Nov 282015

‘Tis the season for list making, shopping, wrapping and of course, giving. The internet is exploding with “gift guides”, so naturally we have to join in on the fun. We’ve curated the top picks for all things food and fun below. Cheers to the brightest (and tastiest) season yet!

Luma + Prato Gift Cards: Returning again this season, buy $100 in gift cards and receive a $20 bonus to keep for yourself…err, gift in addition to that $100 card. Pair with their 9 Courses Cookbook for the ultimate fine dining package.


Dunkin’ Donuts: Because you can’t technically gift a cup of coffee to the java lover in your life, we’d suggest picking up a gift card and these adorable mug-shaped lip balms.


(Photo @beautybyralu)

Mini Beer Pong: Gift a tiny party with this itty-bitty game. It’s like a pop-up party in a box! Available online here.


Wine Folly: For that wine “expert” in your life, give the gift of wine knowledge. This easy to digest, informative and fun book breaks down the mysterious world of wine. Buy one for yourself perhaps and impress your friends at that annual ugly Christmas sweater

giddy paperie Mugs: Shop local and score an adorable mug from this Winter Park studio. We’re exceptionally fond of the “Banish the Bah Humbug” design.


Peterbrooke Chocolate Baskets: Ranging from $50-$200 these cocoa assortments are sure to brighten their faces.


4 Rivers Smokehouse: In Florida there’s no “off season” for grilling, so this Pitmaster kit is sure to bring flavor and cheer to a loved one’s holiday season. Just make sure you add a gift card in case the whole grilling thing doesn’t work out.


Corkcicle: From a College Park garage, to nationwide fame, this company was born in Orlando. Now expanding to a myriad of drink products, there’s something for everyone in their collection. They even have a canteen that keeps drinks cold for 25 hours and holds an entire bottle of wine. I’ll take one in every color, please.




Photo Credits: From each respective business. 

Nov 232015

Tavistock Restaurant Collection is pleased to announce the creation of Canvas, a new dinner-only restaurant and market located at the Laureate Park Village Center in the heart of Lake Nona. Featuring chef-driven cuisine with a focus on fresh Florida seafood, the waterfront restaurant will open in January 2016.


An original concept and the first Tavistock Restaurant Collection location in Central Florida, Canvas was developed in partnership with Tavistock Development Company and Concentrics Restaurants. Concentrics Restaurants is an Atlanta-based restaurant operating group that offers full-service design, development, consulting and management and provides comprehensive food and beverage solutions for freestanding restaurants and hotels across the nation including locally known Luma on Park, Prato and Slate. Canvas marks the 15th unique concept within Tavistock Restaurant Collection’s domestic portfolio.

The 278-seat restaurant is one of Orlando’s only waterfront dining destinations. In addition to the restaurant, the new venue will also include an adjacent market where guests can enjoy freshly prepared breakfast and lunch items from the Canvas kitchen and peruse a hand-selected collection of housewares, books and local goods.


The chef-driven menu will feature American classics inspired by local ingredients and Florida seafood featuring shareable appetizers, creative salads and sandwiches, hearty entrees, and wood-grilled pizzas and flatbreads.

Every detail of Canvas has been thoughtfully designed and planned to create a welcoming space for guests. The restaurant’s exhibition-style kitchen opens to the main dining room while floor-to-ceiling windows provide picturesque waterfront views. Diners can opt to sit inside in cozy banquettes, enjoy a meal out on the terrace overlooking the water, or toast with handcrafted cocktails at the prominent wooden bar.


The Canvas market will open daily for breakfast and lunch. Guests can stop in and have a meal at the market’s communal table or chose from a variety of grab-and-go options, gourmet coffee, and fresh-squeezed juice and smoothies.

Photo Credit: Canvas

Nov 192015

The magicians of the Orlando Magic NBA team, SeeMagicLive, are celebrating their Sixth Annual Festival of Magic on Saturday, November 28, by transforming the private halls and dining rooms of Orlando’s beloved steakhouse, Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster into The Magic Mansion.Setting the scene for mysterious experiences fueled by illusion, SeeMagicLive magicians will perform close-up and sleight-of-hand prestidigitation for intimate groups as they make their way through the rooms of The Magic Mansion.

After fooling Penn & Teller on their hit TV-show, “Fool Us” Kostya is performing alongside Penn & Teller at their theater in Las Vegas on November 15th, then returning home to bring the Magic Mansion to life at Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster.

The festival explores the visual art of magic and challenges pre-conceived realities of the human mind. Guests can choose from three two-hour shows or a private four-course dinner and magic show, courtesy of Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster. Talent includes SeeMagicLive CEO & Founder Kostya Kimlat, among others.

Magic enthusiasts will recognize Kimlat from Penn & Teller’s hit TV show, “Fool Us.” After successfully fooling them on air, Kimlat joins the pair at their theater in Las Vegas on November 15th, before returning home to bring the Magic Mansion to life at Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster.

WHEN: Saturday, November 28, 2015. Shows starting at: 12, 2 and 4 p.m. Dinner show starts at 6 p.m.

