern

Rusty Spoon
Church Street Market
55 W Church St
Orlando, FL 32801
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheRustySpoon
Twitter: @The_Rusty_Spoon
Instagram:@the_rusty_spoon

The Osprey Tavern
4899 New Broad St
Orlando, FL
Facebook: www.facebook.com/The-Osprey-Tavern-459200480850163
Instagram: @the_osprey_tavern

Café Tu Tu Tango
8625 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CafeTuTuTango
Twitter: @CafeTuTuTangoFL
Instagram: @cafe_tu_tu_tango

Orlando Brewing
Facebook: www.facebook.com/orlandobrewing
Twitter: @orlandobrewing
Instagram: @orlando_brewing

The Capital Grille – Millenia
4200 Conroy Road STE 146A
Orlando, FL 32839

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PRESS RELEASE

Unprecedented 90 Restaurants Participating in Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Sponsored by American Express 
 Guests Can Enjoy Three-Course Meals for $33 and Support a Local Charity
ORLANDO, Fla. – This fall, food lovers can experience deals at 90 of the most popular restaurants in Orlando – including 19 new program participants – during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express. From Aug. 29 through Oct. 2, guests can choose from these participating restaurants to enjoy three-course dinners for $33, averaging a savings of 33% per meal. The program, developed by Visit Orlando, Central Florida’s official tourism association, includes some of the hottest new arrivals to Orlando’s culinary scene, including chef-driven establishments in the new Disney Springs area as well as local favorites across town. One dollar from each meal will also be donated to a local charity, with last year’s program contributing more than $160,000 – the largest donation to date.

A full list of all participating restaurants, menus and OpenTable reservations are available at OrlandoMagicalDining.com. New restaurants to the program include:

·         STK, a brand new upscale steakhouse with a high-energy atmosphere at Disney Springs.

·         Morimoto Asia, by Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef America fame, offering pan-Asian flavors from across the continent.

·         Urbain 40, glinting with 1940’s glamor and a continental menu crafted from largely local, seasonal ingredients.

·         Cask & Larder, a local favorite featuring brewed-onsite beer, home-cured meats and pickled vegetables. Cask & Larder is the second restaurant created by five-time James Beard-nominated chefs James Petrakis and Julie Petrakis.

In its 11th year, Magical Dining Month gives both locals and visitors alike a chance to experience Orlando dining at its finest all over town – from options near the theme parks to hidden gems in Orlando’s local neighborhoods. Examples include:

·         Convention Area – RA Sushi*, Itta Bena*, Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit*, Urban Tide (Hyatt Regency Orlando), The Capital Grille, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, A Land Remembered (Rosen Shingle Creek),

·         Disney/Lake Buena Vista – Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse, deep blu seafood grille (Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort), NINE18 (The Villas at Grand Cypress), Todd English’s Bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin)

·         Downtown – Shari Sushi Lounge*, Artisan’s Table, The Boheme, Citrus Restaurant, KASA Restaurant & Bar, Maxine’s on Shine

·       Restaurant Row – SLATE*, Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, Christini’s Ristorante Italiano, Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Restaurant, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Ocean Prime

·       Universal/CityWalk – Amatista Cookhouse* (Loews Sapphire Falls) , Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Island’s Dining Room (Loews Royal Pacific), The Kitchen (Hard Rock Hotel), Mama Della’s Ristorante (Loews Portofino Bay)

·        Winter Park – Blu on the Avenue*, The Ravenous Pig, Luma on Park, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Chez Vincent, Hamilton’s Kitchen, Ruth’s Chris Steak House

·        Surrounding Areas – F&D Kitchen and Bar*, Osprey Tavern*, Kabooki Sushi*, Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Orlando and Lake Mary)

*First year in Magical Dining

Each year, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express, benefits a local cause chosen the year prior. This year, The Russell Home for Atypical Children is the recipient, and will be given $1 from every Magical Dining meal. The Russell Home is the first non-profit institution in the country to provide a home atmosphere with a family structure for special needs children and ‘child-like’ adults. In continuous operation for over 60 years without any government support, the home also provides 24 hours of free respite care and free day care for the local families with special needs dependents.

Last year, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining raised a record $160,735 for ELEVATE Orlando. The funds raised by Magical Dining enabled ELEVATE to expand its mentorship programs into Jones High School, equipping thousands of urban youth in Central Florida to graduate with a plan for their future.

About Orlando Dining

From internationally renowned chefs to home-grown venues specializing in takeout charcuterie, Orlando is a destination where the culinary possibilities are both fresh and seemingly endless. Theme parks restaurants keep Central Florida on the map with award-winning dining, and independent restaurateurs bring fresh concepts to the table. Whether locally owned or part of expanding franchises, many of the destination’s newest restaurants mirror the national trends: American cuisine, farm-friendly menus and simple food with regional accents. Nationally, Orlando has emerged as a prominent dining destination, and continues to grow in both quantity and quality of flavors.

About Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, with representation in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area’s leading industry.

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Truly excited for this event coming up – Beard in Baldwin hosted by The Osprey Tavern – bringing in acclaimed chefs from not only Orlando but also South Florida, all in one place – and for a great cause to raise funds for the James Beard Scholarship program.

