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Jollibee Opens January 18th in East Orlando – Here’s a Sneak Peek Look Inside


The brand’s 4th location in Florida opens on January 18, inviting fans to enjoy its world-famous fried chicken.

On January 18, 2023, Jollibee will debut its Orlando storefront at 11891 East Colonial Drive specializing in all things fried chicken including its crispy, juicy, Chickenjoy fried chicken and delectable Chicken Sandwiches as well as their mango peach pies. 

In fact, international food authority recently named Jollibee “the best chain fried chicken in America” after its Chickenjoy bested 14 global brands in four rounds of contests.

Founded in 1975 in the Philippines, Jollibee first began as an ice cream parlor founded by Tony Tan Caktiong, later becoming popular for its hamburgers, French fries, and fried chicken.

We spoke with Maribeth Dela Cruz, President, Jollibee North America, about the opening and their upcoming plans. She is in town this week to make sure the opening goes as smooth as possible and shared with us some tips on enjoying Jollibee!

What To Know About Jollibee’s Grand Opening

For those planning to visit Jollibee’s first location in Orlando, here’s everything you need to know:

Address: 11891 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32826
Hours of Operation: 9AM – 12AM, seven days a week.

How To Order: Customers can pick up their orders to go or enjoy the convenience of the two-lane drive-thru service beginning on opening day. Dine-in, online ordering, and delivery will not be available on opening day, but will be made available in the coming weeks.

The Jollibee team is ready!!!

Opening Day Specials: The first 100 customers in line for drive thru or pick up will be getting limited edition Jollibee prizes and chickenjoy for a year!

What To Order – a rundown of Jollibee’s tried and true menu favorites:

  • Chickenjoy: Jollibee’s signature fried chicken. Each piece is delicately hand-breaded to be crispy on the outside, cooked with precision to be juicy on the inside, and marinated to the bone for next-level flavor. Their fried chicken is also known to be enjoyed  dipped in their gravy sauce.

  • Chicken Sandwich: This sandwich features a crispy, juicy chicken breast fillet, spread with umami mayo, and served on a toasted brioche bun. Find out why this newly launched sandwich has been lauded for its “intense crunch” by The Takeout, and discover how the umami flavor profile and signature Jollibee seasonings meld together to create a perfect chicken sandwich offering.

  • Spicy Chicken Sandwich: A spicy version of the original chicken sandwich features sriracha mayo and fresh jalapeños for added crunch and heat.

  • Peach Mango Pie: Make sure to leave room for this mouth-watering dessert made with peaches and real Philippine mangoes enveloped in a light and crispy crust.

“Get ready Orlando! We are ready to serve up the most delicious fried chicken you have ever had,” said Maribeth Dela Cruz, President, Jollibee North America. “From the minute you walk through our doors – or line up at our first-ever two-lane drive-thru – to your very last bite, we are determined to make every experience at Jollibee a joyful one for our guests.”

Jollibee’s Orlando location marks the brand’s 87th restaurant in North America and fourth location in Florida – the sunshine state first welcomed Jollibee to Jacksonville (11884 Atlantic Blvd) back in 2017. Following the success of that opening, the brand established locations in Pinellas Park (4057 Park Blvd N, Ste 120) in 2020 and in Pembroke Pines (11029 Pines Blvd) in 2021.


Inside Look: Clermont Brewing Company in Historic Downtown Clermont – Craft Beer, Cocktails, Artisanal Food, and Live Music

Have you heard of this new craft brewery and eatery in historic Downtown Clermont? It’s called the Clermont Brewing Company – the place for Craft Beer, Cocktails, Artisanal Food, and Live Music when you are in Clermont.

Voted the Best Place to Have Drinks in the 2022 Best of South Lake, Clermont Brewing Company has an on-site brewery and guests can taste exquisite seasonally changing craft beers, thin crust Neapolitan pizzas cooked in their 800 degree imported pizza oven and gourmet salads while listening live to Central Florida’s finest musicians and entertainers.

The wings here are marinated 24 hours in Brewmaster Eric’s Hazy IPA, dusted with Chef Damien’s special dry rub with a touch of heat, smoked in our house smoker, and then finished off in their 800-degree oven.

There’s a neighborhood, backyard barn, block party feel to the place – it’s somewhere fun to go for sure in the historic Downtown Clermont area, especially to try fantastic craft beer and pizza.

We recently spoke with co-founder Darren Johnson about Clermont Brewing Company – read on below!

Featured Menu Dishes

Smoked Chicken Dip
House smoked chicken tossed with buffalo sauce, cream cheese, sour cream, blended cheeses, house smoked bacon, green onions, pickled jalapeños for garnish. Served with corn tortilla chips. $12

Nach-Yo Average Nachos
Choice of marinated house smoked pork or Korean BBQ chicken, with CBC beer cheese, shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, pickled jalapeños, green onions and sriracha drizzle. Served with corn tortilla chips. $15

“Dream On” Sushi Roll
Shrimp tempura and cream cheese, topped with krab, avocado, eel sauce, tempura flakes and spicy mayo. $18

The CBC Pizza
House smoked chicken, bacon, cheddar and jack cheeses, green onions, and a cilantro-chipotle ranch drizzle. $18

Diablo Pizza
Spicy tomato sauce, mozzarella, hand cut sopressa salami and pepperoni, peppadews and basil. $17

Interview with Clermont Brewing Company’s Co-Founder Darren Johnson

The CBC is such an awesome place – from the brewery to the 400 (800) degree pizza oven to the backyard live music – what was your vision for CBC when you first started?

To create a fun experience where you could share communal food, drinks and listen to live music. Downtown Clermont really needed more hospitality establishments to kick-off the redevelopment engine.

Loved that peanut butter beer – what are some special things about the brewery that people should know?

We brew 10-16 beers including many seasonal and even a seltzer. Our head brewer loves coming up with new creative beers. This week he is releasing a new white chocolate stout.

What are your most popular items right now at CBC?

Beer is the Mexican Lager, Hazy IPA, Sangria & Margaritas on tap, food- pizza is king followed by our smoked chicken dip, dream on sushi roll and our Korean BBQ tacos. We strive for artisanal food and craft cocktails.

Tell us about your background – from event production industry to food industry – what made you decide to go into the food world?

Having a 40 year career in hospitality creating a killer guest experience is first and foremost for all of my clients and events. I parlayed that expertise and knowledge into more permanent venues like CBC, The Southern on 8th and our other hospitality related ventures. It’s really all about the experience and that includes the look, feel, the lighting, the décor, music, seating, menu, beverage options, safety and cleanliness. All of those things combined is what creates the ultimate guests experience. Now doing that every second you are open is the ultimate challenge and its hard, very hard, especially today!

What are some of your favorite memories around food growing up?

Growing up in the 60’s/70’s my memories included Swansons TV dinners, fried baloney sandwiches, chicken pot pie and other various frozen meals, nothing that tripped any culinary switches. My 4 years in Marines taught me to eat anything there was and that really broaden my pallet. It wasn’t until my event planning career that I started to visit the top resorts in the world and got to experience some of the greatest chefs and cuisines.

Your wife is multigenerational in the Clermont area – what are some of her memories of Clermont growing up and the food scene?

The most exciting food memories for her was when Burger King and Wendy’s arrived in Clermont. There was still dirt roads back in the 70’s/80s. The Crown Restaurant, Rusty Fox and RJ Grunts were the top places to eat.

What are your upcoming plans for the menu? What are some new dishes guests will likely see and when will they be available?

New dishes are in the works and hope to release the new menu in February. We’re looking at adding some Asian influences like a fried Pork/Shrimp burger, a BADASS burger with brisket, pulled pork, Texas sausage, and onion straws for the real carnivores, 4 new killer sushi rolls and 3 new killer salads.

3:00pm – 6:00pm, Monday – Friday Happy Hour Beers, Wines & Cocktails Craft Beers $3, House Wine $3, Cocktails $4

Wings available from 3 p.m. until they’re gone. Stick around for Dueling Pianos starting at 7 p.m.

Live Music – Wednesday thru Sunday
Wednesday Wings 

Holiday & Special Events
Bring the whole family while enjoying our air-conditioned taproom, covered patio or our beautiful backyard beer garden at the Clermont Brewing Company.

SUNDAY: 11:30AM – 10:00PM




10 New Orlando Restaurants To Try in 2023


New Year, New Restaurants to Try! Orlando has been having a boom in new restaurants lately it seems and several neighborhoods – looking at you Mills 50 – have been having a restaurant renaissance / glow up moment. Here are a few from our list that we want to try in 2023, including 10 New Orlando restaurants that recently opened and restaurants that will be opening soon!


10 New Orlando Restaurants To Try in 2023

Now Open

Sampaguita Ice Cream
1233 East Colonial, Orlando, FL 32803 – Mills 50
Filipino inspired treats including ice cream, soft cream, halo halo, shakes & sundaes! From the people behind The Greenery Creamery !

The Moderne
1241 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803 – Mills 50
Asian-inspired grilled izayaka tapas / small dishes and craft cocktails in chic moderne lounge

Sanshi Noodle House
Golden Sparkling Plaza – 5600 West Colonial Drive, Suite 316A, Orlando, FL 32808
specializes in the cuisine from China’s Yunnan province – noodles and ingredients combine to finalize tableside.

Mr. J Hand Pulled Noodles
1688 E Silver Star Rd, Ocoee, FL 34761, Phone: (407) 930-6699
– Hand pulled Lanzhou style noodles, six seats

Otto’s High Dive
2304 E Robinson St, Orlando, FL 32803
Cuban Restaurant and Rum Bar based in Orlando, Florida. Cuban Classics, Florida Seafood, Cocktails.

Chicharron Grill by Roberto Trevino
at MarketPlace at Avalon Park
3819 Avalon Park E Blvd, Orlando, FL 32828
feature such items as empanadas rellenas; pinchos; mofongos; garlic shrimp; pork chicharron; and chicharron de pollo.

Opening Soon

7940 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL
James Beard Award winning chef Norman Van Aken, known for being the founding father of New World Cuisine

Kungfu Kitchen
8466 Palm Parkway, Orlando, FL
First Florida location for the famed NYC hand pulled noodle restaurant by Peter Song

Sweet Buns Bakery and Cafe
2021 E. Colonial Drive in Orlando
– Late Night Hong Kong Style Diner in Mills 50 by the people behind YH Seafood Clubhouse

Pho Ga Hien Vuong Noodle House
Chinatown Plaza – 5282 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808
From the owners of Michelin Bib Gourmand award winner Z Asian Vietnamese Kitchen – Vietnamese chicken based pho ga noodle soup and more.

some photos courtesy Mr. Joe S.

Chef’s Corner: Interview with NEW Executive Chef Jomar Rios Berly of Sea World Orlando

Chef Jomar Rios Berly recently joined SeaWorld Orlando as their new executive chef. Born in Puerto Rico, Chef Rios Berly has a long history stemming from his work in Miami at restaurants and hotels. He recently spoke with us about his background and experiences as well as future plans for food and beverage at SeaWorld Orlando.

Ricky Ly, Tasty Chomps: What is your inspiration for becoming a chef?

Chef Jomar Rios Berly: My inspiration comes from a young age, when I started cooking with my grandmother, in addition to this I discovered a career that I never stop learning and being able to transmit happiness through food and impact and help the lives of many people in a positive way.

What are your favorite food memories growing up?

One of my memories since I was little is picking fresh ingredients to cook at home, I remember picking cilantro directly from the ground and combining it with a good stew or simply making a sauce.

What are some favorite lessons you learned that helped you become the chef you are today?

I always learned from anyone, no matter the position or age and race. I worked with good chefs as well as with very bad chefs and this helped me develop and be the humble person I am today, I have always liked helping others and being a mentor, motivate and help people reach their next level .

Favorite dishes at Seaworld right now?

I don’t have a specific dish since I like that we are changing recipes and in each event we come with different things and a different flavor from the others, but I always like to put a little bit of my story in each recipe or dish that I make

Upcoming plans for Seaworld for food and beverage?

Seven Seas next year we’re coming with new recipes since this is the biggest F&B event at SeaWorld and maintain the reputation we have but beyond that my goal is to exceed expectations and do memorable things for each guest who visits us.

Favorite comfort food to make at home?