 COST: Show experience tickets are available for $35. Four-course dinner & show experience tickets are available for $122 at


Nov 192015

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts today announced that John Rivers, 4R Restaurant Group Chef and Owner will host the live performance of Emeril, part of the Publix Chefs at Dr. Phillips Center series.  The first show in the series stars Emeril at 8 p.m. on December 1 and will feature live Q&A, a cooking demonstration and book signings of his latest book, Essential Emeril.

As a national TV personality, Emeril Lagasse has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America. Most recently, Emeril’s Florida entered its third season in January 2015 on the Cooking Channel. Lagasse is the author of 18 bestselling cookbooks including his first, Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking, which introduced his creative take on Creole cuisine.

Dr. Phillips Center has partnered with Publix Super Markets to present the 2015-2016 Publix Chefs at Dr. Phillips Center Series, which will showcase a trio of kitchen legends in the Walt Disney Theater. Next in the series is Ina Garten, January 21, 2016 and Guy Fieri, February 11, 2016.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Box Office at 445 Magnolia Avenue, Orlando Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., or online at Online and phone ticket purchases include handling fees. For groups of 10 or more, please contact Group Sales at or call 407.455.5550.

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Nov 182015

Sushi is truly an art, and after taking a class at Dragonfly working to perfect the craft, we are still total novices. It’s all very precise, from the consistency of the rice to slicing the final product. We were fortunate enough to learn from the best during a sushi making class last weekend at Dragonfly. The first event of its kind open to guests, but one that’s been offered previously to corporate and private groups.

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For $60 per person, the entire class enjoyed champagne, appetizers, multiple sushi rolls and chicken from the robata grill in addition to superior sushi knowledge.

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The class started with rice prep and we quickly moved into rolling four different rolls ranging from beginner and building up to more advanced methods. We started with a simple tuna roll and picked up a tennis ball size of rice. Then, we spread the grain evenly over the seaweed with careful care not to mash the rice.

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Next up, the fish and vegetables took center stage as we learned the appropriate way to layer the ingredients ensuring evenness across the roll.

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Afterwards, we rolled and formed the sushi, something exceptionally more difficult than it would appear. Then, the slicing begins with an uber-sharp knife that continuously cuts the roll in half until you have eight beautiful pieces.

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After all that hard work across several rolls we feasted on our creations! The team at Dragonfly took us through four different rolls and then treated us to some shishito peppers and chicken from the smoky robata grill. Don’t miss Dragonfly’s next sushi making class, it’s perfect for a group of friends or a day date. Who knows… might just find your new calling as a sushi chef.



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Nov 182015

Who wants to drink a Peppermint Mocha when it’s 90 degrees outside? Not me. Luckily Shake Shack has resolved this issue with some chillier holiday flavor. Grab a shake and cozy up by that fire, errr… sunshine this holiday season! And for more on our original review of the shack, click here.




Photo Credit: Shake Shack

Nov 182015

While Central Florida may be known year-round for theme parks, its growing culinary scene is putting Orlando in the spotlight as well. PEOPLE magazine recently named Orlando one of its “foodiest” cities in America.

On Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm, Four Seasons Resort Orlando chefs are pleased to join forces with legendary chefs from across the country. Capa will host a James Beard Foundation celebrity chef tour dinner, featuring award winning talents including:

  • Gerard Craft, 2015 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef-Midwest, known as St. Louis’ preeminent chef-restaurateur at flagship Niche as well as at Brasserie by Niche, Taste and Pastaria
  • Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky and Top Chef
  • Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in Chicago, Illinois, Top Chef Masters and James Beard Award winner for Best Chef Midwest
  • Michael Sullivan of Creekstone Farms Beef in Arkansas City, Kansas, formerly of Blackberry Farms, Tennessee
  • Norman Van Aken, of Norman’s restaurant in Orlando, Florida and James Beard Award winner for Best Chef South East
  • Stefan Riemer, Pastry Chef, Food & Beverage Development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
  • James TidwellMaster Sommelier, of Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas, Texas
  • The special guests will accompany host chefs:
  • Fabrizio Schenardi, Executive Chef, Four Seasons Resort Orlando
  • Rabii Saber, Executive Pastry Chef, Four Seasons Resort Orlando
  • Tim Dacey, Chef, Capa restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

The eight-course dinner menu includes: 

  • Course 1: Beef carpaccio salad by Chef Michael Sullivan
  • Course 2: “Bass Under Glass” red wine reduction sauce under a potato torta by Chef Norman Van Aken
  • Course 3: Roasted winter squash, spiced squash puree, squash vinegar caramel, seeds, Missouri goat cheese and mint by Chef Gerard Craft
  • Course 4: Ravioletto filled with crescenza cheese, brown butter, parmigiana reggiano, white truffles by Chef Tony Mantuano
  • Course 5: Veal cheeks braised in Barolo chinato; polenta and roasted chestnuts “chicche” by Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi
  • Course 6: Seared ribeye, gochujang butter, grits, radish bottarga by Chef Edward Lee
  • Course 7: Imported cheese display presented by Chef Tim Dacey
  • Course 8: Gianduja-citrus crèmeux with dehydrated milk foam and vanilla Chantilly by Stefan Riemer

The phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime meal is available for USD 235 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. For reservations call 407 313 6161 or buy tickets online.

This might just make the perfect Christmas gift, right? Hint, hint.

The Four Seasons Orlando


Photo Credit: Four Seasons