Authors Posts by Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com

Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com

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Florida native Ricky Ly founded TastyChomps.com in 2008 as a local Orlando food blog dedicated to finding the tastiest bits and pieces of Orlando as well as around the world. His first book, Food Lovers' Guide to Orlando: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers' Series) is available now on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Photography is taken using a Canon EOS 6D and a Sony Nex-3. E-mail him at tastychomps(at)gmail.com. Google

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Ninth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola Set for February 25 and 26, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 20, 2017) – The Ninth Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest is set for Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26, 2017 for more than 30,000 foodies and wine lovers to experience unique local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe.

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 30 ofOrlando’s premier restaurants, 50 domestic and international wines and live entertainment.  A portion of the proceeds benefit UCF Foundation, Inc. and Valencia Foundation.

Headline entertainers include Gavin DeGraw and KC and The Sunshine Band. Additional live music artists to be announced onwww.downtownfoodandwinefest.com.

Date / Time: Saturday, February 25 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, February 26, 2017 (noon to 7 p.m.)

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

 

Fest Admission: 

 One-Day General Admission

Admission is $20 per person, per day with advance online purchase. Admission at the door is $25 per person, per day.

Two-Day General Admission

For all-weekend Fest fans, a two-day ticket is available for $35 per person with advance online purchase.

Wine Tasters Club

A limited number of Wine Tasters Club passes will be available for purchase for $20 per person at the Fest.  Club members will enjoy up to five 2 oz. pours of their choice throughout the Fest and a souvenir lanyard.

Ultimate Fest Experience

A limited number of Ultimate Fest Experience packages are available for $115 per person, per day and includes a VIP parking pass, general admission, Wine Tasters Club, $20 value in food and beverage tickets, access to the private stage-side VIP tent, private wine/beer bar with premium wines (food and beverage tickets required) and access to private bathrooms reserved for VIP guests.

Food & Beverage Tickets:

Food and beverage tickets are available at the Fest for $2 each; food and beverage offerings range from one to four tickets.

“One of my favorite things about Downtown Orlando is the variety of restaurants and event options,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The Downtown Food & Wine Fest combines both by adding to the array of event options residents and visitors can attend, as well as, helping to enhance the vibrancy of the area all the while increasing awareness of our local businesses and strengthening economic growth in the area.”

Steve Carver, senior vice president and market manager, CBS RADIO Orlando commented, “Through the power of radio and the strength of our partnerships with the Orlando Downtown Development Board (DDB), restaurateurs, foodies and fans will come together to celebrate the sights, sounds and tastes of Orlando.”

Top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings to complete in the Golden Fork Awards as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters and celebrity chefs.

2016 Foodie Award:Baoery’s Asian Tacos

2016 Sweet Treat Award:Siro Urban Kitchen’s Black Cherry Liquid Nitro Gelato with Balsamic Drizzle

2016 Best of Show:Primo by Chef Melissa Kelly

 

Stay Connected

For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:

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Holler & Dash Biscuit House opened its third restaurant, and first location in Florida, at 6268 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway in Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 3.

Serving a menu of Southern comfort food with a modern twist and an emphasis on signature biscuits, the Tennessee-based eatery was established by parent company Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.

Culinary director Brandon Frohne brings Southern-inspired fare as well as a beverage selection featuring craft beer and wine, coffee from Orlando’s Lineage Roasting and innovative flavors of handcrafted sodas such as pineapple basil and mango-jalapeño mash.

To support Florida’s local farms, Holler & Dash is serving fresh juices from the local groves of Lambeth Grove and Seminole Pride Noble to your glass. The Celebration restaurant also created a seasonal strawberry lemongrass soda as a nod to Plant City’s strawberry harvest.

We spoke with Chef Brandon Frohne recently about his background and his work at Holler and Dash.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m somewhat of a Nomad. I was born in St. Pete, Florida and grew up between Florida and Tennessee. I was raised in a family that loves to cook, and owned restaurants in Switzerland, Germany, and US. I grew up watching my mom, grandmother, and aunt cook. I was so inspired by them. I found myself in the kitchen asking them questions and being intrigued by what they were cooking whether it was Mom’s famous cheeseburger pie, Oma’s chocolate mousse, or my aunt’s schnitzel holstein. At 17, I found my way into the kitchen as an apprentice and never left. Soon after I discovered that cooking was my passion. It helped me transition from being a mischievous adolescent to really feeling like as though I had a purpose.

From there I continued to apprentice, self study, and take culinary coursework while working in fine dining restaurants in Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. I tried to absorb everything I could. By the time I was in my mid-20’s I had developed a good palate and was able to creatively and skillfully express myself through food. I was able to draw on the technique I had acquired, and pair it with European influence from my family and American-Southern influence from being raised here and coming up in the industry here. The Southeast is where I gained an appreciation for working with local farms, artisans and seasonal ingredients.

I began entering culinary competitions and, to my surprise, found a lot of success. I won the 2011 & 2012 People’s Choice Award at the Savor Nashville Chef Challenge, 2nd place at the International Biscuit Festival for my sweet biscuits, and I was a semi-finalist in the World Food Championships’ World Chef Challenge in Las Vegas.

Guac, fried green tomato – and bacon, bacon, bacon – the Holler Back Club biscuit.

Riding on the coat tails of these competitions, I launched Forage South, a pop-up restaurant that later developed into the Forage South food brand that makes artisanal pantry essentials for the everyday home cook and includes all natural mixes that really capture my long-time-love for biscuits.

At age 27 I opened Mason’s Southern Provisions in Nashville and that’s really where my career took off. While working there I had the opportunity to be featured on national TV shows like Food Network’s Chopped, Chopped Redemption, Travel Channel’s Secret Eats and Chow Masters. I was awarded Chef of the Year by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association in 2015. My team and I also received the prestigious invitation to cook at the James Beard House in 2013 and 2015. The opportunity with Holler & Dash presented itself toward the end of 2015 and, hungry for my next project, I jumped right on board. Biscuits are a Southern staple and the most nostalgic food item for me because they remind me of family, friends and my childhood. Joining the team at Holler & Dash is my proudest accomplishment so far because it represents everything that came before it. I feel incredibly grateful.

 Favorite first memories of food?

I have several from my childhood: my father teaching me how to make a béchamel sauce, watching my mom make her famous cheeseburger pie (and inviting all the kids in the neighborhood to try it), my sweet grandmother butchering veal into paillards for veiner schnitzel, the oh-so-delicious richness of my aunt’s demi glace, my childhood neighbor Edna Parrot’s biscuits and gravy, and working with my brothers in my grandmother’s restaurant when we were kids. They’re all favorites and I draw inspiration from all of them everyday.

– Best Dishes to Try at the Restaurant?

The Kickback Chicken Biscuit: this one is standout for me. Free range chicken, creamy goat cheese, sweet and spicy pepper jelly, and scallions. So good!

My brunch go-to, the Grit Bowl: creamy cheddar grits, fried eggs, smoky bacon, hot sauce, and scallions.

The Strawberry & Dash: a fun play on a classic strawberry shortcake with creole cream cheese, house made whipped cream, and tasty marinated strawberries – all piled on a buttery, flaky biscuit!

– What is one dish you would make for yourself to eat after a long day in the kitchen?

I love cooking one-pot meals after a long day mainly because I don’t have the energy to clean my kitchen after I wreck it! I love anything vegetable driven, so Shakshuka is always a go-to. It’s this spicy Tunisian tomato stew with kale, spices, feta cheese, and whatever vegetables are in season. I normally coddle eggs right in the broth, so it’s sort of my spin on a classic tomato gravy. Typically I eat that with a crusty baguette and it makes my soul happy!

– Favorite local Orlando places to dine?

I’ve been incredibly busy with the launch of Holler & Dash, but my friend Emily Ellen is a local, rad, kitchen star who made me a bucket list of restaurants and bars to visit. I’m slowly working my way through the list. It’s really important that Chefs and restaurants support each other and their communities. I’ve been to Cask & Larder, Bauhaus and the Rusty Spoon recently. They all have super tasty menus. Go check ‘em out!

For more information, visit www.holleranddash.com

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Maraq (Somalia)

The Trump administration recently issued an immigration ban from seven Muslim majority countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). This ban – the way it currently exists – was overturned by the federal judicial courts as unconstitutional. It not only banned refugees, but there were also cases of authorities detaining and deporting legal VISA holders and others, including here at the Orlando International Airport.

This story is personal to me as I am the child of refugees, my parents having escaped by fishing boat from Vietnam before finally being sponsored into the United States. The America I know and love has always been a welcoming and gracious nation, one full of opportunity and a place of safe harbor for those most persecuted and oppressed. If not for America’s open hearts, who knows if my parents would not have been one of the many thousands who died at sea or captured by pirates.

