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Orlando Sentinel food reporter Lauren Delgado announced Wednesday that she is leaving the position she has held for the past three years.

In an article published on the newspaper’s website, Delgado said that this would be her last week at the Sentinel and that she was taking a position in the marketing department of a local nonprofit organization. On her Facebook page, she said the organization is Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County. In her article, she thanked the readers, the local culinary community and her Sentinel colleagues.

In a private Facebook message, Delgado declined to comment further. Neither her supervisor nor the Sentinel’s managing editor was immediately available for comment.

Delgado’s duties included articles about food and recipes and writing restaurant reviews for multi media platforms. She also oversaw the annual Foodie Awards. The position has evolved over the years — food editor and restaurant critic used to be separate positions. Any further changes to the position — and indeed whether or not it will be filled — remain to be seen.


Busters interior

It was a photo on the website for Buster’s Bistro that threw me. I had heard of the Sanford restaurant and had gone online to do some preliminary research. I was meeting some friends for dinner and wanted something a little more upscale. On one of Buster’s web pages was a photo of a dining room with the tables covered in crisp white cloths. Just what I was looking for.

Buster’s Bistro is a bar. A Belgian bar, to be precise.

And the tables are not covered with cloths, white or otherwise. (The photo that hooked me was from a special event, apparently.)

But BB’s menu is more ambitious than most bars, with such selections as Short Rib Carbonnade, Vol-au-Vent, and Tikka Masala Curry. The results are as varied as the selections.


orlando wine fest barrels

The inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction kicks off Friday, March 15, with a weekend of dinners, tastings and events organized by the Orlando Magic and benefitting the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF). It’s already clear that this is not going to be your typical wine and food tasting.

It is certainly set apart from other wine events because of the cost, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

But there is also the scope. The weekend begins with a series of dinners hosted in private homes — well, ok, private mansions in many cases — featuring celebrity chefs, both local and visiting, and a featured winery at each location. Unfortunately, it’s not a dine-around or a progressive dinner — attendees will have to choose just one location. But there’s a varied array from which to choose.

For example, Robert and Tricia Earl will host a Japan themed dinner that will be prepared by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in their Isleworth estate featuring the wines of Accendo Cellars.


Women in the Kitchen

  • I can’t imagine you could have anything better to do on Sunday than to attend Legends, Mentors & Friends: Women in the Kitchen, a celebration at Lake Meadows. Kathleen Blake (The Rusty Spoon), one of our favorite women from one of our favorite kitchens, is hosting a lineup of stellar culinary talent from throughout the country. Proceeds from the dinner, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Lake Meadow Naturals in Ocoee, will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s WEL Program, which supports women in the culinary industry. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased here. Use that link for more information, including directions to Lake Meadows. As for who else will be there cooking, get ready for the sub bullets:
    Jennifer Hostetter- The Rosen School
    Kerri Rogers, Bellwether, Jacksonville
    Abra Berens, Granor Farm, Three Oaks, MI
    Liza Hinman, The Spinster Sisters, Santa Rosa, CA
    Whitney Otawka, The GreyField Inn, Cumberland Island
    Melissa Kelly, PRIMO, Orlando, Rockland, Tucson
    Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale
    Ilma Lopez, Chaval & Piccolo, Portland, ME
    Emily Luchetti, Big Night Restaurants, San Francisco
    Katharine Elder, Elderslie Farm, Wichita, KS
  • Blake is teaming up with chef Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers Catering for another event Sunday, March 24, at 10 a.m.: Swamp Sistas La La Charity Brunch at the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park. Food, drink and music. Tickets are $75 and benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Buy them here.
  • Our friend Ricky Ly from Tasty Chomps is hosting a dinner Saturday, March 9, at the restaurant of another friend, Tony Roma’s (we’re so close he lets me call him Tone). The dinner will feature Tone’s New Classics menu and is priced at $65. Click here.


This is the first of a new series of video reviews in partnership with WFTV and Inside Central Florida. Vidoegraphy by Zack Schwartz; still photos by Shelly Caran. For more, visit icFlorida.com.

Tapatoro video shoot

Tapa Toro, the Spanish restaurant under ICON Orlando, or whatever the Ferris wheel is being called these days, is now three years old. Wendy Lopez, who opened the restaurant as its executive chef, left late last year to accept a job to lead the kitchen at Reyes Mezcalaria. Frank Galeano was named to replace her. I returned to Tapa Toro recently to see what changes Galeano has put in place.

His menu tweaks include lighter and more healthful entries and a focus on more regional Spanish dishes. Watch the video or continue reading.