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Chef’s Garden at Crimson Tavern

At Crimson Tavern, you are invited to take a stroll through 2,500 square foot Chef’s Garden and see what is ready to be harvested. For Executive Chef Anthony Hull, Crimson Tavern truly defines the “farm to table” culinary movement. Every dish is the sum of its components, the farm to table philosophy means a strong connection to the surrounding farms and artisans. The culinary team works effortlessly to develop partnerships with many of Orlando’s suppliers to source the finest ingredients available. They also invite the local farm community to grow for them, which helps these farms to sustain a way of life.

Crimson Tavern has recently begun a really sweet labor of love! Just across the lake from the Chef’s Garden a licensed beekeeper has been placed beehives for honey production. Chef Tony Hull use honey in a variety of ways including to make salad dressings,barbecue sauces, house-cured bacon, and for barbecue ribs, oatmeal, pancakes, and waffles.

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“We wanted to bring the hives on property so we could increase pollination in our Chef’s Garden as well as reduce our carbon footprint,” notes Chef Hull. “We will continue to purchase local honey if the need exceeds our production levels, but our hope is that we will see our first honey harvest in early May. It is our ultimate goal to be self-sufficient with regard to our honey production and consumption”.

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MasterChef Junior Semi Finalist – Junior Chef Zac Kara

He is only 13 years old, and he is already a celebrity, but that doesn’t seem to bother him at all. We are talking about Junior Chef Zac Kara, MasterChef Junior season 4 Semi Finalist, who knows how to mix his two passions, cooking and playing tennis, into being better on each one of them. He just can’t get enough cooking; he does it every single day and loves to travel around Florida with his mom trying to find to freshest ingredients for his dishes. He is, without doubt, a very competitive fellow, and no, I am not just talking about Tennis, about which he proudly claims his 34-4 win/lose ratio, but also through his participation in the show.

In fact, that competitiveness helped him to control his nerves on the kitchens of the MasterChef Junior Show, just like he used to do when entering a Tennis Court. But he admits the “butterflies in the stomach” at first were unavoidable, that didn’t trouble him to be one of the best through the whole season. He remembers what he calls his most memorable moment on the show, when he won the Mystery Box Challenge. It was his creativity and his desire to do the best he could what lead him to make a savory dish rather than a sweet, something that put him on the spotlight for the judges who gave him the victory that day.
But, truth be told, he wasn’t always this comfortable in front of cameras or even kitchens. He admits that one of the reasons he started cooking was because his mom thought that would help him to be more organized, so she made him follow recipes step by step, trying to make the less mess he could and that caught his attention. But that wasn’t all, he started watching Master Chef Junior, without knowing that one day he would be one of the participants.

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It was his mom and sister, who encourage to take part in the Season 4 auditions that changed his life. Now, after his exciting ride through the show, his got a Chef life planned, working on YouTube and periscope live cooking shows, writing on his blog and even working on his own cooking book. Zac is definitely going places.

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Now, it seems he is in the right path into being a well renown chef in a couple years, we sure hope so! We can see that determination in his eyes when he talks about how does he creates a dish, and how he tries to have everything planned beforehand, proportions, vegetables, texture, color, he got it all figure out before even heating the pan.

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His favorite dish it’s his signature Pan Seared Steak, accompanied with this personal puree, a red wine reduction, a vodka cream sauce, served with seared asparagus and thin sliced carrots and radishes. For him, this is one of the most delicious steak dishes.

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And of course, being a sport player, means he loves healthy dishes, so one of his goals is, making people less afraid of cooking and making them eat healthy food. This young man has the right ideas.

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We would recommend keeping an eye over this young fellow and his career, we might be watching the rise of an important name in the business. Don’t forget to check his YouTube Channel and Blog – Cooking with Zac.

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Ramen Rumble presented by Tasty Chomps

Orlando Ramen Rumle hosted by the Osprey Tavern presented by Tasty Chomps was held on Monday, March 7. Three local chefs competed for the best, made from scratch, Ramen Noodle dish. Chef Austin Boyd of Seito Sushi prepared Tonkotsu ~ Pork Bone ~ 24-hour pork broth, braised pork belly, Lake Meadows soy pullet egg, Seito ramen noodles.  Chef Greg Richie of Baoery Asian Gastropub made Kim Chi Shellfish ~ shrimp, scallops, crab, tofu, homemade kamaboko. Chef Chau Trinh of Sushi Pop Restaurant created Tsukemen ~ Hot Dipping Ramen ~ toasted buckwheat and rye noodles topped with chicken-annato schmaltz, black garlic oil, pork belly head cheese, lime, crispy shallots.

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Congratulations to Chef Austin Boyd of Seito Sushi  for winning judges’ award, people’s choice and the bragging rights! Also, congratulations to The Kevin Fonzo Foundation which will be receiving proceeds from the event!

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Celebrity Chef Johnny Iuzzini

Chef Johnny Iuzzini, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, winner of the Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year award by James Beard Foundation, television celebrity and cookbook author, recently paid a visit to Orlando as a part of Macy’s Culinary Council.

Watch our conversation, where Chef Iuzzini shares the story of his successful career and recalls most memorable moments.  He discusses Macy’s Culinary Council and its mission “allowing chefs to connect with people that cook, share tips, techniques, talk about equipment, and preferences.” Chef Iuzzini also spoke about his future plans to build his own full scale bean-to-bar chocolate factory and coffee roaster in Catskills, New York, in addition to television shows set to air this summer.

