Compliments of the Chef: Beef Cheek Ragout from Unreserved at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek

Unreserved beef cheek ragout

If you read my recent review of Unreserved, the multi-faceted restaurant at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek, you know that chef Peter Kunstek is cooking up some good food there.

One of his more popular dishes is the Beef Cheek Ragout with Gnocchi and he shares the recipe in this edition of Compliments of the Chef. Actually, he shares three recipes: the braised beef cheeks, the potato gnocchi and putting it all together. The latter is shown in the video below.

This is a good full day project, or you can make the beef cheeks ahead of time and use premade gnocchi (Kunstek says that’s fine) and assemble the ragout in just a few minutes.

Watch the video then give the recipes a try.

Compliments of the Chef: Wild Mushroom Risotto with Pan-seared Sea Scallops from The Chef & I

Chef and I scallops

This episode of Compliments of the Chef could be titled Compliments of The Chef & I as Chris Rains, chef/owner of The Chef & I at Hall on the Yard in Ivanhoe Village, demonstrates his recipe for Wild Mushroom Risotto with Pan-seared Sea Scallops.

Risotto is labor intensive, but Rains gives some useful tips on making the rice dish. And he shows how to beautifully sear the scallops.

Watch the video below and then give the recipe a try.


Black Lime Swordfish compliments of Richard Blais and Four Flamingos

Richard Blais

When I reviewed Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen my favorite entree was the Black Lime Swordfish in brown butter. It was just simply one of the best pieces of fish I’ve had in a long time. So I was thrilled when Blais agreed to share the recipe.

In the video below, Blais discusses how the restaurant came about, and his chef de cuisine, Shelby Farrell, walks us through the process of cooking the swordfish.

Watch the video then give the recipe below a try.

Compliments of the Chef: Chicken Biryani from Tabla

Tabla Biryani

In this edition of Compliments of the Chef, Sajan Prem demonstrates how to make the popular Chicken Biryani from Tabla. It’s a pretty straightforward process and Prem gives easy-to-follow instructions.

Prem mentions in the video that you can buy a masala to use instead of making the ground spice blend, but you should give it a try for the full effect.

I wish you could smell the aromas in this video.

Compliments of the Chef: French Toast Casserole from Pammie's Sammies

French Toast Casserole

Pammie’s Sammies in Winter Garden is known for its sandwiches, of course, but owner Pam Thomas has come up with a breakfast creation that’s perfect for kids who might want to serve mom breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day – French Toast Casserole.

It’s a very forgiving recipe – the measurements don’t have to be exact, in fact Thomas uses a coffee cup to measure some of the ingredients. You can assume the coffee cup is about 10 ounces.

Watch Thomas demonstrate the recipe in the video below, then gather your ingredients together for a Mother’s Day (or any day) treat.

Compliments of the Chef: Potato Pave from Bull & Bear

Bull and Bear Potato Pave

Note: A previous version of this recipe had an incorrect measure for kosher salt. It calls for 1 teaspoon, not 7.

When I dined recently at Bull & Bear, the fine steakhouse at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, one of the best things I ate was the Potato Pave that accompanied one of the dishes. It was multilayered, densely packed and loaded with creamy flavor.

So I was delighted when executive chef Bernard Fiemeyer agreed to share the recipe and to demonstrate the proper way to cook it.

Watch this episode of Compliments of the Chef then grab some potatoes and lots of heavy cream and give it a go. And just so you know what you’re making, stop in at Bull & Bear and taste the way it is made by a master.

Compliments of the Chef: Scallops Agrodolce from Fiorenzo Italian Kitchen

Scallops Agrodolce

When I returned recently to the newly renovated Fiorenzo at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, one of my favorite dishes was the Scallops Agrodolce. Chef Jared Gross uses huge scallops and tops them with an agrodolce sauce -- agrodolce is Italian for sour and sweet -- and serves them on a frissee salad. It's a light appetizer, and it's perfect for a hot summer day.

I asked Gross to share the recipe, which he was happy to do. In this segment of Compliments of the Chef, he shows you some cooking tips so you can try the recipe yourself. Or head to the Hyatt Regency Orlando and he'll cook up a batch for you.

Compliments of the Chef: Tempura Avocado from American Kitchen

Tempura Avocado

One of the best things I sampled when I recently reviewed American Kitchen at B Resort Orlando was the Tempura Avocado appetizer. It featured firm wedges of avocados in a light tempura batter topped with a tangy jam made with tomatoes and chipotle peppers.

I liked it so much that I asked executive chef Venoy Rogers III for the recipe. He presents it here with his compliments.

Watch the video that start heating your oil. Or stop by American Kitchen and sample these tasty tidbits yourself.


Compliments of the Chef: "Old Fashioned" Duck Sliders from The Whiskey

Whiskey Duck Sliders

Chastity Harvey, the executive chef at The Whiskey, has found a fun way to work some of the restaurant’s namesake into a duck and chorizo slider she features.

She takes the ingredients that would go into a traditional Old Fashioned cocktail and new-fashions an aioli with them. Add some arugula, marinated tomatoes and a smear of brie and you’ve got a great slider.

Mix yourself an Old Fashioned and watch the video as Harvey explains the process, then give the recipe below a try.

Just don’t drink the aioli.

Compliments of the Chef: Rocco's Pappardelle alle Cinque Terra

Rocco pappardelle

If you’ve been to Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar, you’ve probably had the Pappardelle alle Cinque Terra. Or maybe you just looked longingly at a nearby table where it was served.

The dish is a creation of owner Rocco Potami, and in this edition of Compliments of the Chef, he demonstrates how the dish can be easily accomplished. If you can, be sure to get fresh pappardelle, but the dried variety will do just fine.

Watch the video, then give the recipe below a try.