Authors Posts by Krystle Nguyen

Krystle Nguyen

47 POSTS 1 COMMENTS
KRYSTLE NGUYEN is a food enthusiast and many of her childhood memories were created in the restaurants that her parents owned while she was growing up - trying new dishes and interacting with customers. You can catch her on the weekends exploring Orlando or helping her parents manage the family restaurant, Saigon Noodle and Grill. Photos taken by Krystle Nguyen with the Nikon D5000 DSLR and Olympus OM-D E-M10.

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Dig into farm-to-fork cuisine showcasing Florida’s fresh flavors—all crafted from recipes by an award-winning celebrity chef. Homecomin’ is Walt Disney World’s fancy new restaurant paying homage to Florida’s rich agricultural heritage by highlighting local ingredients and farm-to-table cuisine. So come over, sip a handcrafted moonshine cocktail on our back porch and enjoy the bubbling springs backdrop.

A two-time James Beard Foundation award winner, Chef Art Smith is a familiar face on the national food scene, with restaurants in Naples (FL), Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Television viewers know him from the “Today” show, “BBQ Pitmasters” and “Top Chef Masters.” This sixth generation Floridian was Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for 10 years and cooked for two Florida governors in Tallahassee.

Chef Art’s hometown of Jasper is in Hamilton County in the northern lowlands between Jacksonville and Tallahassee and south of Valdosta, GA. Local poultry, beef, sugar cane, fresh pecans, citrus and more were important ingredients in his mother Addie Mae’s recipes. Her repertoire of hearty straightforward food continues to influence the family fare in his new restaurant where guests can expect cheese-laced drop biscuits, Chef Art’s world-famous fried chicken, and exceptional fried green tomatoes topped with shaved country ham.

Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs

CHURCH LADY DEVILED EGGS HFK-style whole deviled eggs

Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs

homecomingdisneysprings-7

Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs

Shrimp and Grits

Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs

KC GREENS: BRAISED KALE AND COLLARDS

Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs

Signature fried chicken, cheddar biscuits and mac

Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs

Housemade BBQ Chips

Homecoming at Disney Springs
Homecoming at Disney Springs

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Inside Epcot’s World Showplace pavilion, Party for the Senses offers all of your Food & Wine Festival flavors under one roof. It was a magical evening, filled with a variety of delectable food and spirits that Epcot and some of the Disney Resorts has to offer! Noah French, Executive Pastry Chef, delivered one of the most heavenly dessert’s I’ve had all year at Amorette’s Patisserie’s tasting station.

Don’t miss another event at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! The Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses will have more than 50 gourmet tasting stations with dishes from some of Walt Disney World Resort’s restaurants as well as champagne, wine, craft beers, and specialty cocktails.

Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses
October 28 – October 29
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

The event includes reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat concerts, so you can catch new-to-the-Festival performers Living Colour both Oct. 28 and 29 before the Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses.

To book reservations call (407) 939-3378.

El Diablo Burger
El Diablo Burger: Chorizo & signature beef blend patty with fried banana peppers, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayonnaise (Tim Dixon/D-Luxe Burger)
B.B. Wolf's Sausage Co.
Regensburg Sausage wrapped in Nueske’s Bacon topped with black bean salsa, lime creme, and jalapeno (Brian Rodgers/B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.)
B.B. Wolf's Sausage Co.
Regensburg Sausage wrapped in Nueske’s Bacon topped with black bean salsa, lime creme, and jalapeno (Brian Rodgers/B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.)

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar
Ahi Tuna Taco: Seared Ahi Tuna with Old World Spices in tortilla with shredded lettuce, house-made guacamole, sour cream, and cilantro-scented jalapeno pico de gallo, with fresh toasted lime (Paul Latkowski/Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar)
AristoCrepes
Bananas Foster Crepe served with a pink peppercorn chantilly, banana brulee, hazelnut brittle, and a splash of Frangelico Nutella (Michelle Huyke/AristoCrepes)
Paddlefish
Mini Classic Maine Lobster Roll (Mark Boor/Paddlefish)
Paddlefish Lobster
Paddlefish
Paddlefish
Mini Classic Maine Lobster Roll (Mark Boor/Paddlefish)
Paddlefish
Mini Classic Maine Lobster Roll (Mark Boor/Paddlefish)
T-REX
Golden Chanterelle-stuffed Chicken Roulade with Chicken Demi on Parmesan Risotto, accompanied by a balsamic glaze, red pepper jam, and microgreens (Gene Upshaw, T-REX)
Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas
Ancho honey-glazed beef short ribs over a boniato sweet potato puree, pero sweet peppers, and jicama (Mo Lakmichi, Paradiso 37/Taste of the Americas)
Bongos Cuban Cafe
Estefan Kitchen Rice: Pork, chorizo, beef, chicken, shrimp, and sweet plantains (Odell Torres, Bongos Cuban Cafe)
Art Smith's Homecoming: Florida Kitchen & Southern Shine
Shrimp and Grits (Art Smith & Hector Guerrero, Art Smith’s Homecoming: Florida Kitchen & Southern Shine)
Food is love! – Art Smith
Frontera Cocina by Rick Bayless
Carnitas Tostada with black bean puree, salsa verde, pickled onions, and cilantro (Rick Bayless & Ernesto Zendejas, Frontera Cocina by Rick Bayless)
Portobello Country Italian Trattoria
Vitello Tonnato (Justin Plank, Portobello Country Italian Trattoria)
YeSake
Vegetable Spring Roll in Temaki with tikka masala sauce (Yutaka Kude, YeSake)
STK Orlando
Beef Sirloin with bourbon black pepper brown butter (James O’Donnell, STK Orlando)
Splitsville Dining
Fantasy Roll: Fresh salmon, ahi tuna, cucumber, avocado, & steamed shrimp rolled in soy paper, and drizzled with spicy kimchee ponzu sauce (Patrick Steele, Splitsville Dining Room)
Splitsville Dining
Fantasy Roll: Fresh salmon, ahi tuna, cucumber, avocado, & steamed shrimp rolled in soy paper, and drizzled with spicy kimchee ponzu sauce (Patrick Steele, Splitsville Dining Room)
Splitsville Dining
Fantasy Roll: Fresh salmon, ahi tuna, cucumber, avocado, & steamed shrimp rolled in soy paper, and drizzled with spicy kimchee ponzu sauce (Patrick Steele, Splitsville Dining Room)
Splitsville Dining
Fantasy Roll: Fresh salmon, ahi tuna, cucumber, avocado, & steamed shrimp rolled in soy paper, and drizzled with spicy kimchee ponzu sauce (Patrick Steele, Splitsville Dining Room)
Rainforest Cafe
Cavatappi Pasta with hazelnut pesto, grilled vegetables, and roasted tomato sauce (Rick LEgary, Rainforest Cafe)
The Ganachery
Custom-blended Dark 65% Chocolate Ganache: Pistachio sponge with Amarena cherries and a surprising POP! (Amanda Lauder, The Ganachery)
The Ganachery
Custom-blended Dark 65% Chocolate Ganache: Pistachio sponge with Amarena cherries and a surprising POP! (Amanda Lauder, The Ganachery)
Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC
Princess Brownie Bites (Erin McKenna, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC)
Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC
Princess Brownie Bites (Erin McKenna, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC)

Black Lava Salted Caramel Mousse with Chocolate Biscuit, Espresso Merignue, Black Walnut Macaron, and Caramel Croustillant (Noah French, Amorette’s Patisserie)

Amorette's Patisserie
Black Lava Salted Caramel Mousse with Chocolate Biscuit, Espresso Merignue, Black Walnut Macaron, and Caramel Croustillant (Noah French, Amorette’s Patisserie)
Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza
Fire-roasted tomato bruschetta, fire-roasted grapes flatbread (Brad Kent, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza)
Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza
Apples and applewood smoked bacon bruschetta with gochugaru honey, butterbean, and shiitake flatbread (Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza)
Morimoto
Morimoto
Peking Duck at Morimoto ASIA
Peking Duck at Morimoto ASIA
Morimoto Asia
Peking duck tacos with pico de gallo and hoisin sauce (Takao Iinuma and Yuhi Fukinaga, Morimoto Asia)

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Executive Chef Wendy Lopez, a native of Michoacan, Mexico, began cooking at a young age while working in her family’s restaurant. After formal training at Le Cordon Bleu College in Orlando, she began her professional career at the Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere. She went on to become sous chef under Certified Master Chef Russell Scott.

She has aided in the development of a unique menu featuring a robust selection of hot and cold tapas, paella variations and desserts. Using only the freshest imported ingredients, Chef Lopez combines traditional Spanish elements to create an authentic taste experience for the people of Orlando.

At Tapa Toro, Chef Wendy Lopez combines contemporary, Spanish cuisine with a vibrant, energetic atmosphere – bringing a fresh dining experience to the I-Drive 360 area. With a unique paella pit, vibrant tapas menu, and extensive selection of imported wines the restaurant takes you on a culinary journey of Spanish flavors and culture in the heart of Central Florida.

The restaurant recently invited us to attend TAPA TORO: SABOR! A SUMMER WINE DINNER EXPERIENCE with Executive Chef, Wendy Lopez & Chef de Cuisine, Francisco Galeano.

Each month, their seasoned culinary team brings a chef’s table with a new wine dinner series featuring 5 courses of off-the-menu dishes and fresh Spanish ingredients all complete with fine wines imported from remote regions in Spain.

http://tapatoro.restaurant/groups-events/summer-wine-dinners/

Wine Dinner Setup . . .
Salmorejo
Salmorejo: Almonds, grapes, cucumbers, shallots, olive oil // Wine: Torres, Verdeo, Verdejo Spain
Semola de Maiz Blanco
Semola de Maiz Blanco: Poached egg, grits, machego, scallions, corn, fresh cracked peppers // Wine: Gran Vina Sol, Chardonnay, Penedes
Semola de Maiz Blanco
Semola de Maiz Blanco: Poached egg, grits, machego, scallions, corn, fresh cracked peppers // Wine: Gran Vina Sol, Chardonnay, Penedes
Flamenco Dancing Tapa Toro
Flamenco is a Spanish art form made up of three parts: guitar playing (“guitarra”), song (“cante”) and dance (“baile”)
Coctel de Camaron
Coctel de Camaron: Shrimp, tomato water, shallots, avocado, cilantro, lavash // Wine: Torres Sangre de Torro Blend
Coctel de Camaron
Coctel de Camaron: Shrimp, tomato water, shallots, avocado, cilantro, lavash // Wine: Torres Sangre de Torro Blend
Tapa Toro Amuse Bouche
Amuse-bouche is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre served free and according to the chef’s selection.
Executive Chef Wendy Lopez preparing the next dish
Pargo al Horno
Pargo al Horno: Salt-crusted grouper, creamed spinach, lemon butter // Wine: Torres Salmos, Carinena – Syrah – Garnacha tinta, Priorat
Pargo al Horno
Pargo al Horno: Salt-crusted grouper, creamed spinach, lemon butter // Wine: Torres Salmos, Carinena – Syrah – Garnacha tinta, Priorat
La Fogata
La Fogata: Graham cracker crumbs, coconut marshmallow, chocolate mousse, hazelnut ice cream // Wine: Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro, Moscatel de Alejandria
Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro, Moscatel de Alejandria
Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro, Moscatel de Alejandria
La Fogata
La Fogata: Graham cracker crumbs, coconut marshmallow, chocolate mousse, hazelnut ice cream // Wine: Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro, Moscatel de Alejandria
La Fogata
La Fogata: Graham cracker crumbs, coconut marshmallow, chocolate mousse, hazelnut ice cream // Wine: Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro, Moscatel de Alejandria

Special Brunch Edition: Cask & Larder partnered with Funky Buddha Brewery for a beer brunch. The event featured a reception with bites and beers, followed by a three-course meal paired with a perfect beer for each course.