One of my favorite comfort food is when the Christmas season comes and I can mention several options from this: Arroz con gandules and Roasted Pork, Pasteles de Yuca (this is something similar to tamales but in Puerto Rico we use yuca or plantain and we wrapped in banana leaf), and Pumpkin Flan!

Thank you Chef!

A Foodie’s Guide to Chinese / Vietnamese Lunar New Year Celebrations in Orlando – 2023 Year of the Rabbit!


It’s one of my favorite times of the year, not just for the festivities but also for the great food that goes along with the holiday celebrations.

I remember gathering around at home growing up with my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandma around the family dinner table having a huge feast, praying to our ancestors and the gods for a lucky and healthy new year. My favorite dishes were the fried egg rolls and roasted duck, Hakka style, filled with Chinese spices, herbs and wild mushrooms.

This year the Chinese/Vietnamese Lunar New Year’s Official Date is Sunday January 22 – but the celebrations begin much earlier and last almost all month.

This is the year of the Rabbit and known to be full of “mercy, elegance, and beauty. People who are born in the year of the rabbit are calm and peaceful

Luckily for us here in the Central Florida community, we are home to the largest ethnic enclaves of Asian Americans in the entire state, particularly around the Mills 50 district with shops, restaurants, and markets all getting ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Entrance to the Festival

Lunar New Year Traditions
  • Eating dinner together as a family – people journey from wherever they are, to come home and have dinner. Every year this time marks the largest mass migration of people when workers in the cities travel home to their home villages to visit their families again.
  • Giving/Recieving Red Envelopes – filled with lucky money from elders to the young. Asian culture is big on karma so want to start off the year doing good things for others and hope for good things to happen to you in return later in the year. Universal balance.
  • Clean the house before the new year start the year new, and pay off all your debts
  • Big parades with lots of firecrackers. The loud noise “scares” away any evil spirits so you can start off the new year fresh.
  • On the day of Lunar New Year – if you have lunch in the Mills 50 area, you will see the Wah Lum Kung Fu Lion Dance team “blessing” each business with their lion dance and lots of loud fire works. Great for photography!


What to Order – Traditional Chinese Dishes for New Years


  • Noodles – The longer, the better – the noodles represent longevity and long life
  • Dumplings – They are shaped like little gold nuggets, symbols for good fortune and wealth
  • Fish – The word “yu” sounds like “abundance” in Chinese, so your new year will be abundant with good luck – eat whole fish so that your whole year is full of good luck
  • Fried Spring Rolls – The name also sounds like “good fortune” in Chinese, eat it for a lucky new year
  • Oranges are also plentiful during new years because the name and look of the orange is similar to gold. So giving oranges as a gift is also quite common, as it the giver is seen as wishing prosperity on the receivers.
  • Vietnamese Banh Tet – Bánh tét is a Vietnamese savoury but sometimes sweetened cake made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with mung bean or mung bean and pork fillings, then boiled. It is a must have traditional food in Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It demonstrates the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture as well as historical value. During Vietnamese Tét, family members would gather together and enjoy feasting on bánh tét, the central food of this festive Vietnamese holiday to celebrate the coming of spring.
  • Rolls of banh tet, kind of like Christmas yuletide logs, but with sticky rice and beans to celebrate the new year

Say Happy New Year!

  • Vietnamese – Chuc Mung Nam Moi
  • Cantonese – Sun Lien Fai Lok
    or Gung Hay Fat Choi (Literally : Congratulations on your Prosperity – have a prosperous new year)
  • Mandarin – Xin Nian Kuai Le

Places to Celebrate Lunar New Year in Orlando:

Local Orlando Restaurants:

    • YH Seafood Clubhouse – Cantonese / Seafood / Dim Sum fine dining
      8081 Turkey Lake Rd #700, Orlando, FL 32819 – Phone: (407) 440-4979
    • East Garden – Chinese Dim Sum and Cantonese Cuisine
      5136 W Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32808 – Phone: (407) 203-6001
    • Ming Bistro – Chinese Dim Sum – Great for Families/Friends/Groups
      1212 Woodward Street #6, Orlando, FL (407) 898-9672
    • Taste of Chengdu – Authentic Sichuan Chinese
      2030 W Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32804, Phone: (407) 839-1983
      4856 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814, Phone: (407) 286-4850
    • Chuan Lu Garden – Authentic Sichuan cuisine 
      1101 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL – (407) 896-8966
    • Tasty Wok – Chinese street food / barbecue and noodles
      1237 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL  (407) 896-8988
    • Mr. J’s Hand Pulled Noodles
      1688 E Silver Star Rd, Ocoee, FL 34761, Phone: (407) 930-6699
    • Golden Lotus Chinese – Dim sum and traditional Chinese cuisine
      8365 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL (407) 352-3832

Local Markets – Pick up New Year goodies

  • New Golden Sparkling Super Market – West Orlando
    5600 W Colonial Dr #306, Orlando, FL 32808, Phone: (407) 730-3936
  • Mei’s Super Market- East Orlando
    10681 E Colonial Dr, Union Park, FL 32817, Phone: (689) 208-1888
  • Dong A Asian Market
    816 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803, Phone: (407) 898-9227
  • Eastside Asian Market
    12950 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32826, Phone: (407) 615-8881
  • Saigon Market
    1232 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, United States
    (407) 898-6899
  • Tien Hung Market
    1112 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, United States
    (407) 849-0205
  • Enson Market
    5132 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808, United States
    (407) 292-3668


Lunar New Year Festivals/Events


Vietnamese Community of Central Florida Vietnamese Lunar New Year 2023 Celebration

January 20 @ 10:00 am – January 22 @ 5:30 pm

Central Florida Fairgrounds 4603 W. Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL

CAACF Chinese New Year Celebration 2023 – Orlando

January 21 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Chuan Lu Garden  1101 E. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL

Mei’s Supermarket Lunar New Year Celebration 2023

January 22 @ 2:00 am – 3:30 pm

30th Annual Central Florida Vietnamese Lunar New Year

January 28 @ 10:00 am – January 29 @ 5:00 pm

Central Florida Fairgrounds 4603 W. Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL

Orange County Library System (FL) Chinese New Year Celebration

January 29 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Celebrate Lunar – Lake Nona

February 4 @ 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

$10 – $20

11th Annual Central Florida Dragon Parade Lunar New Year

February 5 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Avalon SpringFest 2023 – Lunar New Year Festival

Inside Look: Christmas Day Brunch Buffet – Aurora at The Celeste Hotel

Did you know that Aurora at the Celeste Hotel hosts holiday brunch events throughout the year?

We were invited to enjoy Christmas Day Brunch Buffet at Aurora in The Celeste Hotel, the University of Central Florida’s first on-campus luxury hotel, and it was the best holiday brunch we have ever experienced.

My family indulged in the perfect holiday buffet of lavish spreads prepared by Executive Chef Mike Trudnak and his team.

The presentation doubled as a feast for the eyes.

Here is an inside look at Aurora’s Christmas Day Brunch Buffet:

FEATURING A HUGE ASSORTMENT OF CHEF CURATED DISPLAYS – Nuts-&-Cheese Platter, a Fresh Market Display of Grilled Vegetables complete with baguettes, naan bread.



EXPLORATION OF SOUP & SALAD – Hearty New England Seafood Chowder, Butternut Squash Soup, plus a create-your-own-salad bar for a completely customized roughage course.

SEAFOOD DISPLAY – Chilled Oysters, Clams, Blue Mussels, Smoked Salmon, Peel-and-Eat Shrimp.



CHEF ATTENDED RISOTTO STATION – Lobster, Shrimp, & Oyster Seafood Risotto.

CARVING STATIONS – Turkey, Prime Rib, Ham & Whole Faroe Island Salmon.

CHILDREN’S BUFFET – Chicken Tenders, Mac-and-Cheese, French Fries.

FRUIT DISPLAY – A very Florida-friendly Tropical Fruit Display featuring mangoes, oranges, papayas, melons, dragonfruit, and more.

OVER 36 FEET OF ASSORTED DESSERTS – Mouthwatering desserts – cheesecake, apple pie, chocolate-covered strawberries, ice cream, and more.

Thank you Executive Chef Mike Trudnak & Aurora at the Celeste for having us!

Be sure to make your reservations for the next special dining event at The Aurora at The Celeste Hotel as they have several throughout the year! Check their OpenTable and social media for updates.  Reservations required – P: 689.205.0100 or MIKE.TRUDNAK@THECELESTEHOTEL.COM or directly through OpenTable.

Aurora at The Celeste Hotel – UCF
4105 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL


Orlando’s Ramen Rumble Returns this January 23, 2023 at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs!!

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow morning (Friday 12/23) at 10:00 a.m.
Tickets sell out quickly – there are only about 400 tickets to be sold, two seatings of 200 each – so make sure you set your alarms!!

Back by popular demand, Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs is proud to host the fifth annual Ramen Rumble in partnership with event founders Jason & Sue Chin of Seito Sushi (Good Salt Restaurant Group) on Monday, January 23 with 2 seating times (5:30-7:30pm; 8:30pm-10:30pm). Five of Orlando’s best and brightest chefs will compete for the championship title, bragging rights, the coveted “Broth Belt” trophy, and a portion of the proceeds with be donated to our charity partner, Give Kids the World. Each contestant will man their own soup station, presenting their unique style of ramen filled with creative toppings and interesting textures for guests to sample and vote on, crowning the next Ramen King of Central Florida.

Tickets are $95++ per person and include five steaming bowls of tasty ramen (one from each chef’s entry) and one non-alcoholic beverage and one free sample beer from Ivanhoe Brewing. A cash bar will also be open and souvenir t-shirts will be for sale. For upgraded seating, guests can purchase one of eight four-person VIP booths for $650++ (event tickets included in price) or a Private VIP room for up to six people for $800++.

Purchase your tickets today to join some of Orlando’s culinary leaders as they battle it out for noodle glory!

Participating Chefs

  • Chef Michael Cooper, Executive Chef, The Osprey
  • Chef Hung Huynh and Chef Gene Kim, Doshi
  • Chef Kaleb Harrell, Chef Allen Lo and Chef Jonathan Rohland, Hawkers Asian Street Food
  • Chef Michael Collantes, Chef Owner Soseki Modern Omakase
  • Chef Tung Phan, Chef Owner Camille Modern Vietnamese Tasting

Interview with Chef David Ramirez of David Ramirez Chocolates


David Ramirez Chocolates was founded by award-winning chef David Ramirez in 2010 – and now they have two locations in Orlando and 42 employees. Their flagship store is located just a few minutes away from the Ritz-Carlton and their second location is on Plant Street in Winter Garden.

At David Ramirez Chocolates, it’s all about passion and perfection. They place a high value on using the best ingredients available, sourced from across the globe.

Whether you are looking for artisan chocolates, macarons, chocolate gifts, milkshakes, chocolate covered bacon, or event catering, they’ve got you covered.

We recently spoke with chef David Ramirez about David Ramirez Chocolates and their upcoming plans here in Orlando! Check it out below –

Tasty Chomps – Q and A for David Ramirez Chocolates

Ricky Ly, TastyChomps: What are some of the most popular items right now at David Ramirez Chocolates?

Chef David Ramirez: Chocolates of course but now corporate gifts are the big push

– What makes the chocolate at David Ramirez unique?

We use quality ingredients from around the world and we are always creating new and unique flavor profiles.

– What are your upcoming plans this year?

We are entering our busiest time of the year, so saying that we are producing to fulfill all our specialty and holiday orders

– How has business changed if at all since the pandemic?

Increased retail sales were the biggest change and of course working through all the Covid shortages and price increases. Price increases seem to be the biggest change.

– What are the best ways for Central Floridians to order chocolates from David Ramirez?

Online orders we can always fulfill but it always seems to be walk in traffic. Plant st market is always a great place to hang out and pick up some chocolates, macaroons and pastries. Central pkwy always has some great deals on our not so perfect chocolates. We have several names for them but it’s a pre-selected dozen for $15, great for gifts that are simple and will please all palates.

Interview with Executive Chef David Ramirez

– Tell us about your training and experience – what were some of your favorite memories throughout your career?

Oh were do I begin, you can always read my bio, favorite memories are so many from world championships to working and training with my staff and seeing them learn and grow.

– What inspired you to become a pastry chef?

My mom, you know always in the kitchen cooking something up, the smell the taste and then the time spent making things in the kitchen. The kitchen was the heart of my house back in L.I.N.Y. you always had to pass through the kitchen to get anywhere in the house.

