AIV Magellan Map

If you want to experience the cuisines of the world, you need to go to the world. Art In Voyage, the travel company with offices in Orlando and Cape Town, is offering an extraordinary opportunity to do just that.

It’s called the Magellan Odyssey, and in March 2024 it will take 48 guests on an around-the-world journey – 10 countries on five continents in 28 days.

Travel will be aboard a private, all-business-class jet with lie-flat seats, with stops in Peru, Chile, Tanzania, Jordan, France, Finland, Bhutan, Thailand, New Zealand and Bora Bora. Along the way you may go on safari, take a jungle boat ride, dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant, see the Northern Lights, and take a train through a Peruvian valley. The trip is designed so that individuals can customize the experience at each of the stops.

The trip was curated by AIV’s founder and CEO, Mikael Audebert. “Magellan Odyssey was designed with the intent to escape the usual destinations by focusing on exclusive experiences, and avoiding crowded cities and overdone areas,” said Audebert. “We put a great deal of care into identifying and studying destinations guests might not visit on their own—because they are remote or hard to reach, or because other tour companies don’t offer the same level of luxury access.”

I know many of you have been on an AIV journey – I’ve hosted some myself – so you know that Audebert makes certain everything is first rate. This one will be truly over the top. It’s definitely a dream vacation for those who dream really big.

See more details at Art In Voyage for more on the Magellan Odyssey. And take a look at the video below.


Vegan food fest

The International Vegan Food Festival is Saturday, April 29, from 3 to 8 p.m. on downtown Orlando’s Wall Street. The event is free to attend and will have plant-based foods for purchase from more than 50 vendors. (Some of the vendors will be selling other things besides food so be sure to check before you bite.) The International Vegan Food Festival is sponsored by Orlando Bearded Vegan, which doesn’t narrow it down much.

Speaking of food festivals, I’ve learned that the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which will run from July 27 through November 18, will again be missing the wine tastings, dinners and other events, including the popular Party for the Senses, that were put on hold during the pandemic. But a Disney World spokeswoman says that “the teams are evaluating for the future.”


RosaOrl divers up close

I guess I was just expecting too much.

I got excited when the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort announced, in September, that it was opening Rosa Mexicano in a space at the Dolphin hotel. Rosa Mexicano is a small chain – the Orlando location is the 11th – that started on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 1984 and bills itself as serving “Mexican food in a fine dining atmosphere.”

What’s more, that atmosphere would be provided by the designer David Rockwell, whose portfolio includes Nobu restaurants worldwide, Union Square Cafe in New York and Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in London. His group also designs sets for Broadway shows and theaters. Locally, the Rockwell Group designed the Cirque du Soleil theater at Disney Springs and the interior of the now-closed Emeril Lagasse’s Tchoup Chop.

So, one of my favorite cuisines in a fine dining atmosphere inside a David Rockwell-designed restaurant? I’m there.

And by there I mean the Rosa Mexicano on the Upper West Side across the street from Lincoln Center for a pre-theater dinner.

Disappointment doesn’t begin to describe my feelings about that visit and the subsequent one I made to the new Rosa Mexicano in Orlando.


Daytona GrandeDaytona Grande

Mike Trudnak, who earlier this month left Aurora at the Celeste, the restaurant he opened in 2020, has reemerged in Daytona Beach at the Daytona Grande. He started his new job as the executive chef for the oceanfront resort on Thursday. On Monday, his former executive sous chef and sous chef from Aurora will join him on the coast.

“We’re trying to bring that Aurora magic over here,” Trudnak said in a phone conversation on Wednesday.

Not that it’s going to be Aurora at the Grande. In fact, Trudnak hasn’t even decided yet what he’s going do with the menu for the property’s main restaurant, though he said he expects the cuisine will reflect the diversity of his kitchen staff.

The hotel, which has been open a year and a half, is the only hotel with walkup access from the beach, according to Trudnak.


SES LG Studio event

Our friends at Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse in downtown Orlando are introducing a new line of products called LG Studio. I don’t know where they’re going to fit them all because the warehouse is already chockfull of manner of stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines. (Do people still call them washing machines or is that an old-timey term?)

Southeast Steel has been carrying LG products for years, and most recently brought in the LG SKS, an upscale line of kitchen appliances. (SKS stands for Signature Kitchen Suite.)

LG Studio is also an upscale line, but with appliances for both kitchen and laundry. And the really attractive thing – literally, if you’re design minded – is that all LG Studio appliances are meant to match. So if you want a uniform look in your kitchen you can achieve that by shopping the LG Studio line.

If you’d like to get an idea of what they look like, stop in this Saturday, April 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Southeast Steel will have a display set up and an LG representative will be on hand to answer questions about the Studio line. Also, not incidentally, Southeast Steel is featuring a rebate on LG Studio appliances.

I plan on stopping by because I’ve always wanted to tell my friends I have an upscale washing machine.

Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse is at 63 W. Amelia Street, Orlando (map).