Cask & Larder, in Winter Park, Florida, is a local neighborhood gathering spot with a dedication to artisanal foods while creating seasonally fresh dishes. For this event, Cask & Larder reserved the bar area to host its brunch and it was the perfect space for guests to taste the beer brunch menu.

Everything about the menu was exciting and the event exceeded my expectations. It’s hard to pick a favorite because each dish was delicious – the roasted oysters, foie gras french toast, smoked tuna tartine, corned beef hash (with the soft boiled egg!), and ice cream sandwich.

If you would like to learn more about Cask & Larder events, click here to sign up for the mailing list or follow Cask & Larder on FaceBook.

Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA and C&L Pale Ale
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Ramp Butter Roasted Oysters with bacon crumbs ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA and C&L Pale Ale
Mini Foie Gras French Toast with pickled blueberries
Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and C&L Wit
Hop Smoked Tuna Tartine with millet bread, pickled kabocha squash, compressed peaches, radish and farro ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and C&L Wit
Crispy Corned Beef & Hash with bearnaise, picked ramps & mushrooms, ramp green soubise and a soft boiled egg ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Blood Orange IPA and C&L Maibock
Ice Cream Sandwich with chocolate stout semifreddo and chicory cookie ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Vanilla Espresso Porter and C&L Coffee Blonde

About Cask & Larder:
Cask & Larder offers southern-sourced seasonal dishes, craft beers brewed on-site and fresh-shucked oysters from our oyster bar. We look forward to serving you good food with casual southern hospitality.

Address: 565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (321) 280-4200
Website: www.caskandlarder.com

About Funky Buddha Brewery
Funky Buddha Brewery was founded in 2010 in Boca Raton, Florida, and is committed to producing bold craft beers that marry culinary-inspired ingredients with time-honored technique. Our mantra is big, bold flavors, made exactingly with natural ingredients. So, for example, if we say a beer will taste like peanut butter and jelly, you can be sure you’ll smell and taste the fresh roasted peanuts and fruity berry jam. Our flagship beers such as Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen, also strive towards big, bold flavor. It’s who we are. Our Brewery is located in the heart of Oakland Park’s new Culinary Arts District.

Address: 1201 NE 38th St, Oakland Park, FL 33334
Phone: (954) 440-0046
Website: www.funkybuddhabrewery.com

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Seito Sushi Sand Lake hosted its first-ever craft beer dinner in collaboration with Red Cypress Brewery and Tasty Chomps got to attend!

Located in Orlando’s Restaurant Row, Seito Sushi has been serving a variety of classic Japanese fare and Asian inspired dishes over the past ten years. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with hand-selected pieces of art, creating a modern atmosphere that is also reflected in the cuisine at Seito Sushi.

Seito Sushi Sand Lake Executive Chef Seng Inthisack and Red Cypress Head Brewer Garrett Ward developed a six-course pairing menu for the evening. Red Cypress is a Winter Springs-based brewery with a focus on brewing consistent beers, while staying true to the Florida brand.

Everything about the dinner was spectacular and unique. The house cured and smoked fish from the first-course instantly set the mood for a great dinner. Paired with Red Cypress’ Fruit de la Terre Saison, which is made with Florida orange peel as a local ingredient. The beer pairings for each dish created the perfect balance as the entrees progressed to heavier plates.

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First-Course: Smoke & Pickles – House cured and smoked fish with housemade Japanese pickles. Cape Canaveral Hog Snapper, Flounder, Faroe Island Salmon – paired with Fruit De La Terre, Saison
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First-Course: Smoke & Pickles – House cured and smoked fish with housemade Japanese pickles. Cape Canaveral Hog Snapper, Flounder, Faroe Island Salmon – paired with Fruit De La Terre, Saison
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Second-Course: Singaporean Style Florida Stone Crab with tomato-chili sauce and fried shallots – paired with Spook Hill Pale Ale, Pale Ale
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Third-Course: Florida Spanish Mackerel Misozuke – paired with Deep Roots, Amber Ale
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Fourth-Course: KFQ (Korean Fried Quail) – served with local grilled corn, salmon skin dust, furikake aioli – paired with Lazer Bullet, Brett Pale Ale
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Fifth-Course: Jackman Farms Wagyu Oxtail – beef consommé, tonkotsu risotto, foie gras shavings – paired with Devil’s Chair IPA
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Sixth-Course: Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Snap and Red Cypress Imperial Stout Ice Cream Sammies – paired with Robust Porter
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Sixth-Course: Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Snap and Red Cypress Imperial Stout Ice Cream Sammies – paired with Robust Porter

Seito Sand Lake
Address: 8031 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 407-248-8888

Red Cypress Brewery
Address: 855 E. State Rd 434 Winter Springs, FL 32708
Phone: 407-542-0341

Experience a multi-course tasting extravaganza with Seito Sushi’s omakase “chef’s choice” dinner menu. Omakase literally means, “It’s up to you,” and the expression is used in restaurants where the chef creates a menu based on the freshest and highest quality ingredients. If you’re up for the adventure, be prepared to experience Seito Sushi’s innovative approach to Japanese cuisine.

In the dining room, you can find a beautiful 10-seat domestic walnut wood table. The “Chef’s Table” has significant meaning to the chef since it was built by Executive Chef Austin Boyd.

“Woodworking, much like cooking, is a labor of love for Austin.”

Photo Credit: Seito Sushi Baldwin Park

 

The omakase “chef’s choice” menu is a six course meal customized with off menu selections. A typical meal will begin with lighter dishes and progress to heavier dishes. Reservations for the omakase menu must be made at least 3 days in advance and are $85 per person (+$30 for wine or sake pairing). You are welcome to sit anywhere in the restaurant to order omakase style.

From the food to the environment, the dining experience at Seito is always enjoyable. At the media dinner with Jason and Sue Chin, I got to hear more about their experience of running a restaurant and admire their strong work ethic while balancing a family. The passion that they have towards food and building the community has really shown in the past few years. It also helps that they have an incredible team and Executive Chef Austin Boyd to take Seito to the next level.

Each dish that was prepared that evening was like a work of art…

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Squid Ink Soba // West coast Uni, Spicy Cod Roe, Cucumber Flowers, Miso Brioche Crumb
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Yellow Tail Belly Nigiri // Bourbon Barrel Aged Soy, Lemon Grass Pesto, Uni Foam, Globe Basil
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Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab // Herb Salad from the garden, Nuc Cham Dressing, Garden Peppers, Purple Snow Peas
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Grilled Oysters // Black Bean Pesto, Fried Scallions, Ginger Soy
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Spice Rubber Pork Belly // Honey Glaze, Millet Cake, Peach Jelly, Miso Pickled Quail Egg, Dill Flower
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Shiso Cured Salmon Tartar // Salmon Skin Chip, Caper, Red Onion
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Wagyu Spinalis Negi Maki // Caramelized Onions, Beef Fat Poached Asparagus, Wild Mushrooms, Demi glace, Fiddle Head Ferns
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Lion Fish + Key West Shrimp // Pickled Citrus, Plum wine Marinated Water Mellow, Sea Beans, Tosaka Nori, House Old Bay
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Brown Butter Cake // Cinnamon Basil and Lemon Balm Ice Cream, Carrot Coulis, Ginger Snap Crumble, Basil Flower
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Whiskey Flight

Photos taken by Krystle Nguyen with the Nikon D5000 DSLR and Olympus OM-D E-M10.

Seito Baldwin Park
4898 New Broad Street, Orlando, FL 32814
407-898-8801

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Press Release:

STK joins the exciting new dining, shopping and entertainment district at Walt Disney World Resort.

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (May 25, 2016) – The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. (“The ONE Group”) is pleased to announce that STK Orlando officially opened its doors today at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The new location is the 11th STK worldwide, and at more than 14,000 square feet, is the largest to date. Featuring rooftop dining with scenic views, the restaurant boasts both indoor and outdoor seating on two levels, a bistro, bar, private dining room and a fire pit. With a sleek and contemporary design, STK is known for its high-energy fine dining experience.

“We are thrilled to enter the Orlando market, especially at a premier destination like Walt Disney World,” said Jonathan Segal, CEO of The ONE Group. “Strategic relationships, as well as great real estate, will remain integral to our growth plans as we expand our company footprint, and with an additional nine STK restaurants currently in development, we are excited to bring the STK experience to new cities across the globe.”

At STK Orlando, menu items with a local focus will join signature dishes that have become STK favorites across the world. STK Orlando Executive Chef, James O’Donnell, says he plans to source ingredients from Florida-based farms whenever possible, especially seasonal fruits, produce and seafood.

Photos courtesy of STK Orlando

“Roughly twenty-percent of STK Orlando’s menu will be exclusive to the Disney Springs location, including opening-day items such as Florida grouper, seared tuna and chili rubbed rack of lamb,” said O’Donnell.

Chili Rubbed Rack of Lambs with Sunchokes, Caper Chimichury, and Lamb Jus at STK
Chili Rubbed Rack of Lambs with Sunchokes, Caper Chimichury, and Lamb Jus at STK

STK is anticipating a dinner-only service from May 25th through May 30th with lunch beginning on May 31st.

Hours for STK Orlando
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (daily)
Dinner: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday)
Dinner: 5 p.m. to midnight (Friday and Saturday)

For reservations call 407.917.7440.

