Ryan Manning knows his way around Mexico. Even better, he knows his way around Mexico’s taco regions.
Some who have jumped on the taco-slinger bandwagon would have you believe that a taco is a taco is a taco. But Manning, who has lived and worked in Mexico as a chef with Ritz-Carlton, will tell you that each region has its own style, with distinguishing salsas, moles and meats.
I came back from a recent visit to Mexico where I had one outstanding taco and the next day visited Manning’s new Milk District restaurant, MX Taco, where I had seven. The restaurant was still in soft opening mode, but Manning offered me a tour of the menu — and of the Mexican regions represented on it.
For our first Supper Club of 2019, the chefs of Big Fin Seafood Kitchen at the Dellagio Town Center created a feast that delighted our intimate group with each course.
Executive chef James Slattery traded in his whites for a suit and served as front-of-the-house host for our gathering. (He’s learning some managerial ropes because his restaurant group has acquired Arrabellas restaurant in Winter Garden, and he’s letting his associate chefs — Darlene Christeleit, Brie Austin and Paulo Santos — shine.)
It’s starting to look like it’s going to be a race in 2019 to see which concept becomes more dominant in Central Florida, ramen or poke. Pokéworks puts its bid in with a new location in the Stonehill Plaza in Oviedo. As part of its grand opening celebration, it is offering poke bogos on Saturday, Feb. 2. Also, I’m told, the first 50 customers that day will receive “a coveted Pokéworks branded coconut.” I can’t imagine what that is and I’m afraid to meet someone who might covet one.
Kona Poké has opened in Lake Mary. It will celebrate its opening on Fri., Jan. 25, with food specials. There is no mention of coconuts.
It’s time again for one of my favorite food and wine events of the year, the Field to Feast dinner featuring Disney Chefs at Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood.
It’s an open-air walkabout event with food stations set up under and around a large covered pavilion amid the various crops grown in the surrounding fields.
The 6th annual Field to Feast, sponsored by Edible Orlando with Walt Disney World Resort as a major sponsor, will be Saturday, Feb. 23, from 3 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $175 per person with proceeds going to benefit Kids Cafe Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, an after-school meal service program that provides food to needy children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. In the past five years, the event has raised more than $100,000 for the program.
Walt Disney World has announced the first three dates for its Delicious Disney Chef Series — Storytelling with Food, an ultra fine dining event that showcases the talents of the resort’s top chefs.
The first dinner will be Jan. 28 at Markham’s at Golden Oak, the exclusive community of multi-million dollar homes. Markham’s is the community’s clubhouse and private restaurant that is usually off limits to nonresidents.
Dominique Filoni, chef at Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, will lead a team of chefs in the evening’s theme: A celebration of the 60th anniversary of Sleeping Beauty. The actual menus are always a surprise, but each course will somehow be tied to an aspect of the classic animated feature. I’m going out on a limb and predicting there will be apples somewhere.
The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception followed by dinner in the elegant dining room. Tickets for this dinner are $399 per person, all inclusive. Reservations, if they are still available, may be made by calling 407-939-5773.