F2F pavilion

The proposed menu has been released for this year’s Field to Feast, the terrific event featuring some of Walt Disney World’s top chefs that is held at Long & Scott Farms, and it has a fascinating twist.

F2F is a walkabout event with the chefs cooking onsite at booths under an open-air pavilion. It will take place on Sat., Feb. 22, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Each cooking station also has its own sommelier pouring selections to match the food. (The wine selections are once again under the direction of master sommelier George Miliotes of Wine Bar George.)

What’s interesting is that this year, each chef station will have two offerings, as they have in the past, but one will be a plant-based alternative.

For example at his station, chef Kevin Downing of Epcot Festivals will offer Prime Steak Tartare, Pickled Vegetable Garden, Béarnaise Dip-n-Dots, and Bone Marrow Snow. And next to it will be Salt Roasted Beet Tartare, Pickled Vegetable Garden, Béarnaise Aïoli, and Hearts of Palm.

Phil Ponticelli, the estimable chef at Golden Oak, will have Shellfish Paella and Plant-based Paella.

And the event will be a good chance to get a taste of Disney’s newest restaurant, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera. Chef Dom Filoni (previously with Citricos) will have Slow-cooked Lamb Belly, Chick Pea Panissa, Saffron Tomato Compote, and Lamb Jus, and for the planters, Tarbais Bean Cassoulet, Trumpet Royale Mushrooms, Root Vegetables, and Plant-based Sausage.

Field to Feast is one of my favorite events of the year. It’s hosted by Edible Orlando with Walt Disney World Resort as a major sponsor. Tickets are $175 per person and proceeds benefit the Kids Cafe Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, an after-school meal service program that provides food to needy children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. F2F has raised over $100,000 from its previous six events. Also, Field to Feast has sold out each year, so don’t wait to get your tickets at edibleorlando.com.

Check out the full menu below. And then below it, see a video from one of the past years. Long & Scott Farms is at 26216 County Road 448A, Mt Dora.


Babbi exterior

Babbi Babbi Korean Kitchen wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be. In fact, I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed when I walked into the new eatery at Phillips Crossing and discovered it was a quick-serve (order at the counter) operation. Even more annoyed to discover that the classic dish Bibimbap was offered as an assemblage item, with the diner tasked with choosing type of rice, which meat and what toppings to enhance or possibly ruin this traditional rice dish.

But I found plenty of other dishes on the menu that didn’t require me to act as an inexperienced chef, and I soon learned that even though one orders the food at the counter, service is supplied throughout the meal. And even better, the food was quite good.



FWseasonal bowl wide

Check below to see how you can win a gift card to First Watch.

Our friends at First Watch have a new seasonal menu and I stopped by the Mills Park location recently to give them a try.

Oh, before I go any further I wanted to let you know that First Watch will be taking over the former Cinco Tacos + Tequila building in Winter Park. And it will be one of the few First Watches to serve alcohol – not a full bar but with specialty cocktails for those in a brunching mood. Also good news: they’ll be removing the gaudy fake grass from the side of the building.

But back to Mills Park.


Topsy Turvy

This sounds like fun. On Friday, Feb. 7, the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes is hosting an event called Topsy-Turvy Tipples & Tea featuring Hendrick’s Gin. Now that’s my kind of tea party.

I’t s from 6 to 8 p.m. on the DaVinci Lawn and promises a “curiously grown-up ‘tea’ party featuring Hendrick’s Gin libations and an array of fanciful tidbits and treats.” Tickets are $100 plus tax and gratuity and reservations are required. Call 407-393-4034 or 407-393-4648.

The Ritz-Carlton is at 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando.


Lyon2 bocuse ext

  • For the first time in 55 years, Paul Bocuse, the legendary restaurant outside Lyon, France, is not a three-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide. It was demoted to two stars in the most recent guide (three stars is the highest rating) causing a stir among the culinary community in France and around the world. Paul Bocuse is the flagship restaurant that was founded by its eponymous chef, who died two years ago in January of 2018. The business is now overseen by his son, Jérôme, out of Orlando. (The restaurants at the France pavilion at Epcot are part of the Bocuse collection.) Was the downgrading brought on by the senior Bocuse’s death? Hard to say. He had been largely absent from the restaurant for some time as his health failed, but maybe the raters couldn’t see their way to taking away a star while he was still alive. Indeed, when I dined there in the summer of 2018, I noticed some things that surprised me, such as allowing guests wearing t-shirts into the dining room. And local restaurant writer Rona Ginden reported that when she dined there last summer a guest at a neighboring table dropped her napkin on the floor and it remained there throughout the meal. Michelin’s critics notice thing like that, too.
  • Hey, if you’re around Pointe Orlando this week stop by Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar for some food and drink and if you pay with a credit card through Feb 1, you’ll be given the option of rounding up a dollar (or more) to aid Puerto Rico’s earthquake relief efforts. All dinner checks will have a donation line, making it easy for guests who choose to donate to Hispanic Federation, the Latino non-profit organization that works to promote the well-being of the Latino community.