 
Stay Connected
Twitter (@eatSTK) and Instagram (@eatstk)
 
About STK
STK is a unique concept that artfully blends the modern steakhouse and chic lounge into one, offering a dynamic, fine dining experience with the superior quality of a traditional steakhouse. STK distinguishes itself by focusing on the social experience with a sleek, contemporary design and an in-house DJ who creates an infectious, high-energy vibe. The menu features reimagined classic American cuisine with signature dishes like bite-sized Lil’ BRGs made with Wagyu beef, Lobster Mac & Cheese, and, of course, the highest quality steak. STK defines the modern fine dining experience with incredible food, world-class service and the perfect atmosphere. STK has locations in New York City, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, and Milan with additional locations coming soon to Toronto, Austin, San Diego, Denver, Ibiza and Edinburgh. For more information about STK, please visitwww.stkhouse.com.
 

About Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to great dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm. Offering an air of sophisticated grace and design that harkens to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century, Disney Springs is home to four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and West Side. Nearing completion in 2016, Disney Springs has been undergoing the largest expansion in its history to double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, which will result in more than 150 establishments. Disney Springs is part of Walt Disney World Resort, the number one family vacation destination in the world, located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

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A culinary tour with some of the finest Chef’s in Central Florida, held at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida. The event showcased 5 Chefs, 5 Courses, and 5 Charities. The Five Chefs prepared one of the five courses and the proceeds from the event go to five charities selected by the Chefs.

The family style, farm-to-table dinner approach was designed by The Alfond Inn staff and usually takes place outside, but the team was equipped with an alternative plan to relocate the event indoors due to unexpected weather changes. Everything about that evening was gorgeous, nonetheless.

The collaboration between the five chefs resulted in a beautiful dining experience. Each chef added a unique flair and flavor to their respective dishes, but worked collectively as a team to create a well-balanced and creative menu.

Five Chefs and Five Charities include:

  • Marc Kusche, The Alfond Inn – National Blood Clot Alliance
  • Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon – The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program
  • Kevin Fonzo, K Restaurant – Kevin Fonzo Foundation
  • Henry Salgado, Spanish River Grill – PACE Center For Girls
  • Fabrizio Schenardi, Four Seasons Resort – Nemours Hospital For Children

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The evening began with a cocktail reception…

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Marc Kusche/The Alfond Inn: Lake Meadows Chicken Ballotine, Pickled Vegetables with Ancient Blood Orange Oil, Greens
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Henry Salgado/Spanish River Grill: Henry’s Calamari a la Plancha, Local Greens
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Kathleen Blake/Rusty Spoon: Handmade Farfalle Pasta with Waterkist Heirloom Tomato, Basil “Confit”, and Montasio Cheese Crumbs
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Fabrizio Schenardi/Four Seasons Resort: Pork Shank, Saffron Tomato Sauce, Celery with Thyme Orange Gremolata

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Kevin Fonzo/K Restaurant: Fresh Florida Strawberry Tasting

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It’s a tiny place off of Fern Creek and Colonial, just behind the Chevron gas station – but The Sanctum Cafe, a new vegan and vegetarian cafe, packs a lot of flavor in its dishes.

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Kabbage Krunch Slaw

As owner Chelsie Savage tells us, “Ain’t no sissy salads here, yall.”

No sissy salads, indeed – their plates are piled high with healthy greens, nuts, fruits, and other flavorful combinations to make for a very satisfying meal.

The cubed, spiced tempeh, a fermented and cultured soy product (think – firm tofu) with cultural origins in Indonesia, gives an additional wonderfully “meaty” texture and taste to round out the dishes we tried on our recent visit.

Chelsie explained to us why she started The Sanctum, “Pretty simply I’m a health advocate with particular foodie tastebuds. Staying healthy and taking care of myself, my family and teaching others to do the same is one of the things most near and dear to my heart.”

“And along with that, I’ve always grown up being a lover of good food and I want to show people you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health. The best food comes from the best ingredients, prepared mindfully by someone who cares.”

“There is this misconception that food is something that needs to be restricted, counted and measured to achieve good health and if you’re enjoying it it must not be good for you but food is community. It brings people together and nourishes and heals.”

“There is a reason why every single culture has foods and cuisines that are associated with it.”

“My mission with The Sanctum is to bring people back to this with good for you food and to create a menu that made people fall in love with health promoting foods.”

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Shiva Salad
How did the idea for The Sanctum Cafe come about?
Chelsie Savage, The Sanctum Cafe – I have run a nutrition consulting business the last 5 years in Orlando where I taught integrative nutrition and cooking lessons that evolved over the years. It started as just nutrition and I quickly found it wasn’t that more often than not, it wasn’t that people didn’t know how to eat healthy, it was they didn’t know how to make healthy food that also tasted great. I started teaching nutrition lessons and courses paired with cooking classes and the feedback I kept getting was “will you just open up a restaurant so I can eat your food everyday”. After hearing this feedback client after client, year after year, you start to think – “maybe I should open a restaurant so people can eat my food every day”. My husband and I put our heads together and we created The Sanctum!

Most Popular dishes so far?
Chelsie: All of our bowls have been getting a lot of love but The Sassy Thai has definitely been a crowd favorite as well as the Sedona Bowl. The Mo’Rockin blows peoples mind because of the complexity of flavors and there has also been a lot of love for the Shiva Salad. The Savage Salad is my personal favorite – my slightly spicy rosemary vinaigrette and tons of veggies – cooked and raw – is my definition of the perfect meal.

What do you do outside of The Sanctum?
Chelsie: Along with running my health coaching business, I’ve been teaching yoga all over Orlando since 2010. I’m taking a short hiatus from teaching to get The Sanctum up and running but plan on returning soon – on a smaller caliber of what I used to teach – but returning nonetheless. I’ve got a dedicated yoga practice and also like running with my dogs. By nature I’m an introvert and really just love spending time with my family. My husband (and also co-owner of The Sanctum) love to travel, eat & practice yoga and we make a habit to do so often!

Take a look inside:
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SHIVA SALAD

Massaged kale, roasted butternut squash & house spiced tempeh tossed with pink lady apples, celery, carrots and raisins. Tossed in our curried peanut dressing and finished with candied walnuts, toasted chickpeas and coconut shreds. Full Salad $13 | Half Salad $8

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KABBAGE KRUNCH SLAW

Shredded kale, red & purple cabbages, mint, cilantro, carrot, beet & finely chopped red onion. Topped with shelled edamame, grape tomatoes, dried cherries, sunflower greens, avocado, slivered almonds & tossed in our ginger-miso dressing. Full Salad | $10.5 Half Salad | $7 | Add Maple Miso Tempeh $2.5

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The Sanctum Cafe’s Philosophy

“Food made with real ingredients, because we care just as much about health as we care about about indulging in life’s greatest pleasure— a damn good meal.”

“We love everything about meal time— the cooking, the community and even the clean up (as long as we’re doing it together). But our REAL mission is debunking the myth that if food tastes good it can’t be good for us. With every coffee we serve and every mouth we feed, that mission is further accomplished.

We are health advocates with foodie tastebuds committed to redefining the way people think about healthy food. We are educated about nutrition, skilled in the kitchen, sassy in attitude and conscious in the way we live our lives and conduct business.

We put health promoting foods front and center and make people fall in love with them.

If we wouldn’t serve it to our family, we won’t serve it to you. We do plant-based, sustainable, gourmet food, not because it’s a trendy, but because it’s a conscious way of living. It’s good for this body, good for this planet—everyone wins.”

The Sanctum Cafe
715 N Fern Creek Ave, Unit D.
Orlando, FL 32803
407-757-0346

HOURS
M-Th: 8am-8pm
F-Sa: 8am-9pm
Sun: 8am-2pm

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Tabla, a proud sponsor of TastyChomps.com, just finished a multimillion dollar renovation to their restaurant and have updated their lunch menus with new recipes and creations.

The executive chef, Ian Piamonte, former head banquet chef at Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, is leading the culinary team in bringing dishes inspired by India, Thailand, and China to Tabla.

Most recently, their team had the honor of catering for the wedding of US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in an intimate setting in south Florida.

The new lunch specials include a soup or salad, choice of entree (from over 15 choices), basmati rice, samosa, naan bread, and a dessert choice for just $9.99. They will also be unveiling a new corporate catering menu for lunch as well!

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Red Curry with Fish
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Tamarind, sweet chili, and mint chutney
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Tofu red curry

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Garlic Naan bread
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Mango Lassi

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Gulab Jamun dessert

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Fried banana spring roll with strawberry ice cream

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Mango tiramisu dessert

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Tabla Indian Thai Chinese

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One of our favorite sushi restaurants in town, Umi Winter Park, recently released two new lunch options for $15, changing on what is fresh for the day and filled with chef’s choice items like kimchi fried rice and nigiri. The food at Umi is as delicious and fresh as it is beautiful.

“We challenged ourselves to create and customize something totally unique and high-end for lunch, offering a lot more food and quality than a traditional bento box,” explained Gilles Lorin, concept director for Umi Winter Park.

“It had to be a complete meal, offering raw and cooked items, and be different every day, based on our chef’s choice. The response has been tremendous.”

See the Press Release Below for more information:

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The Bento Tray is available in two choices, either Raw or Cooked.

Each one is served as a complete and balanced lunch with miso soup and ginger salad.

In order to ensure a unique and fresh meal every time, some raw and cooked dishes vary daily depending on what the chef prepares for the week.

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The Raw Bento includes cuts of sashimi and nigiri from Snapper, Yellowtail Hamachi, Bluefin Toro, Salmon and Tuna.

Guests could be presented with a Mini Korean Chirashi Bowl, a Mini Sake Don Bowl or something completely new and different depending on what the chef has in mind that day.

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Standard dishes include Kimchi Croquettes and Bacon-wrapped Cherry Tomatoes.

The Cooked Bento is prepared with a filet of Robata teriyaki-glazed Salmon over a bed of vegetables as well as an order of Chef Stanley’s homemade recipe of Bibimbap.

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Just like the Raw Bento, this tray includes the standard Kimchi Croquette and Bacon-wrapped Cherry Tomatoes and either a Mini Korean Chirashi Bowl, a Mini Sake Don Bowl or something completely new and different depending on what the chef has in mind.

For reservations and information, call (407) 960-3993 or go to www.umiwinterpark.com. Serving lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Serving dinner Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Whole Foods Market opens their brand new Altamonte Springs store this Wednesday, January 20, 2016 – becoming Orlando’s third location. The 40,000-square-foot store, located in the Renaissance Centre at 305 East Altamonte Drive, joins its Central Florida sister locations in Winter Park and Phillips Crossing.

The store’s façade will “mimic Central Florida’s landscape, featuring an eclectic mix of unique and reclaimed materials inspired by the Sunshine State’s orange groves.”

