Bullet Point Buffet: Celebrate the Year of the Pig

on on .

Pigs

  • Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, officially begins Tuesday, Feb. 5. So today is New Year’s Eve. I’m sure you’ll want to tune into CNN tonight to watch Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen in New York’s Chinatown making small talk and giggling for four hours. Each year is associated with an animal, and 2019 (on the western calendar) is the Year of the Pig, arguably the tastiest of all the Lunar calendar animals. Next year is the Year of the Rat, which you could have guessed because it’s an election year. To celebrate, go to your favorite Asian restaurant and order your favorite foods. (Japanese don’t observe it, but if that’s your favorite Asian food, go for it.) If you order long noodles, you must slurp them without cutting them or you’ll have bad luck. And, just so you know, on the first day of the New Year it’s considered bad luck to sweep or clean, lest you sweep away good luck. I like that one.
  • Yum Brands plans to open one of its Taco Bell Cantina restaurants, notably different from other TB’s because it serves alcohol. That should help cut out the middle man for many of Taco Bell’s regulars because I assume most of them only go there after a night out of drinking.

  • SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival starts Saturday, Feb. 9, and runs through May 5. It’s a weekend-only event, though beginning Feb. 15 the food vendors serving “international street food traditions” (sigh) will be open Fridays beginning at 4 p.m.
  • The College Park Farmers Market has closed, but in one of those “closes a door, opens a window” scenarios, there is now a Parramore Farmers Market. Actually, this is more of a closes a door opens a bigger door things because Parramore is known as one of the city’s food deserts, where access to nutritional foods is difficult. One thing I really like about the Saturday market is that people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can use their EBT cards at a booth to get tokens to use for food. The market is Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Department of Health parking lot, 832 West Central Boulevard, Orlando.
  • On Feb. 21, Gabriel Massip, chef at Capa at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, will cook a dinner with Benjamin Patissier, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, or MOF. Multiple courses, pairings, $195 all inclusive. Patissier is sous chef at two-starred La Pyramide in Vienna. Despite his name, Patissier is not a pastry chef.
  • Speaking of pastry chefs, the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie was held last week in Lyon, France, and Team USA came in fourth, behind Malaysia, Japan and Italy. It’s noteworthy because the three-man team included Olivier Saintemarie of Les Chefs de France at Epcot and was coached by Laurent Branlard, pastry chef of the Swan and Dolphin Resort. Sweet!
  • From the Restaurants Doing Nice Things for the Community file: Nine Spices Hotpot, a restaurant on Kirkman Road in Orlando, recently donated $1000 each to Feeding Children Everywhere, UCP of Central Florida and the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools. Might be a nice place to celebrate the New Year. Try the pork hotpot.