– Tell us about your background and childhood

I was always hustling work from delivering newspapers, cutting lawns, working in bakeries and restaurants. Having a lot of fun in the neighborhood with friends, playing soccer, stickball, handball anything with a ball or puck. Of course getting into all sorts of shenanigans was always a high priority on the list.

– What makes great chocolate? What makes great pastries?

Great chocolate starts with great craftsmanship from growing the bean to processing the chocolate. Respect of the product, environment and production of product is always crucial. Sourcing quality ingredients and then of course having creativity and imagination.

– What is your advice to aspiring pastry chefs?

Work hard and stay humble – No one owes you anything you have to earn what you get and having thick skin always helps. It’s a different world with social media and things that help and influence our industry. Our industry is all about working hard and staying creative that will never change. I think the best quote I ever read was from Anthony Bourdain “shut up and cook” society today is a bit more sensitive. Most of all “love what you do and do what you love” and everything will work itself out.

David Ramirez Chocolates
Orlando Location
2154 Central Florida Pkwy, Suite B-8, Orlando, FL 32837

Hours of Operations
Monday-Friday 10:00am-6pm
Phone Number
(407) 816-7400

Winter Garden Location
426 W Plant Street, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Hours of Operations
Monday-Thursday 11am-7pm
Friday 11am-9pm
Saturday 10:30am-9pm
Sunday 11am-6pm

Phone Number
(407) 614-8278

A Foodie’s Guide to Orlando Holiday Specials 2022 – Christmas and New Year’s!

The holidays are here in Orlando again – and it is time for some cheer with family and friends. Whether you are visiting Orlando or are a long time resident of Central Florida –  and looking for Christmas and New Years celebrations and specials, this is the place to look. Below are some of our featured highlights for the Holidays in Orlando this year – take a look and make sure to make reservations ASAP!

A Foodie’s Guide to the Holidays in Orlando 2022 – Christmas and New Year Specials 

    • Lake Nona Wave Hotel



      6100 Wave Hotel Drive, Orlando, FL 32827


      December 31 | BACÁN at 7:00 pm – 2:00 am

      Ring in the New Year in style with a 3-course Michelin-recommended dinner at BACÁN including wine pairings ($179). After dinner join us for a party for the ages at HAVEN Pool featuring live band and fireworks (an additional $59)

      Reservations available at or email

      December 31 | HAVEN Kitchen at 7:00 pm – 2:00 am

      Celebrate 2023 with a delectable 3-course dinner at HAVEN Kitchen ($109). After dinner join us for a party for the ages at HAVEN Pool featuring live band and fireworks (an additional $59) Reservations available at or email

      For more information:

      STK Steakhouse at Disney Springs

      1580 E Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32830

      Whether you made the nice or naughty list this year, the ONLY place on YOUR list should be STK Steakhouse this Holiday Season.

      Join us for Christmas Eve/Day & New Years; featuring our Seasonal Specials, Wagyu from around the World, Signature Steaks, Award-Winning Cocktails & More.

      Book Now at or Call 877-240-3520.

      For more information:

    • Pointe Orlando

      9101 International Drive
      Orlando, FL 32819
      Phone: 407-248-2838

      • Tabla Indian Cuisine

        Orlando, Oviedo, Lake Nona and Winter Park
        (407) 248-9400

        Christmas Day Specials
        $19.99 ++ for lunch and $35 ++ for dinner
        May be an image of text that says 'Tabla indian ? ?h?nE?e th?i Christmas MENU Starter Hariyali Sitara Tikki or Chicken Tangdi 65 Main Murgh Aamwala Served with Aloo Methi or Aloo Korma au Gratinwith Tabla style Brussels Served with Coconut/ Rosemary Naan Dessert Cristmas Pudding with Sabayon Sauce Lunch: Served Platter $19.99 pp Tax Dinner: Served three course House Drink $35.00pp Tax'

Inside Look: Inaugural Sip & Savor at Waldorf Astoria Orlando & Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

This past Friday, Waldorf Astoria Orlando & Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hosted their inaugural Epicurious: Sip & Savor, an upscale food and wine experience showcasing 35 tastings across eight culinary kiosks and nine pop-up bars.

Guests enjoyed an exclusive evening filled with lavish libations, delectable dishes, and artsy treats by the chefs from highly acclaimed restaurants and lounges from both sister resorts.

Sip & Savor will happen again next year on Saturday, December 9, 2023.  Tickets are $275 per guest (plus tax and gratuity). Early-bird tickets are $175 per person before June 1. Discounted tickets can be purchased at Discounted room rates are also available at both resorts for anyone looking to book an epicurean getaway.

Here is an inside look at Waldorf Astoria Orlando & Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s Inaugural Sip & Savor on December 9th, 2022:


GRAZING BOARD – Display of Fruit, Cheese and Antipasti

Vibe Kitchen

AJI DE GALLINA EMPANADA – Free Range Chicken Creamy Stew, Aji Amarillo, Parmesano, Lime

CAUSA DE PULPO – Pressed Potato, Braised Octopus, Olive Aioli, Piquillo Chimichurri,
Pushed Eggs, Tobiko, Micro Arugula

QUINOA CAPRESE – Burrata Cheese, Heirloom Tomatoes, Red Quinoa, Ocopa Sauce, Salsa Verde

Zeta Asia

HAWAIIAN ROLL – Spicy Ahi Tuna, Cucumber, Tuna, Salmon

KANJI ROLL – Spicy Salmon, Cucumber, Avocado, Tobiko, Sriracha, Micro Cilantro

NORI KURAKKA (SPICY TUNA NACHOS) – Seared Seven Spice Tuna Sashimi, Avocado Crema, Spicy Mayo, Masago, Frisée, Wasabi Dusted Nori Chips

STEAMED BAO BUN – Duck Confit, Hoisin Sauce, Achar Pickle Vegetables

Maitres Cuisiniers de France

CASSOLETTE D’ESCARGOTS – Trumpet Mushroom, Bourgogne Vincent Girardin Cuvee, St Vincent Glace, Shallot confit, Sunchokes, Croutons

PÂTÉ PANTIN – Petit Mesclun Salad, Walnut Banyuls, Vinaigrette

La Luce

BRUSCHETTA BIANCA – Roasted Pears, Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola Dolce, Arugula, Balsamica

SHORT RIB RAVIOLI – Ricotta, Greens, Brandy & Peppercorn Sauce, Horseradish Gremolata

Bull & Bear

BEEF CARPACCIO – Thin Cut Wagyu, Seasonal Fresh Shaved, Truffles, Mugolio 18 Month
Shaved, Parmesan, Reggiano Cheese, Pushed Egg Yolk, Served with Feuille De Brick

BULL & BEAR FRIED CHICKEN – Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Gravy

DUCK HAM – Skordalia, Kalamata au Jus, Chestnut Spätzle

Bull & Bear Smokehouse

14-HOUR PECAN SMOKED BLACK ANGUS BRISKET – Smoked Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce, Garlic Toast


Chef Franck’s Grande Patisserie

FRENCH PETITE BOUTIQUE – Assorted Chocolate Truffles, Candies and Caramels


To purchase early-bird tickets for the second annual Sip & Savor before the June 1st deadline, click here.

Inside Look: New Taco and Colombian Bakery in East Orlando? Pico De Gallo Mexican Grill and The Bakery Colombian Cafe in downtown Avalon Park

Have you heard about this new taco and Colombian bakery open in downtown Avalon Park in East Orlando?

Pico de Gallo is a brand new fast-casual restaurant in downtown Avalon Park serving authentic cuisine that is rooted in Latin American flavors and traditions. Pico’s bowls, tacos, and antojitos are a medley of flavorful and thoughtful ingredients that help satisfy your hunger and cravings.

Pico de Gallo has been the 13-year vision of long-time Avalon Park residents, Jorge and Heidi Cardona-Lopez, along with family support by sister Heisell Alarcon and niece Nazareth Orozco. The vision came to life when they opened as one of the original vendors in the Marketplace at Avalon Park food hall in September 2021. Their expansion into a larger space in Avalon Park will allow for outdoor seating and an expanded menu.

“The community has welcomed us with open arms,” said Lopez. “I cannot wait to share our new expanded menu with our new neighbors.”

The move to the Clock Tower expands their cafeteria-style menu to include mix and match options from bowls to burritos and tacos, with various meats and traditional sides, like rice and beans, and chips and salsa.

Additionally, there is a new Colombian Bakery Café in honor of Jorge’s heritage, which brings a rich mixture of flavors, color and taste to the menu. Some menu items will include Pan de Bono, Bunuelo, Picada Columbiana, empanadas, and arepas.

The cuisine of Colombia is a rich and diverse culinary tradition, influenced by a variety of cultural and regional influences. From the hearty dishes of the Andean region to the fresh seafood of the Caribbean coast, Colombia has a wealth of delicious and unique dishes to offer.

One of the most iconic dishes of Colombian cuisine is the arepa, a cornmeal patty that is grilled or fried and served with a variety of toppings. Arepas are a staple of the Colombian diet, and can be found throughout the country in a variety of forms, from the simple, plain arepa to the more elaborate arepa rellena, stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings.

Colombia is a country with a rich culinary tradition, and its pastries are no exception. From the soft, buttery pan de bonos to the crispy, cheese-filled empanadas, there are a variety of tasty pastries to be found at the Bakery Colombian Cafe in downtown Avalon Park.

Pan de bono, also known as “cheese bread” in English, is a traditional Colombian pastry that is popular throughout the country. This delicious treat is made with yuca flour and queso fresco, and has a soft, pillowy texture that is perfect for soaking up hot chocolate or coffee.

The origins of pan de bono can be traced back to the country’s indigenous communities, who used yuca flour and cheese to create a simple but satisfying snack. Over time, this traditional recipe evolved into the modern version of pan de bono that is enjoyed today.

To make pan de bono, the yuca flour and cheese are mixed together to form a dough, which is then shaped into small balls and baked until golden and crispy on the outside. The finished pastries are typically about the size of a golf ball, and have a slightly chewy texture and a rich, cheesy flavor.

Pan de bono is often served as a breakfast or snack food, and is commonly found at bakeries and cafes throughout Colombia. In addition to its traditional cheese filling, pan de bono can also be made with a variety of other ingredients, such as chocolate or fruit.

We spoke with owner Heidi Lopez about the recent opening – read on!

Pico de Gallo and The Bakery Colombian Cafe x Tasty Chomps Interview

Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps: Tell us about your background – how did your family get started in the food industry?

Heidi Lopez: My family and I started to get interest into the food business by our countries we have such amazing food but Not a lot shared where we live and thought it would a great idea to bring our culture of food to the community and to those who enjoy Colombian and Tex-mex foods.

– What was your inspiration behind the new Colombian Bakery concept? What was the inspiration behind Pico De Gallo?

The inspiration behind the Colombian bakery was that there wasn’t many Colombian bakery’s or restaurant near our community and if there was it was too far or very limited places and we thought we should bring the amazing Colombian food and pastry’s with an explosion of colors and flavors and Including that our food and pastry are home-made. Which is why we wanted to bring it to Avalon Park for everyone to enjoy. Same goes for Pico there wasn’t a place where you could get full nutritional meals very fast and on the go in Avalon and we wanted to bring that to the community.

– What are some of your favorite childhood memories growing up around food?

My favorite childhood memories was when my mom used to make us gallo pinto which is white rice and red beans mixed with cream and sprinkled white cheese and tortillas and I enjoyed eating that so much, it is so delicious. Which is why we actually have that in our Pico de gallo menu!

– What are some little known unique/ special things about the bakery that people should know?

Some little known unique things that the Bakery has is that the our Mural is a very traditional thing you see in Colombia the vintage jeep with traditional food and items the people of Colombia share and sell to those in their country.

– What are the most popular items right now at Pico De Gallo and The Bakery?

Some very popular items in Pico de Gallo are our nachos they are savory and delicious and great to share with the family. Our popular items in Bakery is our chicken and Beef empanadas they are also very delicious and filling.

– Tell us about your upcoming plans for restaurants this winter?

This winter we plan on bringing in new traditional Christmas food and meals to our menus.