Here are a few photos for an inside look at the new store:

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Altamonte Springs customers can also expect a full-service juice & coffee bar, a hand-tossed pizza station, grab-and-go chef-prepared cuisine and an indoor and outdoor café. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Meals in a Minute”

 

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The cheese selection is magnificent, but don’t be intimidated – Daniel Shaw, Certified Cheese Professional, can help answer any questions you have!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Check out the press release below for more information.

Altamonte Springs customers can also expect a full-service juice & coffee bar, a hand-tossed pizza station, grab-and-go chef-prepared cuisine and an indoor and outdoor café.

Whole Foods Market Altamonte Springs will also feature lots of great innovations, including an enhanced tropical and international produce program, paleo-friendly cuisine, gourmet made-to-order toast and an exclusive line of Peace Love World apparel in Whole Body.

An enhanced tropical and international produce program, chock-full of exotic fruits and vegetables found in Latin, Asian and Indian cuisine. Produce will feature an ever- changing rotation, including Thai chilies, Chinese eggplant, sea cucumbers, star fruit, gooseberries, longan fruit, dragon fruit, papaya and passionfruit to name a few.

Even the store’s façade will mimic Central Florida’s landscape, featuring an eclectic mix of unique and reclaimed materials inspired by the Sunshine State’s orange groves.

The store will kick-off their grand opening celebration with a Bread Breaking Ceremony scheduled at 8:45 AM on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The first 500 customers in line on opening day will receive mystery gift cards, valued at $5, $10, $20 or $50, with one card valued at $500. Altamonte Springs will also celebrate by hosting five 1% days where local organizations will receive a portion of the day’s profits. Beneficiaries include: Seminole Cultural Arts Council, Save the Manatee Club, Kids House of Seminole, The Fresh Stop Bus and The Sharing Center.

Whole Foods Market – Altamonte Springs / 8AM-10PM daily
305 East Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

In keeping with Whole Foods Market’s tradition of giving back and serving the community, the new Altamonte Springs location will partner with Food Donation Connection, an organization that manages food donation programs and provides an alternative to discarding surplus food. Together, the companies will partner to support local agencies such as Lighthouse Mission Orlando. For more information, please visit http://www.foodtodonate.com/.

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Cows ‘n Cabs, a charity-based event presented by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue and celebrated Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The COOP, returned to Winter Park’s West Meadow at 150 North New York Avenue for the fifth time on Saturday, October 25, 2015.

The outdoor, Western-themed festival—founded in 2010 with the hope to break the cycle of poverty Central Florida— benefits the Community Food & Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando, which assists with fighting hunger and mentoring youth, respectively.

Anheuser-Busch, Southern Wine & Spirits and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits contributed to the evening with more than 200 wines, spirits and craft beers samplings. A selection of gourmet samples were presented by a group of 20 invite-only, local restaurants. 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Cress and K Restaurant, are among the many that have rubbed shoulders with the James Beard Foundation, while local newcomers include The COOP, P is for Pie and Txokos Basque Kitchen.

See below for scenes from this year’s Cows N’ Cabs festival:
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The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is a culinary adventure and entertainment event held each fall. This year, Epcot is celebrating 20 years of culture and cuisine with the finest wine and beverage offerings.

The festival opens September 25 and runs through November 16 with 30 unique Marketplaces to taste from. Discover new cuisines, domestic and international wines, beers and spirits during specialty programs programs, demonstrations and seminars.

Eat to the Beat Concert Series features an artist or band performance every evening during the multi-week festival.

Daily show times for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series take place at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM. Visit the link to see the line-up of musical acts: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/entertainment/epcot/food-wine-eat-to-the-beat-concerts/.

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Artisan Cheese with Dried Fruits, Honeycomb, Nuts, Breads and Wafers
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Hawai’i // Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Nori Strings
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Hawai’i // Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Nori Strings
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Hawai’i // Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
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Patagonia Marketplace // Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri (gluten/wheat friendly)
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Chef Judi’s Truck Stop Burger // Mixed Grill Burger topped with Fried Egg Bacon Grease Fries and Nacho Cheese Sauce with a side of Corn Tortilla Strips
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Farm Fresh Marketplace // Griddled “Yard Bird” with Braised Greens and House-made Habanero Sauce (gluten/wheat friendly? “Chew Approved”
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Farm Fresh Marketplace // Loaded Mac n’ Cheese with Nueske’s Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, and Green Onions
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Dominican Republic Marketplace // Seared Grouper, Pigeon Peas, and Rice with Coconut Sauce “Chew Approved”
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Chef Reynold’s Chicago Burger // Angus Chuck Beef Patty topped with All Beef Hot Dog, Dill Relish and Havarti Cheese Sauce and a side of Bacon Potato Salad
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Torched Kenya Coffee and Chocolate S’mores Mini Stuffed Bundt Cakes
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Dunken Blue Velvet with Cream Cheese and Sugar Daisy Mini Stuffed Bundt Cakes | Lemoncello with Strawberry, Balsamic and Pistachio Mini Stuffed Bundt Cakes
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Scotland Marketplace // Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon and Herb Sour Cream
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Scotland Marketplace // Citrus Thistle Cocktail featuring Hendrick’s Gin
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Chew Lab Marketplace // Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Whiskey Caramel
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Chew Lab Marketplace // Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Whiskey Caramel

 

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The Generous Pour event at The Capital Grille is one of my favorite events of the year, particularly for wine lovers.

From July 6 through August 30, 2015, for $28 per person with dinner, The Capital Grille offers eight remarkable wines crafted, designed or owned by women from some of California’s most acclaimed vineyards. Guests are invited to explore and enjoy as many of these remarkable wines and varietals as they like.

During the last week of August – the event coincides with Magical Dining Month – so you could get a three course meal for $30, and add the all you can drink generous pour option for another $28.

The Capital Grille this year announced that seven of California’s great female winemakers and collaborators, including award-winning actress Drew Barrymore, came together to celebrate women and wine as part of the restaurant’s seventh annual The Generous Pour event.

Nowhere is the rise of women in the industry more prevalent than in California. Women represent half of the graduates from the state’s top enology programs, and are employed as lead winemaker at ten percent of California vineyards.

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“The Generous Pour collection is a celebration of the vital role women play in the growing wine industry,” noted George Miliotes, The Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier and one of only 229 in the world to have earned that prestigious title. “We are proud to feature eight exceptional wines created and shaped by seven extremely talented women, from highly-regarded California wineries,” he added.

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Their wines were also selected with a storied vintage in mind including the national debut of Drew Barrymore’s Pinot Grigio, a delightful, crowd-pleasing white to share with friends and family.

Also to be featured is the first public release of the remarkable 2007 Kinton Syrah, exclusive to The Capital Grille for The Generous Pour event.

“The winemakers at Kinton produced an incredible Syrah in 2007, a storybook vintage in the state,” said Miliotes. “One of the more notable wines in this year’s The Generous Pour line-up, nowhere will you taste the perfection of the 2007 vintage more than in a glass of this smooth Santa Barbara red.”

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The 2015 Generous Pour Collection includes eight remarkable wines by seven talented women:

The Enthusiast. Drew Barrymore delights in a wine’s ability to bring people together. It is that passion which inspired the actress to establish Barrymore Wines in the coastal winegrowing region of Monterey, California. The debut of Barrymore Pinot Grigio can be enjoyed at this year’s Generous Pour and is the perfect way to begin your evening.

The Visionary. Julia Jackson, the youngest daughter of legendary winemaker Jess Jackson, is the visionary leading the Jackson Family Estates into the future. Having grown up in the vineyards of Santa Barbara, she has literally spent a lifetime learning about the art of wine and hand selected the wine from the Jackson family library to featuring exclusively at The Capital Grille for the Generous Pour event this year.

The Gardener. Marcia Monahan has always had a close relationship with the land. When not planting grapes at Matanzas Creek, she’s growing vegetables and herbs at home. Her respect for the land and sustainable farming practices makes her masterfully crafted Matanzas Creek Merlot one of the finest in the country.

The Spaniard. Laura Diaz Muñoz began her winemaking career in her native Spain before putting down roots in California, where her approach is influenced by her memories drinking Albariño in her native Spain and smelling the sea in every glass. Two of the wines featured in this year’s Generous Pour – Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon and the debut of her own Galerie “Naissance” Sauvignon Blanc – are sure to earn rave reviews from The Capital Grille’s guests.

The Conductor. Denise Shurtleff and her team direct every aspect of the winemaking process. From nurturing the grapes on the vine to bottling their exceptional wines, one tastes her dedication in every sip of Cambria “Julia’s Vineyard” Pinot Noir.

The Virtuoso. Lisa Valtenbergs, born with an acute sense of smell and armed with a degree in agricultural business with an emphasis in viticulture, was destined to become a winemaker. At Stonestreet, Lisa uses her skill to create remarkable wines, including the highly acclaimed “Bear Point” Chardonnay.

The Scholar. Kristina Werner has a master’s degree in viticulture and experience making wine in regions around the world. She brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to every wine she crafts and lives by the mantra, “Never stop learning and never get bored.” Her Bordeaux-style Arrowood Cabernet Reserve Speciale is one of a kind.

During The Generous Pour, The Capital Grille servers will provide tasting notes and suggest pairings for each course, based on individual preferences. This will allow guests to craft their own personalized wine dinner.

Follow George Miliotes on Twitter and Instagram @TheWineExpert and join the #GenerousPour conversation.

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The Capital Grille

Mall at Millenia
4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 351-2210

Pointe Orlando
9101 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone:(407) 370-4392

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Soco’s Chef Greg Richie and Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers and The Coop combined their talents to create a spectacular Southern culinary dining experience. Held at Soco, a Southern Contemporary Cuisine concept in Orlando’s Thornton Park neighborhood, the collaborative dinner featured alternating dishes between Chef Greg Richie and Chef John Rivers.

Each dish was made with fresh local ingredients and had a great balance of flavors.

Executive Chef Greg Richie has established himself as a passionate advocate of enriching Thornton Park culture and elevating the culinary scene in Orlando. His experience alongside industry heavy hitters Emeril Lagasse and Roy Yamaguchi was only the beginning as he’s become a star in his own right. His accolades include Chef of the Year and Best Local Chef among many others. Richie is committed to using local ingredients and strengthening bonds among the downtown Orlando community.

Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse effectively created the most successful barbecue chain in Florida without any culinary experience. His love for brisket and passion for helping people skyrocketed him to success, starting with a “Barbecue Ministry” in 2004 that raised money to support a local family whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Now, Rivers continues to keep community at the forefront as he brings his southern cooking style to the residents of Central Florida.

