The entries are in, and now the polls are open for you to vote in the quest to find a honey-fied Orlando signature dish.
As you'll recall, the initiative, which was started by Orange County mayor Theresa Jacobs and being facilitated by Visit Orlando, called upon area chefs to create a dish using honey as a prominent ingredient. Honey was chosen because it is an abundant crop in Central Florida.
An amazing 30 or so entries have been posted to the Visit Orlando website, with details on each dessert and where you can find them. It's up to you now to get out there and try as many as you can and then go back to the website and vote for just one. Polls opened today, and you have until Nov. 9 to make your selection.
The top 10 vote getters will be placed in front of a panel of judges who will make a final decision. The winner will be announced on Dec. 7.
Celebrity Chef Art Smith, Homecomin’ and two-time James Beard Foundation Award Winner
Tish Boyle, co-editor of Dessert Professional magazine
Lauren Delgado, multimedia food reporter for the Orlando Sentinel
Oh, and me.
Criteria for the competition included: local honey must be used as a key ingredient; the dish must be a dessert; and it must be available to the public in a restaurant or food venue. Participants could submit only one entry.
I'm impressed with the number of desserts that have been presented -- and I'm thrilled that that number is going to be narrowed down before we have to start judging. I'm also glad to see that so many of our most prominent chefs took up the challenge.