See Press Release Below

———————–

Beard in Baldwin

The Osprey Tavern, helmed by Executive Chef Joseph Burnett, offers a modern take on traditional tavern-inspired cuisine, while embracing the popular movement toward local and sustainable ingredients.

Through their partnership with the James Beard Foundation , The Osprey Tavern will be hosting Beard in Baldwin, to raise funds for the James Beard Scholarship program.

On Saturday, April 9, Beard in Baldwin will aim to highlight Florida’s most talented chefs and restaurants in Baldwin Park.

For $75 per ticket (tax additional), guests will have the opportunity to delight in an outdoor playground filled with gourmet fare, different wines and spirits and live music by The Legendary JC’s.

Guests will enjoy more than 15 local favorites, like The Rusty Spoon, K Restaurant, Soco, 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The Ravenous Pig.

Guests have the option to elevate their experience at $150 per ticket (tax additional) which grants access into The Osprey Tavern, where guests can enjoy craft cocktails and passed hors d’oeurves.

The restaurants participating are:
· The Rusty Spoon
· Hamilton’s Kitchen
· Urbain 40 American Brasserie
· The Smiling Bison
· Black Rooster Taqueria
· Citrus Restaurant
· Hawkers
· Highball & Harvest
· K Restaurant
· Norman’s
· P is for Pie
· Se7enbites
· SLATE
· Cusiniers
· Seito Sushi
· F & D Kitchen and Bar
· Soco
· Tapa Toro
· Taverna Opa
· The Swine Family
· 4 Rivers Smokehouse
· Pane D’or

Top-billed talent to be sampled include:

· Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Jacksonville and past contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef
· Timon Balloo of SUGARCANE raw bar grill in Miami and James Beard Award Semifinalist
· Ferrell Alvarez of Rooster and the Till in Tampa
· Sergio Navarro and Maria Orantes of Pubbelly Restaurant Group in Miami
· Hichem Lahreche of Criollo Chocolatier in Orlando

ABOUT THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. You are what you eat not only because food is nutrition, but also because food is an integral part of our everyday lives. Food is economics, politics, entertainment, culture, fashion, family, passion…and nourishment. The James Beard Foundation is at the center of America’s culinary community, dedicated to exploring the way food enriches our lives.

A cookbook author and teacher, James Beard was a champion of American cuisine who helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by offering a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain, and foster a deeper understanding of our culinary culture. These programs include educational initiatives, food industry awards, an annual national food conference, Leadership Awards program, culinary scholarships, and publications. In addition to maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs, the Foundation has created a robust online community, and hosts conferences, tastings, lectures, workshops, and food-related art exhibits in New York City and around the country.

The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://beardinbaldwin.com

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2015 proved to be another great year for the continuing growth of the Orlando restaurant and dining scene, especially with new openings focusing more and more on locally sourced and produced food.

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Here are some of our favorite Orlando restaurants and dining moments from 2015:


1. The Osprey Tavern

A breath of fresh air to Baldwin Park, this project by Jason and Sue Chin, owners of the very successful Seito Sushi Baldwin Park across the street brings together a dream team featuring Executive Chef Joseph Burnett (formerly of Norman’s and The Ravenous Pig), Executive Sous Chef Elek Kovacs, and Kristy Carlucci, Pastry Chef. Restaurant of the Year for 2015.

Photo by Isha Shah
Photo by Isha Shah

2. Tabla Indian Thai Chinese

Recently undergoing a beautiful multimillion dollar renovation, the traditionally Indian restaurant has brought on Chef Ian Piamonte who spearheads their new Thai and Chinese offerings. My favorite dishes here are the gobi manchurian – little sweet and sour red cauliflower fritters and the lamb biryani rice dish.

 

Pork Tonkotsu ramen @seitobp #perfection #ramen via @krystlenguyen

A photo posted by Ricky @TastyChomps (@tastychomps) on

3. Pork Tonkatsu Ramen at Seito Sushi Baldwin Park

Chef Austin Boyd has really upped his game with the pork tonkotsu ramen – silky, slurpy umami goodness. Quite possibly the best ramen bowl in Orlando.

4. The North Quarter Tavern

Chef Matthew Wall brings the realness to this new north Orlando hot spot – great prices, great food – and especially great fried chicken.

5. King Cajun Crawfish in Mills 50 District

They recently moved into bigger digs next door where Bananas Modern Diner was on Mills, but they still serve up great renditions of Louisiana cajun cuisine. Check out their story in the fabulous WMFE 90.7 FM series on What is Orlando’s Little Vietnam?

 

 

Garlicky buttery rock shrimp from #pharmacyorlando w @kirbiecravings @chowzter @chowzter7 #fbforl after conference eats

A photo posted by Ricky @TastyChomps (@tastychomps) on

6. The Pharmacy on Sand Lake Road

continues to impress – their garlic rock shrimp is one of the best things to eat in Orlando and their menu is always changing. They expanded to where the Table was earlier this year for a little more dining space.

 

7. Primo by Chef Melissa Kelly

At the JW Marriott Orlando, along with Chef de Cuisine Mariano Vegel continued a long standing tradition of excellence in farm to table cuisine. One of the highlights of my dining experiences for the year was the simple, yet so delicious Farmer’s Salad topped with a farm egg and house cured bacon.