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Blue Crab Topped Fried Green Tomatoes // Watermelon rind syrup, balsamic reduction, roasted pepper jam (Chef John Rivers)
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Molasses and Soy Glazed Pork Belly // Caramelized watermelon, pickled rind, chicaronnes, bourbon barrel aged soy emulsion
(Chef Greg Richie)
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Tempura Crisped-Collard Greens Wrapped Tuna Loin // Okra “caviar”, pickled mustard seed butter
(Chef Greg Richie)
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Lake Meadows Free Range Chicken // Bourbon peach glaze, southern succotash, poblano & serrano ham baked grits
(Chef John Rivers)
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Left: Local Blueberry Bread Pudding // Georgia peach whiskey sauce, buttermilk ice cream (Chef Greg Richie)
Right: Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie Bread Pudding // Praline crumb topping, salted bourbon caramel ice cream (Chef John Rivers)

Location: Soco Restaurant – 629 E. Central Blvd. in Thornton Park
Social: #SouthMeetsSouth

Soco Restaurant Thornton Park
629 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 849-1800

4 Rivers Smokehouse
1600 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 474-8377

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Docked inside the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, you will find a 60-foot sailboat floating in an indoor saltwater lagoon that is a landmark to the resort’s newest dining concept, MOOR. MOOR focuses on fresh seafood with regionally-inspired dishes and Chef Phillip Fisher works with local farmers and fishmongers to find sustainable and seasonal ingredients.

MOOR came to fruition through the desire to serve fresh local food in a lifestyle casual dwelling. The story began organically with the relationships the resort’s chefs have built with local purveyors and fishmongers through their own farming and fishing expeditions. Chef Paul Player, the resort’s Executive Sous Chef, is deeply involved in the local farming movement, serving integral roles in the following community-based food clubs: Slow Food Orlando, Osceola County Grown and Eat Florida Fresh.

“Serving fresh, local and seasonal ingredients isn’t a fad. It’s simply the way we cook,” says Chef Paul. “We want to share the bounty of our regional fare with the world.”

MOOR is proud to offer guests an ever-changing menu complete with a blackboard of daily specials including line-caught fish, fresh cuts of local beef and signature delights such as rock shrimp cocktail with tomato chow chow and seasonal risotto.

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Specialty Chef Phillip Fisher

Specialty Chef Phillip Fisher, who will be overseeing the restaurant’s kitchen, designed the menu in its entirety. Prior to opening MOOR, Fisher was the Executive Chef for Ocean Key Resort and Spa in Key West, Florida. Fisher was born and raised in North Carolina where he spent the bulk of his childhood honing his future career in the kitchen.

”I learned at a young age that fresh food tastes better,” says Chef Fisher. “I am thrilled to be a part of a team that cares about where their food is sourced and how it is ultimately served to our guests.”

MOOR features an open floor plan, 60-foot sailboat, layers of neutral tones, elegant wood flooring and several private dining areas including a chef’s table with interactive capabilities. The bar area extends into an outdoor terrace that overlooks the property’s beautiful 12,000 square foot Coquina Lawn.

The opening of MOOR also marks the launch of Gaylord Palms’ movement to grow and source their own food. The hotel is working with local farmers to incorporate an on-site garden and a boxed produce program for their STARS (Gaylord Palms employees). This project is slated in three phases with the first phase to include a culinary garden and outdoor kitchen, and the second and third phases to include a multitude of gardens, herb sculptures and flowering trees.

“We currently have over 500,000 live plants including an herb garden and fruit trees inside of our glass-enclosed atrium,” says Johann Krieger, General Manager of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. “It just makes sense for us to expand our home-grown resources to support our restaurants.”

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MOOR’s Select Vendors:

Crooked Can Brewing Company (Winter Garden, FL): Built upon the founder’s passion for craft beer, Crooked Can Brewing Company is an upstart craft brewery located inside Plant St. Market, in Historical Downtown Winter Garden, Florida.

Douce France Bakery (Winter Garden, FL): Started as a wholesale-only bakery, but since the business moved to the newly built facility in Winter Garden, the company made room for an amazing retail store where customers can find succulent freshly baked goods as well as a full lunch menu.

Funky Buddha Bakery (Oakland Park, FL): Founded in 2010 in Boca Raton, Florida, and is committed to producing bold craft beers that marry culinary-inspired ingredients with time-honored techniques.

Gary’s Seafood & Specialties (Orlando, FL): Started in 1989 by Gary Reed with a loan from his wife’s parents, he purchased one truck and drove away with a dream to offer the best fish to the best chefs in Florida. Twenty two years later, Gary’s Seafood & Specialties is known worldwide for their Gold Ribbon standard of having the highest quality fish.

My Yard Farm (Winter Park, FL): Founded over seven years ago to provide grown local, grown sustainably, beyond organic food to communities at large, small and everything in between.

Premier Beverage Company (Fort Lauderdale, FL): One of the largest distributors of wines, spirits, and other beverages in Florida. The company’s distribution facilities are located in Miramar and Tampa with cross-docks in Pensacola, Jacksonville, and Orlando.

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Top (L to R): Gary’s Seafood & Specialties, My Yard Farm
Bottom (L to R): Pork Belly Sliders, Crooked Can Brewing Co., Funky Buddha Brew
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Douce France Bakery
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Blonde Key Lime Daiquiri // Papas Pilar Blonde Rum, Fresh Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Key Lime Curd
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AMUSE-BOUCE // Grilled Cedar Key Clams // Jalapeño Mignonette, Cucumber, Fennel
Hydopronic fennel grown on-site, Cucumbers (Mt Dora, FL), Clams (Cedar Key, FL)
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COURSE 1 // Pork Belly // Peanut Butter, Pickled Watermelon Radish
Watermelon Radishes (Sebring, FL), Pork (Avon Park, FL)
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COURSE 1 // Old Fashion // Basil Hayden, Citrus Bitters, Florida Sugar Cane Syrup
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COURSE 1 // Tuna // Peanut Butter, Pickled Watermelon Radish
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COURSE 2 // Spring Vegetables // Watermelon, Burrata, Olive Oil
Hydroponic Watercress grown on-site, Cucumbers (Mt. Dora, FL), in-house Burrata
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COURSE 2 // MOOR SECRET COCKTAIL
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COURSE 3 // Blue Crab Soup // Sherry, Chive
Florida Atlantic-caught Blue Crabs, Hydroponic Chives grown on-site
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COURSE 4 // Grouper Cheeks // Heirloom Carrots, Spring Peas, Morel Mushroom
Carrots (Sebring, FL), Gulf Coast grouper
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COURSE 5 // Tilefish // Course Grits, Apples, Red Sorrel
Hydroponic Red Sorrel grown on-site, Sweet Corn (Zellwood, FL), Tilefish (Fort Pierce, FL)
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COURSE 6 // Chef’s Desserts // Peanut Butter Cup, S’mores, Strawberry Shortcake, Key Lime Pie
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S’mores and Strawberry Shortcake Cups were the winning desserts of the evening!

MOOR is in the Key West Atrium at Gaylord Palms Resort located at 6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34746. The restaurant is open daily for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The bar is open 11:00 a.m. to midnight. For more information on MOOR, please visit www.facebook.com/DINEMOOR, www.GaylordPalms.com or call the restaurant directly at 407-586-1101.

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Orlando, FL (March 18, 2015) – Sixteen chefs from some of Central Florida’s best restaurants accepted a unique challenge issued by Ronald McDonald House Charities®of Central Florida for their Appetite for the Arches fundraiser held on March 7 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. The concept? Use McDonald’s® ingredients to create a signature dish. In the event’s second year, over 500 guests sampled gourmet creations such as filet of fish tacos and fried chicken terrine with truffled egg puree, each served with a wine pairing. Additionally, mixologists from Cask & Larder and The Ravenous Pig prepared signature cocktails with McDonald’s® ingredients.

Participating restaurants included:

· 4Rivers Smokehouse
· Cask & Larder
· Orlando World Center Marriott
· Paxia Modern Mexican & Tequila Lounge
· The Smiling Bison · Ravello Restaurant at Four Seasons Orlando
· Cuisiniers Catering
· Emeril’s Tchoup Chop
· SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando
· Hamilton’s Kitchen at the Alfond Inn
· The Ravenous Pig
· K Restaurant
· The Rusty Spoon
· Chef’s Table at the Edgewater
· LUMA on Park · Txokos Basque Kitchen

 

The event, presented by the Central Florida McDonald’s Association, raised nearly $180,000 for the two Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando and the families they serve. One of those families was there to talk about how the charity has been a part of their healing process. Sixteen year old Emma Kleckner, who was diagnosed with a rare condition that causes debilitating pain, addressed event guests and shared how her experience staying at the Ronald McDonald House helped put her on the road to recovery. “Being at the Ronald McDonald House, I was able to stay focused on getting better. I was able to have the support of other families. Likewise, we were able to support them,” said Emma.

Families who stay at Ronald McDonald House are asked to make a small donation of $20 per night. However, 70 percent of families are unable to contribute anything towards their stay. The organization promises to never turn away anyone due to an inability to donate— a promise that is upheld thanks in part to funds raised at Appetite for the Arches.