Pico De Gallo and the Bakery Colombian Cafe
Downtown Avalon Park
3801 Avalon Park Blvd East, Suite 155
Orlando, FL 32828

Opening Hours
Sunday to Thursday.
11:00 am – 09:00 pm
Friday and Saturday.
11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Chef Morimoto visits Tori Tori and EdoBoy in Orlando’s Mills 50 District

This past week, Chef Morimoto of Morimoto Asia and Iron Chef fame, alongside Morimoto Asia’s Chef Yuhi visited Tori Tori and EdoBoy Standing Sushi in Orlando’s Mills 50 District.

Owner/Chef Sean Sonny Nguyen – who as a boy looked up to Chef Morimoto as an inspiration – spoke with us at Tasty Chomps about this occasion and how it felt to have him as a guest – as well as upcoming plans for the Domu Dynasty.

Ricky Ly, Tasty Chomps: What was it like meeting Chef Morimoto?

Sean Nguyen: He is a very personable guy and easy to talk to. Very humble and dedicated to what he does. In our conversations we talked about his life and how he travels 200 days a year working. Some injuries he is currently going through and how long he plans to keep pushing.
He told me “if Jiro is 97 years old and is still doing sushi, then I need to keep pushing”. He was friendly with our staff and guests and even gave me an autograph on a OG photo of him when Iron Chef came out. He mentioned to me that he was around 43 years old when he did that show. We talked about a lot in a short period of time.
What was he doing in town? How did he end up at Tori Tori / EdoBoy?
I believe he was in town for his omakase “momokase” at his restaurant at Disney Springs for the Yamazaki event. I received an email from his executive chef “Chef Yuhi” inquiring about a time-slot at Edoboy for Chef Morimoto for this past Sunday so we made sure to make room for him. He originally was trying to dine at 6pm but since the earliest we had was 8pm, they decided to stop by Tori Tori first for some highballs and yakitori.
They ended up coming back to Tori Tori after their meal at Edoboy. Chef Yuhi dined at Edoboy a few weeks prior and he mentioned it to Chef Morimoto, who then wanted to come check us out and that’s kind of how it all happened.
How is business going for you all? Upcoming plans?
Business is going great. We have been doing really well this year and Edoboy so far has been a hit. Our main focus coming up is to continue improving our current brands. I’ve been working behind the scenes with improving the DOMU recipes and working on updated broths which will be hitting the stores early next year. There should be a significant improvement with overall quality of the broths.
Also, we are working on improving our overall ingredients for the ramen which include but not limited to toppings, proteins, and oils. We currently are testing out pork with a heritage breed, looking into other egg options, raising viscosity in our broths and meat flavor, and just rethinking some of our core recipes to produce overall cleaner/better flavors. They will equate to overall small changes so the translation to the customer’s bowl may seem very minute but we feel better about serving an overall better product.
Ramen is an ever changing game, so we have to continue to just keep changing small elements one at a time, probably forever. For Tori Tori, our GM and bar manager have been working on a lot of Tori Tori exclusive releases which include El Tosoro Tequila, Knob Creek, and Maker’s Mark.
Also, our Gatsu Gatsu Rice Lager collab with The Ravenous Pig will be canned soon and be offered in ABC’s, Total Wines, and Whole Foods around Florida which is super exciting since this will be our first ever retail product with our name on it. Our teams have been working hard at staying consistent, producing new and exciting things for the city, and maintaining operations all at the same time so big props to everyone.
What did Chef Morimoto say when he came? Did he like the food??
The feedback that we got was that he loved everything at both Tori Tori and Edoboy. He mentioned that he previously was looking into opening standing sushi bars in the states but just haven’t found the right place to do it yet and was overall impressed with Edoboy from the layout, to the rice, to the nori. It meant the world to me when Chef Tyler told me that Chef Morimoto mentioned to him during their meal that I was doing a great job and really know what I’m doing. I had to check a few times if those words verbatim came out of his mouth and Chef Ty confirmed. Getting acknowledgment from someone like him meant a lot to me and I am extremely thankful for the Morimoto team for bringing Chef Morimoto to my concepts.
What was Chef Morimoto’s impact on you growing up? 
Honestly, I watched a lot of OG Iron Chef growing up. Chef Morimoto was always my favorite. When I was a kid, my brother would take me to the store to pick out some ingredients and we would do Iron Chef battles together at home and have my now sister-in-law be the judge. I looked up to Chef Morimoto since a young age and to have him dine at my restaurants on his own accord is very surreal to me. I believe that he definitely had an impact of my direction of focusing on Japanese cuisine.
Will there be a collab in the future?
Who knows, but I’m soaking in this moment as if it may never happen again and that I am fulfilled that it did happen. That’s actually a term we use often and what Tori Tori’s motto is based off of. In Japanese its called Ichigo Ichie.

Tori Tori – 720 N. Mills Ave, Orlando, FL, United States, Florida
EdoBoy – 728 N Thornton Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

Oysters 15 Different Ways? Wine 4 Oysters Bar and Bites in East Orlando

Did know there’s only one place in Central Florida serving oysters 15 different ways?

It’s called Wine 4 Oysters located in East Orlando and they just celebrated their 5th anniversary this October.

When it comes to preparing oysters, there are many different ways to enjoy them. One of the most popular methods is to shuck the oysters and serve them on the half-shell, typically with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of hot sauce. Oysters can also be grilled, roasted, fried, or served in soups and stews. At Wine 4 Oysters, there’s even sake shooter oysters that you can enjoy.

Owners Tatiana and Andrey have created Wine 4 Oysters to become the place to go for oysters and seafood offering unique menu recipes from all over the world. Their extensive travels have brought their customers a menu including Argentina Royal Red Jumbo Shrimp, Thai-style Mussels, Pilipino Ceviche, Open-Faced Maine lobster rolls, Chinese 5-spice Ahi Tuna and much more.

We recently chatted with owner Tatiana Golenkova about the anniversary and everything going on at Wine 4 Oysters – read on!

Tasty Chomps x Wine 4 Oysters Interview

Tasty Chomps: Tell us about your background – how did you and your husband get started in the food industry?

Tatiana: We both love food and especially love Oysters so we wanted to open a neighborhood bar and offer a fresh unique menu from our extensive travels.

We are passionate about oysters because they are the perfect seafood offering so many health benefits.

One of the biggest benefits of eating oysters is their high nutrient content. Oysters are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron, and vitamins A, B12, and C. They are also low in calories and high in protein, making them a great choice for people looking to maintain a healthy weight.

Another benefit of eating oysters is their potential to improve heart health. Oysters contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help lower the risk of heart disease. They also contain compounds that can help lower cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular function.

– What was your inspiration behind Wine 4 Oyster’s concept?

Because of our travels, we saw in different parts of the world how many different ways each culture serves oysters so we wanted to bring that experience and those tastes to our customers.

– What are some of your favorite childhood memories growing up around food?

Well, a funny story…when I ( Tatiana) was little, growing up in Russia…my mom told me that if you squeeze lemon on an oyster it will squeak…and I believed her!

– What are some little known unique/ special things about Wine 4 Oysters that people should know?

We are a scratch kitchen serving all of our food items fresh and prepared specifically for our guests. All of our recipes are simple and we have an old school approach to our cooking. We do our best to avoid any processed foods and we are always searching for new, exciting items to surprise our guests.

– What are the most popular items right now at Wine 4 Oysters?

Of course our oysters are our most popular item and since we serve them 15 different ways, we offer our guest samplers so they can try various toppings. And our guests should always start with our Sake Oyster Shooters.

– Tell us about your upcoming plans for Wine 4 Oysters as well as other restaurant ventures?

Since you asked, we are excited to announce that we will be opening our second location in the Dr. Phillips area in the New Year!

Oysters for takeout are available by the bushel & half bushel – call to order!

Wine 4 Oysters Bar & Bites
1957 S Alafaya Tr, Orlando, FL 32828

Happy hour prices on oysters  , beer  & wine -M-F 4-6pm!

The most popular time to eat oysters is during the cooler months of the year, typically between the months of September and April – December is perfect. This is because it is perceived that the colder water temperatures during these months produce oysters with a firmer texture and a more robust flavor. However, this may just be a myth as the production from oyster farms have helped produce some great tasting oysters all year round.

First Look: Volcano Hot Pot opens on International Drive

We were invited to the grand opening of Volcano Hot Pot & BBQ – International Drive, located across the street from Orlando International Premium Outlets.

The restaurant was very spacious and clean and there was a variety of fresh ingredients to choose from at the buffet table.  At the dining table you each have your own soup pot and also one grill to share for the bbq.

It was a fun experience that I highly recommended to everyone!

$29.99 hot pot
$34.99 hot pot & bbq

$12.99 hot pot
$14.99 hot pot & bbq

Prices subject to change.

How to dine at Volcano Hot Pot & BBQ:

1. Choose your soup base.

Tom Yum Soup was my favorite since it had some spice in it.

2. Select your ingredients at the buffet table.

3. Choose your dipping sauces.

4. Bring broth to a boil and slowly add in all your ingredients.

5. Use soup ladle to serve ingredients to your plate or bowl.  Then enjoy!

Save room for dessert!

Volcano Hot Pot
5655 International Dr, Orlando FL 32819



Secret Menu: Tasty Chomps x UnReserved Food Bazaar at JW Marriott Bonnet Creek – Dec 8-18, 2022 near Disney Springs

Have you heard of Unreserved Food Bazaar at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort and Spa? It’s a casual, European-style food hall seasonal, international-inspired fare including Italian and Mediterranean classics, along with playful beverages.

“A Taste of… presented by Tasty Chomps x UnReserved Food Bazaar at JW Marriott Bonnet Creek” is a new Limited time secret menu for foodies to get a “Taste Of…” a local Orlando restaurant with a special pre-fixe menu (similar to Magical Dining) for dine in or take out running from December 8-18th, 2022

Led by chef Peter Kunstek, UnReserved Food Bazaar features dishes like roasted snapper with hibiscus flowers , house made tagliatelle with scallops, and sushi rolls – something for everyone – but expertly prepared.

They roast their fish and meat in the Josper – a custom-made charcoal oven imported from Spain that combines the techniques of grilling & roasting into one.

Just outside, there is the JW garden where the chefs can pick herbs and other items fresh. There is also an outdoor lounge offering an extensive variety of craft beers in their beer garden.

12.8. – 12.18.

Call for reservation: 407-919-6300 or use

14900 Chelonia Parkway | Orlando, Florida 32821

Menu Price: $48++ per person – Prices exclude tax & service charge. Self parking will be validated.





Grey Goose Essences Strawberry & Lemongrass, Lemon Juice, Guavacation Sour

Vodka, Lemon Juice, Fresh Dill Syrup, Aquafaba

Knob Creek Whiskey, Chamomile Honey Syrup, Lemon Juice, Celery Bitter

Honey Vodka, Yellow Chartreuse, Coconut Water, Raw Honey Syrup, Lemon Juice, Lemon Bitters, Turmeric


Pomodoro, Basil, Grilled Focaccia

Pomegranate, Herb Microgreens, Lemon-Infused Oil,
Sea Salt, Fresh Cracked Pepper

Mentaiko, Ginger, Spicy Mayo, Shiso


Pan-Seared Gnocchi, Crimini Mushrooms, Rainbow Chard

Chickpeas, Salsa Verde, Black Olives, Semi-Dried Tomato

Key West Pink Shrimp, Mussels, Chorizo, Bomba Rice

Beef Jus, Cipollini Onions, Roasted Oyster Mushrooms


Equatoriale Chocolate, Frozen Vanilla Custard

Cream Cheese Frosting, Pineapple Compote

Special Add – On Experience – IGLOO DINING
*This is a pre-reserved option only.

Upgrade your secret menu experience and book your own igloo on the beer garden
outdoor patio, it is just one more thing to tick off your bucket list! You can now embrace
the chill of the cooler seasons as you dine in your own igloo under fairy lights! Cozy up with
2-6 people and enjoy your secret menu by Ricky Ly’s Tasty Chomps. Each igloo comes complete with fleece blankets and electric space heaters to up the cozy factor. Bookings
are sold in 1.5 hour slots and won’t be around for long! Break out the winter woolies,
ski jackets and ear muffs and tee up your own igloo for a night to remember. $150 upcharge for renting an igloo.


About JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

The full-service, five-star JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa opened in July 2020 and has everything guests need for a luxurious Orlando getaway, from 516 plush guestrooms to fun-filled amenities. Situated conveniently right outside the gates of Disney World, the resort boasts a 10,000 square foot spa with treatments unique to the resort; an outdoor pool with swanky cabanas; seven onsite restaurants and bars, including the chic steak and seafood restaurant Sear + Sea and the new illume rooftop bar; a rooftop miniature golf course and rock-climbing wall; and a complimentary shuttle service to the theme parks.