 

8. Chef’s Night at Second Harvest Food Bank

Each Chef’s Night brings local top chefs into Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to celebrate delicious food and raise money for a good cause. All proceeds benefit Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program, which provides students with the skills and inspiration they need to obtain an entry-level position in a food service establishment.

 

Love the @kappoeastend chirashi bowl so muchhh #sushi #nofilter #foodie #orlando @eastendmkt

A photo posted by Ricky @TastyChomps (@tastychomps) on

9. Kappo at East End Market

Sadly Kappo closed this year at East End Market, with a small market to take its place. Do not be forlorn too long – the chef/owners are currently seeking a new space to continue Kappo’s legacy. We wish the owners Mark, Lo, and Jen a happy new year as they look to the future. Also, we wish Lo and his fiance Julie a very happy wedding and honeymoon this 2016!

10. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

founded by The Treehouse Truck’s Thomas Ward, their baby back ribs are revelatory, but don’t sleep on their shrimp and chorizo tacos either – fantastic flavors.

 

11. Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria in Winter Springs

The Napoletana style pizza is thin & soft with a slight crisp to the crust; with a nice smokey char to the pizza crust from the wood burning ovens and topped with ingredients imported from Italy or locally grown and organic. Dan Bavaro, the founder was taught by 3rd generation, Neapolitan families and bases their entire menu around a stunning Italian imported wood-fired brick oven.

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12. Peking roast duck at Morimoto’s Asia at Disney Springs –

Featuring a crispy Peking duck, a carved house-roasted whole duck sliced thin with crackling skin and tender meat, served with steamed flour pancakes, and a side of apricot sweet chili and hoisin miso sauces. It is the Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience and showcases flavors from across the Asian continent with an emphasis on China, Korea, Japan and Thailand.


Chef Morimoto and team hanging out with Mickey Mouse at the grand opening of Morimoto’s Asia.

13. Doner Kebab bowl with bulgar wheat and tomatoes at Shishco Mezze and Grill in Maitland

Fresh grilled lamb and beef doner gyro meat slices on top of fresh bulgar wheat or rice and pickled red onions and tomatoes…just divine.

Definitely looking forward to what 2016 will bring to us here in Orlando! What are you looking forward to this year?

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Florida honeybees produced local honey to create Limited Edition Honey Nut Cheerios

On a Saturday morning in St. Cloud, Florida local residents experienced Honey Nut Cheerio’s unveiling of their unique “living billboard.”  The three story structure was home to more than 100,000 honeybees. with the honey produced used to spell out “Made with Real Honey.” A limited number of exclusive boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios were produced.  Thankfully, I was able to bring a box home for a very special breakfast.

Cheerios

Located just outside of Orlando, Diamond P Farm and Ranch housed the construction of the billboard, and the bees used were supplied in partnership with local Orlando beekeeper Brent Dickson and his family.

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Most of the beekeepers who make the honey for Honey Nut Cheerios run family businesses and depend on their bees to make a living. The Dickinson family re-purpose honey and bee materials for organic soaps, balms, and moisturizers sold at the neighboring farmers market.

Honey and Bee

This was the first event of its kind from Honey Nut Cheerios. They told me they chose Florida because of the weather. While November is unpredictable in many other beekeeper sites such as upstate New York, Florida had a mild and sunny day for a perfect outdoor event. Shannon Frieser and her team decorated the space with a “barbecue chic” theme that paired with the ranch setting.

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The Osprey Tavern was on site as well with Executive Chef Joseph Burnett and Pastry Chef Kristy Carlucci interacting with the guests as they sampled their creations. Provided were Honey Nut Cheerios Banana Cream Pie Shots and The Osprey Tavern’s Spanakopita. Recipes were also provided for those who were interested in recreating these dishes at home. When I spoke with Chef Burnett he mentioned how he experimented with many possible recipes and dishes to provide two that demonstrated the use of local ingredients but were also easy for the home kitchen. I will definitely be trying these for the upcoming holiday season!

Osprey Tavern

Thank you to Shannon Frieser and Ketchum PR group, Honey Nut Cheerios, The Osprey Tavern, Diamond P Farm and Ranch, and Brent Dickson and family for a fun, educational, and deliciously sweet event!

Chefs

Honey Nut Cheerios “Crust”

3 cups Honey Nut Cheerios

1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed

1 stick (4oz)Butter, unsalted, melted

1/4 tsp Salt

1. Place Cheerios in a food processor and pulse to a crumb consistency.

2. Transfer Cheerios to a bowl, add the brown sugar and salt and stir to

combine. Add the melted butter and stir until well combined (can have some

small clumps).

3. Spread onto baking sheet and bake at 325oF for about 8-10 minutes, tossing

every few minutes. Let cool completely.

Honey Nut Cheerios Pastry Cream

1 1/2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios

6 cups Whole Milk

1 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Cornstarch

1/2 tsp Salt

5 each Eggs

2 each Egg Yolks

1/2 stick (2oz)Butter, unsalted,

room temperature

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Spread Cheerios onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place in 325oF

oven and toast for about 5-8 minutes, until lightly toasted.

2. Immediately place in large bowl, and add milk. Let steep for 30 minutes to

infuse the milk with the Cheerios flavor.

3. Pour the Cheerios-infused milk through a strainer, and reserve 4 cups for the

pastry cream.

