Paul Bocuse is Dead at 91

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Bocuse memorial

Paul Bocuse, one of the most celebrated chefs in the world, named Chef of the Century in 2011 by the Culinary Institute of America, and one of the trio of famous cooks who opened Les Chefs de France at Epcot, died Saturday, Jan. 20 in France. He would have turned 92 on Feb. 11.

Because of his restaurants at Epcot, Bocuse maintained a home in Central Florida, but had not visited for several years because of Parkinson’s disease. His son, Jérôme, is a resident of Central Florida and operates the Bocuse brand from here. His name was on a statement from the family posted on Paul Bocuse’s Facebook page announcing the death.

(Translated from French): “It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the death of Paul Bocuse. Our ‘Captain’ died on January 20th, at the dawn of his 92th birthday.

“Much more than a father and a husband, he is a man of heart, a spiritual father, an emblematic figure of world gastronomy, and a tricolore porte.

“Mr. Paul loved life, sharing, transmission, and his crew. These same values will continue to inspire us forever.” It was signed Mrs. Raymonde Bocuse, Mrs. Françoise Bocuse-Bernachon, Mr. Jérôme Bocuse.

The significance of Bocuse’s contribution to the culinary culture and especially to the awareness of chefs today can’t be overstated. If it weren’t for Bocuse, there very likely would be no such thing as “Top Chef.” He was the first celebrity chef.

That’s because, in 1965, he did something no chef had ever done: He put his own name on his restaurant in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or just outside Lyon. Before that, Bocuse told me in 1996, chefs were no more than hired kitchen help. The restaurants were owned by the maitre d’ or the hotels where they were located. It’s hard to imagine in a world proliferated by show kitchens that the cooks were almost always relegated to the basements and were never seen by the diners.

Updated: Is The Pie Packing Out?

Written by Scott Joseph on .

pie update

Update: According to reader Michael McNarney, who supplied the photo above, The Pie has new owners and will reopen later Friday. Stay tuned.


Earlier: It appears that The Pie, the by-the-cut pizzeria in College Park, is closed. No one answers the phone at the Edgewater Drive business, and an email asking for details did not get a response.

According to chatter on a neighborhood website, the Roman style pizzeria, which was barely a year old and which I reviewed favorably, told customers last week that it would accept cash only. Another poster said there was evidence of people packing up inside just recently.

More details when they are forthcoming.

Field to Feast is Feb. 17

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Field to Feast 2018

Tickets are now on sale for the fifth annual Field to Feast event to be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood.

This is one of my favorite events and I look forward to it all year. So do a lot of other folks — it has sold out the past four years.

There are a lot of things that make it fun. First is the setting, amid the corn fields of Long & Scott Farms (but under a large pavilion roof). It’s a great place to be at sunset. (Here's a video from last year's event.)

Also, the Disney chefs who each year take the opportunity of the event to be a little creative with locally sourced foods. (You don’t get much more locally sourced than being in the middle of a farm.) This is a walkabout event, so you can wander and sample and sip as you like.

And speaking of sipping, once again this year master sommelier George Miliotes will do the pairings of wines, beers and cocktails. Miliotes, of course, is soon to open his much anticipated Wine Bar George at Disney Springs. (It even got a mention in Sunday’s New York Times.)

Tickets are $175 per person and all proceeds benefit the 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.

The event is sponsored by our friends at Edible Orlando with major support from Walt Disney World Resort. Tickets are available at Edible Orlando.

Here’s a list of the chefs who will be participating this year:

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Included Culinary Creativity

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2018 still

The current celebration taking place at Disney's Festival Park, um, I mean Epcot is the International Festival of the Arts, which runs through Feb. 19.

Of course, Epcot's festivals always include a food element, and that's easy to work into this one. Along with the visual arts and performing arts, the Disney culineers are showcasing the culinary arts. This is different from, say, the International Food & Wine Festival because it just is.

Actually, as culinary director Gregg Hannon explains in the video below, at the Festival of the Arts the emphasis is making the food look as good as it tastes. Not that they want the food to look crappy at the other festivals, but, you know.

Anyway, there's lots going on during the festival, which runs seven days a week this year. (Last year, the first, it was just a weekend sort of thing.)

Check the festival's website for all the details. And yes, admission to Epcot is required to participate.