Interview with the Chefs: Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek  is set on 62 acres near Walt Disney World Resort including a picturesque 10-acre lake surrounded by walking paths, five pools, two lazy rivers, miniature golf, and much more. But one thing to note – is their fantastic lineup of restaurants and offerings led by an experienced and award-winning food and beverage team.

Indeed, deep blu Seafood Grille at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek recently was awarded Editor’s Choice: Best Seafood 2022 by Orlando Magazine. The AAA 4-Diamond restaurant offers some of the freshest seafood and sushi as well as some southern cuisine influences – with highlights featuring crab cakes and grouper, sustainably sourced.

In addition to deep blu, Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek is also home to Tesoro Cove for breakfast buffets, and Back Bay, a bar and grill featuring breathtaking views of their picturesque 10-acre lake and casual bar fare and drinks.

To celebrate their recent award, we partnered with Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek for this insightful interview featuring questions and answers from Executive Chef Jonathan McCann, Executive Sous Chef Cecil Rodriguez, and Chef de cuisine Justin Crum of deep blu Seafood Grille. Take a look below to learn more about this fantastic team!

Executive Chef Jonathan McCann

After five years of service in the Royal Merchant Navy, McCann’s culinary journey began with training in some of London’s top hotels, including Claridge’s, The Dorchester and The Berkeley. His first Executive Chef experience was at The Westbury Hotel on fashionable Bond Street in the heart of London. McCann was also named Head Chef for the Lord Mayor of the City of London, where his culinary talents were showcased for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and numerous foreign dignitaries and politicians.

From London, McCann headed to the United States where he built an impressive career with Hilton Hotels. During his time at the Washington Hilton in D.C., McCann exhibited his acclaimed skills at several presidential events, including President Obama’s Inauguration Ball. Other notable career highlights include appearances on BBC Celebrity Master Chef and winning the British Prix Pierre Taittinger culinary competition.

As Executive Chef of the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, Chef Jonathan is an enthusiastic ambassador of the resort’s culinary excellence and dining options, which range from award-winning fine dining to casual eateries. With five separate dining venues under the direction of the illustrious Chef Jonathan, the resort expertly prepares and serves a variety of options to please any taste.

What is your inspiration for becoming a chef?

Chef McCann: I had more of a passion than inspiration…I wanted to travel and see the world so I started as a galley boy in the British merchant Navy and just kind of fell into the culinary industry. I was offered a job as a commis chef onboard the Cunard cruise liner QE2, and loved it and that was the beginning of my journey. From there I went to college and then London hotel kitchens.

What are your favorite food memories growing up?

Unfortunately, my Mum wasn’t a great cook and didn’t enjoy cooking! But, her Shepherd’s Pie was really good and memories of her mincing the lamb in an old hand meat grinder and stealing pieces of carrot while she chopped them is huge for me! The other memory is my grandmother’s Yorkshire pudding!

What are some favorite lessons you learned that helped you become the chef you are today?

I was trained in London within very classical French kitchens. Big lessons from that time are:

A. Always use the best and freshest ingredients possible.

B Taste taste and taste again….look for flavor before you think about presentation

C. Be organized and have a plan

D. Never ever give up on anything.

E. Surround yourself with talented people.

Favorite dishes on property right now?

Deep blu ceviche is definitely a big favorite… the flavors are so bright! The Mexican spiced chocolate cake… Chef Cecil’s mezcal caramel is to die for… I could drink it lol! In Back Bay I love the falafel pita….flavorsome and healthy too! Absolutely everything on our sushi menu in 1521… our sushi Chef Karl does a great job up there!

Favorite comfort food to make at home? 

Has to be Shepherd’s Pie….if I have had a rough day my wife will make it for me and with a can of Boddingtons beer it goes down well!
Food memories are so evocative and to me that’s what it’s all about…. Eating or smelling something you remember can make you time travel!

Upcoming Plans?

We have a great Thanksgiving buffet coming up and a great Turkey special in deep blu…. Then we have Christmas and New Year specials in deep blu, plus lots going on in our other outlets – So we have lots to keep us going and look forward to. We are also hoping to do a couple of evening themed chefs pop ups in Tesoro and have some fun with that…more to come on that!

Executive Sous Chef Cecil Rodriguez

A native of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez recognized his interest in cooking while watching Greatest Chef on America on TV at his grandmother’s home. In his teenage years, he attended culinary technical courses that fueled his love for cooking and would lead him to attend UNE in Carolina, Puerto Rico, where he studied Culinary Arts. While there, Rodriguez landed an apprenticeship with renowned Chef Wilo Benet in the Restaurant Pikayo inside the Museum of Art in Carolina, PR. After earning his degree, he relocated to Orlando, Florida, where he worked in various restaurants and theme parks. Most recently, Rodriguez was a Chef at the meetings-centric Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, as well as Chef de Cuisine at Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Hard Rock Hotel Orlando. Rodriguez approaches his craft with a sustainable and seasonal consideration, appreciating that food is meant to be enjoyed.

When it comes to culinary excellence, Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek delivers stellar dining options at five distinct food outlets – from a casual lakeside sports bar to an elegant, award-winning restaurant and sushi bar. For any mood or craving, the resort serves up thoughtful, seasonally sourced options, all carefully prepared by its exceptional culinary team.

What is your inspiration for becoming a chef?

Chef Rodriguez: When I was little, my grandmother and dad were always in the kitchen cooking. But, besides that, I always had a fascination with the kitchen. I used to sit by the TV watching Greatest Chef of America on PBS. And, Julia Child, even though I didn’t know how important she was in the culinary world.

What are your favorite food memories growing up?

The holidays were a very exciting time growing up in Puerto Rico. We used to have block parties and roast whole pigs on the spit. There was always someone making Coquito or pastels – the music and food went hand-in-hand.

What are some favorite lessons you learned that helped you become the chef you are today?

I’ve been very fortunate to work with some very talented people coming up, and they’ve all shared one trade they were focused on and always trying to perfect. I believe hard work and focus are key; and, also follow your heart when it comes to food.

Favorite dishes on property right now?

I will have to say the Snapper Veracruz in deep blu, and the BBQ Bourbon burger at Back Bay.

Favorite comfort food to make at home?

I just love Pastelon , which is like a lasagna made with sweet plantains and Picadillo ground beef with spices.

Chef de cuisine Justin Crum of deep blu Seafood Grille

“Justin’s background in fine dining and upscale venues is perfectly in line with the kind of next level experience we provide at deep blu,” said General Manager Cathy Zucker. “He will further enhance our menu offerings with his southern roots and first-class touch.”

Having spent more than two decades in the restaurant industry, Crum was most recently Chef de Cuisine at the elegant Eleven rooftop restaurant at the four-diamond Reunion Resort & Golf Club in Central Florida. He has also held Executive Chef titles at The Country Club in Ocala (Florida) and Eagle Creek Golf Club in Lake Nona (Florida). Crum worked his way up in the industry, starting as a dishwasher at the age of 16 before moving to food runner, busser, and then bartender. At 21, he moved to the Hamptons to gain fine-dining experience. From behind the bar, he was drawn to the energy and excitement of the kitchen and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu culinary school where he graduated in 2004. Again, making his way up the ranks, Crum started crafting his culinary skills as a line cook. A Central Florida native, Crum is inspired by southern and Floribbean influences, which is reflected in some of his favorite dishes, including, shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes, and ropa vieja.

What is your inspiration for becoming a chef?

Chef Crum: I was working in the Hamptons as a bartender and was drawn to the kitchen by the chef. He took a simple menu and elevated it into amazing dishes.

What are your favorite food memories growing up?

The soul food my grandma cooked and my uncle owned a small bbq restaurant in Kissimmee so that’s where my passion for smoked meats comes from.

What are some favorite lessons you learned that helped you become the chef you are today?

Work hard and be humble.

Favorite dishes on property right now?

deep blu’s grouper and crab cakes, and the Rajun Cajun roll in Bar 1521

Favorite comfort food to make at home?

Bbq ribs and pork belly burnt ends

Big thank you to the Wyndham Grand team for taking time to speak with us at Tasty Chomps! Visit them soon!

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
14651 Chelonia Pkwy,
Orlando, FL 32821
Reservations: (407) 390-2300

Inside Look: Unreserved Food Bazaar with Chef Peter Kunstek at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek

Have you heard of Unreserved Food Bazaar at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort and Spa? It’s a casual, European-style food hall seasonal, international-inspired fare including Italian and Mediterranean classics, along with playful beverages.

Housemade Tagliatelle – Pan-seared scallops, English peas, butternut squash, diced tomatoes

Led by chef Peter Kunstek, UnReserved Food Bazaar features dishes like roasted snapper with hibiscus flowers , house made tagliatelle  with scallops, and sushi rolls – something for everyone – but expertly prepared.

They roast their fish and meat in the Josper – a custom-made charcoal oven imported from Spain  that combines the techniques of grilling & roasting into one.

Just outside, there is the JW garden where the chefs can pick herbs and other items fresh. There is also an outdoor lounge offering an extensive variety of craft beers in their beer garden.

We recently spoke with Chef Peter Kunstek about the menu and what to expect at the Unreserved.

Tasty Chomps interview with Chef Peter Kunstek at JW Marriott Bonnet Creek

Tasty Chomps: How did you first become interested in becoming a Chef?

Chef Peter Kunstek: Honestly I have had a love of food since being young. My Grandmother’s house had a garden that was larger than the house. We used to help her trimming the plants, picking out the weeds, and getting able to enjoy what good/fresh produce tastes like. Also growing up at our house, we rarely ate out fast food, mostly it would be home cooked meals either by mom or dad and I would be in the kitchen mostly helping prep. Then when in middle school I fell in love with the food network. My first job was working as a dishwasher in a small French bakery and working there I realized I wanted to cook for a career.

Beef Cheek Ragout – Pan-seared gnocchi, crimini mushrooms  , rainbow chard

Favorite Lessons learned over the years in the food industry:

Communication, common sense, and the ability to be humble/understanding of the what every worker in this industry goes through to be in this business every day.

Most Memorable cooking experience:

My Most Memorable cooking experience was the first time my family and relatives came to dine in my restaurant when I became Sous Chef.

It was the first time I was able to show them what culinary meant to me and how their support helped me become who I am today.

Favorite tips for new chefs/cooks/home cooks:

Always try new things even if you in the past never liked, you might be surprised how your pallet can change and what you once couldn’t stand becomes your favorite food.

Try different cuisines in both cooking and tasting. Learning how other cultures cook and the ingredients they use can really open your world in the kitchen and when out dining.

Bonnet Creek Dragon Roll

What are your top 3 favorite items on the menu right now?

· Salt & Pepper St. Louis Style Ribs

· The Farmer Pizza

· Arroz Caldoso


Save the Dates!! more details to come…

Inside Look: 2022 Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort hosted this year’s 13th Annual Food & Wine classic event and it was a fantastic evening of walking along the beautiful causeway trying unlimited samples of amazing food and beverage offerings.  It was a truly gorgeous evening filled with entertaining, unforgettable, and mouthwatering experiences.

The night featured unlimited food and drink tastings from 25+ food stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and more than 150+ beverages amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment.