Chef Hari Pulapaka, a native of Mumbai, India, came to the U.S. for graduate studies in 1987. An Associate Professor of Mathematics, he has been at Stetson University since the fall of 2000. When not teaching or working on mathematics and related areas, he is at Cress, a restaurant in downtown DeLand that he owns with his wife, working as an active professional chef. He is also a four-time semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award-Best Chef South and has been invited to cook on multiple occasions at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Chef Hari Pulapaka is soon hosting a family style meal at Cress featuring the cuisines of the 7 countries who are part of the administration’s immigration ban – the 300 tickets are practically sold out at publication time of this article.

I was honored to speak to him briefly about the upcoming project.

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Tell us about how this dinner came about, what inspired you to create “7 Courses, 7 Countries”?
I was sitting in a plane on the tarmac in Atlanta, GA having just landed, coming off a Taste of Mathematics event hosted by the Mind Research Institute, when we heard that Delta Airlines was experiencing computer glitches nationwide and that it would be several hours before we could deplane.

At least I had a dedicated Wi-Fi connection. I logged into Facebook to find a number of posts related to the chaos and stress emanating from the Executive Order essentially banning US entry by citizens of the 7 countries. As a first generation immigrant, for some reason, I was struck by the callous and inhumane manner in which the Executive Order was enacted and impulsively felt the urge to resist with a message. So I posted that I was inspired to create such a dinner.

The reaction that ensued was mostly positive and encouraging. I usually do what I say, so, here we are.

What are your responses to criticisms about mixing politics and food?
That is a bunch of crap. First of all, business owners are human beings first. To expect them to not be vocal about political issues when they feel the natural urge to do so is almost an expectation of servitude.

“Shut up and cook” or “Shut up and get me my whatever”.

Secondly, the reality of the matter is that the United States Food System is as tightly woven with the political system as one can possibly imagine. Every decision made by consumers and producers have political implications and are influenced by politics.

The food industry lobby in Washington DC is quite impressive and I don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment. For example, they managed to make the health of future generations a political issue. I understand that the devil is often in the details, but the political will is both lacking and powerful, often to the detriment of progress.

So, if I’m guilty of mixing politics and food it is because I care about improving the state of food in this country and beyond. I’m ready to live with the consequences. I’ve done it my way since the inception and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Polow (Iran)
Polow (Iran) – Courtesy Hari Pulapaka, Cress Restaurant

Tell me about the ingredients and dishes that are going to be served, what kind of research or assistance will you be getting in crafting these dishes? What prior experiences have you had with these 7 cuisines?
It is still premature for me to give anyone a full menu, but I’ve always prided myself on supporting American farmers and farms. On some occasions, I’ve gotten ingredients produced in another country, but by and large, our ingredients are produced in the United States. So, the menu will be a series of dishes representing culinary influences from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Libya, and Yemen (SISSILY).

Guests can expect deeply flavoured stews, herbaceous sauces, rustic breads, aromatic rice dishes, and complementing side dishes. My goal is to present the meal with dishes from many countries during the same course to illustrate that there are few rules and most dishes complement each other and that the power of food as a great equalizer, at a communal table, is a lesson for the ages. Many of the cuisines have significant intersection with flavours I am used to creating whether they are from the Indian subcontinent or the Middle-East. So, I would like to think that I am not out of my proverbial league.

But, I guess time will tell and our guests will ultimately decide. It’s $40 a person for a lot of food with all the proceeds going towards charity. Need I say more? My research has and will include a lot of reading and imagining. But in the end, my own (global) sensibility will have to lead the way.

As an immigrant, what are your thoughts about what is going on right now, what can we hope for?
On the one hand, I am hopeful that the growing resistance by both immigrants and multi-generational citizens against this climate of hate and prejudice is a sign that the America we love (as immigrants) is alive and well. On the other hand, it is disheartening to have to justify our presence to natives after having already sacrificed so much and more importantly having given so much towards the growth and betterment of this place we now call home. My hope is that ultimately, decency will prevail. But my greater hope is that bigotry and discrimination will end once and for all in my lifetime (I’m not holding my breath).

Maraq (Somalia)
Maraq (Somalia) – Courtesy Hari Pulapaka, Cress Restaurant

What do you hope that people will come away with from this dinner?
First and foremost, I hope people will come away with believing (even more) in the healing power of food amidst differences of opinion and ideology. Secondly, I am hopeful that guests will feel empowered to be messengers in favour of inclusivity across the spectrum. I hope that our generation, the next one, and beyond will forge ahead with demanding and finding better solutions to the complex problems of the world. And lastly, I hope that people begin experiencing before judging.

——–
“7 Courses – 7 Countries”

“7 Courses – 7 Countries” is a family-style meal presented by Cress Restaurant with guest collaborators featuring the amazing cuisines of IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, and YEMEN. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a soon to be determined non-profit organization dealing with immigrant and refugee issues. The cost to attend is $40, all-inclusive. BYOB. Sunday, February 26, 2017, 4-6 pm. For Tickets, Visit Here.

7courses7countriesflyer

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Known for their seafood dishes, Bonefish Grill in Longwood recently underwent a new renovation with an industrial, sleek look that harkens back to an estuary or mangrove idea – a place where fish love to hang out at. There’s even a large decorative art piece of a shiny metallic fish on one of the walls.

In a way Bonefish Grill is a higher end version of Red Lobster. We were recently invited to check out the new digs and were impressed with the improvement in design as well as in the dish executions.

Bonefish
Bonefish Grill
Bonefish
Bonefish’s new interior decor
Bonefish
Bonefish Grill – Inside Look
Bonefish
Bonefish’s new light fixtures
Bonefish
Crab and Corn Chowder at Bonefish – very delicious.
Bonefish
Crab-Crusted Alaskan Cod garlic and crab crumb dusted, topped with lump crab, white wine lemon butter sauce
Bonefish
Bonefish special miso glazed chilean seabass with greens
Bonefish
Bonefish’s signature Macadamia
Nut Brownie- flourless brownie, raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with macadamia nuts

Bonefish Grill
1761 W State Rd 434, Longwood, FL 32750
https://www.bonefishgrill.com/locations/fl/longwood

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Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is known for their excellent steaks and wine selection.  Guests can now celebrate Valentine’s Day at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar from Feb. 10-19 with a special three course prix fixe menu.

Guests can enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu, starting at $79.95

Menu includes:

o   Amuse-Bouche: Shrimp and Sea Scallop

o   Salad: choice of Fleming’s Salad or Modern Caesar

o   Entrée Duo: 8-ounce Filet Mignon with choice of New Zealand Ora King Salmon or Australian Lobster Tail

Menu enhancements include:

o   Dessert: Raspberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding

o   Wines from JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset

For reservations, visit www.FlemingsSteakhouse.com Follow Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Facebook and Instagram at @FlemingsSteakhouse.

There are two locations in Orlando:
8030 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
933 N Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

CONTEST: $100 Giveaway to Fleming’s!

E-mail us at tastychomps@gmail.com by 5pm on February 25th with your answer to these two questions:

  1. What one dish would you try at Fleming’s?
  2. Where is your favorite place for Steak in Orlando? (Can be any)

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Event Features Over 60 Unique Eats and More Than 55 Local and International Craft Brews

For 14 consecutive Saturdays, the Seven Seas Food Festival is coming to SeaWorld Orlando Feb. 11 – May 13, 2017.

Each week guests can sip and sample their way around the world of international coastal cuisine while enjoying craft beers, paired wines and specialty entertainment.

The fun extends beyond the food with live performances each Saturday from top country, rock and Latin music artists.

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Seven Seas Food Festival Headline Entertainment:

While new flavors will tempt guests’ taste buds throughout the park, live entertainment will have everyone dancing, singing and laughing along to some of their favorite artists. The Seven Seas Food Festival brings 14 live acts to SeaWorld Orlando’s Bayside Stadium.