4. Pour the reserved milk into a pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a

simmer.

5. While milk is heating, place sugar, cornstarch, and salt into a large mixing

bowl. Whisk together until there are no lumps. Add both the eggs and yolks

and whisk to completely combine.

6. When milk is simmering, carefully pour the milk into the egg mixture, and

immediately whisk to temper the eggs. Pour everything back into the pot and

return to medium-low heat, whisking constantly. When the mixture starts to

bubble, cook for a full two minutes more, whisking quickly and consistently.

7. Remove from heat, add the butter and vanilla extract. If desired, use a hand

blender to smooth out any lumps and strain through a fine mesh strainer.

To Assemble

1. Place about 1 1?2 Tablespoons of the crumble in the bottom of a small cup or

shot glass.

2. Place about 3-4 banana slices in glass, followed by the pastry cream.

3. Top with another slice of banana, whipped cream, and a drizzle of honey, if

desired.

A Chef Kristy Carlucci, Pastry Chef at The Osprey Tavern, exclusive recipe.

 

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After finally reaching some agreements with the City of Orlando, Uber is partnering with some of the hottest restaurants in Orlando to provide their riders with access to secret Uber exclusive menus for their first “Uber Restaurant Week”. Restaurants involved include The Osprey Tavern, The Ravenous Pig, Swine and Sons, and more.

See below for more information from Uber on this week’s special event:

———————

It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . Uber Restaurant Week in Orlando.

This week, Uber is partnering with some of the hottest restaurants in Orlando to provide our riders with access to secret, Uber-exclusive menus in a first-of-its-kind Restaurant Week promotion.


HOW IT WORKS

  • Ride with Uber to one of the participating restaurants (listed below) between now and Friday (12/11).
  • Show your Uber ride receipt to your server to receive the special, Uber-exclusive menu
  • Enjoy your sure-to-be incredible dinner, tweet a photo of your meal to@Uber_Florida using #UberFoodie, and then start planning which restaurant you’ll visit tomorrow

Participating Restaurants:

If your mouth isn’t watering already, take a look at the all-star lineup of participating restaurants—and the actual menus—we’re rolling out for you this week:

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WHEN

Monday, December 7 – Friday, December 11. Restaurant hours vary daily and by participating restaurant.

QUOTES

“Orlando has so many excellent dining options these days, so it’s great to partner with Uber to connect tourists and  locals with all the best restaurants. We’re looking forward to Orlando Restaurant Week  and have  delicious menus planned for Uber  riders at all three Swine Family venues.”  -Julie Petrakis, Chef/owner at  The Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder  and  Swine & Sons

“Our  commitment  to  the   Central  Florida  economy goes  beyond providing  safe,  reliable transportation options  and  extends to  finding  new,  innovative  ways to  engage both  riders and   local  business.   Restaurant  week   is  an   opportunity  to  partner with  local  Orlando businesses while also providing an additional value to riders for a new opportunity to explore the great restaurants that  their city has to offer.” -Christine Mitchell, General Manager for Uber in Orlando

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I had a chance to dine with a intimate group of media, Jason, and Sue Chin (the owners of Seito and Osprey Tavern in Baldwin Park) for Seito Baldwin Park’s 15 Year Anniversary.

Honestly, it was one of the best culinary tasting experience I’ve had this year, featuring a 9 course omakase dinner. Omakase means (in a Japanese restaurant) a meal consisting of dishes selected by the chef and literally means “I’ll leave it up to you.”

Here are a few of the dishes from the exceptional 9 course omakase dinner:

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9. Baked Glacier Point oyster – sambal froth, nori butter, black tobiko, almond flour.

It was lightly crispy and so buttery soft…delicious.

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8. Japanese sea bream – pickled sweet peppers, apple, orange gastrique, lemongrass oil.

There’s something about this white fish that makes the ending notes so clean and palatable. You wouldn’t even need ginger to cleanse your palate for the next course.

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7. Pork belly kakuni with braised savoy cabbage, pickled green beans, Japanese mustard.

I could’ve eaten about 9 more of this and gained some kind of cholesterol problem but it will be worth it. This cube of pork belly was so beautifully glazed with a slight hint of Japanese mustard for a hint of tang. It completely melted in your mouth without the unpleasant residue that fat could sometimes leave on your tongue.

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6. Whole roasted Branzino – lime leaf, kyurizuke, barrel-aged white soy, nuoc cham, house sriracha.

Probably my favorite way to enjoy branzino. Seito’s was so simply seasoned that the flesh of the fish really shined. This is definitely a dish to share and enjoy with your table.

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Stuffed with Kaffir lime leaves to rid of the fishy smell and taste.

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Jason was kind enough to help separate the fish for us.

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Never let any part go to waste. ( fish cheeks, eyeballs, and crispy fins are some of my favorites)

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5. Salmon tataki on a bed of daikon nest, relish, fried garlic, dark tosa soy.

Restaurants usually serve tuna tataki since the meat of tuna stays intact when it’s cooked, but salmon’s flaky nature makes that difficult. Seito was decided to challenge that but cutting the sashimi pieces first then taking their time to sear each edge of the salmon. 

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4. Tokyo turnip salad – Okinawa potato puree, caramelized mountain yam, bacon miso dressing.