Here is an Inside Look at the recent fabulous 2022 Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic:

Shula’s Steakhouse – Roasted Linz Heritage Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Organic Mushrooms, Pearl Onion, Sauce Foyot

Smokin D’s BBQ – Hand Crafted Bacon, Apple Butter-Bourbon Barbeque Sauce, Buttered Midlins, Pickled Turnip Greens, Sweet & Spicy Apple, Crispy Jalapeno

Todd English’s bluezoo – Seared Sustainable Salmon, Jerusalem Artichokes, Blistered Brussel Sprouts, Toasted Filberts, Crispy Shallots, Lemon Butter Sauce

Todd English’s bluezoo – Dynamite Shrimp: Tempura Fried Crispy Seasoned Sushi Rice, Fried Shishito Pepper, Tentsuyu Sauce

The Fountain – Beef Sliders: Hand Formed Angus Beef Patty, Truffle Aioli, Smoked Bacon, Roma Tomato Chutney

Amare – Chargrilled Chicken Souvlaki, Crispy Potatoes, Tabbouleh, Spiced Hummus, Warm Pita

Rosa Mexicano – Pork Carnitas de Cazuela: Habanero-Pickled Red Onions, Shaved Cabbage, Avocado, Salsa Crudo, Tomatillo Pico de Gallo, Corn Tortilla Chips

Rosa Mexicano – Roasted Mushroom Taco: Shitake, Cremini, Oyster Blend, Pasilla Chile, Green Apple Slaw, Sliced Avocado, Queso Fresco, Corn Tortilla

Rosa Mexicano – Chopped Cheese Alambre Taco: Certified Angus Ground Beef, Bacon, Cheese, Poblano Peppers, Tomato, Onion, Shredded Lettuce, Ketchup, Charred Jalapeno Mayo, Flour Tortilla

Kimonos – Kimonos Roll: Ahi Tuna, Yellowtail, Sustainable Salmon, Wasabi Mayonnaise

Il Mulino – Smoked Potato and Leek Filled Agnolotti, Pea Puree, Beet, Savory Champagne Sabayon

Chinatown – Pan Seared Vegan Dumpling, Spicy Sauce

Chinatown – Shu Mein: Shanghai Noodle, Braised Tofu, Shiitake Mushroom, Bamboo, Ginko Nuts, Vegan Broth

Cabana Bar and Beach Club – Compressed Late Harvest Watermelon, Spiced Labneh, Marinated Tomatoes, Frisee, Marinated Feta Cheese

Beer Garden – Bavarian Style Warm Pretzel, German Mustard, Lager-Beer Cheese

Beer Garden – Crispy Cauliflower, Sweet & Spicy Thai Chili Sauce, Shoyu

The Pig & The Poke – Tuna Bowl: Hawaiian Yellowfin Tuna, Koho Rice, Avocado Relish, Crispy Wontons

Hang 10 – Hearts of Palm Ceviche, Thinly Shaved Fresh Hearts of Palm, Citrus, Bell Pepper, Fresh Jalapeno Pepper, Bermuda Onion

Carnival Corner – Vegetarian Macaroni & Cheese

Carnival Corner – Grilled Sausage Sandwich, Peppers, Onions, Italian Red Hot Peppers

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Pastry – Banana Split Tart with Nitro Vanilla Ice Cream Station

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Pastry – 66% Dark Chocolate Tart – Basil White Chocolate Cream, Candied Lemon Zest, Fried Basil Leaf

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Pastry – White Peach-Red Currant Melba – Almond Cake Crumbs, Peach Meringue Drops

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Pastry – Pumpkin Hazelnut Cheesecake – Gingered Cranberry Compote

For more information, visit:


7 Things You Might Not Know About ABC Fine Wine & Spirits


The typical ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store carries more than 10,000 different wines, spirits and beers from popular brands to their exclusive Sourced & Certified Collection of thousands of items found in Florida only at ABC.

This year as we approach the holiday hosting season – from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s – it might be a good idea to take a look at doing some of that shopping at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits!

Here are 7 Things You Might Not Know about ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

1. ABC has a special “Sourced & Certified Collection” 

ABC has a special Sourced & Certified Collection – featuring brands only available at ABC stores in Florida that they buy directly from the winery/distillery, cutting out any middlemen – and saving costs for the consumer.

The Sourced and Certified Collection allows ABC to find the best bottles for incredibly low prices. The ABC team literally travels the world looking for new producers to work with, sampling their selection and deciding if it’s something worth bringing back home and offering to their guests. They have wine and spirit committees that meet monthly to taste test new potential products, and all of them must pass a vote to end up on ABC’s shelves.

2. ABC is Local Florida Family-Owned Since 1936

ABC has been Florida family-owned since founder Jack Holloway opened the very first ABC (then a cocktail lounge and package store) on the corner of North Orange Ave. and Wall St in Orlando, Florida. In 1936.

Jack’s grandsons Charles and Jess have run the company since 1994, and it’s not uncommon to find other families working intergenerationally at ABC. (For example, there is one family where the dad works payroll, the mom does inventory control and the daughter is a warehouse admin. Pretty cool!)

3. ABC has Non-Alcoholic Beverages – Mocktails Anyone? 

In addition to an expansive selection of every variety of wine, spirits and beer imaginable, ABC also offers non-alcoholic and low alcohol alternatives for those who are limiting or cutting out alcohol consumption.

4. ABC Has Experts Available – Helpful and Knowledgeable staff

For those looking for more expert advice on pairings for dinner, ABC has some fantastic helpful and knowledgeable staff on hand to help with insight on wines and spirits.

5. ABC’s is Holiday Gifting Central

For those looking for the perfect gift for adults this holiday season, ABC has it all – including:

      • Gift sets: Around the holidays, ABC stocks gift sets with popular brands that come with accessories like a nice bonus set of rocks glasses or something similar. They’re typically only $1 more than the price of just the bottle, so they’re terrific value finds.
      • Gift baskets built in-store: Associates are able to build a wine basket for you at ABC. You can either pick and choose what you want in it or grab a pre-made one and go.
      • E-Gift/Physical Gift Cards: For the procrastinators, gift cards are the easiest gifting option that’s always appreciated! Buy them on and have them sent to your recipient’s email immediately.

6. ABC’s has Try before You Buy

ABC offers wines and spirits to sample on tap, and sometimes cocktail samples for tasting! It’s a great way to discover new favorites or confirm you like something before you check out.

And hey, who doesn’t love free samples, especially when they’re wine or spirits?

7. ABC has Hot Deals and Specials

ABC is always running hot new deals (check them out at, and ABC Access Rewards members get even more perks with $10 off every $100 wine purchase and access to free bottles of wine and spirits via email.

This Holiday Season – Visit ABC Fine Wine & Spirits for all your festive season needs.

Find an ABC Fine Wine & Spirits near you:

2022 Black November? Black Friday Specials at Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse all month long till November 30th!


Southeast Steel is a family owned and operated appliance business serving Central Florida since 1940. That success is credit to their motto and mission to “give every customer a superior appliance shopping experience at competitive prices through experienced and knowledgeable sales consultants and a wide assortment of appliances from well known manufacturers.”

Today, the appliance warehouse showroom displays over half a football field of brand name appliances, carrying the latest models of the most popular American and European brands and maintains an extensive inventory of the most popular models. Spencer Kimball, who along with his father Stu Kimball, own and run Southeast Steel here in Orlando. Spencer is the third generation in the family to own and run the shop.

You might know about Black Friday – but have you heard of Black November at Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse?

For those seeking to upgrade or remodel their (or their loved one’s) kitchens this holiday season, Southeast Steel has started their Black Friday sale  early- ending November 30th. Shop from brands you know, and trust and you can earn exclusive rebates up to $800 or more – all with the great service that only the local talented Southeast Steel sales consultants can provide. 

Recieve up to $800 rebate* when you purchase qualifying GE products between November 2 – 30, 2022 by consumers from an authorized BrandSource member store. Offer good for personal use retail purchases only.  Note* this offer is not available for builders, contract sales, or resellers. Details at Black November at Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse.

Plan ahead if you want to thicken your Thanksgiving gravy on your new induction cooktop. At Southeast Steel you’ll find ranges in stock in Orlando, and ready for delivery, so save money and skip the big-box stores – visit the pros who have served Central Florida since 1940. 

In the market for something more high-end? Southeast Steel also stocks the new Signature Kitchen Suite 48″ Dual-Fuel Pro Range, which combines inductions, sous-vide and gas in one cooktop. 

For those looking for smaller appliance gifts to impress, check out Southeast Steel’s WOLF Gourmet offerings for Black Friday, including the Elite Countertop Oven with Convection Red Knob – The Wolf Gourmet elite countertop convection oven bakes, broils, roasts, proofs, toasts, heats bagels and warms food quickly and evenly, thanks to five heating elements, intuitive controls and advanced electronics. The interior is spacious enough to fit most 9 x 13 stoneware dishes or a 5 1/2 pound chicken. It’s basically an air-fryer but with so many more capabilities!

No matter what’s on your holiday menu, Southeast Steel can help you cook it to perfection, make clean-up a breeze and looking ahead give gifts to impress! Visit them soon in downtown Orlando! 

Southeast Steel
63 West Amelia St.
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 423-7654

First Look: 2022 Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Media Preview Menu

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns to celebrate its 13th year on November 11-12, 2022 featuring a wide selection of food, wine, live entertainment, and fireworks under the stars at the world famous resort from 5:30pm – 9:00pm each day.

All-inclusive dining event featuring:
•    A festive outdoor setting
•    Unlimited food and beverage tastings (with event ticket)
•    Over 25+ food stations featuring mouth-watering tastings
•    Over 150+ beverage options from around the world
•    Themed stations like the Beer Garden, Pig & The Poke, The Bubble Room
•    Live musical entertainment
•    Meet Celebrity Chef Todd English

Event-only tickets are $165 per person, excluding tax & service fees, and discounted room rates can be reserved at (888) 828-8859.

Premium Events
VIP Champagne & Dessert Party (NEW)
Brand new event for 2022, and the first time Food & Wine Classic quests can experience the Swan Reserve and its 15th-floor private event space, The Vue, which offers floor-to-ceiling views of all Walt Disney World theme parks and water parks.

Enjoy a VIP champagne and dessert reception featuring champagnes and sparkling wines
paired with the hotel’s award-winning desserts while watching Disney nighttime fireworks.
Saturday, Nov. 12 from 8:30-10 p.m.
Tickets: $150 per person for unlimited dessert and beverage tastings

The Grand Tasting
A high-end wine pairing tasting, perfect for wine enthusiasts
Takes guests palates on a journey of elite wines and champagnes curated by Master
Sommelier John Blazon and paired with a custom chef’s table menu from the resort’s Executive Chef Dan Herman
Saturday, Nov. 12 from 2-5 p.m.
Tickets: $395 per person; seating is limited

Here is a sneak preview of the 2022 Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic menu:

From Rosa Mexicano (NEW):

Classic Guacamole En Molcajete:
 Warm Tortilla Chips and Roasted Tomato Salsa

Pork Carnitas de Cazuela: Habernero-Pickled Red Onions, Shaved Cabbage, Avocado, Salsa Crudo, Tomatillo Pico de Gallo, Corn Tortilla Chips

Roasted Mushroom Taco Shitake: Cremini, Oyster Blend, Pasilla Chile, Green Apple Slaw, Sliced Avocado, Queso Fresco, Corn Tortilla

Roasted Linz Heritage Black Angus Beef Tenderloin: Roasted Organic Mushrooms, Pearl Onion, Sauce Foyot (from Shula’s Steak House)

Dynamite Shrimp: Tempura Fried Crispy Seasoned Sushi Rice, Fried Shishito Pepper, Tentsuyu Sauce (from Todd English’s bluezoo)

Compressed Late Harvest Watermelon (NEW): Spiced Labneh, Marinated Tomatoes, Frisee, Marinated Feta Cheese (from Cabana Bar & Beach Club)

Baked Ricotta Cheese Custard (NEW): Carrot, Radish, Tomato, Pine Nut “Gremolata” (from II Mulino)

Chargrilled Chicken Souvlaki (NEW): Crispy Potatoes, Tabbouleh, Spiced Hummus, Warm Pita (from Amare at the Swan Reserve)

Crispy Cauliflower (NEW): Sweet & Spicy Thai Chili Sauce, Shoyu (from the Beer Garden)

Shu Mein (NEW): Shanghai Noodle, Braised Tofu, Shiitake Mushroom, Bamboo, Ginko Nuts, Vegan Broth (from Chinatown)

From the Swan and Dolphin Pastry Kitchen (all NEW):

Banana Split Tart with Nitro Vanilla ice cream

Pumpkin Hazelnut Cheesecake: Gingered Cranberry Compote

For a full list of current menu offerings, please visit

Fans can visit to purchase tickets.

New, Recent, and Upcoming Restaurant Openings in Orlando – October 31, 2022 edition


Here are a few recent openings and upcoming restaurant openings in Orlando! Big thanks to Joe S. and Gary Lau for their help in compiling this great list!!