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd (February 11)            
  • Lee Brice (February 18
  • Bill Engvall (Feb 25)       
  • Styx (March 4)     
  • Justin Moore (March 11)
  • ZZ Top (March 18)         
  • Phillip Phillips (March 25)     
  • Coming Soon (April 1)   
  • Village People (April 8)      
  • Commodores (April 15)      
  • Oscar D’León (April 22)    
  • Olga Tanon (April 29)        
  • Grupo Mania (May 6)
  • Coming Soon (May 13)     

 Seven Seas Food Festival Coastal Cuisine:

Complete with 11 new global markets, guests will set sail on a taste adventure as they discover more than 60 unique Asian, Latin, European, Polynesian and North Atlantic dishes throughout the park. A wide of array of wine, specialty cocktails and over 55 local and international craft brews will be featured exclusively during the Festival as well. A selection of menu highlights include:

  • Asian Market- Peking Duck Lo Mein with Fresh Oriental Vegetables
  • Korean Market- Bingsu Salted Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Caramel Popcorn
  • Mexican Market- Braised Chicken Adobo with Mole Sauce
  • Caribbean Market- Cinnamon Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Sweet Plantain Mash
  • Florida Market- Fried Kataifi Orange drizzled with Local Honey
  • Mediterranean Market- Smoked Cured Salmon topped with Sweet Dill Mustard
  • North Atlantic Market- Banana & Caramel Cheesecake topped with Whipped Cream & Caramelized Bananas
  • Brazilian Market- Brazilian Churrasco with Chimichurri & Garbanzo Frito
  • Pacific Coast Market- Braised Pork Cheeks with Savory Apple Polenta
  • Polynesian Island Market- “Loco Moco” Grilled Spam, White Rice, Scrambled Egg & Brown Gravy
  • Gulf Coast Market- Southern Creamy Cheese Grits with a Blackened Shrimp

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In addition to the market stops, the event will feature a wide array of BBQ and comfort cuisine including Slow Smoked Ribs, caramelized in a SeaWorld original BBQ sauce, Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese and a Grilled Kielbasa Sausage Sandwich. A complete menu of the Seven Seas Food Festival delights can be found online at SeaWorldOrlando.com/SevenSeas.

SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival begins at 11 a.m. every Saturday, Feb.  11 – May 13 and continues through park close. Like all special events at SeaWorld, the Seven Seas Food Festival is included with park admission.

Best Way to Play:

The best way for guests to experience the Seven Seas Food Festival is with an annual pass. SeaWorld Pass Members can purchase reserved concert seating during an exclusive presale beginning January 19.

For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit www.SeaWorldOrlando.com.  Follow SeaWorld on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest Seven Seas Food Festival details and information.

 

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You may have heard of Paramount Fine Foods with their opening at I-Drive 360 and their butcher shop on Alafaya Trail. They are actually based out of Canada but recently moved into the Florida market with a full sit down restaurant at the I-Drive 360 location. Recently, the owners opened up a fast-casual concept near UCF on University Blvd in the former location of Pie Five Pizza, which was Greens and Grille before that for many years.

We were recently invited to check out the new restaurant. It’s a very simple concept – very much similar to a Mediterranean version of Chipotle where guests go up to the counter and order.

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

You start with a base, choosing from:

Rice Bowl
Tabbouleh Salad
Hummus Bowl
Fattoush Salad
Saj Wrap
Greek Salad
Pita Wrap

and then pick a meat or main:

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

Chicken Shawarma
Beef Shawarma
Chicken Kebab
Kafta
Falafel

and sides:

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

Lettuce
Diced Tomato
Parsley
Onion Mix
Pickled Turnips
Pickled Cucumbers

My favorite cuts are the beef and chicken shawarma with the pickled turnips and Lebanese rice. Very filling and delicious. The desserts are freshly made in house as well with a baker (except for the baklava).

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Pita wrap at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Pita wrap at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Fried Falafel – for the vegetarian lovers – at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Surprisingly very good french fries at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando
Beef stuffed Kibbeh – kind of like Lebanese empanadas – very delicious – at Paramount Lebanese Kitchen at UCF Orlando

Overall, I would definitely come back to try their very affordable and delicious Mediterranean style bowls and wraps again.  The meat was tender and flavorful, and the rice and pickled veggies complimented every thing quite well. Although the staff seemed to still be training at the time, this is understandable as things are still just coming together at the store.

 

Paramount Lebanese Kitchen UCF
11325 University Blvd, Suite 206, Orlando, 32817
407-203-3219
http://www.paramountfinefoodsusa.com/locations/UCF

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Sonny’s BBQ to Host National BBQ Competition and Festival in Central Florida
Winter Park-based BBQ chain to host second annual Sonny’ s Smokin’ Showdown

The third largest BBQ chain in the country is back with its highly anticipated Smokin’ Showdown Invitational BBQ competition and festival, inviting visitors from across the country to for a full day of BBQ amongst the nation’s top Pitmasters.

On January 14, Sonny’s BBQ is hosting its second annual Smokin’ Showdown Invitational at the Central Florida Zoo (3755 US-17, SANFORD, FL 32771).

The Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown BBQ competition and large-scale festival is designed to make Florida a BBQ destination by bringing BBQ enthusiasts from across the country to Central Florida for a full day of live music, family fun and delicious BBQ. While attendees watch more than 50 professional BBQ competition teams and taste their award-winning recipes, Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown attendees may also participate in rib and donut eating contests and enjoy live music, featuring Frankie Ballard at the family friendly festival.

The invitation-only competition brings together the nation’s top Pitmasters in one arena for an epic BBQ battle.

Teams are judged on five different meat categories: chicken, ribs, pork, brisket and a mystery meat, which will be announced at the event.

The grand champion team will receive $20,000. The total prize pool totals $68,000.

“The Smokin’ Showdown celebrates what we’re all about; good BBQ and great company,” said Montana Coleman, Co-Organizer of Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown. “We look forward to seeing these talented Pitmasters showcase their skills in our home state of Florida.”

Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown will host local vendors, family-fun activities and musical performances by top country artists, including Hayfire, Rockit Fly and Jill’s Cashbox. The headliner will be Frankie Ballard. The event is $5, kids 10 and under are free.

For more information about Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown, please visit sonnysshowdown.com. For more information about Sonny’s BBQ, visit sonnysbbq.com.

Event Schedule
7:30 AM
Judges Check-In
8:30 AM
Judges Meeting (Mandatory)
12:00 PM
Kid’s Donut Eating Contest
12:30 PM
Cooking Demo
1:00 PM
Rib Eating Contest
1:30 PM
Cooking Demo
2:30 PM
Meet the Masters
3:00 PM
Live Music: Hayfire
5:00 PM
Live Music: Rockit Fly
6:00 PM
Awards Ceremony
7:15 PM
Live Music: Jill’s Cashbox
8:30 PM
Live Music: Frankie Ballard

“In 1968, we were just a local BBQ joint in Gainesville, Florida. Today, we’re still a local BBQ joint. We just happen to be in a few more locations. But we still do things the same way Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his wife, Lucille, did back then. We still slow-smoke over oak for up to 12 hours at a time. We still serve generous portions. And we still believe people should be able to go out to eat and feel right at home.” – Sonny’s BBQ Team

About Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown
Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational is a national BBQ competition hosted by Sonny’s BBQ and sanctioned by the Florida Barbecue Association. Taking place at the Central Florida Zoo on January 14, this competition and large-scale festival is designed to bring BBQ enthusiasts from all over the country to the heart of Florida for a full day of live music, family fun and delicious BBQ.

First of its kind in the area, Sonny’s BBQ created the Smokin’ Showdown to share its passion and expertise with the BBQ community, as well as provide a platform for Pitmasters to showcase their talents alongside some of the best in the business. Last year, Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown had about 10,000 attendees and close to 50 competing teams.

About Sonny’s BBQ®
With 113 locations throughout the southeast, Sonny’s BBQ® is one of the largest and most popular barbecue restaurant companies in the country. The Daily Meal has named Sonny’s BBQ the Best Barbecue Chain in America for the last two years. Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his wife, Lucille founded Sonny’s BBQ in 1968 in Gainesville, Fla. in hopes of creating a local BBQ joint for their community to enjoy. Forty-eight years later, Sonny’s BBQ continues to be just that – a passionate BBQ brand constantly perfecting the craft of BBQ. For more information and to find the Sonny’s BBQ location closest to you, please visit: www.sonnysbbq.com.

 

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SNOWBEAN Cafe at Colonial And Semoran

Korean Dessert Cafe “SNOWBEAN” is now open at 5310 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, sharing the same address as Izziban Sushi and Korean BBQ.

Snowbean is a “Dessert & Coffee Cafe, serving coffee beans locally sourced from Roasters located in Orlando Florida. Serving a modern twist on a traditional Pat-bing-soo”

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SNOWBEAN Cafe
5310 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32807
(407) 270-8811
https://www.instagram.com/snowbean_orlando/

Halal Guys at Waterford

The Halal Guys began in 1990, when the three founding partners opened up a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York City. The Halal Guys became famous for their chicken and rice with special white sauce on late nights in the city – and has made a huge push for expansion in recent years.