Jason and his team always manage to impress me with their salads creations. People usually hear the word salad- and think “boring” but that is the complete opposite for this salad. The Okinawa potato was sweet and blended to a perfect puree to harmoniously accompany fresh turnips and yams. 

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3. Beef tenderloin – miso marble potatoes, blistered shishito peppers, ginger-scallion pesto, malbec pho jus.

Wonderfully cooked to a tender medium rare.

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2. Smoked yellowtail toro – uni foam, holy grail, cherry smoke.

The smoke infused flesh of the fish was really bold, however it did not take away from the freshness of the raw fish. 

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1. Kabocha bread pudding – sesame butterscotch, ginger-vanilla creme, pumpkin powder, granola.

I love ending on a sweet note, and this definitely hit the spot without being too sugary. However, I did wanted a side of ice cream to accompany the bread pudding, but that could just be me being basic. 

Everything about Seito’s Sushi new innovations continues to blow me away, from their creative use of the protein to the modern twist on traditional classics.

Unfortunately, not everything from this anniversary dinner course will be available on their regular menu, but it does show the depth and talent that the kitchen and chefs of Seito possess.

I’m really excited to return and enjoy their full Omakase dinner options, I’m sure nothing will be subpar.

Congratulations again to Seito Sushi Baldwin Park on their 15 Year Anniversary!

Seito Sushi Japanese Restaurant
 4898 New Broad St
(407) 898-8801

 

 

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Local Orlando foodie news!

Look at the new digs – The Osprey Tavern at Baldwin Park

About to open any week now in Baldwin Park – gorgeous.

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Chef Eddie’s Restaurant Moving to Church Street

One of my personal favorite places for soul food in Orlando, Chef Eddie‘s restaurant is moving from their west Orlando location to the more centralized Church Street location in downtown Orlando. They are moving into the former location of Johnson’s Diner, which also briefly housed Fish n Loaves, and McKnight’s most recently. We spoke to the representatives at Chef Eddie’s who confirmed they would be moving to the location in just two weeks.

All the best of luck to them as they have always had great food – from red velvet waffles and fried chicken to the smothered pork chops and oxtails as well as great hospitality. Karaoke was a bit loud some nights but entertaining…

Visit them: https://www.facebook.com/chefeddiesrestaurant

Current Location:

3214 Orange Center Blvd, Orlando, FL 32805
Phone:(407) 826-1731

New Location:

595 West Church Street Suite E Orlando, FL 32805
(just a block west of the Amway on Church St)

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Hawker’s 3rd Location is coming to St Petersburg Florida

“Hawkers” Brings the Streets of Asia to St. Pete’s EDGE District

Orlando, Fla., (February 13, 2015) – It’s of=icial – Hawkers is expanding coast-to-coast… of Florida that is. The owners of Hawkers, a name derived from the term for street food vendors in Asia, have just announced their plans to join the EDGE district of St. Petersburg. Currently operating stores in Orlando and Jacksonville, Hawkers management anticipates a “mid-summer” opening for their St. Petersburg restaurant that will be located at 1235 West Central Avenue.

Guests will enjoy a menu full of small plates that includes the most popular street foods from regions across Asia: Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Korea, to name a few. Each menu item is served with sharing plates, encouraging guests to experience new dishes together, as is the custom with traditional hawker centers. The difference? These street foods are served in a hip, trendy environment accompanied by dozens of local craft beer selections.

“We are rede=ining what “eating Asian food” means to mainstream Americans,” says co-founder Allen Lo, who contributes Malaysian in=luence to Hawkers’ menu. “Our goal is for guests to experience authentic flavors, unique to their palettes, in an environment that is as comfortable as it is exciting.”

Traditional noodle soups, wok stir-fried noodles and small plates =ill the menu with dishes ranging from $4-$9. A few of the most popular items include: Char Kway Teo, a Malaysian stir-fried noodle; Siu Yuk, a Chinese roasted, crispy pork belly; and their signature dish, Roti Canai, a Southeast Asian flatbread served. To accompany Hawkers’ extensive food menu, the St. Petersburg location will offer a craft beer selection with over 50 microbrews (many of which will hail from Bay Area breweries) as well as Asian-inspired.

“We all agreed from the onset that =lavors of this depth deserve only the best paired wines, beers, and cocktails,” says Kaleb Harrell, who procures an evolving drink menu for Hawkers’ guests.

To stay updated with the latest progress on Hawkers’ St. Petersburg location or to view a full menu of their current locations, visit Hawkers’ Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/hawkersstreetfare.

Founded in 2011, Hawkers offers authentic Asian street food in a sharing-encouraged, full-service casual restaurant. With a menu that includes the most popular street food recipes from regions across Asia, Hawkers creates an environment that allows guests to experience unique cuisines at affordable prices with service that educates guests. For more information visit www.facebook.com/hawkersstreetfare.

ArcherRoad Sketch

Sonny’s BBQ Readies for new Strategy for the next 50 Years

Sonny’s BBQ will reveal the grand opening of a brand new location on Archer Road in Gainesville, Fla. on March 16, where guests will find a newly designed, updated version of their favorite local BBQ joint.

The Archer Road opening represents the brand’s ongoing effort to providing guests with a local BBQ experience

The new brand direction will also remind guests of Sonny’s dedication to giving back to the communities it serves. The new restaurant plans to be an integral part of Gainesville through community outreach and recognizing hometown heroes through Sonny’s ‘Random Acts of BBQ’ program, which recognizes those who selflessly give their time and spark the spirit of BBQ in their communities.