New and Recent Restaurant Openings in Orlando 

Meng’s Kitchen by chef Asawin AJ Knight Jockkeaw.
inside I-Fresh Market
2415 E Colonial Dr, , Orlando, FL, United States, Florida
(407) 730-8910

Specializing in Thai and southeast Asian cuisine – like the Hainanese Chicken and Rice – poached chicken served over hainanese style rice pilaf with ginger, garlic & soy dipping sauce, and a side of broth and the Braised Pork Hunglay Curry – marinated pork belly and pork shoulder with toasted garam masala slowly braised with hunglay curry paste, shallots, pickled garlic, fresh mango, tamarind paste and fresh ginger.

K-BBQ & Bar
5101 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32803

Orlando’s news Korean BBQ spot includes $39.99 AYCE KBBQ option which includes the Banchan, nine different meats, and five appetizers – there’s also Korean Poached Egg (Gyeranjjim), Fried Dumplings (Goon Mandu), and Ganjang Bibimbap.

K-BBQ & Bar opened in a 5,351-square-foot space that once was Oblivion Taproom and most recently was Roy’s Grill & Lounge.

3PM ~ 12AM

Paris Baguette
415 South Orlando Avenue, Suite 213
Winter Park, FL 32789

The first Paris Baguette in Florida opened recently in Winter Park – the Seoul, South Korea-based Korean-French bakery chain has over 3,500 locations in South Korea. The 2,460-square-foot Winter Park location is a corporate owned store. The second location in Florida, a franchised store, will open in Winter Garden‘s Horizon West community in the coming months.

818 Best Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant
Shoppes at Millenia
4192 Conroy Road, Suite 109
Orlando, FL 32839

Orlando’s newest Dim Sum restaurant opened today in the former King Crab Shack spot in front of The Mall at Millenia. 818 Best Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant is from the same local owner as 818 Heat Hot Pot & BBQ on South Kirkman Road and 818 Hot Pot and Barbecue coming soon to South Apopka Vineland Road. Dim Sum is served everyday from 10:30 AM – 9:30 PM. Rolling carts are available only during lunchtime.

Town Center at Timber Springs
425 Avalon Park South Boulevard, Suite 400
Orlando, FL 32828

Mangia opened at the end of August in the former Lil’ Anthony’s Pizza spot in Avalon Park. Mangia is owned by the Zuccarone-Russo Family. They immigrated to Orlando from the Bagnoli quarter of Naples, Italy in 2013. Father and son chef duo, Rosario Russo and Gennaro Russo lead the kitchen. Rosario is a member of the esteemed APCI (Association of Professional Italian Chefs), based in Italy.”

Banana Leaf
Stoneybrook Marketplace
2504 South Alafaya Trail, Suite 360
Orlando, FL 32828

Orlando‘s newest Sri Lankan restaurant opened in July. Friendly owner Nilanga Dassanayake was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He moved to Orlando this year from Los Angeles. Chef Nadee was born in Gampaha, Sri Lanka. The restaurant features a wonderful Sri Lankan lunch buffet on the weekends.

The weekend lunch buffet includes 10 items:
•Kaha Bath (Yellow Butter Rice)
•Annasi Curry (Pineapple Curry)
•Uru Mas Curry (Pork Curry)
•Kukul Mas Curry (Chicken Curry)
•Kadala Curry (Chickpea Curry)
•Malu Curry (Fish Curry)
•Amba Maluwa (Mango Curry)
•Polos Curry (Jackfruit Curry)
•Kiri Pani with Kithul Treacle (Curd with Palm Syrup)

The lunch buffet is Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM. It is $19.99 per person.

Yao’s Modern Kitchen
Pop-Up – Locations TBA

The Yiu siblings (George, Diane, and Eddie) have teamed up with Chris Chen and Philip Nguyen to bring this new concept to Orlando featuring dumplings, mapu tofu tots, and fried rice and more. Stay tuned!

East Garden Chinese Restaurant
Chinatown Plaza
5136 West Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32808

Featuring Cantonese and Dim Sum – East Garden opened in May 2022. Co-owners Ivy and her husband John also own Asian Sauce Box in Port Orange.

Wafu – East End Market – Audubon Park Garden District
3201 Corrine Drive, Suite 203
Orlando, FL 32803

Wafu opened June 2022 on the second level of East End Market in the Audubon Park Garden District. They specialize in Japanese taiyaki with sweet or savory fillings, soft serve ice cream, and they have a few shelves with exclusive merchandise for sale.

Sourdough Bread House
Casselberry Exchange
5761 South US Highway 17-92, Suite 1021
Casselberry, FL 32707

They just moved from Maitland to Casselberry last month. Featuring Turkish breakfast and sourdough breads.

5510 West Colonial Drive, Suite 106
Orlando, FL 32808

Virginia-based Korean-style fried chicken chain, 92Chicken has opened their first location in Florida! They are in a soft opening right now.   It is owned by South Korean-born Sung Isaac Lee who used to own Kaizen Izakaya in Downtown Orlando.

Coming Soon

Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe

2021 E. Colonial Drive

A late-night Hong Kong-style diner, is coming to Mills 50,  founded by John Zhao, the restaurateur behind YH Seafood Clubhouse in Dr. Phillips and Pho 813 near the Mall at Millenia.  This will be the third Sweet Buns in Florida after Tampa and Gainesville, but they will have a full kitchen firing up Hong Kong-style diner fare in addition to the bakery’s sugary buns, breads, cakes and assorted baked goods, according to the Orlando Weekly. The location takes over King Crab Shack at 2021 E. Colonial Drive — formerly Lac Viet.


11891 E. Colonial Drive

Although previously slated to open in east Orlando on October 31, the date has been pushed back to December 2022.  The restaurant’s main offerings are Filipino-style fried chicken, pies and spaghetti.


4962 New Broad Street in Baldwin Park

‘Camille’ by Chef Tung Phan to Open Pop-Up in Domu Lab at East End Market – Orlando is about to get its very first taste of modern French-Vietnamese served Chef’s table-style. Camille, a pop-up, will be opening in Audubon Park this year.

Shoot us any restaurant news and tips by e-mailing us at tastychomps (at) !

Sneak Preview: Waldorf Astoria Orlando & Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek to host inaugural Epicurious: Sip & Savor on Dec. 9th

There is a brand new epic food and wine event coming to Central Florida this December –Waldorf Astoria Orlando & Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s inaugural Epicurious: Sip & Savor Event. 

Taste your way through the all-new Epicurious Sip & Savor Event, an upscale food and wine experience showcasing 35 tastings across eight culinary kiosks and nine pop-up bars.

Enjoy an exclusive evening filled with lavish libations and delectable dishes inspired by the chefs from the highly acclaimed restaurants and lounges at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

Prepare to invigorate your senses with the unique and bold flavors of their carefully curated samplings.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando & Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s inaugural Epicurious: Sip & Savor Event

Event Date & Time: December 9, 2022. From 7pm to 11pm
Event Pricing: $275 per person. Plus Tax and Gratuity
For information, please email or Call (407) 597-3771

Sip & Savor
Friday December 9th, 2022

BULL AND BEAR “FRIED CHICKEN” – Foie Gras Yukon Gold Mash Potato, Gravy

Savor your way through the culinary wonders of Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Signia by Hilton. From a carefully curated selection of wines and spirits, to delectable food pairings and artsy treats from our Grand Patisserie, this cocktail event will sure be one of the most delightful culinary experiences you can have.

Click here to view the full Sip & Savor menu & purchase tickets

$275 per person, plus tax and gratuity

For information, please email or call 407-597-3771
Limited availability. Tickets required.

Here is a sneak preview of what to expect at Waldorf Astoria Orlando & Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s Inaugural Sip & Savor on December 9th, 2022:


Led by Chef Juan Suarez, Bull and Bear features a menu that takes much of its inspiration from an imaginative twist on the legendary meat eatery. Modeled after the trendsetting original Bull & Bear Restaurant in New York City, Bull & Bear Orlando serves hearty portions of traditional fare in a warm, club-like setting. Intricate chandeliers, a coffered ceiling and beveled glass windows create the perfect backdrop for a dining experience highlighted by inspired cuisine and impeccable service. The restaurant will be presenting their famed “Bull and Bear Fried Chicken” at the event. They will also feature a “DUCK HAM” dish with Skordalia, Kalamata au Jus, and Chestnut Spätzle.

BULL & BEAR FRIED CHICKEN – Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Gravy – this alone is worth the price of admission!


Created by famed Napa Valley chef and restaurateur Donna Scala, this modern Italian country kitchen serves dinner nightly and features thin crust pizzas, homemade pasta, Mediterranean-inspired drinks and a Trattoria-style wine program.

Executive Chef Alberto Navarette Arias of La Luce – making the short rib ravioli

Taking inspiration from the finest in Italian cuisine, La Luce features nuanced dishes that are certain to please the palate. Known for combining Italian tradition with Californian innovation, La Luce comes to life through two culinary dishes presented by Chef Alberto Navarrete Arias, including a Short Rib Ravioli and Bruschetta Bianca.

SHORT RIB RAVIOLI – Ricotta, Greens, Brandy & Peppercorn Sauce, Horseradish Gremolata


Traditional Japanese style specialties fused with cutting-edge culinary delights. Indulge in carefully crafted Asian cuisine with unique dishes created by Chef Jesus Pinto. Experience three categories of Japanese Fusion fare, including Steamed Bao Buns, Nori Kurakka “Spicy Nachos” and Kanji Rolls.

NORI KURAKKA (SPICY TUNA NACHOS) – Seared Seven Spice Tuna Sashimi, Avocado Crema, Spicy Mayo, Masago, Frisée, Wasabi Dusted Nori Chips

KANJI ROLL – Spicy Salmon, Cucumber, Avocado, Tobiko, Siracha, Micro Cilantro


Dazzling dessert recipes with ingredients working brilliantly together, for you to end the night on a sweet note. Experience the lavish taste of Baked Alaska with your choice of toppings or The French Petite Boutique with an assortment of miniature pastries, candies and caramels, all crafted to absolute perfection by Chef Franck.

 THE BAKED ALASKA – House-made Vanilla Ice cream layered onto vanilla sponge cake or crispy dried meringue bowl, covered in a dome meringue that is torched or Grand Marnier flambéed until toasted golden. Served with your choice of a berry or tropical chutney, caramelized nuts and fresh berries.

Additional Offerings:

  • GRAZING BOARD – Begin your epicurean tasting experience with our grazing board. Enjoy an array of sweet and savory items, including fruit, cheese, and antipasti.
  • VIBE KITCHEN – Immerse yourself in the rich, bold flavors of Peruvian cuisine through the vision of our Executive Sous Chef Dannilo Zapatel Herrera, a native of Peru. Sip and savor the flavors of his upbringing through a Quinoa Caprese, a Causa De Pulpo and a Chicha Morada Pisco Sour
  • Bull and Bear Smokehouse – Delight in the savory 14-Hour Pecan Smoked Black Angus Brisket as well as the Cedar Plank Lock Duart Salmon Filet prepared by our very own Executive Sous Chef at Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Jeremy Gibb.
  • MAÎTRES CUISINIERS DE FRANCE PAVILION – Relish in authentic French cuisine prepared by our Maître Cuisiniers de France, Chef Bernard Fiemeyer. Enjoy two palate-pleasing dishes from our award-winning chef, including a Cassolette D’escargots and Pâté Pantin, and see first-hand how his passion for French cuisines has earned his spot as one of only 10 chefs in Florida to hold a renowned title.
  • BUBBLES & BEGINNINGS – Aperol Spritz Station, Champagne Cocktails, Prosecco,  Sparkling Rose, Champagne by the glass
  • RUM COCKTAILS – Mai Tai, Rum Punch, Dark & Stormy
  • BOURBON TRAIL – Elevate your evening with the finest selections of classic whiskeys sending your palate through an eclectic Bourbon Trail. Savor eminent tastings of Smooth Ambler, Jefferson’s Bourbon, Rabbit Hole, Michter’s, Old Forester and Whistle Pig, an aromatic assortment sure to invigorate your senses.
  • THE AVA’S OF NAPA – Transport to various Nappa Valley AVA’s – one of the world’s best wine regions – with 25 wine varietals to imbibe.
  • JAPANESE DELICACY – Sake & Japanese Whiskey
  • THE 10 CRUS OF BEAUJOLAIS – Discover the robust, luscious flavors of wine that hail from the foothills of the Beaujolais mountains. Taste your way through 10 French varietals that represent each region.
  • DESSERT PAIRINGS: La Colombe Espresso Bicycle, Dessert Wine, Limoncello,Espresso Martini’s, Port/Sherry
  • FLORIDA CRAFT BEER – Toast to the sunshine state with several Florida breweries showcased on our Beer Wall. Indulge in four local craft beers on tap and five seasonal cans, including our very own Bonnet Creek Vacay IPA.

