There are zillions of recipes on the internet, but only a handful of people really know how to artfully craft ingredients together in a dish. So, we present to you seven guaranteed-to-be-tasty recipes from award winning James Beard Chefs. Happy cooking!
It’s always nice to indulge in a bit of luxury and thanks to the Four Seasons there’s plenty of upcoming opportunities to experience the “finer things” in Orlando. From tequila dinners to new menu items there’s plenty to explore this time of year at the Four Seasons.
Casa Dragones Joven Tequila Dinner:
The five-course menu will be served at Plancha, the Resort’s lakeside Cuban American restaurant at the Tranquilo Golf Clubhouse. The full dinner will be paired with Casa Dragones Joven, a 100 percent blue agave Joven tequila. This master blend of silver tequila and extra aged tequila, rested in new American oak barrels for five years, lends a complex, smooth taste that is perfect for sipping and pairing with food. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 pm and seated dinner at 7:00 pm. The menu includes:
- Orange/achiote fish ceviche by Chef Lula
- Tequila granita by Executive Sous Chef Samuel Faggetti
- Green tomatillo and mushroom soup by Chef Lula
- Steak crusted with ashes and cotija cheese sauce by Chef Lula; or yellowtail snapper with chayote and embrued onions by Executive Sous Chef Samuel Faggetti
- Corn brûlée dessert by Chef Lula
Reservations for this tequila pairing dinner, $145 per person, can be made by calling 407 313 6161.
Miami Takeover Dinner:
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is spicing up the night with a special “Miami Takeover” dinner, featuring three prominent guest chefs visiting from Miami. On June 25, 2016, the Resort’s Plancha restaurant at Tranquilo Golf Clubhouse will welcome Executive Chef Aaron Brooks from EDGE, Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Miami; Executive Chef Dena Marino from MC Kitchen; and Executive Chef Jose Mendin from Pubbelly Restaurant Group. The chefs will cook alongside Capa Chef Tim Dacey and Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber from Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
- The five-course menu includes a first course of hand-crafted charcuterie by Chef Brooks of EDGE, Steak and Bar
- The second course is a crudo by Chef Tim Dacey
- The third course is a parmigano reggano cavatelli pasta by Chef Marino;
- The fourth course is a short rib with duck fat potatoes by Chef Mendin;
- And the dessert course is roasted peaches with thyme whipped crème fraiche and blueberry compote by Chef Saber.
Events + Dining for Global Wellness Day:
In observance of the fifth annual Global Wellness Day on Saturday, June 11, 2016, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is encouraging guests to “Say Yes!” to wellness, with fitness classes and special menu options designed to promote a healthy lifestyle.
- Lickety Split, the Resort’s grab-and-go coffee shop, will offer a detox juice for guests to enjoy, made in-house with fresh pineapple, cucumber, kale and celery for $7.
- At PB&G, located poolside at the Resort, enjoy a protein salad, made with baby spinach, toasted cashews, roasted beets, hard-boiled free range egg and topped with an apple cider and bloomed chia seed vinaigrette along with choice of salmon, beef or chicken for $27.
- For dinner at Capa, the Resort’s 17th floor rooftop steakhouse, diners can feast on a grilled swordfish dish, served with a summer salad and pickled seasonal fruit for $32. And did you know Capa was recently named Critic’s Choice – Best Restaurant in Orlando by Orlando magazine?
See? Told you there’s lots to celebrate in luxurious style at the Four Seasons. If you need me I’ll be taking a stay-cation on Dream Tree Boulevard.
Let’s imagine how much cooler college would have been with a course called The Science of Wine. Sign us up for courses I and II, please!
On Friday, April 30, The Science of Wine, one of Central Florida’s premier wine events, returned for the sixth consecutive year with hundreds of wine enthusiasts in attendance. The interactive evening, filled to the brim tastings of fine wines from the world’s major regions, benefitted the Orlando Science Center (OSC). If you’re reading this, we are officially friends, so I can share that I don’t even drink, and this event has gone down in the books as one of Spork Orlando’s local favorites. Luckily, my sidekick for the evening kept her glass full and served as my official drink tester.
Before we get started, click here to find out what kind of vino matches your personality with BuzzFeed’s wine quiz!