This is just the beginning of Sonny’s BBQ efforts to update the brand. Over the next several years, the barbecue chain plans to update as many locations as possible.

Sonny’s BBQ
3635 SW Archer Road
Gainesville, FL 32608

Upcoming Events

The 6th Annual RP Funding Orlando Chili Cook-off Turns Up the Heat on Saturday, March 7, 2015

The 6th annual RP Funding Orlando Chili Cook-off will heat up again at Orlando’s Festival Park Saturday, March 7 starting at noon. New to the event this year is a kick-off concert which will be held Friday, March 6 at 6 p.m. The RP No Fee Concert will feature Vertical Horizon. The free night of music precedes a day for chili-lovers on Saturday, March 7 with the RP Funding Orlando Chili Cook-off.

General admission tickets are now available for presale at www.orlandochilicookoff.com. Presale tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 – 12 and children 5 and under are admitted free. Same-day general admission tickets are $15 for adults.

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The world’s best competitive eaters will once again descend on Orlando as part of the third annual World Chili Eating Challenge. Featuring six-minutes of jaw-dropping eating skills, the world’s top eaters will participate including Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, currently ranked the world’s No. 1 competitive eater. Other top ranked competitors include No. 4 ranked Miki Sudo, No. 6 ranked Erik The Red Denmark, No. 7 ranked Adrian Morgan and No. 15 “The People’s Champ” Badlands Booker. Joey Chestnut will be defending his world record set last year. The event will also feature an appearance by Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) World Chili Champion Jason Goaines.

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The RP Funding Orlando Chili Cook-off has raised more than $200,000 for Special Olympics Florida, placing the Orlando Chili-Cook-off among their private donors. The event also raises funds for Kiwanis Clubs of Greater Orlando and several other local charitable organizations.

Visit www.orlandochilicookoff.com for tickets or call Events for Change at 407-777-8309 to learn more about vendor, musical performance, cooking, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.

Top Local Chefs to Join Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida at 2015 Appetite for the Arches Gala

Oldfashioned

On Saturday, March 7, at the Orlando World Center Marriott, top local chefs from acclaimed restaurants and resorts will showcase their creativity to help raise funds at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida’s Appetite for the Arches benefit. This is a culinary event with a twist — one that has a little something to do with the Golden Arches.

Chefs will use fresh McDonald’s ingredients to create one-of-a-kind signature dishes. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with participating chefs while sampling the gourmet creations at this free-flowing event.

Participating restaurants include:

4 Rivers Smokehouse
Blue Bird Bake Shop
Cask & Larder
Chef’s Table at the Edgewater
Cuisiniers Catering
Emeril’s Tchoup Chop
Hamilton’s Kitchen
K Restaurant
Kabooki Sushi
LUMA on Park
Orlando World Center Marriott
Paxia Modern Mexican & Tequila Lounge
Pig Floyd’s
SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando
The Ravenous Pig
The Rusty Spoon
The Smiling Bison
Txokos Basque Kitchen

Julie Petrakis, who owns The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder with her husband James, sits on the planning committee for the event and was in charge of organizing chef participation. “Appetite for the Arches unites Central Florida’s best chefs and the community on a night of culinary surprises and delight for a special cause. All proceeds from the gala help Ronald McDonald House keep families together when they need it most —during the treatment of a critically ill child.”

For additional information about Appetite for the Arches including ticket information, please visit www.appetiteforthearches.org.

Join the conversation on Twitter: @RMHCCF #AppetiteOrlando

About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida finds, creates and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and families. The cornerstone program, the Ronald McDonald House®, provides a home away from home that offers comfort and care to families with children receiving treatment at local hospitals and medical facilities in Orlando. The two Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando serve over 1,800 families each year.

First annual 5 Chefs 5 Courses 5 Charities event at The Alfond Inn (hashtag #5Chefs5Charities)

The Alfond Inn will host on March 15

Executive Chef Marc Kusche from Hamilton’s Kitchen, The Alfond Inn, has invited a group of Central Florida’s finest chefs to join him in raising money for each of their chosen charities. Each chef will prepare one of the 5 courses for a family style, farm to table dinner accompanied by live music and fine spirits. The prestigious culinary lineup and charities include:

· Marc Kusche. The Alfond Inn. Chosen Charity: Harbor House

· Fabrizio Schenardi. Four Seasons Resort. Chosen Charity: The St. Jude Mission

· Henry Salgado. Txokos Basque Kitchen. A James Beard Nominee. Chosen Charity: Pace Center For Girls

· Kathleen Blake. The Rusty Spoon. A James Beard Nominee. Chosen Charity: Edible Education Foundation

· Kevin Fonzo. K Restaurant. A James Beard Nominee. Chosen Charity: The Kevin Fonzo Foundation

Tickets are $150 per person. Cocktails served 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. Advance reservations required by calling (407) 645-6604.

Artegon

Artegon Marketplace to feature The Art of Beer Featuring Orlando Brewing and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill on March 10; Spring into Spring Art, Food & Wine Stroll on March 21; Food Truck Fridays starting March 27 … and More!