They will now be coming to the Orlando Waterford area in early 2017 (March/April) and are looking to expand to more than 15 locations. Look out for more updates from us here

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Halal Guys Orlando at Waterford
626 North Alafaya Trail suite 103
Orlando, Florida
(347) 527-1505
http://thehalalguys.com/
17053082_1482987062-9494_funddescriptionGOFUNDME
Help Achilles Art Cafe in Winter Garden get back on its feet after a destructive fire
https://www.gofundme.com/ashandthecoffeeshop?u=12119866

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The first Capital Grille was founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1990 and quickly became a staple in the city’s up and coming downtown section. Businessmen were the driving force behind the restaurant’s original popularity, but it has since grown into a celebratory destination for all occasions – from holidays and birthdays to anniversaries and more.

That is true here too in Orlando, with the first Capital Grille opening in the Orange County Convention Area on International Drive and now with a second more modern and updated location at the Mall at Millenia. I’ve always been a big fan – from their great service to excellent quality steaks and ambiance – it’s great for any special occasion, and with the new bar menu, good even for those just stopping by on the way home from work or while shopping at the mall.


The Stoli Doli is the Capital Grille’s signature cocktail, and it is so popular that they pour enough each year to serve the country of Iceland for an entire evening. It’s made with made with Stolichnaya Vodka infused with fresh pineapple, chilled and served straight up.

This holiday season, the Capital Grille is offering several special items to go along with purchases of gift cards. In celebration of this announcement, we have partnered up with The Capital Grille to do a gift card giveaway worth $150. To enter read below:

For the holidays this year, The Capital Grille is helping guests give the gift of a true fine dining experience with a limited edition, stainless steel $1,000 gift card.

In addition, customers purchasing gift cards at The Capital Grille valued at $500 or above will receive an additional 10% added to the gift card’s value, as well as custom steak knives. The gift cards can be personalized with a voice memo or photo.

Other interesting facts:

· They hand make their mozzarella every 90 minutes.
· Their Sam’s Mashed Potatoes are named after The Capital Grille’s founder’s son.
· Skilled Pastry Chefs arrive when the sun rises to make fresh desserts daily.

The Capital Grille at Pointe Orlando
Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Dr · (407) 370-4392
The Capital Grille at The Mall at Millenia
The Mall at Millenia, 4200 Conroy Rd · (407) 351-2210

THE CAPITAL GRILLE $150 GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY CONTEST

One entry per person, winner will be chosen randomly on Friday December 23,2016 at 5pm!

TO ENTER:
1. Subscribe to our E-mail Newsletter -TastyChomps Newsletter here
2. E-mail us the answers to the questions below to tastychomps@gmail.com:
a. Did you subscribe to the e-mail newsletter? Yes/No
b. What dishes would you like to try the most?
c. How often do they make their mozzarella at The Capital Grille?
d. Where was The Capital Grille founded?

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Montreal was once the home of a large Native American settlement about 4000 years ago, with the French settlers arriving in the mid 1500s, and Montreal finally being founded by the French in 1642. Today, it is the most populous city in Quebec and the second most populous municipality in Canada. The French language and culture still runs strong here as is the love of great food. There is a very European vibe to the city and many great eats from poutine slathered in gravy and cheese curds to bakeries and Montreal’s famous smoked meats.

Here is a quick guide to a Taste of Montreal:

Montreal-style smoked meat

Montreal smoked meat or simply smoked meat in Montreal (French: smoked meat; sometimes viande fumée, is a type of kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. Along with bagels, smoked meat has been popular in Montreal since the 19th century and it has taken such strong root in the city that both Montrealers and non-Montrealers alike identify it as emblematic of the city’s cuisine.

Schwartz’s Deli – 3895 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada
www.schwartzsdeli.com/

World famous Schwartz’s, serving the best smoked meat from the original recipe of spices since 1928. Over 80 years of tradition – A Montreal classic and the oldest deli in Canada. The staff of Schwartz’s credits the unique flavour of their smoked meat to their mandatory 10-day meat curing time, the high turnover of their meat, and their brick smoke-house covered with over 80 years worth of buildup. Schwartz’s is also credited with creating Montreal steak seasoning or Montreal steak spice.

Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's smoked meat
Schwartz’s smoked meat
Schwartz's smoked meat sandwich
Schwartz’s smoked meat sandwich
Smoked Chicken at Schwartz's
Smoked Chicken at Schwartz’s
Schwartz's Deli
Schwartz’s Deli
Schwartz's
Schwartz’s
Schwartz's poutine - perfection
Schwartz’s poutine – perfection

Poutine

Poutine is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Québec, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy and sold almost at almost every other block in Montreal.

Mache
restaurantmache.com/
Address: 1655 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K4, Canada, Phone: +1 514-439-5535
Near the university, this small, casual shop has a whole great collection of Montreal Quebecois comfort eats from poutine to pates chinois.

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BBP 9.75$
ground beef, braised bacon, green peas, cheese, house gravy

photo-oct-30-7-44-31-pmau “Smoked meat” maison 9.95$
house roasted corned beef, caramelized onions, cheese, house gravy

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le Hamburger steak 12.50$
8 oz seasoned canadian beef, caramelized onions, green peas,
mashed potato, house gravy

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LES PATÉS CHINOIS
le Trio 13$
ground beef, veal and pork, onions, celery, corn, mashed potato

Pates Chinois – literally Chinese pate – is the French Canadian version of shepherd’s pie. One possible explanation for the Chinese reference is that it was introduced to Canadian railway workers by Chinese cooks during the building of the North American railroads in the late 19th century.

Joe Beef is a very popular restaurant so I recommend you try to get reservations before you travel out there.

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Bouillon Bilk
bouillonbilk.com/en/
Address: 1595 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2S9, Canada
Modern eclectic cuisine with a French influence served in a bright, minimalist-chic space.

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beets, persimmon, labneh, cashews, pomegrenate, castelfranco 16

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agnolotti, corn, duck, chanterelles, burrata, walnuts 18

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cod, brussels sprouts, lardons, apple, quinoa, pistachios 32

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photo-nov-01-8-16-48-pmmille-feuille, apple, sunchoke, caramel, mascarpone 11
Desserts

Juliette & Chocolat
www.julietteetchocolat.com/
Chocolate shakes, milk chocolates, hot chocolates, crepes, waffles, brownies, fondue, pastries.

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Near the Notre Dame basilica in Old Montreal, visit Maison Christian Faure, a French bakery shop as well as the first international French pastry school founded by acclaimed Chef Christian Faure M.O.F.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame

Maison Christian Faure
https://maisonchristianfaure.ca
355 Place Royale, Montréal, QC H2X 2V3, Canada
Phone: +1 514-508-6453

Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure

photo-oct-30-2-27-39-pm

Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure
Pastel Nata
Pastel Nata

Chinatown Montreal

Chinatown in Montreal is located in the area of De la Gauchetière Street in Montreal. The neighborhood contains many Asian restaurants, food markets, and convenience stores as well being home to many of Montreal’s East Asian community centres, such as the Montreal Chinese Hospital and the Montreal Chinese Community and Cultural Center.

photo-oct-31-3-26-50-pm-1

Mai Xiang Yuan
1082 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2Z 1J5, Canada
Excellent house made pork/shrimp/leek/egg dumplings

photo-oct-31-3-55-40-pm

Nudo
1055 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2Z 1J6, Canada
Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodles and braised beef.

photo-oct-29-8-38-01-pm photo-oct-29-8-38-05-pm photo-oct-29-8-42-06-pm photo-oct-29-8-43-56-pm photo-oct-29-8-44-04-pm photo-oct-29-8-49-53-pm photo-oct-29-8-50-20-pm

Marché Jean-Talon
Address: 7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada
www.marches-de-quartier.com/en/marches/jean-talon-market/
Established open-air market with many vendors selling produce, meats, cheeses, fish & baked good since 1933

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McDonald’s in Montreal

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For more on where to eat in Montreal, check out this guide to Montreal’s best eats by Foodie Hub
http://www.foodiehub.tv/north-america/Montreal

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Known for its epic sunrise to sunset views of the airport runway, the new Hemisphere at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport features a $3 million re-design of the 3,000 square-foot restaurant.

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The stylish new environment is a huge upgrade from the 1990s era setting it once had.

Led by Executive Chef Jeffery Powell, Hemisphere’s culinary team has designed a menu that infuses robust international flavors and seasonal local ingredients.

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Dinner highlights include Moroccan-inspired, dukka-crusted Lamb Chops, Grilled Gulf Prawns and a Wagyu Grass-Fed Beef Burger. The Hemisphere beverage menu complements the world kitchen concept with a carefully curated collection of wines and cocktails from each hemisphere. The wine cuvees are filled with 16 wine varietals from different regions around the globe.

photo-nov-15-5-48-50-pm

“My culinary philosophy is to work with local farmers to acquire the freshest ingredients available. Using complementary ingredients and showcasing each component through simple preparation and proper technique creates integrity and depth of flavor,” said Powell.

