Luke’s Kitchen and Bar in Maitland – the winner for Orlando Sentinel’s best restaurant of the year 2021 recently debuted their new Spring Menu.
Luke’s Kitchen and Bar is led by visionary chef Brandon McGlamery, Executive Chef Jason Campbell , and operations maven Tim Noelke featuring seasonally ingredient-driven dishes focused on unique takes on American cuisine, made in-house and sourced locally as much as possible (including local Central Florida farms such as: Big Daddy Organics and Frog Song CSA.
The restaurant specializes in carefully curated oysters and freshly roasted entrees cooked over an open Florida oak wood fire grill.
The beverage program features hand crafted, seasonal and classically-inspired libations as well as an extensive selection of craft beer and wine.
Interview with Chef Jason Campbell of Luke’s Kitchen and Bar
Tasty Chomps: Tell us about your experience growing up in Orlando. What were some of your favorite memories around food growing up?
Chef Jason Campbell: Being born and raised in Orlando is something I’m very proud of and you really don’t meet a lot of people born here, it’s a huge transit city which creates a huge melting pot of great food to eat.
We really didn’t eat out too much as my mom and grandfather were great cooks and always had a huge garden, so we ate at home mostly where my cooking began, my mom and grandfather were polish so my first cooking memories were helping them shred potatoes for potatoes cakes, pork and sauerkraut and making pierogi!
One of my uncle’s had a small Farm where I learned to live off the land and know where our food came from, we had some amazing family cookouts and holidays based on the food he had grown and raised himself.
Another great thing I love about growing up in Orlando were all the food festivals geared around food and the culture of the people that we went to a lot throughout the year. I love all the nooks and crannies of great food from all areas of the city. I love seeing my friends doing great things outside of the tourist areas and doing great local business! I believe we are a great food city and it’s exciting to be a part of our food culture in my hometown. Love this city!
What inspired you to get into the food industry?
I can say I was inspired by my family and friends, I always enjoyed cooking with and for my family and friends, it kinda just came to me naturally always being around food at home. I would cook for myself and friends from elementary school all the way to high school/college parties lol, its always just been fun to cook for people. I would always watch food shows on PBS with my mom and we would try some of the things we watched, which was great to create something from nothing! Once I graduated from high school a few years later I went to culinary school at le cordon Bleu in 2003 with no restaurant experience, but was interesting in learning how to cook and ready to start my journey.
What are some of your favorite lessons learned in your years in the industry?
Some of my favorite lessons learned in the industry is to be patient, things don’t happen overnight or on the first, second, third try. But you have to keep digging and pushing forward, ask questions and absorb everything you can! I feel this is one industry that you can learn everyday if you’re looking for it, kinda like long term college lol.
What are some of the most popular dishes right now at Luke’s?
Blackened fish collars – ask for shabang style for secret menu upgrade- inspired by king cajun crawfish, one of my favorites in the city
Weekly lunch box offering – great value and assortment of options
Lamb Sausage- brunch
Strawberry and Honey
Meyer lemon cake
Tell us about the spring menu – what are your favorites and why?
My favorite time of year to cook as everything is green, vibrant and so fresh! But some items are around a few weeks so its exciting to see the menu flex around the availability of all the amazing produce.
Right now I’m really loving the Red fish with farro verde from Anson Mills, with beautiful English peas and heirloom carrots from Frog song organics.
New York Strip that screams spring with ramps, green garlic, delta asparagus, king trumpet mushrooms and meyer lemon salsa verde, all the bright vegetables go great with the smokiness from the woodfire grill.
Meyer lemon cake with Florida blueberries, poppy seeds ice cream and a pound cake tuile
What is something you wish people to know about Luke’s their first time dining there?
For the first time diner I would suggest that just take your time and look around the menu, it’s full of great hidden gems. I suggest that you get a few items from each section to get a feel for the style of cooking and then dive in on the entrées and don’t skip on dessert!!! We tend to cook on the lighter side so you won’t get too full snacking around the menu.
Future plans for Luke’s?
Our goal is to continue growing and getting better everyday, we are a little out of the way so would love the name of Luke’s to be know all over town so we can share our tasty goods with everyone! We are always trying to push ourselves to keep creating with the seasons around us and support our local farms so they can grow with us. We do have some exciting news coming up but I can’t share it quite yet but it’s going to be a great addition. We love our community and team and couldn’t be where we are without them!
Spring 2022 Menu at Luke’s :
* strawberry & honey // brioche , sunflower seed, farmers cheese , meyer lemon
* wedge salad // bacon , tomato , blue cheese, everything crunch
* n.y. strip // asparagus, king trumpet , ramp, meyer lemon
* roasted cauliflower // shishito, marcona, fregola, sweet pea, mint
* redfish // farro verde, english pea, heirloom carrots
* soft serve ice cream & sorbet // madagascan vanilla, marionberry
* florida strawberries // sesame mousse, white chocolate
* blackened fish collar // lime, salsa verde
Luke’s Kitchen and Bar – Maitland
640 S Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751