In addition to experiencing Orlando’s most unique shopping, visitors to Artegon Marketplace Orlando are also treated to a busy schedule of special events and activities. From the permanent Sky Trail ropes course to weekend entertainment and seasonal events, there’s always something happening at Artegon Marketplace. Here’s a look at line-up ahead:

SIGNATURE SPECIAL EVENTS
THE ART OF BEER – TUESDAY, MARCH 10 AND APRIL 14, 5:00-8:00 P.M.
Mark your calendar to join ??Artegon Marketplace for The Art of Beer on Tuesday, March 10 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Enjoy a night of craft beer plus live music and tantalizing treats from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, all for FREE (while supplies last). Relax on the patio while enjoying freshly poured, hand-crafted ales from Orlando Brewing. Mingle with the artisans from The Village at Artegon Marketplace and discover a new way to shop local. This special event makes a repeat performance on April 14.

SPRING INTO SPRING – SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 6:00-8:00 P.M.
Guests can “Spring into Spring” on Saturday, March 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at this FREE art, food and wine stroll through the Village at Artegon Marketplace. Mingle with artisans displaying their hand-crafted items and art while enjoying complimentary bite-sized treats, wine and the jazz jams of a live three-piece band.

FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS – FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 5:00-9:00 P.M. (RECURRING)
Artegon Marketplace’s “Food Truck Crazy” truck rally held on the fourth Friday of every month kicks off on March 27. Gather on Artegon’s front patio for live music, entertainment and a kaleidoscope of food options, plus savor a unique deal: bring a purchase receipt from The Village at Artegon Marketplace to guest services and redeem for $5 in Food Truck Bucks.

WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT
Check here for the most up-to-date list of upcoming events:
http://www.artegonmarketplace.com/things-to-do-in-orlando/

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Discussing the latest in Orlando food and drink this week

Barnie's CoffeeKitchen CEO Jonathon Smiga with Executive Chef Camilo Velasco
Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen CEO Jonathon Smiga with Executive Chef Camilo Velasco

Camilo in the Kitchen series debuts via Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen

Chef Camilo Velasco is one of my favorite chefs around town, and also, I believe, one of the most underrated. A protege of Chef Norman Van Aken, Colombian born Chef Velasco delights and surprises the diners at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen each week with his chef’s menu.

In this first episode of this new series, Chef Velasco talks about his three favorite dishes on the Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen menu. The next episode will be focused on wine and wine pairings.

“This new web series positions Camilo as a thought leader in Culinary Arts and share his passion for cuisine from coffee growing regions worldwide. Other interests such as wine, rare & hard-to-find coffees and farming techniques will be topics he covers. Expect to see two-three new episodes each month. He will also provide insights on family-inspired dishes from his hometown Cali, Columbia. Expect guest stars from time-to-time from the world of coffee & cuisine.”

Restaurant Openings
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Izziban BBQ and Sushi has opened on East Colonial just west of SR 436/Semoran in the location formerly of Mr. Sisters, right across from Hot Dog Heaven on the lake. They are known for their all you can eat yakiniku grilled meat barbecue which includes a salad bar and unlimited selection of apps and sushi, ranging from $19.99 at lunch time and late night happy hour to $29.99 at dinner time. 5310 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32807 Phone number (407) 270-8811 http://www.izzibansushi.com/

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Quickly Boba and Snow has opened featuring not only traditional boba milk tea and snow desserts in “chubby cups”, but also Hong Kong style egg waffle puffs and Taiwanese popcorn chicken – not to mention their awesome mural wall created by local artist Boy Kong. 3214 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803 Phone number (407) 270-4570 https://www.facebook.com/quicklyorlando

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The Meatball Shoppe has opened at 7325 Lake Underhill Rd, Orlando, FL 32822, Phone number (407) 270-6505 http://www.themeatballshoppe.co/ Hours: Monday – Saturday, for lunch or dinner, 11 AM – 8 PM.

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1st Spring Oriental Supermarket – the eastern sister to the wicked supermarket of the west – 1st Oriental Supermarket, 1st Spring Supermarket is set to make many folks who hate the trek out to Pine Hills very happy. They will be opening a bakery, kitchen, and live seafood section soon, they say before Chinese New Year is here. 10681 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32817 Phone number (407) 292-3668 1stspringorientalmarket.com

Restaurant Closings

  • Maria Bonita Mexican restaurant on East Colonial has closed.
  • Burger and Beer Joint by UCF has closed via Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide
    – the price point was too high for the college crowd and the burgers were just way too slow coming out of the kitchen. This place was originally a Perkins for many years, then Ichiban, a short lived Chinese/Japanese buffet, and Culpepper’s most recently.
  • California Burrito on East Colonial has also closed, also via Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide

Coming Soon

  • The Osprey Tavern in Baldwin Park
  • Swine and Sons Provisions in Winter Park
  • Valentine’s Day – Saturday February 14 – Book your reservations ASAP
  • Berghoff’s Beer Hall at Artegon Marketplace on International Drive
  • Black Rooster Taqueria in Mills 50, former location of Tony’s Deli via Bungalower

Upcoming Events

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CLEARWATER BEACH UNCORKED 2015

Clearwater Beach Uncorked is delighted to announce its 4th annual  food beachfront spectacular to be held on February 7th and 8th, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., beneath the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa.