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For original pastry recipes, make sure to check out his most recent cookbook, Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking. Follow Chef Johnny Iuzzini on social media @johhniiuzzini for a chance to meet him at future Macy’s in-store events.

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Chef Jose Gonzalez to construct the Longest Cuban Sandwich

How long does it take to eat a Cuban Sandwich? About 105 feet, if you ask Chef Jose Gonzalez, of the “Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar,” and he’s going to prove it this Saturday, February 20th, on the West Campus of Valencia College, as he attempts to break the World Record for “Longest Cuban Sandwich!”

But that’s just the appetizer! Chef Jose and his team will also be competing in the “Metro Orlando Cuban Sandwich Smackdown” to win the title of “Best Cuban Sandwich in the World!”

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Come out and support Chef Gonzalez be the BEST, and enjoy a fun-filled day of music, dance performances, a variety of cultural events, and most importantly, FOOD!

At no cost for entry, the price is perfect, making this an event you WON’T want to miss… seriously, it will be a LONG time before you see another 105 foot Cuban Sandwich!

You will have so much fun at the Fiesta that you’ll need to take a Siesta! Viva el Sandwich Cubano!

For more information on the festival, visit http://www.ilovecubansandwiches.com

To find out more about Chef Jose Gonzalez watch our interview:

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Chef Dominic Rice – Telling a Tasteful Story

Chef Dominic Rice identifies himself as more of a “Culinary Manager” than an actual artist, a distinction that doesn’t trouble him at all. He is passionate about making sure each of his dishes has the quality he demands by assuring every ingredient used has a meaning, a role on the plate, like telling a culinary story… and he believes all food has a story to tell! This takes “art” to a new level, in which the challenge is found in taking a couple ingredients, add the “spice” of the story, such as a bit of olive oil and salt, and let it turn into something that can really surprise and entertain the palate. Chef Dominic then looks to “manage” all of these different flavors, making sure the elements work together, using the knowledge of how the tongue will “read” them, to bring the best experience to his guests.

Of course, the most important parts of the success of a culinary story are the ingredients themselves, and the best ingredients arrive at the restaurant directly from local sources and farms. “Farm to Table” assures the freshest ingredients that are currently in season, providing the best, strongest, and most exciting flavors possible. The experience gained through years in the business gives Chef Dominic a set of skills that really enable him to be a mentor and a leader for his younger cooks, and he loves seeing both their growth and their drive to achieve their goals and attain the same standards of quality that he strives for in every dish.

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As a Chef, Dominic enjoys the “chaos” that sometimes (or most of the time, really) this business brings to all those involved, which combines with the challenge of providing the best and most genuine dining experience to everyone that walks through the door. His passion for excellence is a continuation of the story that originated with his grandparents, who taught him how food, hand-crafted food, can warm people’s hearts and bring families together. He feels he was lucky to grow up close to his grandparents in Michigan, in a region of the country that has four very different seasons, which is perfect for a boy who spent most of his time hanging around in the kitchen!

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All his experiences while growing up really helped Chef Dominic embrace the almost worldwide trend of “Farm-to-Table” restaurants, but with so many of his fellow chefs also following the trend, it can be quite a challenge to try and stand out in the crowd. Of course, as with any manager of quality, he faces the challenge boldly by starting with recipes that most people would consider “boring” and giving them a new face, like “writing” a new character, adding surprises and flavors that enable his guests to “rediscover” these dishes with a big and satisfying smile on their faces… whether it be some small snack, appetizer, or a complete meal, it is all about reinventing the “story” and being smart with the “characters.”

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That is the way he envisions making a menu unique, will all the different dishes set apart from each other so that each one brings a different “taste experience” and an enjoyable “story” for every single guest!

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Chef Dominic knows that maintaining discipline and passion is the best path to success, but he also recognizes that all his past experiences have shaped him and continue to enable him to find the right path. He fondly recalls being only a “culinary extra” in the Gary Danko Restaurant in San Francisco, and experiencing first hand how every piece of the puzzle becomes assembled into a quality dish and a satisfying experience… he learned to always have respect for the cuisine, the menu, and especially the exquisite culinary execution, topped with only the best hospitality. For Chef Dominic Rice, It is never a “one man job,” a successful story must have a variety of characters, and you can find plenty of characters in just about any kitchen!

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Slate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Chef Bob Aungst – Tastes of the World

On Friday, February 26, The Bistro on Park Ave presents Guest Chef Bob Aungst! He will be preparing an incredible handcrafted menu featuring “Flavours Around the World” with courses from India, South America, Central America, Ireland and North America.  There will be wine pairings, as well the entire menu is Gluten Free with Dairy Free options available.

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Tastes of the World Menu

  • 1st Course: Butter Chicken Skewers, INDIA
  • 2nd Course: Southern-Inspired Garden Salad w/ Pears, Candied Pecans, Mandarin Oranges, topped w/ Gulf Shrimp, NORTH AMERICA
  • 3rd Course: (choice of:)
    • Charred Flank Steak w/ Chimichurri Sauce, Zesty Roasted Potatoes, Chef’s Seasonal Vegetables, VENEZUALA
    • Broiled Corvina w/ Pineapple Mango Salsa, Yellow Rice, and Chef’s Seasonal Vegetables, CENTRAL AMERICA
  • 4th Course: Bourbon Bread Pudding w/ a Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, IRELAND

Guests may make reservations for this event by contacting the restaurant by telephone at 407-539-6520, or by reserving through OpenTable. Please specify dietary needs when making your reservation.

To find out more about Chef Bob Aungst watch our interview: