Cooking and Chef Recipes

Compliments of the Chef: Pizza from Epcot's Via Napoli

Via Napoli pizzas

Since it opened at Epcot's Italy pavilion, Via Napoli has been earning raves for its Neapolitan style pizza. Executive chef Charlie Restivo shows you how to make the same pizza dough and get similar results, even if you don't have an 800-degree wood-burning oven imported from Italy in your kitchen.

Watch the video, then follow the recipe. Tell us how things turned out in the comments below.


Scott's Kitchen: Polenta from Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill

polenta still

Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill is the wonderful new(ish) steak and seafood restaurant at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek resort. Melissa Sallman is the hotel’s new executive chef and oversees the restaurant. There may be some small changes coming with the menu but you can probably count on this polenta side dish staying on.

Of course, another word for polenta is grits, so when I made the recipe following Sallman’s instructions in the Scott’s Kitchen video below, I grilled up some shrimp to go along with it for my own version of shrimp and grits. Cheesy grits/polenta, too, thanks to both parmesan and goat cheese.

Watch the video then give the recipe a try. And be sure to visit Sear + Sea to sample the polenta with one of their steaks – or maybe some shrimp.

On the House: Geisha A Go-Go from Baoery


Dustin Hulbert of Baoery in Thornton Park shares the recipe for the bar’s Geisha A Go-Go, one of the signature drinks. Watch the video above, then grab the recipe below and get mixing.

1 oz of Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka
1 ½ oz of Hakutsuru Excellent Junmai Sake
¼ oz of Ginger Syrup
Served in Cognac Glass with ice
Topped with Grapefruit Pellegrino
Garnished with Wide Grapefruit Peel

Compliments of the Chef: Veal Scallopini from Rocco's Italian Grille

Roccos veal still

Rocco’s Italian Grille serves some of the finest food in Central Florida. And owner Rocco Potami has a certain skill with creating complex Italian dishes.

But in this edition of Compliments of the Chef, Potami demonstrates how to make Veal Scallopini. Give the video a look, then pick up some veal (or chicken) from your market and give the recipe a try. Or stop by Rocco’s and let Potami make you a perfect one.

Scott's Kitchen: Grouper Piccata from Big Fin Seafood Kitchen

Big Fin Grouper Piccata still

Since taking over the Big Fin Seafood Kitchen in 2020, executive chef Eric Enrique has been making changes to the menu. One of the additions has been his Grouper Piccata, a take on the classic Italian preparation usually done with veal or chicken. Enrique has tweaked it for fish and for added flair deep fries the capers that garnish it. When I recently reviewed the restaurant, this dish was easily my favorite.
In this episode of Scott’s Kitchen, Enrique walks me through the steps to make the dish. This is definitely one that will impress your dinner guests.
Watch the video below then find yourself some good grouper and give it a try.

Scott's Kitchen: Goan Prawns Xacutti from Saffron and Mynt

Saffron Recipe

Here’s a recipe for the adventurous. It’s for the Goan Prawns Xacutti served at Mynt in Winter Park and Saffron on Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row. Both restaurants, along with Madras, are owned by Sunny Corda, who shares this recipe in celebration of Saffron’s 10th anniversary.

This one is presented as a no-recipe recipe. That is, it isn’t in the conventional format with exactly measured ingredients at top and strict instructions for the procedure. That’s because xacutti, which refers to a blend of spices, is open to interpretation and improvisation. You’ll need to feel a little comfortable with tasting and adjusting as you go.

But watch Corda prepare the dish in the video, then gather up the spices and prawns (large shrimp are fine, too) and have some fun.

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