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Mi Tomatina Pairs Pear with Duck for Beard Scholarship Fund

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation, the New York based culinary organization has established the James Beard Foundation Silver Anniversary Scholarship Drive. Restaurants around the country are offering special selections on their menus through September 3, 2012 and will donate one dollar from the sale of each of the special items to the scholarship fund. Scott is sampling the dishes from all of the local participating restaurants:K restaurant, Cress, Spanish River Grill, Taverna Opa, 4Rivers Smokehouse, Mi Tomatina and the Rusty Spoon. In this issue: Mi TomatinaMi Tomatina duck

Mi Tomatina’s entry in the James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship fundraiser is pan-roasted duck breast, a larger-than-tapas-size serving that marries the wonderful gaminess of the waterfowl with the sweetness of pears. The breast was served sliced, and in between each piece of meat was a slice of pear. The slightly sweet fruit went beautifully with the juicy duck. 

The the dish was complemented with a pear glaze and a small stack of cilantro, which added some freshness as well as some peppery flavor notes. A few dots of balsamic decorated the white plate, more for aesthetic reasons than acetic ones.

I asked why this was the dish chosen to be the restaurant’s contribution to the fundraiser. I was told that it was served to a culinary professional who pronounced it “divine.” That, I was told, was a favorite word of Beard’s, so Mi Tomatina’s crew figured it was the right dish to offer.

Mi Tomatina is at 433 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily; late night on weekends. Here is a link to mitomatina.com. The phone number is 407-972-4881.

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