Join WUCF TV, Central Florida PBS, for an exclusive after hours foodie experience as we celebrate Season Two of the television show, No Passport Required.*

Sunday, January 12, 2020

from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM EST

at
Orlando Public Library
101 E. Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32801

Enjoy a sneak peek of the premiere episode and an informal chat about Orlando’s vibrant immigrant food culture with Faiyaz Kara of Orlando Weekly, Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com, and Bruno Fonseca of The Foreigner – A Culinary Experience.

Explore the rich diversity of Central Florida’s local food scene with free tastes from restaurants covering a wide range of cultures. Space is limited. Registration required.

Participating Restaurants include:

Cress Restaurant
The Foreigner – A Culinary Experience
Mecatos Bakery
Nile Orlando
Paris Banh Mi
Sticky Rice

Visit wucf.org/culture for more details.

*Marcus Samuelsson will not be appearing at this event.

Interview Q and A with Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com for the Orlando Public Library Magazine January edition

Why is it important for people to know where a dish originated?

Knowing where dishes originate is so important as it tells you so much about a people’s culture, history, and their environment. When learning about cultures, one of the first ways we learn is through their cuisine. We gather our families and communities around food, whether it is for our daily meal or festive occasion.

What do you hope people learn about Orlando’s food scene with this event?

I hope people will learn about how diverse Orlando’s food scene is and can be. With so many immigrant communities – from Vietnamese to Brazilian to Puerto Rican and more – Orlando is truly home to so many different people, each bringing their own flavors and ingredients to the communal table. I hope we will all learn a little more about our neighbors and maybe find a new dish or cuisine to enjoy.

What immigrant cuisine is Orange County lacking?

We are blessed with so many wonderful cuisines from all over the world here in Orlando, but I think we could definitely use some more great Persian cuisine – I love the Persian basmati rice pilaf served with a sizzling skewer of beef shish kebabs.

Do you think our food scene would be as diverse without our theme parks?

I think we owe a bit of our diversity to the theme parks – many people from all over the world come to Orlando to experience our world class theme parks and quite a few stay and make Orlando their dream home. When Epcot first opened in the early 1980s, there were people who came from Italy, Japan, Morocco and many other places as a part of the World Showcase and many of those families still live and thrive here in Central Florida today.

What would you consider Orlando’s signature dish?

Some may say it is the honey nougat glace, but I think our signature dish is still in formation. We are still a young city compared to others, but I think our food culture is definitely maturing as more people put down roots here. We are on the cusp of finding ourselves, and I don’t think it is a coincidence that a lot of “signature” dishes from the big cities are a creation of immigrant culture, interacting and changing with the ingredients and techniques favored by their city. In a lot of ways this is how culture is – we think of it as something stagnant and traditional, but in reality it is something fluid and changing like water filling up whatever vessel it finds itself in, but at the end of the day it’s still water – something nourishing.