1. Yes Way, Rosé // With more than 150 fine wines poured from all around the world, guests left with a newfound appreciation for the many varietals available both locally and abroad. Julie Pepi, a fine wine director and second-level sommelier, led a sold-out wine seminar sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits.
2. It Was Totally A Food Festival // Between me, you and your laptop’s firewalls, the evening’s food presence stole the show. Guests that headed down the wine trail discovered new foodie stops along every step of the way. Local favorites, such as Tapa Toro, Taverna Opa, The Swine Family, Black Rooster Taqueria and 4 Rivers Smokehouse helped balance palates with dishes ranging from vegetarian paella to smoked pork bang bang tacos.
Admittedly, Puff ‘n Stuff Catering’s avocado bar was pretty impressive. Imagine halved and seared hass avocados served with DIY toppings, such as crab, grilled corn, orange tomatoes, scallions, chickpeas, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Can we all agree that every event should have this?
3. Three Words: Chef Emily Ellyn // This Retro Rad Diva, who is best known for her appearances on Food Network and culinary contributions throughout Central Florida, invited guests to put on their lab coats and cook up some fun! Using just the right formula, she took guests down a twisted memory lane with a Peanut Butter & Jelly Snow Cone cooking demonstration.
4. Sip with Benefits // Proceeds raised by The Science of Wine help provide operating support for educational programs and opportunities for science learners of all ages to experience the fun and discovery of Orlando Science Center, a 501(c)(3) organization.
5. The Perfect Blend // Around every corner, we found Orlandoans from different industries and walks of life to befriend. The thing to remember is that you’ve already got something in common: a love for wine!
Next year, bring your cards and fully-charged phone because you’ll definitely see something Snapchat worthy, and you won’t want to miss it.
SOMM, Orlando’s newest wine bar, offers a focused, smart and approachable selection of wines from the world’s top wine producing regions. Located along I-Drive, their wine list features 60 varietals, which are available by the bottle or in three, six or nine-ounce pours as well as create your own flight options.
Last week we were invited to a blind tasting with Master Sommelier Michael McNeill where we started with champagne and tasted six different wines, three reds and three whites alongside The Court of Master Sommeliers tasting grid. We spent the evening making conclusions about each wine while trying to keep up with a room full of professionals with way more experience at blind tastings. Overall, we had a delightful and informative evening as we furthered our knowledge in the world of wine!
If you missed last week’s tasting, we’d highly recommend joining SOMM every Monday at 7 p.m. for their weekly blind tasting. Whether you’re new to wine or studying for your next exam, you’re sure to further your wine knowledge and have fun while at SOMM. And while food is still in the works, they will soon be serving a variety of hot and cold dishes from SLATE. Additionally, a Happy Hour will launch soon – we’ll be sure to share all the details with you!
SOMM is open daily from 4 p.m. to 10 pm (Mon.-Thurs.), 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Friday) and noon to 12 a.m. (Sat.-Sun.). For more information about SOMM, visit http://www.slateorlando.com/p/somm.html.
A few weeks ago we visited and wrote about our first experience here, since then we’ve returned for multiple visits and had to share more of their dishes. The menu at NOVA is inspired by Executive Chef Valintinus Domingo’s lifetime of travels as well as his southern and Pacific Islander roots. Here is a rundown of Chef Val’s offering we were able to sample last week.
- Ahi Tuna Tostadas: This dish showcased Chef Val’s ability to blend multiple influences into a harmonious and well balanced dish. The ahi tuna in this dish is lightly dusted with cumin before being seared. These flavors are accompanied with house-made guacamole and a wasabi emulsification allowing you to assemble the perfect combination for a bite on a cracker…….and if you are looking for a gluten free option, Chef has thoughtfully included thinly sliced radishes as a sub for the cracker.
- Sesame-Crusted Calamari: Coated in flour, buttermilk and Sriracha, the fork tender calamari were served hot and coated in a sweet Thai chili vinaigrette alongside bell peppers, onions, and garnished micro greens.
- Grouper: This fish was very light and flaky and paired with a lemon-caper pan sauce. This fish is accompanied with a fresh chickpea salad, sautéed artichoke and heirloom cherry tomatoes.
- Lobster and Crab Ravioli– The richness of the lobster and crab is encapsulated in house made pasta ravioli. The sherry cream sauce makes this dish light, sophisticated and very enjoyable.
