Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in south Orlando will offer its first Bleu Harvest Farmer’s Market on Thursday, Oct. 29, in the school’s Cafe Technique, 8511 Commodity Circle. The market will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

More than 20 local purveyors of farm-to-table produce will be on hand to showcase their products. The event was originally conceived as an educational project to teach students about ingredients available in Florida. Organizers decided to open it up to the general public. Vendors will have products available for sale. Hari Pulapaka, chef and co-owner of Cress in DeLand, will be a featured speaker and will offer a cooking demonstraion and book signing.



Slate interior bar

Now that it’s been several months since Slate first opened on Restaurant Row, I thought I’d stop in to give it another try, so I headed down on a recent Sunday to experience the brunch service.

I enjoyed my meal more this time. Maybe it’s that the place is getting comfortable in its surroundings, which still don’t include a lick of slate (the roof doesn’t count).


Updated at 11:53

Word has come from a former colleague of Paul Prdhomme that the New Orleans chef has died. He was 75. Details are still coming in  and this article will be updated. 

Prudhomme had been hospitalized and on life support for several weeks, according to one source. He was taken off life support Wednesday evening and died Thursday morning. He died in New Orleans.

Prudhomme is credited with making creole cuisine popular and nearly caused the depletion of a species when his Blackened Red Fish became a sensation. His K-Paul restaurant became a destination for visitors to the Big Easy. Although he still owned the restaurant, his niece and her husband, Paul Miller, have been operating it for several years. Prudhomme had been spending more time with his packaged spice business.

 Prudhomme was famously a large man and frequently got around via a mobility scooter. 


Cask Logo copy

James and Julie Petrakis, the husband and wife chef team behind the Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder and Swine & Sons Provisions, will open a version of Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport next year. The full-service restaurant will be airside in Terminal 2, which houses the gates for Southwest Airlines and is one of the busiest terminals at the airport.

The Petrakises were approached to be part of bidding process to propose a new restaurant for the airport by Johnny Rivers, a well-known and respected former executive chef at Walt Disney World who now operates INGLUR, an international food manufacturing conglomerate in South Orlando. Rivers — often confused with John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse — currently operates Johnny Rivers’ Grill & Market in the same terminal. Peter Amaro, Jr., president and coo of Master ConcessionAir (MCA) in Miami, is also part of the partnership. MCA operates restaurant and retail concepts in Florida airports, including two retail shops at Orlando International.

Although the partnership, known as MCA-MCO, was first told that its proposal had been selected by the airport in July, an official announcement was delayed when the decision was contested by other bidders, including Orlando’s Robert Earl, who wanted to install one of his Earl of Sandwich restaurants.


Torch Award with MetzFerdinand E. Metz, left, presented the inaugural Torch Award to Norman Van Aken Wednesday.

Celebrity chef Norman Van Aken was presented with the inaugural Torch Award Wednesday at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show currently underway at the Orange County Convention Center. Ferdinand E. Metz, president emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America, presented the award on the stage of the Culinary Demonstration Theater on the convention’s show floor.

The award was initiated to “recognize an individual or group of individuals whose achievements have enhanced and brought innovation to the restaurant and foodservice community,” according to press materials from the show’s organizers. Metz said that Van Aken was chosen as the first recipient because he unselfishly helps guide other culinarians. "The sharing of knowledge and ideas is instrumental in preserving the culinary arts and ultimately leads to more creativity and innovation,” he said.