 

SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando // Chef Hector Colon
Mac Daddy Godzilla Roll: Fried maki roll stuffed with shrimp, cream cheese, and shredded carrots topped with Wasabi Big Mac Sauce

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Ingredients: Spring Mix, Big Mac Sauce, Cream Cheese

Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder Chop Salad: Crispy greens, bacon, cheese, diced tomato, burger bun croutons, grilled and diced quarter pounder burger tossed on a Habanero Ranch dressing

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Hamburger, Bacon, Lettuce, Sesame Buns, Ranch Dressing, Tomatoes, Cheddar Jack

K Restaurant // Chef Kevin Fonzo
Cola BBQ Meatballs: Smoked meatball, Coca-Cola BBQ sauce, pickled cucumber

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Steak, Hamburger, Bacon, Pork Sausage, White Onions, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Buns, Ketchup, Coca-Cola

Rusty Spoon // Chef Kathleen Blake
“Red Devil” Eggs: Candied bacon, dill, aioli

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Bacon, Tomatoes, Eggs
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McDonald’s Ingredients: Bacon, Tomatoes, Eggs

Paxia Modern Mexican Cuisine // Chef Patricio Estrella
Mexican Meatball: Southwest vegetables

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Southwest Veggie Blend, Steak, Eggs, White Onions, Tomatoes, Tortilla Strips

Ravello at Four Seasons Resort Orlando // Chef Donald Taylor
Classic Lasagna Bolognese: Beefsteak bolognese, bagel pasta, bechamel

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Steak, Hamburger, Chicken, Eggs, White Onions, White Cheddar, Cheddar Jack, Biscuits, Bagels, English Muffins

Orange “Hi-C” Gelato

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Txokos Basque Kitchen // Chef Henry Salgado + Chef Michele Salgado
Fish Tacos: Pico de Gallo, avocado, salsa, mandarin crema

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Fish Filet, Lettuce, Yogurt, Tortillas, Mandarin Oranges

The Smiling Bison // Chef Josh Oakley
Big Mac Meatloaf: French fry mashed potatoes, Coca-Cola glaze, Big Mac sauce

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Hamburger, Bacon, Eggs, French Fries, Brioche Rolls, Big Mac Sauce, Coca-Cola

Marriott Orlando World Center // Chef Michael Cutter
Spicy Chicken Scotch Egg: Soft cooked whole egg, spicy chicken sausage, house pickle slaw, spicy hollandaise

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Spicy Chicken, Eggs, Breakfast Sauce

Cask & Larder // Chef James Petrakis
Fried Chicken Terrine: Truffled egg puree, pickled tomato salad

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Chicken, Cherry Tomato, Eggs

Cuisiniers Catering // Chef Jamie McFadden
McChicken Meatballs: Sofrito, guacamole, tortilla strips

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Chicken, Tortilla Strips

Hamilton’s Kitchen // Chef Marc Kusche
Egg Meets Biscuit and Bacon: Poached egg, caramelized onions, candied bacon, hollandaise

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Bacon, Eggs, Biscuits, Hotcake Syrup, Breakfast Sauce
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McDonald’s Ingredients: Bacon, Eggs, Biscuits, Hotcake Syrup, Breakfast Sauce

 

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop // Chef Ryan Vargas
Spicy Chicken “BLT” Chicken Sushi Rice Bowl: Spicy chicken, sushi rice bowl, guacamole

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Spicy Chicken, Lettuce, Bacon, Cucumbers, White Onions, Tomatoes, Creamy Garlic Sauce, Big Mac Sauce
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McDonald’s Ingredients: Spicy Chicken, Lettuce, Bacon, Cucumbers, White Onions, Tomatoes, Creamy Garlic Sauce, Big Mac Sauce

Luma on Park // Chef Derek Perez
Pork Sparerib “McRib”: Cherry Coca-Cola and Chipotle glaze, pain ‘dor sesame bun, pickles

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Pickles and Coca-Cola
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McDonald’s Ingredients: Pickles and Coca-Cola

Luma on Park // Chef William Herrera
Lobster Sausage “McGriddle”: Tarragon mustard, maple syrup glazed shallots, pain d’or corn muffin, watermelon radish

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Maple Syrup

Luma on Park // Chef Brian Cernell
“Soft Serve” Strawberry Ice Cream: Rabbit run farms strawberries, oatmeal

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Oatmeal Cookies

Van Gogh Vodka
Signature Cocktail: Strawberry Lemonade with Van Gogh Vodka

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Strawberries, Lemons, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Sugar

4 Rivers Smokehouse & The Coop // Chef John Rivers
Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Lollipop: Applewood smoked bacon and mashed potatoes

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Steak, Bacon, Mustard, Hamburger, Ketchup, Hotcake Syrup

The Ravenous Pig // Chef Julie Petrakis
Creamsicle Parfait: Vanilla bean yogurt panna cotta, mandarin compote, granola

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Mandarin Oranges, Granola, Yogurt, Vanilla Syrup

Chef’s Table at the Edgewater // Chef Kevin Tarter
Chef’s Table Berries Saute: Saute berries, toasted biscuit, whipped cream

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McDonald’s Ingredients: Blueberries, strawberries, whipped cream, biscuits

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. There are two Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando— one on the campus of Florida Hospital for Children and one on the campus of Arnold Palmer Medical Center. Since opening in 1996, the two Houses have served over 22,000 families. A third Ronald McDonald House will open in December 2015 on the campus of Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona.

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Contributing author: Tiffany Nguyen

Tin Roof is a live music joint where people can hang out, drink and dine, and enjoy live music almost every night of the week.  Located at I-Drive 360, Tin Roof’s outdoor seating offers some of the best views of the giant observation wheel.  Music fans will be able to hear some of the top local and regional bands; foodies will find a killer menu filled with unique dishes bursting with flavor.  Headquartered in Nashville, this is the company’s 14th location and its first in Florida.

Local talented musician, Bryan Malpass
Musician Bryan Malpass from Kinston, NC

 

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Spiced Bacon Popcorn

 

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Spiced Bacon Popcorn

 

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Pound o’ Wings (Kentuckyaki, Buffalo, Jerk, Honey, Hot or Chili-Brown Sugar Rub) with Buttermilk Rance, Carrots & Celery

 

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Tuna & Melon // Lime, Tarragon, & Sweet Chili

 

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Tin Roof’s Signature Drink

 

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Hot Chicken Torta // Buttermilk Fried Chicken Rubbed With Cayenne, Ranch Potato Salad, And Pickles On A Mexican Style Roll

 

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Roof Burger // White Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, And Mustard

 

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Creamy Shrimp & Grits // Sautéed Shrimp, Peppers, And Bacon Simmered In A Spicy Tomato Sauce Atop Stone Ground White Corn Grits & Mascarpone
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Hoecake Pile Up // Cornmeal pancakes, BBQ brisket, Green Cabbage Slaw, Pickles
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Buttermilk Tenders (Honey Hot, Buffalo, Or Tangy BBQ)

 

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Chicken & Waffle Nuggets // Benton’s Bacon-Maple Syrup

 

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Sea Scallops // Pan-Roasted With Sweet Potato, Fennel, Green Olive, Parsley & Lemon Butter

 

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Baby Back Ribs // Tin Roof Confidential Dry Rub, Hoecakes & Slaw

 

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El Chango Burracho // Whiskey-Banana Bread Pudding, Sea Salt & Dulce De Leche

 

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Cowhorn Pepper Smore Pie // Graham Cracker Crust, Cayenne Spiked Dark Chocolate Ganache, Marshmallow Brûlée

Good food, good service.  Love the atmosphere.  Very chill, relaxed setting.  The live music is always great there!  Follow ‘Tin Roof Orlando’ on facebook for featured bands playing.

Tin Roof
8371 International Drive, Orlando, FL
Parking is available in the garage or by valet for free
Open Monday – Sunday from 11am to 2am everyday
(407) 270-7926
http://www.tinroofbars.com/Home/Orlando

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COWS ‘N CABS RETURNED TO WINTER PARK FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR TO BENEFIT TWO LOCAL CHARTIES: OCTOBER 25

Signifying a true change in pace, Central Florida was in culinary spotlight this year as Orlando hosted the first-ever live stream announcement of the James Beard Foundation semifinalist awards.

Leading as Central Florida’s premier culinary festival, Cows ‘n Cabs, a charity-based event curated by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue and celebrated Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The COOP, returned to Winter Park’s West Meadow at 150 North New York Avenue on Saturday, October 25.

The outdoor, Western-themed festival—founded in 2010 with the hope to break the cycle of poverty Central Florida—is anticipated more than 400 guests and is slated to double last year’s donation of $60,000. One hundred percent of ticket sale proceeds and auction items will benefit the Community Food & Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando, which assists with fighting hunger and mentoring youth, respectively.

Anheuser-Busch, Southern Wine & Spirits and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits contributed to the evening with more than 200 wines, spirits and craft beers samplings. A selection of gourmet samples were also presented by a group of 20 invite-only, local restaurants.

4 Rivers Smokehouse, Cress and K Restaurant, are among the many that have rubbed shoulders with the James Beard Foundation, while local newcomers include The COOP, P is for Pie and Txokos Basque Kitchen.

“The level of excitement about this year’s event is more than we could have imagined four years ago,” said Tina Larue, CNC visionary. We’re truly making a difference in thousands of homes in our community through the generous donations given by attendees and sponsors. The new chefs and partners involved this year are going to make the evening unforgettable.”

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The COOP & Rodney Strong: Low-Country Shrimp & Grit Croquettes
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4Rivers Smokehouse: Cow-Pig’En Sliders
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John Rivers prepping the Cow-Pig’En Sliders
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4Rivers/The Sweet Shop: Pumpkin Bayou and Apple Bars
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4Rivers/The Sweet Shop: Pumpkin and Maple Cupcakes
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Txokos Basque Kitchen & Ferrari-Carano // Beef Cheeks “Matador”: Pimento and sherry-braised cheeks with spaced Barefoot Farm squash puree and local giardiniera
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Soco & Anheuser-Busch // Cassoulet of Duck Confit : Duck confit cassoulet with boiled peanuts and bacon
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Puff ‘n Stuff & E & J Gallo Winery // Brown Buttered Seared Rainbow Trout: Served with pork shoulder gnocchi, blistered brussel sprouts, toasted hazelnuts, heirloom tomatoes
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Taverna Opa & Coppola Family Winery // Lamb Chops: 36-hour marinated lamb chops served with roasted potatoes and a side of tzatziki
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Se7en Bites & New Belgium: // Signature Sausage Pimento Biscuit: Buttermilk biscuit, signature brown-sugar, spicy pork sausage, Se7en Bites pimento cheese and served with Se7en Bites cheddar chive grits
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Se7en Bites & New Belgium // Oatmeal Cream Pie Mini: Chewy oatmeal cookie with marshmallow filling served with Se7en Bites blend coffee shot by Javatino
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Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park & The Wine Group // Bourbon Marshmallow S’mores with candied bacon and milk or dark chocolate
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Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park & The Wine Group // Dark Chocolate Sea Salt S’mores with pretzel crisps
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Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park & The Wine Group // Traditional S’mores with homemade toasted marshmallow and milk chocolate
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Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park & The Wine Group // Chocolate covered popcorn
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Citrus Restaurant & Quintessential // Bourbon-Walnut Bars with Four Roses caramel
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Citrus Restaurant & Quintessential // Pickled Shisito peppers with Duck & Dumplings: Spicy duck confit, lemon-ricotta dumplings, Berkshire pork lardons, smoked duck jus
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Hawkers & Anheuser-Busch // Five Spice Ribs: Marinated, breaded and fried pork short rib seared in a dry wok with vegetables and five spice seasoning
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Hawkers & Anheuser-Busch // Pork belly buns
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Hawkers & Anheuser-Busch // Pork belly bun
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Cress // Smoked Beef Short Ribs Taco: Home-style taco with cherry-wood smoked Black Angus Beef short ribs, charred poblano crema, radish, cilantro and house barbecue sauce
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American Gymkhana // Angrezi Chicken: Tri-chili marinated and tandoori fired with garam masala butter, roasted roma tomato couli served over cumin, dill and pea pulao
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The Meat House & Trinchero // Chocolate Sea Salt Smoked Bone-In Leg of Lamb and Monsoon Coffee-Rubbed Smoked Beef Culotte served with bok choy watermelon radish apple slaw and heirloom tomato-huckleberry jam
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The Meat House & Trinchero // Chocolate Sea Salt Smoked Bone-In Leg of Lamb and Monsoon Coffee-Rubbed Smoked Beef Culotte served with bok choy watermelon radish apple slaw and heirloom tomato-huckleberry jam
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The Crooked Spoon & Trinchero // Beef Short Rib: Braised in bed wine, mirepoix, mushrooms, herbs, polenta crowned with herbs
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Todd English’s bluezoo & Alberello Imports // Smoked BBQ Pork Collar: Braised in BBQ sauce, persimmons puree, dehydrated chestnut chips, tomatoes, pears, red onions and arugula salad

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‘Restaurant without walls’ travels to Florida for January table-to-farm feasts in warm-weather locales.

