2nd Annual Sous Chef Challenge Will Be Open to the Public

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Sous Chef Challenge 2019

The second annual Scott Joseph’s Sous Chef Challenge: The Next Big Thing is Sunday, Sept. 15, and you’re invited to attend, taste the competitors’ dishes and vote for your favorite.

The event will be at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show at the Orange County Convention Center and will be part of the ACF Central Florida Chapter’s Culinary Arts Competitions. Up to 15 sous chefs – the men and women who serve as second in command in a restaurant’s kitchen – will prepare and serve a dish that they think represents the next big food trend, whether that’s an ingredient, a method of preparation or a way of serving. The winner of the challenge will be presented a check for $1000.

The winner will be selected by a panel of certified chefs (and me) who will evaluate the entries for taste, creativity and presentation.

The contestants will cook in the Tasting Arena that will be set up on the convention floor next to the vendor exhibitions. The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is generally open only to restaurateurs and culinary professionals. But those holding a ticket to the Sous Chef Challenge will be allowed to wander the convention floor, where, not incidentally, there will be dozens of other food, beer and wine samples to taste.

Only 95 tickets are available to the general public. The cost is $35 and all proceeds from ticket sales will go to Give Kids the World. Tickets can be purchased at the Sous Chef Challenge event page.

Next Drawing is for Tickets to Taste! Central Florida

Written by Scott Joseph on .

TAstecfl logo

We’re less than a month away from Taste! Central Florida, Saturday, Sept. 14, from 6:45 to 10 p.m. at the Orlando World Center Marriott. This will be the 30th annual Taste! Central Florida, which is now in its third year.

I should explain. For the first 27 years, the event, which raises money and awareness for childhood hunger, was known as Taste of the Nation and was part of Share Our Strength. In 2017, the beneficiaries, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida took it local, so now all of the proceeds stay right here.

And those proceeds are sorely needed. Childhood hunger is persistent problem in Central Florida. The money raised at Taste! — more than $252,000 last year — fund community outreach programs to feed those in need. Thanks to a roster of volunteers — even the Marriott donates the space – 100 percent stays right here.

Also volunteering their time and talent are many of the area’s top chefs representing some of our best restaurants, including our friends at Raglan Road and Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, and a cadre of beverage representatives serving wine, beer and craft cocktails.

How to Sign Up for Scott's Weekly E-letter

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Bullet Point Buffet: Opening, Closings, Other Stuff

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Mx Taco collage

  • Ryan Manning, chef and owner of MX Taco in the Milk District, is already planning the popular taqueria’s second location. He plans to take over the Waterford Lakes space previously occupied by Le Crave. He’s looking to open by Sept. 16, which is Mexican Independence Day.
  • Oh, Le Crave has closed. It was a French restaurant, apparently
  • Look for a new concept to move into the space on Lake Ivanhoe previously occupied by Mesa 21. Faiyaz Kara of the Orlando Weekly reports that the owners of Local Butcher & Market and the Porch, both on Orange Avenue in Winter Park, will open Russell’s on Ivanhoe. The lakefront park at one time was known as Russell’s Point; I wonder if there’s a connection.
  • Oh, Mesa 21 has closed. Its demise has been foretold for months, and I know lots of local restaurateurs had considered taking over the space before choosing someplace else. Surprising, because it’s arguably one of Orlando’s best restaurant settings, even with the I-4 Construction Without End across the water.