Did you know there is a restaurant in Central Florida featuring molecular gastronomy techniques? It’s called Four Flamingos – A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen – at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress just outside of Disney Springs.
Four Flamingos is an immersive dining and drinking experience reminiscent of a dreamy tropical oasis led by acclaimed chef and television personality, Richard Blais, who combines the memory of vintage eras with the bounty of Florida to create a treasure-packed menu of the fresh-caught surf and fire-grilled turf variety.
The raw seafood on ice, lush and colorful interior, and refreshing cocktail creations set the daily mood to breezy and carefree.
For wanderers, Four Flamingos is the perfect place to linger and libate; for locals, it’s a sweet escape and familiar favorite. For guests of all ages in search of a good time, there’s always room here for one more.
And a bonus for local Central Florida residents – they provide complimentary valet and self parking if you dine in.
We recently spoke with Four Flamingo’s Chef de Cuisine Shelby Farrell about her background and culinary inspirations at the restaurant. Read on below!
Tasty Chomps Interview with Four Flamingos’ Chef De Cuisine Shelby Farrell
Tasty Chomps: Tell us about your experience growing up in the Florida Panhandle. What were some of your favorite memories around food growing up?
Chef Shelby Farrell: Growing up in the Panhandle was great, the white sand beaches, the southern culture, it’s definitely a whole different kind of Florida from what we know here in Orlando.
Growing up surrounded by such amazing fresh seafood all of the time was something I didn’t fully appreciate until I moved away but it definitely created my foundation for seafood centric cookery that is still central to my personal style.
What inspired you to get into the food industry?
I come from a very food focused family, from my Italian immigrant Nona, to my foodie father, to my restauranteur/chef Uncle food was central to my upbringing and cooking for others has always been my love language.
I first started working in kitchens as a teenager and from the start I couldn’t imagine pursuing anything else!
How are you getting local Central Florida influences into the menu at Four Flamingos?
We try to let Central Florida influence our menu as much as possible.
Some ways are obvious like using local ingredients such microgreens grown in The Villages, Zellwood sweet corn, and shrimp and seafood from Cape Canaveral.
And other ways more in concept, like our whole fish dish, an homage to the Vietnamese food culture here in Orlando, we serve locally caught fish rubbed with ginger, turmeric, and galagal, and dusted with tapioca starch before frying, its then served with green papaya salad and Cha Ca chimi.
It’s a very Asian style dish at face value but at heart it is Central Florida through and through.
What are some of your favorite lessons learned in your years in the industry?
People eat with their eyes first but that doesn’t mean presentation is everything!
I spent a lot of my early years in the industry focused on creating beautiful food, a valuable skill for sure, but all the frill means nothing if the flavors don’t follow through, it’s okay to have a simply plated dish without scores of garnishing as long as flavors and execution are on point.
What are some of the most popular dishes right now at Four Flamingos?
Our Swordfish is bar none one of our biggest hits, a bone in thick cut “prime rib” cut encrusted in black lime and topped with a brown butter sauce, it’s one of the most unique preparations of sword I’ve had the pleasure of cooking and it’s become one of our signature dishes.
Our Oysters and Pearls are also a favorite, we like to change the flavors up from time to time but we are currently serving the dish with cilantro mignonette and pineapple ahi liquid nitrogen pearls.
With the summer heat right around the corner people are craving something refreshing and the ice cold pearls on top of a fresh briny oyster delivers.
Tell us about the spring menu – what are your favorites and why?
We don’t stick to any hard seasonal menu changes, our menu is in flux and we tweak and add as we please, but that being said we are always adjusting and keeping the menu exiting and in tune with the season.
The whole fish for two dish has to be up at the top for me, it just screams bright crisp flavors that we crave as the weather heats up and the sharing aspect just brings out a feeling of family cook outs and togetherness.
What is something you wish people to know about Four Flamingos for their first time dining there?
Order the side dishes! Our sides are unique, delicious, and really round out the experience. So order a few for the table and share.
In fact, go family style all the way around if you can, it the best way to experience the menu, several of our entrees are best served shared, 16oz of swordfish is a lot for one person to take on, so get a few dishes from each section of the menu and take a tour, theses just something heartwarming about sharing a meal with the people you love, and your taste buds with thank me!
Future plans for Four Flamingos?
Being only 6 months into opening the world is still our oyster when it comes to our potential. Of course we will always be working on improving the menu and keeping it fresh but beyond that we have some exciting things in the works.
We have plans to start pairing up with wineries and distillers to do some really fun and unique paired dinner events, keep an eye out for our whiskey dinner with Redwood Empire later this summer, we will be bringing in their master distiller and offering a totally unique one night only paired menu.
And while we don’t have a hard start date on it yet a regular Sunday Brunch is on our radar, the Grand Cypress has had a void since La Coquina brunch came to an end all those years back and we are excited to offer our own brunch experience in the future.
Four Flamings – A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
1 Grand Cypress Boulevard, Orlando, FL, 32836
1 407 239 3854
Open Nightly from 5:00 – 10:00PM
Complimentary Valet & Self Parking for Guests of Four Flamingos