Outstanding in the Field (OITF) was founded by Jim Denevan who came up with the idea of setting a long table on a farm and inviting the public to an open-air feast to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food. Honoring the the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it, the ingredients for the meal are almost all local and sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table. Bringing the farm to the table is a movement that redefines what it means to eat fresh, seasonal, and local food.

Since their first table in 1999 near Santa Cruz, California, Outstanding in the Field has staged farm-to-table dinners in all 50 states across the United States and nine countries around the world. Hundreds of talented chefs, including dozens of Top Chefs and James Beard award winners and nominees, have cooked in OITF’s pop-up kitchen.

At a ranch, sea cove, vineyard, rooftop, sea cave, and occasionally inside a refurbished barn or greenhouse — Outstanding in the Field’s unique locations create an elaborate dining experience that is visually powerful to diners, and inspires a broader discussion of where the food comes from.

IMG_1458Tonight’s dinner was hosted by Dale Volkert (Farmer/Owner – Lake Meadow Naturals) and prepared by Chef Kathleen Blake (Chef/Owner – The Rusty Spoon). Guests arrived early in the evening for cocktail hour and a tour of the property. At the center of the field was a long table with the most beautiful view of the land, accompanied with friendly farm animals. The simplicity of the white table and clear glasses provides a blank slate for the chef to feature the food’s vibrant colors as the centerpiece.

It was an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by a diverse crowd and converse with the farming community. Chef Kathleen Blake prepared an impressive multi-course meal, complete with wine pairings for each meal. Each dish was served on handmade pottery by local potter, Joshua James Freeman.

HOST: Dale Volkert, Lake Meadow Naturals, Ocoee, FL
GUEST CHEF: Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon, Orlando, FL

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Made some friends on the farm..
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Chickens roaming freely on the field.
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Oh, hello!
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BYOP (Bring Your Own Plate) // A tradition that continued from the very first OITF dinner back in 1999, each guest brings their own dinner plate to the table. A long table set with a myriad of contributed plates provides a colorful one time only table setting.
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Deviled Eggs
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Lake Meadow Naturals // Chicken liver mousse on Olde Hearth crostini
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Grilled Lake Meadow Naturals // Chicken hearts, port lacquer
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Old Hearth Bread
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Lake Meadow Naturals Honey Butter — ADDICTING.
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Waterkist Farm // Heirloom tomatoes, sunflower sprouts & sea salt
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Waterkist Farm // Heirloom tomatoes, sunflower sprouts & sea salt
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Hammock Hollow // Little gem lettuces, Sunny Morning goat cheese croutons, pickled local kumquats
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Two Doves Farm // Charred cauliflower & Belle Fiore radicchio, preserved lemon
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Underneath the stars . . . such a magical evening.
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Lake Meadow Naturals cracked wheat with Two Doves Farm & Hammock Hollow herbs
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Lake Meadow Naturals // Whey braised cornish hens
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Lake Meadow Naturals // Duck egg sabayon, strawberries, rosemary shortbread
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Lake Meadow Naturals // Duck egg sabayon, strawberries, rosemary shortbread
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*Applause*
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Chef Kathleen Blake + Team

Special Thanks:
Dale Volkert, Lake Meadow Naturals (Ocoee, FL)
Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon (Orlando, FL)
Carlos Jimenez, Waterkist Farms (Oviedo, FL)
Shannon & Janine Talty, Olde Hearth Bread Co. (Casselberry, FL)
Charlie Andrews, Hammock Hollow Herb Company (Island Grove, FL)
Joshua James Freeman, Pottery (Orlando, FL)
Bold City Brewery (Jacksonville, FL)
Local Roots (Orlando, FL)
Two Doves Farm (Webster, FL)
Sunny Morning Foods (Orlando, FL)

. . . and the Outstanding in the Fields crew!

To find out where Outstanding in the Field is traveling to next, visit their website: http://www.outstandinginthefield.com/

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The sweet smell of gingerbread is in the air…and Blue Bird Bake Shop has added new holiday flavors to celebrate the season!

Nestled in the Audubon Park Garden District is a chic bakeshop offering a variety of sweets made from scratch and in small batches daily. Blue Bird Bake Shop charms the community with their delectable cupcakes, specialty coffee drinks, and other sweet treats.

Blue Bird Bake Shop has added six seasonal favorites to its daily cupcake flavor rotation, along with baked treats like “Not your Grandmother’s Fruitcake” scones, Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies, Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies, Mini Apple Cranberry Pies, and Chocolate Chunk Cherry Cookies.

Holiday Cupcake Flavors include:

Tip: Every first Friday of the month is Cupcake Happy Hour from 5pm – 7pm. All cupcakes are just $2.00!

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Peppermint Bark // Chocolate cake studded with chocolate chips topped with peppermint buttercream icing and finished with chocolate curls and crushed candy cane
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Chocolate Rum Ball // Chocolate cake with chocolate chips with a drizzle of golden rum, and topped with chocolate rum buttercream, then rolled in chocolate jimmies
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Gingerbread // Gingerbread cake with cream cheese icing topped with slices of candied ginger
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It was so good I had to take capture another picture – I love gingerbread anything!
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Gingerbread Cupcakes
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Chocolate Rumball + Peppermint Bark Cupcakes
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Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes
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Downside UP + Upside Down Cupcakes
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Pumpkin Pie + Apple Cranberry Pie
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Whoopie Pie

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The holiday cupcakes were perfection and paired well with a cup of Top Hat Holiday Roast. My favorite was the Gingerbread cupcake – which I wish I could eat every day! Of course I will stay loyal to the cupcake flavor that made me fall in love with this bakery in the first place ~ the Neapolitan.

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Neapolitan Cupcake // Layered chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cupcake iced with strawberry buttercream

Blue Bird Bake Shop
http://bluebirdbakeshop.com/
3122 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 228-3822

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Edible Orlando Publisher Kendra Lott and Executive Chef Marc Kusche hosts a beautiful dinner at Hamilton’s Kitchen in Winter Park. Hamilton’s Kitchen is an inviting and romantic space for friends and family to enjoy traditional Southern cooking with modern preparation.

The Alfond Inn at Rollins College is a boutique hotel that has quickly become the dynamic new social hub of Winter Park. The Alfond Inn’s unique business model embraces philanthropic principles in the spirit of Harold Alfond, combining the Alfond family’s long connection to Rollins College and creating a permanent endowed fund to provide full scholarships to students applying to Rollins College. Net operating income from The Alfond Inn will be directly applied to the fund for 25 years or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million, whichever comes later.

The Alfond Inn’s restaurant and lounge, Hamilton’s Kitchen, is named in honor of Hamilton Holt, the innovative 8th President of Rollins College. Hamilton’s Kitchen interior focuses on strong natural material and early 1900’s design elements such as a hearth-inspired kitchen window, exposed beams, farmer’s table, and Dutch oak floors.

Executive Chef Marc Kusche oversees Hamilton’s Kitchen which embraces locally sourced ingredients, celebrating the rich history of local agriculture. Traditional Southern cooking is available at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. A private dining room, accommodating from 12 to 36 guests, will also be available.

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup: Frog Song Farm pumpkin, whipped almond crème, pumpkin seed oil
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Grilled Flatbread: Burrata mozzarella, tomatoes, prosciutto, baby arugula, shaved parmesan
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Roasted Beets: Winter Park Farmers Market beets, ricotta cheese, mustard greens, pickled carrots, pumpkin seeds
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Lobster and Shrimp Risotto: Lobster bisque, baby kale, charred cherry tomatoes
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Braised Oxtail and Mushroom on Bacalao Squash Puree
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Pan Seared Whole Trout: Crème spinach, chorizo-potato hash, The Ancient Olive of Winter Park oil
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Stuffed Pork Tenderloin: Focaccia stuffing, dry apricots, creamy cabbage
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Macallan 12 yr Butterscotch Pudding with Chantilly Cream and Sea Salt Chocolate Toffee // Brioche Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Kentucky Bourbon Vanilla Sauce

alt text Executive Chef Marc Kusche came to The Alfond Inn following a long tenure as Executive Chef for several Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, as well as other luxury properties. Most recently he served as Executive Chef at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara, in Carlsbad, California.

Chef Kusche followed the footsteps of his parents into a restaurant career and was given the sage advice to spend his first working decade experiencing different kitchens, cultures and cuisines. He took the advice to heart, cooking in his native Germany before moving on to positions in London, Florida, the Caribbean, California and the English countryside.

His extensive resume includes Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis; Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire; Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay (formerly a Four Seasons resort); Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club; the Adlon Hotel, Berlin; and Silversea Cruises.

 

#HamiltonsKitchen @HamiltonsKitchen
@EdibleOrlando #edibleorlando #cookingstage
@Florida Home Show #Orlando Home Show #orlandhomeshow

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Sitting on the top of Reunion Resort on the 11th floor, Eleven offers a flavorful magical dining menu with stunning sky views and handcrafted cocktails.

To kick off Magical Dining’s preview week, I had the pleasure of tasting Eleven Steakhouse at Reunion Resort. Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month is one of my favorite programs in Central Florida where participating restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinners for $33 per person.

Eleven offers a wonderfully intimate atmosphere and a relaxing outdoor rooftop lounge ideal for picturesque skies and stargazing. The experience I had that evening was super and the staff is attentive. Chef Etienne put together a beautiful menu, and there is something to love in each of the entreés. The Bourbon Glazed Salmon was my favorite and it had the right amount of Jim Beam bourbon. I also enjoyed the citrus braised kale that’s featured in the Organic Tanglewood Farms Chicken.

