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Orlando's Star Chefs Gather After Hours

There was quite a gathering of chefs in downtown Orlando last night. Some cooked, but most just mingled, schmoozed, nibbled, sipped and overall just enjoyed each other’s company. It was a private gathering, held after hours at the Rusty Spoon, sponsored by StarChefs.com as a preview to the International Chefs Congress to be held in New York in the fall.

The reason for the gathering was NAFEM, the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers convention going on at the Orange County Convention Center through tomorrow. Among those working at the party (as opposed to working the crowd, as surely some did) were the chefs from Prato and Luma on Park, Brandon McGlamery, Matthew Cargo, Derek Perez and Brian Cernell; Alexia and Ghys Gawlak of the upcoming Cuts and Craft at East End Market; and, of course, host chef Kathleen Blake.

Seen mingling around the restaurants were Kevin Fonzo of K; Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers; John Rife, developer of East End Market; Bram Fowler, formerly of Journeys restaurant and now a private caterer; and Hari and Jenneffer Pulapaka of Cress in DeLand. Here are some of the sights from last night’s do:

Rusty BlakesWilliam and Kathleen Blake were the gracious hosts for the gathering of chefs. Blake's dish for the evening was a barbecue of sweet and hot Australian lamb with a smoky grits fritter.

Rusty cargoMatthew Cargo of Prato served cavatelli with bone marrow served with a short rib.

Rusty GawlaksRhys and Alexia Gawlak served beef flank pastrami with barbecue chicken liver and honey braised turnips.

Rusty smoresA Rusty Spooner uses a blow torch to get a toasty effect on a s'mores dessert.

Rusty cernellBrian Cernell of Luma on Park and Prato readies his cannolis.

Rusty cannoli

Rusty garnish

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