Powell’s culinary point of view mirrors Hyatt’s global philosophy –Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. –and is reflected in the global offerings at McCoy’s Bar and Grill and the re-imagined Hemisphere restaurant, slated to make its debut in November2016.

At home, Powell enjoys cooking braised meats, practices slow cooking methods and explores new ingredients such as Moringa, an African green very high in vitamin C with other added health benefits.

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AVOCADO TOAST
tomato jam, tangy queso fresco, radish,pea tendrils
$8.95

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BURRATA MOZZARELLA
blood orange, pickled mustard seeds, micro greens, fire roasted bread
$11.95

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ROASTED BABY BEETS
whipped mascarpone, shaved fennel, pistachios, citrus zest, organic olive oil
$9.95

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HARICOT VERTS
nduja, red onions,organic sunny side up cage free egg
$10.95

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SOFT SHELL CRAB
fried green tomato, boursin, grits, arugula salad, smoked tomato vinaigrette, trinity relish
$15.95

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CHEF’S SIGNATURE PORK BELLY
slow pickled blueberries, candied jalapenos, sun choke puree
$16.95

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CHURRASCO STRIP STEAK
heirloom tomatoes, red onions, frisee, arugula,chimichurri
$28.95

photo-nov-15-7-13-22-pm
KEY LIME CHOUX AU CRAQUELIN
with torched meringue
10

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SAFFRON ARBORIO KHEER
cardamom fudge, pistachio mousse, pistachio tuile
10

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PLUM RAINDROP CAKE
fresh strawberries, lychee, orchid petals, toasted ground almonds
10

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PASILLA MOLTEN LAVA CAKE
licorice gelato, ginger snap sable
12

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BLACK FOREST PETIT GATEAUX
amarina cherry, chocolate cake, whipped cream quenelle
10

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Complimentary valet parking is available for all Hemisphere guests.Monthly wine dinners and seasonal brunches will be announced soon.

Hemisphere at Orlando International Airport
9300 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32827
www.hemisphererestaurant.com
407.825.1234
OpenTable Reservations: http://www.opentable.com/r/hemisphere-orlando

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This year if you are in Orlando looking for a good Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day, check out The Capital Grille for their offerings. The turkey is very tender and succulent, not sure what black magic they used to make it so moist and tasty – but it was very good.

capital-grille-8995

In addition to serving its signature dishes, The Capital Grille will also offer a Slow-Roasted Turkey with Brioche Stuffing, French Green Beans with Marcona Almonds and Cranberry Pear Chutney for $38 per adult and $15 per child.

These dishes will also be accompanied by Mashed Potatoes to share. However, no meal is complete without dessert. Therefore, The Capital Grille will also offer the Pumpkin Cheesecake for an additional $10.

capital-grille-9002

THANKSGIVING DINNER
Slow-Roasted Turkey
with Brioche Stuffing
French Green Beans
with Marcona Almonds
and Cranberry Pear Chutney
Accompanied by
Sam’s Mashed Potatoes to share
38

THANKSGIVING DINNER FOR CHILDREN
15

capital-grille-9015

DESSERT
Pumpkin Cheesecake
10

WHERE:

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

The Capital Grille at Pointe Orlando
9101 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-4392

Available Thanksgiving Day from 11am – 9pm
Full A La Carte Dinner Menu Available

capital-grille-8999 capital-grille-9001

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Food & Wine Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a celebration of fine wine and the culinary arts on weekends Sept. 16 through Nov. 13, 2016, complementing the Epcot® Food & Wine Festival.

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At Zeta Bar, the Asian cuisine restaurant at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, there is an “Art of Sushi Pairing” menu on Friday & Saturday nights, 5pm – 10pm.

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Here is a quick look at the dishes served during the meal:

Zeta Bar + Sushi Lounge: The Art of Sushi Pairing

Course 1

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Zeta Greens
Field Greens Salad with Ginger Dressing

or

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Wakame Salad
Classic Japanese Seaweed Salad

Course 2

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Spicy Tuna Nachos*
Seared Ahi Tuna Sashimi, Avocado, Spicy Mayo, Masago, Cilantro, Wasabi Scented Nori Chips

or

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Chicken Katsu
Panko Breaded Chicken Breast, Lemon Plum Sauce, Wasabi Mayo

Course 3

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Coconut Chicken Green Curry
Coconut Curry Chicken, Lemongrass, Ginger, Thai Chili, Cilantro, Thai Basil, Toasted Pine Nuts,
Steamed White Rice

or

SONY DSC
Tsunami Roll*
Crab Salad, Tempura Crunch, Hirame, Sliced Limes, Micro Cilantro, Shiso Pesto, Masago

or

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Alaskan Roll*
Salmon, Avocado, Sliced Lemon, Crab Salad, Wasabi Caviar

Course 4

SONY DSC
Red Bean Mochi or Green Tea Mochi or Mango Mochi

$45/person plus tax and gratuity
Price Includes Sake or Beer Pairing

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C & W Barbeque in Oviedo

It’s a tiny little old, one room shack in downtown Oviedo, blink and you might miss it. But C & W BBQ serves up some very good que despite its small size – with huge portions – enough for dinner and lunch the next day. There’s a little wood burning oven in the kitchen – and you can see everything is home cooked.

Order inside the house – barbecue pulled pork, chicken, or ribs with sides of collard greens and mac and cheese and more. Save room for their amazing home made sweet potato pie – it’s one of the best slices of pie I’ve had in Central Florida. Sit outside and enjoy the outdoor Florida fall weather.  The C in C & W is for Ms. Cora Mae who runs the restaurant.

C & W Barbecue
298 Geneva Dr, Oviedo, FL 32765
Phone: (407) 285-5097
Open Mon – Saturday

C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
Collard greens, mac and cheese, pulled pork, and chicken at C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
Sweet Potatoe Pie at C & W Barbeque in Oviedo

0 1337

With all the divisiveness and the downright craziness of this year’s election, the world’s most famous feline friend, Hello Kitty, has thrown her hat into the ring – kicking off her Hello Kitty for President campaign.

Hello Kitty is bringing her cafe food truck pop up shop to Orlando as part of the “Friendship Party” with a message celebrating friendship, fun and happiness.

Now, that’s a party I am happy to endorse and support any day.

hello-kitty-cafe-truck-exterior

The hugely popular Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be making its first-ever appearance in Orlando THIS Saturday, October 29th at Florida Mall, serving yummy goodies & treats to Hello Kitty fans & foodies of all ages, including a limited edition Hello Kitty for President cookie. This special edition cookie will be limited to only 50 cookies per stop & guest who purchase the special treat will also receive a free bumper sticker, too.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Rolls Into Orlando!

Who: Sanrio & Hello Kitty

What: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck Appearance

When: Saturday, October 29 10am-8pm

Where:
Florida Mall
8001S Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 34746
** Parked outside by the Crayola Experience

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The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is a mobile vehicle of cuteness that offers a delicious array of Hello Kitty sweets and special goodies to fans of all ages; it has been rolling up to festivals & events across the U.S. since its official debut at Hello Kitty Con in October 2014.

The yummy treats on board the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will include a 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, a rainbow macaron box set that includes a surprise Sanrio character design, a 4-pack of mini cakes, and bow-shaped bottles of water.

hello-kitty-cafe-truck-macarons-and-mug-1

In addition to the goodies, a Hello Kitty Cafe mug, a supercute pink Hello Kitty Cafe t-shirt and the pop icon’s signature bow headband will also be available to purchase.

The specially designed Hello Kitty for President cookie will be limited to only 50 cookies per stop & guests who purchase the special treat will also receive a free bumper sticker.

hello-kitty-cafe-truck-mini-cakes-1 hello-kitty-cafe-truck-macarons hello-kitty-cafe-truck-mug-and-box 49-hello-kitty-cafe-truck-crowd

Photos Courtesy of Sanrio, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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0 2034

PRESS RELEASE: Luma on Park and Prato’s Chef Brandon McGlamery to Open Classic American
Eatery in Maitland

Maitland, Fl. – (October 13, 2016) The partners of Park Lights Hospitality Group – led by visionary chef Brandon McGlamery and operations maven Tim Noelke, are opening their third restaurant concept, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar later this year. While Luma on Park encompasses progressive American cuisine and Prato has established itself as an authentic Italian eatery, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will offer classic American cuisine and cocktails. The new concept will be located at 640 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland, FL.

lukes_092216_19825

Executive Chef Derek Perez and McGlamery worked in tandem to curate a menu that highlights classic American fare, using seasonal ingredients and responsibly-sourced proteins.

Inspired by the culinary traditions from coast to coast, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will deliver carefully curated oysters, an extensive raw bar, an array of soups and sandwiches, and entrees cooked over an open fire grill and rotisserie.

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Starters will include Pork Belly and Deviled Eggs, Chicken Wings and house-made Parker Rolls. Guests can enjoy dishes from the sea or land with offerings that include Raw Oysters, Ceviche, Prime Rib and Roast Chicken, with a selection of vegetables and sides.

Inspired by timeless American libations, the bar program will feature signature classic cocktails using house-made ingredients that complement the menu. Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will offer a wide-ranging, hand selected array of fine wines and craft beer available on draft, in bottles and in cans.

Designed by The Johnson Studio, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will welcome guests to a contemporary designed two-story building with an interactive open kitchen and oyster bar. The 6700 square-foot restaurant will seat 220 guests and will also offer patio seating and private dining options.

The name Luke’s is a play on the Italian word “to shine” and at Luke’s their goal is to shine light on American classics.

lukes_092216_20067 lukes_092216_20091 lukes_092216_19920

LUKE’S KITCHEN AND BAR – MAITLAND, FL
Luke’s Kitchen and Bar is the third concept by the partners of Park Lights Hospitality Group, of Luma on Park and Prato – led by visionary chef Brandon McGlamery and operations maven Tim Noelke. Opening in late 2016, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will focus on classic American cuisine, using seasonal ingredients and responsibly-sourced proteins. Inspired by the culinary traditions from coast to coast, Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will deliver carefully curated oysters, a high-quality raw bar, an array of soups and sandwiches, and entrees cooked over an open fire grill and rotisserie. The beverage program will feature classically-inspired libations prepared with fresh and house-made ingredients, as well as an extensive selection of craft beer and wine. Luke’s Kitchen and Bar will be located at 640 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland, FL. For more information, please call 407.674.2400 or visit www.eatatlukes.com. Follow Luke’s Kitchen and Bar on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

Photo credit goes to Michael Pisarri.

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Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram

Every year, Wat Florida Dhammaram, a Thai Theravada Buddhist monastery and temple in Kissimmee, Florida, hosts the Taste of Thailend festival. I’m embarrassed to admit this is the first time I’ve attended though it is the 15th year of celebration. Thai restaurants and local families from all over Florida come to this temple to sell food and fundraise for the temple. Entrance is $12 and it’s all you can eat. From pad thai noodles to pork and sticky rice, to chicken satay and Thai tea and more – you can pretty much try a wide range of tasty Thai food while you are here.

Two menacing Buddhist protector guardian dieties stand guard over the main meditation hall where a gold plated Buddha sits. Various statues and scenes from Buddhist literature can be found around the sprawling temple grounds, like a statue of Buddha’s mother Maya standing over a baby Buddha.

Performances and dances take place on the main stage while visitors line up to nosh at the many booths set up around the temple.

One of my favorite items that I tried was the Thai rice crepes with sweet coconut and this coconut rice dessert. Everything was quite tasty, though. Check out photos below:

Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram
Taste of Thailand 2016 at Wat Florida Dhammaram

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Wa Sushi Chirashi bowl

Wa Sushi features some great sushi and ramen bowls hidden in Casselberry – deep inside Seminole County.  It’s a little hard to get to, but well worth the trip. On a recent lunch visit, I tried the tuna kobachi for an appetizer featuring some very good quality tuna. My partner chose the tonkotsu ramen and I had the chirashi sushi bowl – both excellent. Interior is a bit sparse – and needs some character – overall, a great place to try some sushi! Check out photos below
Wa Sushi
1285 Semionola Blvd.
Suite 121
Casselberry Fl 32707

Wa Sushi
Wa Sushi
Wa Sushi's Tuna Kobachi
Wa Sushi’s Tuna Kobachi
Wa Sushi
Wa Sushi
Wa Sushi Tonkotsu Ramen
Wa Sushi Tonkotsu Ramen
Wa Sushi Chirashi bowl
Wa Sushi Chirashi bowl

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Next door to the newly renovated Flying Fish, the new AbracadaBar lounge opens, taking the spot formerly occupied by the Boardwalk’s candy and ice-cream shop.

From posters that mysteriously change to a very cool 1920s vibe, the AbracadaBar packs a lot of fun surprises despite its small size.

From Disney:

The new “curious cocktail lounge” combines the Golden Age of Magic with the magic of Disney storytelling, so look for whimsy in the design – and hidden Mickey’s = from the Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) team, who create stories in true Disney fashion. 

According to WDI, the lounge was once a secret stomping ground for famous touring magicians, local boardwalk illusionists and the loveliest magician’s assistants of the day.

After every magic show, these prestidigitators would gather at the bar, where they’d conjure up new cocktails, swap magic tips and tricks, and often stay up all night attempting to “out-charm” each other with their extraordinary illusions.

AbracadaBar guests will get a special peek into the sophisticated social club, and while it’s rumored that the magicians who frequented the lounge vanished without a trace decades ago, their magic still remains strongly intact, and can be seen, heard, and even savored in the bar’s signature cocktails.

From its enchanted magic show posters and mystifying mirrors to vintage props and tricks left behind years ago, AbracadaBar promises to be just as surprising and magical as its name suggests.

 

AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney's Boardwalk
AbracadaBar Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk

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Flying Fish restaurant on Disney’s Boardwalk recently underwent massive interior renovations as well as a reboot of their menu. Gone from Flying Fish is the “cafe” part of the name, welcoming in a new, more sophisticated setting that does justice to the quality of cuisine, focused on sustainable seafood.

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New Look Inside Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Gone, too, are the golden fish and golden columns that brought a touch of boardwalk carnival feel to the old Flying Fish Cafe – the interior features an all-new silver-accented kitchen and dining room (with expanded space for private dining events) with silver, shimmering chandeliers – providing a very modern and upscale dining experience. Guests can still watch the chefs prepare dishes in the open kitchen, and sit at the kitchen counter to watch the action up close if desired.

Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Chef Tim Majoras, who has been with the Flying Fish culinary team since 2011, takes the over the helm in the kitchen from our friend Chef Tim Keating, bringing his take on a whole new menu to delight the palate and senses.

Chef Tim Majoras of Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Chef Tim Majoras of Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

We were invited recently for a media dinner at Flying Fish to get the latest updates to the menu and the interior decor.

The table’s bread is baked locally with little slivers of nori seaweed inside – a touch of the sea here, too – giving the bread a wonderful umami savory flavor. The bread features the telltale signature crusts from Orlando’s Olde Hearth Bakery. I could not stop at just one piece, despite my better judgement.

Nori bread at Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk - made by Olde Hearth Bakery
Nori bread at Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk – made by local Orlando Olde Hearth Bakery
Blue Crab Bisque - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Blue Crab Bisque – Jumbo Lump Crab, Melted Leeks, Aged Sherry, Tarragon Crème Fraîche – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

The stacked seared yellow fin tuna with compressed watermelon is a work of art – served with thinly sliced avocado, pink radishes, and pickled daikon radish and edible flowers. It tastes even better than it looks.

Compressed Tuna and Watermelon - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Flying Fish’s Yellowfin Tuna – Compressed Watermelon, Citrus Espelette, Black Cyprus Sea Salt, Avocado
Peaches and Prosciutto - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Peaches and Prosciutto – Sicilian Pistachio Dust, Vero Beach Arugula, Sonoma Chevre – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

Another great starter is the Kurobuta pork belly featuring the finest Berkshire pork topped with a shirred quail egg and stacked with a taste of apple slaw and bing cherry gastrique.

Kurabuta Pork Belly - Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Kurobuta Pork Belly – Shank Croquette, Royal Gala Apple Slaw, Bing Cherry Gastrique, Shirred Quail Egg – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk
Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Corn Encrusted Wild Gulf Shrimp – Spiced Hearts of Palm, Orange Supremes, Piquant Aioli – Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

The newly renovated Flying Fish also now offers an expanded space for wine storage for their extensive wine list, including 80 wines available by the glass.

For my entree, I chose the Wood-fired Spanish Octopus and Chilean Seabass served with Bomba Arroz, Peruvian Sweet Peppers, and Housemade Chorizo. The octopus was cooked to perfection and paired nicely with the seabass and bomba arroz.

Bomba arroz is short-grain variety of rice commonly used in paella and other dishes in Valencian Spanish cuisine. The rice had a wonderful depth of flavor that had me licking my lips at the end of the meal.

Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk
Wood-fired Spanish Octopus and Chilean Seabass served with Bomba Arroz, Peruvian Sweet Peppers, and Housemade Chorizo- Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk

I was able to sample my friend’s Lobster Nero pasta – nero pasta, or black pasta, is traditionally made from scorched or burnt kernels of wheat. It tastes wonderful.

Maine Lobster Nero Pasta - Golden Tomato Sauce, Young Artichokes, Micro Lemon Grass
Maine Lobster Nero Pasta – Golden Tomato Sauce, Young Artichokes, Micro Lemon Grass
Bison Strip Loin - Ancient Grains, Salsify, Cipollini Onions, Haricot Verts, Sun-dried Tomato-Choron Sauce
Bison Strip Loin – Ancient Grains, Salsify, Cipollini Onions, Haricot Verts, Sun-dried Tomato-Choron Sauce
Plancha-seared Hokkaido Scallops - Antebellum Grits, Brentwood Sweet Corn, Peppadew Emulsion
Plancha-seared Hokkaido Scallops – Antebellum Grits, Brentwood Sweet Corn, Peppadew Emulsion
Wagyu Filet Mignon Okinawan Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Romanesco, Bordelaise Sauce
Wagyu Filet Mignon
Okinawan Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Romanesco, Bordelaise Sauce
Wild Alaskan King Salmon - Pancetta-Ivory Lentils, Wilted Varietal Kale, Meyer Lemon, Garden Vinaigrette
Wild Alaskan King Salmon – Pancetta-Ivory Lentils, Wilted Varietal Kale, Meyer Lemon, Garden Vinaigrette

Dessert is stunning – a work of art – The Under the Sea and Florida Reef desserts are shaped like little pieces of the ocean seafloor, and are all quite delectable. The pastry team at The Flying Fish is top rate and you can tell in their craftsmanship and in the balance of sweetness in their desserts.

Under the Sea - Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef - lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea – Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef – lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea - Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef - lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Under the Sea – Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, Chocolate Coral Sponge, Pistachio Sand, Dehyrdrated Milk Foam, Tasting of Three Sea Salts and The Florida Reef – lemon tart, toasted meringue, Florida citrus and ruby red grapefruit sorbet.
Flying Fish at Disney's BoardWalk
Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk

Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk
Hours: 5-10 p.m. daily

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/boardwalk/flying-fish/

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Chef Emeril Lagasse, of all chefs, really needs no introduction, with his signature proclamations of spice “Bam!” and having hosted literally thousands of shows on Food Network. Most recently he has been the host of “Emeril’s Florida” on the Cooking Channel, bringing attention to many great local Florida chefs and food purveyors.

Emeril Lagasse is also the chef/proprietor of 13 restaurants, including two here in Orlando – Emeril’s Orlando at Universal CityWalk and Emeril’s Tchoup Chop at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios.

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Douglas Braselman was named Chef de Cuisine of Emeril’s Orlando in April 2015, equipped with more than 14 years of experience in the culinary arts.

Braselman, a New Orleans native, joined Emeril’s Orlando after spending nearly 10 years under the guidance of some of the best chefs and restaurantuers New Orleans has to offer including Chef David Slater, Chef Gregg Collier, Chef Susan Spicer, Chef James Wong of Trey Yuen and Roy Barre.

Emeril's Chef Douglas Braselman
Emeril’s Chef Douglas Braselman

These experiences led to opportunities in award-winning restaurants such as Redfish Grill, Ralphs on the Park and then in 2011, at Chef Emeril Lagasse’s flagship restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District.

Braselman brings with him the flavors of his Louisiana heritage, while being hands-on in the kitchen, using only the best-quality local and regional ingredients to drive his seasonal menu and nightly specials.

“I’m excited to continue Chef Emeril’s tradition of ‘New’ New Orleans cuisine featuring the great products available here in the state of Florida.”

We were recently invited to try their new menu out at Emeril’s. It was a brisk walk to the restaurant from the parking garages, wading through the crowds at Universal’s Citywalk coming and going from the parks. It is undoubtedly the most high scale restaurant on the strip, though dress code is definitively more lax than the typical fine dining restaurant due to the locale.

If you are looking for something different from the traditional New Orleans Barbecue shrimp, try out the wonderful crispy duck wings, glazed with a sticky chili sweet sauce and blue cheese vinaigrette. The wings are lip smacking good and leave you wanting for more.

Crispy Duck Wings

CRISPY DUCK WINGS
sticky chili glaze, blue cheese vinaigrette
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Salads here are more than your typical caesar or house salad – but change seasonally with the freshest ingredients available. During our visit, we had a lovely strawberry and grapefruit arugula salad with prosciutto and a lovely vinaigrette dressing.

Seasonal Salad
Seasonal Salad

The entrees from the pan seared scallops to the chargrilled ribeye and double cut pork chop are all crafted with finesse and deep flavors, but our favorite dish of the evening was a pan roasted duck dish with dirty wild rice and collard greens – absolutely delicious with a great cajun southern flair.

Desserts like the signature Emeril’s Banana Cream pie and red velvet cake are classic mainstays here, but if it’s available – do try their fantastic rendition of the Mardi gras classic – king cake!

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PAN SEARED DIVER SCALLOPS
creamy corn moque choux, wilted greens, local tomato jam
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emerils-6677
PAN ROASTED BELL & EVANS CHICKEN BREAST
foie gras dirty wild rice, wilted greens, maple jus
29

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CHARGRILLED RIBEYE*
rosemary charred cabbage, onion jam, roasted oyster mushrooms, buttermilk bleu cheese, arugula
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GRILLED DOUBLE CUT PORK CHOP*
caramelized sweet potatoes, tamarind glaze, green chili molé
32

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Desserts
EMERIL’S BANANA CREAM PIE
Graham Cracker Crust, Caramel Sauce, Chocolate Shavings
10

LEMON CHEESECAKE
blueberry sage compote
9

RED VELVET CAKE
cream cheese frosting, candied almonds, chocolate sauce
8

KEY LIME PIE
toasted meringue, berry coulis
10

FLOURLESS DECADENT CHOCOLATE TORTE
butter pecan sauce
10

KING CAKE
During Mardi Gras Season

Emeril’s Orlando
6000 Universal Blvd.
Universal CityWalk
407-224-2424
emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-orlando

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Orlando Foodie Forum x Tasty Chomps x Ravello Dinner Event
Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30pm
$45 pp (incl tax & grat)

The Four Seasons Orlando
The Four Seasons Orlando

Join us for a special dinner at Ravello on October 11, featuring the Orlando Foodie Forum and host Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com, the Orlando Food Blog. Ravello at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, the Italian restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Orlando, is helmed by Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi, who was born and raised in the Torino area of Italy.

The Four Seasons Orlando
The Four Seasons Orlando

Ravello features all housemade pastas and pizzas made with imported Italian flour, and it’s perfect timing to try this menu as October is National Pizza Month and National Pasta Month!

The menu includes a glass of wine, choice of salad, a personal size pizza, and pasta.

Plus, all attendees will receive a takeaway of Italian cookies. $45 per person includes tax and gratuity.

Space is limited to 20 guests!

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foodie-forum-dinner-at-ravello-tickets-27935938143

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Ravello Dinner Menu:

Choice of Salad, 1/2 portion Pasta and Personal Pizza

-Guests can select from the following:

Salad

Cesare

Hearts of Romaine | Parmigiano | Anchovy | Focaccia Croutons

Insalata Mista

Trevisana | Arugula | Lola Rossa | Moscato Vinaigrette

Blood Orange & Portobello Mushroom Salad

Shallots | Taggiasca Olives | Crunchy Polenta | Chianti Vinaigrette

~~~

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Pasta

Spaghetti

Homemade Spaghetti | San Marzano Tomato | Crunchy Basil

Creste Di Gallo

Pinot Grigio Cream Sauce | Wood Fired Asparagus | Carrots | Spinach | Ricotta Salata

Pappardelle

Traditional Bolognese | Pecorino

~~~

caf_205_screen-hi-res

Pizza

Margherita

Tomato | Basil | Mozzarella

Pizza Alla Salsiccia

Homemade Italian Sausage | Pepperoni | Cured Ham | Mozzarella | Basil Oil

N’Duja

Pomodorini Sauce | N’Duja Sausage | Oregano | Parmigiano | Mozzarella

Bianca

Ricotta Sauce | Mushrooms | Arugula | Truffle Oil

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foodie-forum-dinner-at-ravello-tickets-27935938143

Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World

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PRESS RELEASE

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will celebrate its seventh year October 28 – 29 at the Epcot Resort Area resort with its largest event to date featuring 50 food and wine stations, 10 seminars and opportunities to meet the award-winning chefs behind featured culinary masterpieces.

With more food and drink stations spreading out among more space than ever before, guests will delight in numerous opportunities to sip and savor along the resort’s causeway, alongside the resort’s private lake, and for the first time, on the resort’s private beach all weekend while enjoying live entertainment.

Delectable culinary offerings headline the two-night event, featuring cuisine from the resort’s own award-winning restaurants: Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Shula’s Steak House Todd English’s bluezoo, Kimonos and more, with wine and spirits samplings from around the globe.

“Each year we seek to give our guests something new and exciting to experience and taste.” said the resort’s Director of Food & Beverage Tony Porcellini. “This year, we’ll be able to offer them more food, more drink and more fun than ever before.”

What’s New
Making its festival debut this year is an immersive area, which will transport guests’ palates to the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown with décor and dishes inspired by the famous neighborhood.

Two new dishes were created by resort’s award-winning culinary team will be featured in the area: crispy duck with cucumber, scallion, hoisin sauce and a steamed bun as well as Shanghai dumplings, handmade with pork, rice wine, ginger and scallion, served with soy sauce and chili oil sauce.

Also new for 2016 is the Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery at Il Mulino New York Trattoria, featuring a lavish menu of traditional and unconventional dishes like various cured meats and imported cheeses along with an array of sushi and trattoria-inspired entrees.

Featured Food
Friday and Saturday nights, feature menus full of new and unique dishes sure to please the palate, including spinach and potato agnolotti with pork, tomato cream grilled radicchio and ricotta salata; smoked beef brisket with white cheddar beignet and concord grape and smoked bacon remoulade; and seared striped bass with fall artichokes, nicoise olives and Spanish caper emulsion.

Favorite dishes from past years also return, such as the shrimp cocktail steamroller, Thai chicken salad with organic greens, green papaya tamarind and ginger dressing as well as the dragon sushi roll with crispy shrimp, tuna and avocado.

The resort’s World Champion Pastry Chef, Laurent Branlard, provides a sweeter side to the evening with decadent desserts like the all-chocolate choux and caramel sea salt éclair with vanilla whipped cream and comfit gingered pears. The Sundae Action Station returns allowing guests to choose their own toppings like chocolate cake and caramelized banana.

Seminars and Upgrades
Two new hands-on educational seminars, taught by members of the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team, are being added to this year’s seminar offerings. The Craft Cocktails seminar educates guests on the origins of traditional cocktails and how to make them, and More than Malbec introduces the world of popular Argentinian wines, with tastings and tips for pairing. Popular returning seminar topics include wine blending, Italian wines, champagne, beer, tequila, pasta making, sushi and sake and wine and cheese pairing. All seminars require separate tickets, and space is limited.

As an upgraded ticket option, guests can experience a beer garden, featuring a variety of local and seasonal brews from around the world, alongside Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine made by the resort’s culinary experts.

Award-Winning Chefs
To add to the event’s appeal, guests can enjoy a meet and greet with celebrity chef Todd English, the namesake of the resort’s Todd English’s bluezoo restaurant. Guests can also meet the world’s only two-time World Champion Pastry Chef and the resort’s very own executive pastry chef, Laurent Branlard. Barbeque fans shouldn’t miss the Cib’s Smoke House station for signature barbeque dishes from the resort’s Executive Chef Robert Ciborowski.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, a distinguished culinary and beverage team and unmatched customer service, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort continually receives national recognition for its food and beverage program. The culinary team has had the honor of presenting multiple dinners at the distinguished James Beard House. The resort boasts more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections, including organic and rare vintages. The resort’s restaurants are annual winners of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence including Shula’s Steak House, a five-time recipient of the exclusive Best of Award of Excellence.

Tickets to the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic are available as part of a resort package or individually. For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500.

What: Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Info: The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort returns October 28 – 29, showcasing a vast array of food and beverage options, informative seminars conducted by members of the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team and an appearance by celebrity chef Todd English.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic consists of 10 food and beverage seminars, live entertainment, a beer garden and more than 50 food and beverage stations, featuring appetizing selections from the resort’s signature restaurants: Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Todd English’s bluezoo, as well as wines, beers and cocktails from around the world.

When: Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 2016
5:30–9 p.m. (for seminar schedule, check www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com)

Where: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Causeway
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-934-4000

Ticket Information:

– Overnight packages, available for one or two nights, including room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee) are available starting at $392

– Advance purchase unlimited food and beverage samples are $105 per person; beer garden upgrade is $130 per person including taxes

– Interactive seminars start at $50 per person, per class including taxes

– Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery is $75 per person

– For more information or to book, please visit www.SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500

About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort resides amongst the greatest theme parks and attractions in Central Florida. The resort is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The resort features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, the extended park hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required) and Disney FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit. The resort can be reached at 800-227-1500, www.swandolphin.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/swananddolphin.

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Fall Food & Wine Weekends – Sept. 16 through Nov. 13, 2016
Complimentary transportation to Epcot® and the Disney Theme Parks.

Food & Wine Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a celebration of fine wine and the culinary arts…the perfect complement to the Epcot® Food & Wine Festival, for the serious epicurean.

Designed for those who truly savor the artistry of fine culinary preparations – each plate a canvas for delight and each vintage an invitation for couples to indulge in each other – we invite you to experience Food & Wine Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Come for an evening, or immerse yourself in a gourmet weekend retreat. Plus, enjoy complimentary transportation to Epcot® and all Disney Theme Parks.

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Weekend Highlights Include:

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The Taste of La Luce
Friday & Saturday, 6pm – 11pm, La Luce
From the kitchen of La Luce at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, enjoy an exclusive four-course menu with recommended wine pairing featuring a taste of La Luce. Menu may be paired with wine flights for an additional fee. Reservations recommended, please refer to, “The Taste of La Luce,” when making a reservation. Call 407-597-3600. ($)
View Menu

The Taste of Bull & Bear
Friday & Saturday, 6pm – 10pm, Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Experience an exclusive tasting four-course menu comprised of exquisite food and wine pairings – prepared by the illustrious chefs of Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Reservations recommended, please refer to, “The Taste of Bull & Bear,” when making a reservation. Call 407-597-5413. ($)
View Dinner and Wine Pairing Menu

Carved Beef Filet Rossini with Potato Pave
Carved Beef Filet Rossini with Potato Pave

The Art of Sushi Pairing
Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 10pm, Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge
Guests can enjoy an exciting epicurean journey at Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge, exploring perfect pairings of sake or beer with favorite sushi dishes. ($)
View Dinner Menu

Cocktail Creations
Saturday 4:30pm – 5:30pm, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Muddle, mix and sample! Guests partake in an interactive experience creating their very own specialty cocktails.

Sip, Swirl & Savor – A Wine Tasting Experience
Friday and Saturday, 5pm – 7pm, outside of La Luce
Before dinner, sample an array of wines which will be offered as a complement to The Taste of La Luce dinner menu. Regardless of your wine knowledge, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more from an experienced sommelier. Select Weekends.

Craft Beer Experience

Friday & Saturday, MYTH Bar
The resort has teamed up with local breweries to bring this interactive experience to guests. Enjoy a selection of craft beers each weekend. Select Weekends.

Bar du Chocolat and Champagne Tasting
Friday & Saturday, 6:30pm – 10:30pm, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
A decadent selection of à la carte chocolate treats hand-crafted by Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s world-class pastry team. A selection of champagnes are available, as well. Highlights include chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes and bowls of beautiful bon-bons. ($) Select Weekends.

Macaron Bar
Friday & Saturday, 6pm – 10pm, MYTH Bar
Whether indulging in a pre or post-dinner treat, guest can visit the Macaron Bar to try an assortment of flavors, hand-made by the resort’s world-class pastry team. ($) Select Weekends.

Astoria After Dark
Friday & Saturday, WA Kids Club at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Adults aren’t the only ones who can join the fun. WA Kids Club offers a nightly children’s program including dinner and non-stop roster of fun activities – providing parents some “adult time” in which to experience Food & Wine Weekend activities. ($)

Royal Tea – A Waldorf Astoria Tradition
Sunday, 2pm – 4pm, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Guests will treasure quality time with loved ones over finely-prepared tea sandwiches and house-made pastries, while sipping premium hot tea and listening to live piano music. A glass of champagne can be added for a “Grand Royal Tea.” Reservations are required 24 hours in advance. Please see Concierge or call 407-597-5450. ($)

Waldorf Astoria® Spa Tuscany Wine Special
Daily, Waldorf Astoria Spa
Experience the powerful antioxidants of red wine powder, red grape seed extract, crushed grape seeds and pure grape seed oil as you indulge in an extravagant Tuscany Wine Wrap or Pedicure. To book an appointment at Waldorf Astoria Spa please call 407-597-5360. ($)

Live Entertainment
Nightly, Peacock Alley at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

All guests of Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek are invited to enjoy Food & Wine Weekend experiences.

Stuffed Conchiglioni Pasta: Ricotta, Short Rib, Reggiano, B?chamel
Stuffed Conchiglioni Pasta: Ricotta, Short Rib, Reggiano, B?chamel

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