- Duck Fat Fried Chicken: We have to say that Chef Val’s take on this indulgent dish lived up to our high expectations. The use of the mild duck fat allowed for a mild undertone of the Sriracha buttermilk coating to give the chicken a mild, yet satisfying flavor. This dish is well rounded with braised collards and smoked Gouda mac n’ cheese. Feeling guilty yet? Don’t worry, not only does cooking in duck fat allow for tender meat and crispy skin, duck fat contains 6.3 grams of “good” monounsaturated fat so this dish is arguably a health food!
- The 1409 Burger: Rumor has it this is one of the best burgers in town…….we can’t argue with that! Served on a cutting board with over-easy egg, we were immediately put on notice to roll up our selves. The savory short rib patty and the white cheddar melded perfectly with the slight sweetness of the pecan-smoked bacon. And don’t worry about the cutting board not containing all the juiciness of this burger, the soft brioche bun does just the trick to soak up all the goodness!
- NOVA also has an excellent cocktail program, here are a few of our favorites:
- West Indies Mule: In the sunshine state, we are always on the lookout for a refreshing boat drink to help us escape the summer heat. This innovative take on a mule uses fresh lime juice, Kirk and Sweeney rum, Giffard Ginger of the Indies liquor, and is finished with Bittermans Tiki bitters.
- Nova Manhattan: We enjoyed the presentation and smoothness of this libation. The sweet and dryness of Kinahans Irish Whiskey pairs very well with the rich and drier styled Dolin Rouge vermouth for a very satisfying take on the classic.
Haven’t visited NOVA yet? Add this spot to your “must try” list!
Founded in 2002, Freddy’s opened their first location in Wichita, Kan., offering a unique combination of cooked-to-order steak-burgers, Chicago dogs, and frozen custard made fresh throughout the day. Recently Freddy’s has migrated down south and opened two locations throughout Orlando. In a world of over-saturated burger joints, we had to check out what makes Freddy’s unique. Different than say a Shake Shack or gourmet burgers piled high with fancy toppings, Freddy’s has done an excellent job keeping their burger simple and flavorful. Their burgers are akin to a Steak ‘n Shake’s patty, but exceptionally tastier.
In addition to their steak-burgers, Freddy’s has also added Fried Pickles and a Cookie Butter Concrete available now through June 15. Sliced pickles are breaded, fried golden and crispy on the outside, but remain tangy and crunchy on the inside. The salty sliced pickles are the perfect alternative to french fries. To craft the Cookie Butter Concrete, vanilla frozen custard is blended with creamy cookie butter made from Belgian spice cookies. A buttery soft confection that we so enjoyed tasting alongside our burgers and deep fried pickles.
Between the burgers, fried pickles and sweet concrete we’re now fans of Freddy’s and are definitely adding this spot to our burger rotation. Freddy’s is located at 3200 South Orange Avenue and 8107 Vineland Avenue. For more information and menu details visit https://freddysusa.com.
I’m always envious of “beer drinkers,” with their portable cans and rolling coolers, hops connoisseurs are always able to enjoy a beverage on the go. If you prefer wine (like me) tailgates and pool parties are often void of wine because a bottle of wine isn’t practical in all situations. So when we found out about imported Italian wine in single-serve aluminum bottles we were suddenly inspired to host a tailgate.
Riboli Family Wines has introduce a convenient new way to enjoy wine beyond the bottle. Their European design with a resealable twist-off cap offers the perfect way to enjoy this low-alcohol, frizzante wine anywhere, anytime.
From Orlando City Soccer games to Amway concerts, barbecues, picnics, and more, these 8 oz. aluminum bottles are the perfect alternative to bringing your wine bottle and corkscrew outside (although we’ve done that before). Throw these baby bottles into a wine cocktail or drink them solo because you’ll be drinking these bottles all summer long.
The aluminum bottles feature Stella Rosa Black and Platinum, both part of Stella Rosa’s luxury collection. Stella Rosa Black bursts has flavors of ripe blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry, while Stella Rosa Platinum has refreshing notes of crisp green apple, creamy vanilla, and fragrant elderflower. Both flavors are best enjoyed chilled either alone or paired with fresh fruit, cheese, spicy cuisine, or desserts.
The new aluminum bottles are being rolled out across the country throughout 2016.