Dreaming in Spice Odyssey

Hari Pulapaka, who gained culinary renown as the chef and owner of Cress restaurant in DeLand, has released his second cookbook, “Dreaming In Spice: A Sinfully Vegetarian Odyssey,” a sequel, of sorts, to his 2018 book “Dreaming In Spice.”

Actually, cookbook is only a partial description; it is also part memoir and philosophical guide. Indeed the first recipe doesn’t appear until page 73, with the ingredient list and methodology for making a garam masala. But 250 recipes follow, not only from Pulapaka’s native India but also dishes from around the world. (The book is published by Pulapaka’s company, Global Cooking School, LLC.)

As you can gather from the subtitle, this book is dedicated to vegetarian cooking, though what makes it sinful is not immediately clear. It seems to me that for a devout vegetarian the consumption of meat would be the sin.


Kaya Ext

The team behind Kadence, the wildly popular omakase restaurant in the Audubon district, have announced they will open a Filipino restaurant in Mills 50 in the former Dandelion Community Cafe building.

In a release Wednesday, the group said that the restaurant, Kaya, represents a return to their roots – they met through the Filipino Student Association at the University of Florida nearly 20 years ago. And they noted that their first food event in Orlando – even before Kappo, the East End Market food stall that was a precursor to Kadence – was a fundraiser for the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan relief project. Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, killed more than 6300 people in the Philippines alone.

The release said, “We’ll be cooking the food closest to our hearts while infusing our experiences, memories and creativity to continue expanding awareness and love of Filipino food.”


Bolay Ext

Bolay, a quick-server from South Florida, is another assemblage restaurant, though I’m not quite sure what the assembly is based on – I mean besides the rice, noodles or greens that you’d find in other assemblage concepts. It’s sort of American meets Asian meets Cuban. The name, according to the website – which currently features a popup pushing holiday gift cards every time one navigates to a different page; hugely annoying – the name is a portmanteau of bol, the Spanish word for bowl, and olay, which is either an alternative spelling of olé or refers to “oil of”; I’m assuming the former. (And wouldn’t it be Bololay?)

It came into the Central Florida market a couple of years ago with a restaurant in Lake Nona, then spread to Oviedo and Winter Park. I found myself nearby the Winter Park store recently, so I figured it was time to give it a try.


Trizor 15

I’ve mentioned before that my main knife is the Wüsthof 8-inch chef’s knife, which I really like. It isn’t cheap but it lasts forever.

But even well-made expensive knives have to be sharpened now and then. A professional knife sharpener is great, but it isn’t always convenient to take your knives to a sharpener’s shop, and besides, they need to be sharpened more often than that.

I could never get the hang of using a sharpening stone because you have to keep the knife at a precise angle. Not easy to do.

But I’ve found a home knife sharpener that I really love and is easy to use. I’m never more than a few minutes from turning a dull knife to a sharp knife.

It’s the Trizor 15 from Chef’sChoice. And by the way, I had another Chef’s Choice sharpener years ago that didn’t work very well. This one, though, is terrific. Watch the video to see it in action.


MOM bar

Say goodbye to M.o.M.

Market on Magnolia, the downtown bar with a few food vendors in a rather compact space, will close permanently on Wed., Nov. 25, after three years in business.

Pete Downing, one of the principals of the market and also owner of Da Kine Poke, one of the food vendors inside M.o.M., told Bungalower that he decided not to renew the lease because of the loss of downtown workers due to Covid-19.