A smorgasbord of bits and tids.
- Morimoto Asia's executive chef Yuhi Fujinaga has officially named Hung Huynh as chef de cuisine at the Disney Springs restaurant. Hung (top left; photo by OMG Food Photography) was the winner of the third season of Top Chef. The two chefs have been friends and colleagues for many years.
- The National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger food drive will be Saturday, May 12. You can leave canned goods and non-perishables in your mailbox to be picked up for free by letter carriers. (No need to paste stamps to the can.) In Florida, Farm Share, a 27-year-old, Florida-based nonprofit food organization, will be the primary beneficiary of collected supplies, which will be distributed to feed those in need, free of charge.
- James Beard Foundation has launched the fourth annual Blended Burger Project, a competition challenging chefs to blend mushrooms with meat to create a more delicious, nutritious, and sustainable burger. Diners can cast a vote for their favorite blended burger by visiting jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject between Memorial Day and July 31, 2018.
A panel of food experts selected by the James Beard Foundation will determine five winners from the top 20 vote getters. Experts will determine the winners based on the most creative use of mushrooms, the best flavor profile, and the best presentation. The five (5) winning chefs will win a trip to New York City to cook their blended burger at the historic James Beard House. Last year, Toni Elkhouri of Cedar's Cafe in Melbourne was one of the winners.
- Claddagh Cottage finally opened, softly for now. Look for a harder opening in the coming weeks, along with an announcement of bands that will perform on the new stage. I stopped by recently to have a look and maybe a bite, but the kitchen ran out of food long before I got there. You'd think that would have driven hungry people across the street to the pizza restaurant, but its parking lot was empty -- at 9 o'clock on a Saturday night! Maybe people are just avoiding that stretch of Curry Ford Road during the spectacularly stupid traffic-causing bike lane experiment. (Shades of Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge.)
- Orlando Date Night is hosting its next Discovery Dinner at Big Fin Seafood Kitchen on Restaurant Row. It's a five-course dinner, plus wine or cocktails. And the discovery part? You don't know what you're getting until the moment it's served. But if you've had chef James Slattery's food, you know that's a pretty good bet. Even better, it's just $75 per person, including tax and gratuity. Oh for crying out loud, you want more? Valet parking is free. Happy? Ticket info.
- K Restaurant is reaching across the Mediterranean to host a five-course Greek Wine Dinner onWednesday, May 2. $125 per person. Call K at 407-872-2332.