Reunion Resort features 360 resort accommodations including luxury condominiums, private villas and vacation homes surrounded by 2,300 acres of lush landscape. The resort also features a variety of amenities that include a full-service boutique spa, multiple pools, slides, water playgrounds and a 1,000-foot lazy river – the perfect place for a staycation! In additional to the Magical Dining menu, Reunion is offering a Magical Nights packages that includes a dinner for two and one night villa accommodations for $225*.

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Light seeping into the dining room
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Great selection of classic cocktails and the modern interpretation version! There’s also happy hour specials (beer + wine) on weekdays from 5pm – 8pm and I would love to come back here again for a casual gathering.
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Floradora: Hendrick’s, lime juice, fresh raspberries, ginger beer
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Housemade dijon mustard butter – addicting!
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{Appetizer} Fried Calamari: Sun-dried tomato and tarragon aioli, fresh lemon
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Chef Etienne
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{Appetizer} Strawberry & Mandarin Orange Salad: Mixed greens, caramelized pecans, sun-dried tomato, goat cheese, raspberry dressing
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{Entreé} Grilled Hanger Steak with whipped potatoes, haricot verts, chimichurri
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{Entreé} Bourbon Glazed Salmon with sweet corn and bacon sauté
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{Entreé} Organic Tanglewood Farms Chicken with citrus braised kale, havarti polenta, tomato demi
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{Dessert} Vanilla, Chocolate, Mango, and Blackberry Gelato
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{Dessert} Crème Brûlée

Eleven on Urbanspoon

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We’re big fans of Roy’s, known for their creative take on Hawaiian and Asian fusion, with some of our favorite Roy’s dishes including the classic misoyaki butterfish and the braised beef short rib and especially the molten lava chocolate souffle cake for dessert.

Chef Roy Yamaguchi
Chef Roy Yamaguchi

At 19, Chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s began taking steps to becoming as an international culinary visionary and the creator of Hawaiian fusion cuisine. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York as a master chef and moved to Los Angeles where he served as executive chef at La Serene. After gaining invaluable experience in LA, Roy decided it was time to head closer to his roots. He moved to Hawaii and opened the first Roy’s in 1988, going on to winning a James Beard award and opening 22 restaurants throughout the United States.

This past week, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion restaurant on Sand Lake Road, right in the heart of Orlando’s Restaurant Row, hosted an exclusive summer dining event under the fabulous Chef Partner Mac Lynch featuring five stunning courses that evoked the best of Pacific Rim cuisine with four expertly matched wine pairings. Once in a while, the chefs at Roy’s host these special dining events to showcase their talent and skills outside of the regular menus.

Courses included Prawn & Peach “Nigiri,” Ahi Tataki, Porchetta, New York Strip and Pandan & Coconut Cream with wine pairings from Oregon, California and New Zealand.

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{Amuse Bouche} Prawn & Peach “Nigiri”: Corn foam, sea grass, crispy rice, vanilla citrus emulsion
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{Amuse Bouche Wine} 2012 Wine by Joe Dobbes – Pinot Gris – Willamette Valley, Oregon
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{1st Course} Ahi Tataki: Zatar spiced, baby squash, heirloom tomato, charred grape vinaigrette
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{1st Course Wine} 2012 Astrolabe Pinot Noir – Marlborough, New Zealand
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{2nd Course} Porchetta: Sweet potato polenta, Honshimeji mushrooms, watercress purée
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{2nd Course Wine} 2012 The Four Graces Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley, Oregon
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{3rd Course} Prime New York Steak: Ricotta gnocchi, shiso gremolata, coffee cherry demi glace
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{3rd Course Wine} 2009 Bouchaine Pinot Noir – Carneros, California
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{Dessert} Pandan & Coconut Cream: White chocolate granita, chocolate sables, cherries
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{Dessert} Pandan & Coconut Cream: White chocolate granita, chocolate sables, cherries

The Roy’s restaurant brand is a new campaign titled “EAT CREATIVE” where guests will experience local chef-driven menus alongside the “Pacific Rim” cuisine menu featuring the cuisines of Japanese, Hawaiian, Thai, Australian, Guam and more at Roy’s.

The refreshed menu is inspired by founder and world-renowned Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s unique fresh fusion concept, and is now available nationally across all 20 locations.

“Bringing the flavors of the Pacific Rim to the world is what originally inspired me to expand Roy’s beyond Hawaiian cuisine,” said Yamaguchi. “Educating Roy’s fans about Pacific Rim flavors is very exciting – it’s a culinary spectrum of flavors that is yet untapped.”

Culinary expertise and customizing the experience at every local Roy’s is the foundation for Roy’s culinary approach. To feature the deep culinary talent in every restaurant and localize the menu offerings, Roy’s has introduced local chef pages within the menu. This section will offer locally inspired seasonal favorites and innovative new creations, like the Roy’s Signature Lobster Pot Pie, Tempura California White Sea Bass, and Alaea Salt-Crusted Bone In Ribeye.

Misoyaki Butterfish Lettuce Wraps
Misoyaki Butterfish Lettuce Wraps
Alaea Salt Crusted Bone in Ribeye
Alaea Salt Crusted Bone in Ribeye
Signature Lobster Pie
Signature Lobster Pie

Locally, Chef-Partner Mac Lynch has created his own chef’s menu drawing from his roots in the South and the cajun cuisine of Louisiana with dishes such as Andouille crusted snapper and Fried green tomatoes with miso butter sauce. The sample menu below contains dishes that can be only found locally here in Orlando under the direction of Chef Mac:

Chef Mac Lynch of Roy's Orlando
Chef Mac Lynch of Roy’s Orlando

CHEF MAC’S CREATIONS
APPETIZERS
Crispy Garlic Calamari
Red Onion- Jalapeno- Herbs- Lemon Vinaigrette

Island Style Ahi Poke*
Sushi Rice – Mixed Greens – Truffled Shoyu – Kokui Nut

Fried Green Tomatoes
Crab Dynamite Crusted – Spicy Togarashi Miso Butter Sauce

Watermelon Salad
Bibb & Arugula – Feta – Vidalia Onion – Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette

Tomato Mozzarella Caprese Salad
HW Sea Salt – Bacon-Avocado – Furikake Crutons

ENTREE
Brie & Garlic Spinach Crusted Ono
Crispy Red Bliss – Crabmeat Scampi Sauce

Andouille Crusted Snapper
Tempura Okra – Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc

Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp
White Cheddar Grits – House Made Worcestershire Sauce

Crab Cake Stuffed Pork Chop
Calrose Rice – Pork Misoyaki Glaze

For more information about Roy’s locally, visit:

Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion
Address: 7760 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone:(407) 352-4844
https://www.roysrestaurant.com/locations/fl/orlando

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion on Urbanspoon

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A delicious “food fight” cooking competition featuring professional chefs and restaurants as well as home cooks and non-profit organizations who will duke it out to the very end to be named Orlando’s Mac-n-Cheese Champion.

Orlando’s first-ever O-town MacDown is a family-fun event presented by SeaWorld benefiting Give Kids the World. It was exciting to see all of my favorite local restaurants and chefs working under one roof to raise money for a good cause.

Give Kids The World Village is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Since 1986, Give Kids The World has served more than 130,000 families.

O-Town MacDown is the newest fundraiser for Give Kids The World Village, where more than 7,000 families visit each year. Their goal is to raise $46,000 through chef contest entry fees, guest entrance, vendor booth fees and event sponsorships to help fund wish-fulfilling vacations for children battling life-threatening illnesses.

To learn more about their mission and nonprofit resort visit:  www.givekidstheworld.org.

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With over 60 all-you-can-eat Macaroni and Cheese dishes..I’ve had more mac and cheese today than I would normally eat in one year. Scroll below to see my food adventures from O-town MacDown.

Caution: Extreme cheesiness ahead!

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Louie’s Bistro (Food Truck): Legacy Tomato Basil Mac n’ Cheese
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Chef Louie from Louie’s Bistro
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Whole Foods Mac n’ Cheese
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Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort/Smoke Shop: Smokehouse Brisket Mac n’ Cheese (beef brisket, smoked cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella, crispy onion straws) – One of my favorites!
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Walt Disney World’s Yak & Yeti: BBQ Mac n’ Cheese
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Pretzel Crisps
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Santiago’s Bodega Orlando: Bayou Gold with Smoked Andouille and Creole Relish – One of my favorites!
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Hard Rock Cafe
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Posing with Hard Rock Cafe’s Executive Chef Russell Booth
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Second Harvest Food Bank: Mac n’ Cheese with Apple Slices by Chef Jill Holland
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This is not unfamiliar to me – flavored popping boba/bubbles is one of my favorite drink toppings! Smokey Bones is going to start serving this in their restaurants.
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Smokey Bones: Truffled Mac n’ Cheese layered with tortilla chips – this is a preview of the create-your-own mac n’ cheese menu that Smokey Bones will release soon.
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Smokey Bones: Lemonade with agave and strawberry popping boba/bubbles – so in love with this drink!
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The Crooked Spoon
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Emeril’s Tchoup Chop: Chocolate hazelnut pasta, white chocolate mascarpone creme anglaise, nutella sauce, pistachio ice cream topped with candied bacon – I would like to nominate this dish for most creative!
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K Restaurant
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Taverna Opa: Fried Mac n’ Cheese with Lamb
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Cuba Libre: Mac n’ Cheese Empanada – so cheeeesy
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The Pub
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Fulton’s Crab House
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Charley’s Steak House – Lobster Mac n’ Cheese – generous portion of lobster 😉
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NAPA (Hyatt Regency) – Broccoli Mac n’ Cheese
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T-Rex Mac n’ Cheese – Great job on the cheese!
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Collette’s Clean Eats Inc. – Gluten Free Mac n’ Cheese
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TOASTED: Truffle Honey Mac n’ Cheese (Jarlsberg, sharp Cheddar, Gruyere, housemade truffle honey)
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Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville – French Onion Mac n’ Cheese
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Shipwreck Cove: Mac n’ Cheese treasure
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Shipwreck Cove
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Westgate Smokehouse Grill: Smoked Beef Brisket Mac n’ Cheese
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Renaissance Orlando at Sea World: Mac n’ Cheese with Sun-dried Tomatoes
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Made some new friends at Boston Lobster Feast
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Firing up the cheese!
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Boston Lobster Feast Mac n’ Cheese
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Edge Steakhouse: Black & White Truffle Mac n’ Cheese
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Le Cordon Bleu: Mac n’ Cheese with Sous Vide Smoked Pork Belly
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Local Executive Chefs and Food Celebrities judging the competition

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This event could have done well in an outdoor environment if Central Florida didn’t have unpredictable weather. I would love to see community events like this more in the future – great job everyone!

Event Information: http://support.gktw.org/site/PageNavigator/macdown.html

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