Take the Elevator Home

Make your Sip & Savor experience an overnight escape at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Guests can enjoy an exclusive rate of $295 per night for a Standard Room, and $375 for a Deluxe Suite.  Rates include luxury accommodation, waived resort fee, and complimentary valet parking.

For more information, visit:

A Spoon Full of Hope Debuts New Edible Cookie Dough – benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida


Just in time for the holidays – Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida recently added a new “eat or heat” cookie dough to its signature product line, A Spoon Full of Hope

The edible cookie dough comes in three different flavors: Chip Wreck’d (chocolate chip), Oat of This World (oatmeal raisin) and Peanut Butter Quake (peanut butter). 

I tasted these recently during a special event at the kitchen at Second Harvest and they were truly fantastic – Chef Jill Holland and team have really created something special with this new line.

Chef Jill Holland at Second Harvest Food Bank

I hope our readers look into ordering these great gifts for the holiday season for their families, friends, and colleagues in the corporate world. Full disclosure – I serve on the board of directors for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Amy Thompson of Orlando Sentinel showcasing one of the newly baked cookies

One hundred percent of A Spoon Full of Hope’s proceeds directly supports Second Harvest’s no-cost 16-week Culinary Training Program, which provides qualified individuals with the culinary and life skills training to pursue a sustainable career in the food service industry. More than 425 students have graduated since the program started in 2013. 

“Second Harvest has a longstanding history of being a change-maker – and we must adapt and innovate if we want to continue tackling the root causes of hunger head-on,” said Derrick Chubbs, President and CEO. “The creation of the Culinary Training Program, followed by the development of a sustainable revenue stream to help fund it, are just two examples of how Second Harvest is more than a traditional food bank.”

Additional information:

  • Edible cookie dough sales begin Monday, November 7 at
  • 16 oz. costs around $15.
  • An 8 oz. option will be available for purchase at the start of December and the price point will be around $10.

This is the second expansion for A Spoon Full of Hope since launching in October 2018 with a tomato basil soup, four flavors of locally sourced honey and a classic shortbread cookie. Last year, Second Harvest introduced three new shortbread cookie flavors: Strawberry Lemonade, Cranberry Pistachio and Chai.

“The success that A Spoon Full of Hope has seen in its first four years would not be possible without our loyal customers,” said Nancy Brumbaugh, Chief Food Service Officer at Second Harvest. “Our team is already building on that success by brainstorming new ideas for continued growth of the brand.”

Purchases of A Spoon Full of Hope products can be made online or by visiting any of the 10 retailers that currently sell items in local stores. Consumers can buy products individually, in bulk or as part of a gift basket by visiting

For more information about Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and its Culinary Training Program, visit

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (SHFBCF)
SHFBCF is a member of Feeding America – the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. SHFBCF secures and distributes food and grocery products to more than 500 local nonprofit feeding partners throughout Central Florida. Through the help of food and financial donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributes enough food for a quarter of a million meals every day to the six-county service area. Feeding our neighbors facing hunger is only the beginning. By investing in job training programs, advocating for access to nutritious foods, and inspiring our community to get involved, SHFBCF is leaning into the root causes of hunger and transforming lives. With the support of our Central Florida community, Second Harvest Food Bank is feeding inspiration, change, achievement, health — and families facing hunger.  To learn more about SHFBCF, visit

A Foodie’s Guide to Thanksgiving in Orlando 2022 – Specials and More

Turkey – stuffing – the fixin’s – time with family and friends. Thanksgiving is upon us once again here in Orlando. But – sometimes we want to leave the cooking to others for Thanksgiving, or want to find a place with very good turkey to cook at home. Or perhaps you are visiting Orlando and are looking for a place to celebrate Thanksgiving while vacationing here. Below are some of our featured highlights for Thanksgiving in Orlando this year – take a look and make sure to make reservations ASAP!

A Foodie’s Guide to Thanksgiving in Orlando 2022 – Specials and More

Hard Rock Cafe at Universal City Walk

6050 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

Walk Ins Only

Enjoy a rockin’ Thanksgiving complete with friends, family, turkey and pie. Oh my! Slow roasted turkey breast finished with traditional turkey gravy, roasted fresh vegetables, home-style classic stuffing, creamy sweet potato mash and cranberry sauce. Pumpkin pie & Espresso Martini also available.

Hemisphere at Hyatt Regency – Orlando International Airport

9th Floor, 9300 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32827

Reservations Encouraged, Walk-Ins Accepted

Hemisphere Thanksgiving

Prix Fixe $69 per person

Choice of starter
Crawfish chowder
Pumpkin bisque
House salad

Apple, cranberry, sausage turkey roulade
Bourbon turkey gravy
Sautéed green beans pancetta and wild mushrooms
Celery root mash

Choice of dessert
Pumpkin tart
Lemon meringue

JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

14900 Chelonia Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32821

STK at Disney Springs

1580 E Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830

  • Reservations highly recommended, it will be a very busy day

Give thanks at STK! This Thanksgiving, dine at our home or yours with STK Thanksgiving Specials featuring Roasted Free-Range Turkey with all the sides and trimmings. Available for Dine-in or Takeout November 24 – 27.

Dates: November 24th – 27th


Roasted Free Range Turkey

Includes: cornbread & sage stuffing, shallot & thyme confit thighs, sauteed green beans with crispy shallots, maple baked sweet potato, yukon gold mashed potatoes – parmesan crust classic gravy, cranberry orange chutney

Dine-In: $64 Adults | $29 Children (12 & Under)

Spiced Pumpkin Pie | $12 per slice


Pre-order begins 11/14

Dinner for Two $124 ($64 per serving) – Includes Spiced Pumpkin Pie

STK Signature Side $18 each ($31 Lobster Mac & Cheese)

Pick-Up Times for Pre-Orders on Thanksgiving Day: 11:00am | 12:00pm | 1:00pm | 2:00pm | 3:00pm | 4:00pm


11am Opening on Thanksgiving Day – Close at 10pm

No HAPPY HOUR on Thanksgiving Day

DJ starting 12pm on Thanksgiving Day

Regular Hours on Friday, 11/25


 Spice up the holidays with our Pumpkin Features at STK all spooky season long, like the Pumpkin Spiced Old Fashioned, NEW Pumpkin Spiced Espresso Martini, Pumpkin Tortellini & Dungeness Crab, & Pumpkin Pie!


Pumpkin Spiced Old Fashioned | $21

Pumpkin Spiced Espresso Martini | $21

Pumpkin Tortellini & Dungeness Crab | $59

Pumpkin Pie | $12

Dates: October 4 – November 30

BACÁN Restaurant at Lake Nona Wave Hotel

6100 Wave Hotel Dr, Orlando, FL 32827

Thanksgiving Brunch

Experience a taste of the America’s this Thanksgiving with a brunch buffet at Michelin-recommended BACÁN. Live music will accompany a wide selection of live Chef stations featuring hand-carved traditional favorites and specialty seafood and indulgent desserts.


$40 CHILDREN 6years – 12years

Children under 6 dine free of charge

18% service charge will be added to all parties

Reservations are available at our website (BACÁN | Lake Nona Wave Hotel) and also by emailing

Tradewinds Restaurant at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

6677 Sea Harbor Dr, Orlando FL 32821

Thanksgiving Brunch



Adults $52 | Kids Under 12 $23

*1pm to 6pm



Salad Bar

Garden Greens | Tomatoes | Cucumbers | Shredded Carrot | Radish

Dried Cranberries | Candied Walnut | Shaved Parmesan | Kalamata olives | Croutons

 Florida Citrus Vinaigrette | Buttermilk Ranch | Caesar Dressing


Prosciutto de Parma | Salami | Soppressata

Pickled Vegetables | Marinated Peppers

 Artisan Cheese

Creamy Brie | Aged Cheddar | House Pumpkin Jam | Hummus | Paco Pickles | Marcona Almonds | Honey

Grilled Naan | Crostini

Assorted House Baked Breads & Rolls

Panzanella Farmer Salad

Grilled Acorn Squash | Baby Kale | Mozzarella | Prosciutto | Tarragon Vinaigrette

Fall Harvest Salad

Roasted Pear | Beets | Fennel | Carrots | Pomegranate

Spicy Pecans | Feta Cheese & Tangerine Vinaigrette

 On Ice

Shrimp Cocktail | Smoked Salmon Dip

Local Hot Sauce Bar | Lemons | Cocktail sauce

R Sushi Chef’s Traditional Rolls

California | Spicy Tuna | Vegetarian

Wasabi | Pickled Ginger | Soy

 Thanksgiving Traditions

Parmesan and Pumpkin Soup | Gingerbread Croutons

Wild Isles Salmon & Braised Fennel | Tomato Brown Butter | Couscous | Swiss Chard | Mushrooms

Rigatoni| Fried Garlic | Broccoli | House-made Sausage | Ricotta

Chicken & Dumplings | Potato Dumplings | Chicken Gravy

Traditional Stuffing

Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes

Candied Yams | Pecans | Marshmallow topping

Green Bean Casserole |Mushroom Cream | Crispy Onions

Roasted Spaghetti Squash | Roasted Heirloom Carrots | Crispy Brussel Sprouts

Vegan Cauliflower Gratian

Carving Station

Free Range Roasted Turkey | Gravy | Cranberry Sauce

Smoked Prime Rib | Au Jus | Horseradish Cream

 Thanks Giving Desserts Menu

  Pumpkin Brownies

Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Carrot Cake

Sweet Potato Pie

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Apple Pecan Crisps

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Roll

Cranberry Cheesecake

Chocolate Amaretto Tarts

Pecan Squares







How to Spend an Afternoon in Winter Park, Including Book Event and Signing

When I moved to Florida, one of the first places I checked out and instantly fell in love with was Winter Park.  Park Avenue is pretty irresistible with the restaurants and shops, the park with flowers and towering trees providing some shade.  It’s impossible not to feel like part of the community with the tables lining the streets, full of people chatting and enjoying a simple coffee or glass of wine or a multi course fine dining experience.

Even better, Winter Park is far more than Park Avenue; down Orlando, Orange, Fairbanks, and side streets in between, local and national chain restaurants, long standing local favorites, and hidden gems abound.  Each visit to the Winter Park area brings a new and exciting experience that is ever changing.

I invite you to check out Winter Park, with some of my favorite spots listed below.  I am also excited to tell you that I will be at the shiny new and stunning Winter Park Library for an Author Salon and Book Signing on November 5th at 2 pm.  My domestic thriller Cause of Death may have come out in May 2021, but this is the first official event for it and I couldn’t be more excited!

I will be speaking about my writing journey at large as well as all about the book.  If you are a fan of reading, writing, and books like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, I encourage you to come.  It will be a good time, and then you have the perfect excuse to check out one or more of these Winter Park gems!

Gelato-Go is the very first place I visited in Winter Park.  Back during the pandemic, they had a walk up window that was the best.  Now I love going inside and chatting with all the friendly faces there, especially Margiori the owner.  Be sure to try more than one of her irresistible flavors like sea salt caramel and amarena cherry.  They also have pastries and some of the best coffee around.

Farther down Park Avenue, Financier Bistro and Bar a Vin has something for everyone and every occasion.  From pastries and coffee to elegant salads and a glass of wine to burgers and steak frites, the food and drink never disappoint.  Whatever you do, be sure to try the smashed potatoes – they are the best potatoes I’ve ever had.

Over on Orlando Avenue, The Glass Knife is almost hidden among surrounding buildings.  Once you find it, you’ll never forget about the coffee and pastries, especially the pillowy brioche doughnuts.  Be sure to check out their ever changing, seasonal cakes and maybe even balance out the sweetness with a savory sandwich on a housemade croissant.  One of everything, please!

Finally, on Orange Avenue The Courtesy Bar just opened their Winter Park location after leaving downtown Orlando.  Full of dark wood and big windows, it strikes a balance between moody and welcoming.  Different seating options allow space for parties big and small.  The drink menu features the bar’s take on classic cocktails, and the food comes from the kitchen of nearby Swine and Sons, so it practically goes without saying, it’s a big hit.

Take some time to check out Winter Park, and please join me at the Winter Park Library on November 5th at 2 pm!