Clearwater Beach Uncorked, described as the finest beachfront culinary event on Florida’s west coast, is brought together by sponsors: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa and Publix. Clearwater Beach Uncorked will bid the ultimate pre-Valentine’s Day beach getaway complete with delicious tastings from the area’s most renowned restaurants. Guests of the event will have the privilege of mingling at this exquisite paparazzi filled event sure to satisfy anyone’s cravings. For more information, visit http://clearwaterbeachuncorked.com.

Clearwater Beach Uncorked will donate a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership. This year’s sponsors include: Publix, Duncan Hines, Florida Department of Citrus, Hefty, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Planters, and Reynolds.

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DOWNTOWN FOOD AND WINE FEST AT LAKE EOLA
February 21 and 22, 2015

The Seventh Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest is set for Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22, 2015 for more than 30,000 foodies and wine lovers to experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe.

Date / Time: Saturday, February 21 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, February 22, 2015 (noon to 7 p.m.)

Location: Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola along Robinson Street

Tickets: Admission is $15 per person, per day with advance online purchase. Admission at the door is $20 per person, per day. Admission for children under age 12 is free. For all-weekend Fest fans, a two-day ticket is available for $20 per person with advance online purchase. Food and beverage tickets are available at the Fest for $2 each; food and beverage offerings range from one to four tickets.

“The Downtown Food & Wine Fest is one of our Downtown’s signature cultural events, showcasing the best of Orlando’s culinary scene. Events like this continue to expand Downtown’s offerings and bring more and more people to our urban core to celebrate the beauty, diversity, and vibrancy of our community,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:
Visit www.DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com

For more upcoming events, check out our newly created Orlando Foodie Calendar! shoot us an email if you want to add anything at tastychomps (at) gmail.com

Bonus

In case you missed it, here is the link to our segment on WESH 2 Sunrise News on CW 18 this week, talking about the Chinese/Vietnamese Lunar New Year: http://www.wesh.com/news/lunar-new-year/30735308

and the link to the Guide to Lunar New Year in Orlando 2015 

See you next time on Wesh Sunrise News on CW 18 !
See you next time on Wesh Sunrise News on CW 18 !

Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park is easily one of my favorite sushi restaurants in town – with fresh seafood and quality ingredients, as well as gorgeous settings, they have always been on top of their game here in Orlando.

Recently, Jason Chin, the proprietor of Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park, along with new chef Austin Boyd, have crafted a re-working of the lunch menu at Seito to showcase the talent of both the kitchen and sushi offerings and take the restaurant to the next level, emphasizing freshness and seasonality with a menu that changes often.

SONY DSCMr. Chin and Seito Sushi graciously hosted our small group of foodies from the Orlando Foodie Forum facebook group to try a few of their new lunch menu that just rolled out. Overall, we were impressed by what we found.

Chef Austin Boyd with Seito Sushi owner Jason Chin
Chef Austin Boyd with Seito Sushi owner Jason Chin

From new ramen dishes to braised beef buns, the menu exhibits creativity and experimentation with many things that work. One of the most controversial decisions on the new menu has been, surprisingly, the removal of the bento box options, which would allow the kitchen to focus more on the new dishes, but also has turned off some customers who looked forward to the combination lunch boxes. Change is always hard at first, but they hope that with time the lunch crowd will grow to love the new menu.

Housemade dumplings with chopped apple
Housemade dumplings with chopped apple

The tonkotsu pork ramen, dumplings, and the ceviche roll were standouts from our group.

Three ramen options are available on the menu – the tonkotsu pork ramen which features crispy braised pork belly, soy egg, and house pickled ginger; the shoyu ramen, a soy sauce chicken broth based ramen with chicken thigh; and the gyu ramen, beef pho based broth (yes, some Vietnamese influences there) with cilantro oil, beef brisket, and sprouts.

I really enjoyed the tonkotsu pork ramen’s crispy pork belly which had a nice crunch to it, though the ginger could have been more pickled.

The tonkotsu pork ramen which features crispy braised pork belly, soy egg, and house pickled ginger
The tonkotsu pork ramen which features crispy braised pork belly, soy egg, and house pickled ginger
The shoyu ramen, a soy sauce chicken broth based ramen with chicken thigh
The shoyu ramen, a soy sauce chicken broth based ramen with chicken thigh
The gyu ramen, beef pho based broth with cilantro oil, beef brisket, and sprouts
The gyu ramen, beef pho based broth with cilantro oil, beef brisket, and sprouts

Some mixed reviews on the curry braised beef bao buns, which may work better with crispy pork belly filling instead of the wetter beef.

Curry braised beef bao buns
Curry braised beef bao buns
The salmon ceviche nigiri with citrus cured salmon, a refreshing highlight with wonderful lime and citrus zest flavors
The salmon ceviche nigiri with citrus cured salmon, a refreshing highlight with wonderful lime and citrus zest flavors
The Orlando Foodie Forum - Join us soon!
The Orlando Foodie Forum – Join us on facebook!

The new lunch menu is available now at Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park, and changes often. New rollouts will be coming soon this spring, and we have also received news that the upcoming Osprey Tavern will open in early 2015 as well. Lots of changes, for the better, in little Baldwin Park.

Here’s a look at their lunch menu (changes daily):

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