Edible Education Experience, the nonprofit that operates the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden in College Park, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with two special dinners, Sunday, April 10, and Monday, April 11.
Resident chef Kevin Fonzo will be joined by culinary compatriots from throughout the area to cook the dinners. Sunday’s dinner will feature Jason Wolfe of Tornatore’s; Michael Collantes, Soseki; Hari and Jenneffer Pulapaka, Global Cooking School; Jamie McFadden, Cuisiniers Catering; and Trina Gregory-Propst, Se7en Bites.
Monday will feature Wendy Lopez; Reyes Mezcalaria; Lordfer Lalicon, Kadence; Fabrizio Schenardi, Four Seasons; and Julie Petrakis, Ravenous Pig.
The second Orlando Wine Festival & Auction, which was slapped together in just 45 days, raised nearly $750,000 for the Orlando Magic’s Youth Foundation, which serves at-risk kids in Central Florida. The event, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes last month, included a wine and food tasting event Saturday afternoon and a live auction and formal dinner that night. Attendees who purchased packages that started at $2500 for two people, also received tickets to the Magic’s game the next day and will be invited to a ceremony presenting the funds on April 10.
Speaking of Grande Lakes, John Tesar, who fronts the Ritz-Carlton’s Knife & Spoon, will softly open his casual Knife Burger this weekend at the JW Marriott there.
Dr. Phillips Charities, which is developing the Packing District near Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street, has tapped Hospitality HQ to run the food hall that will be located there. HHQ is headed by Akhtar Nawab, a New York-based chef, and currently operates food halls (foods hall? feed halls?) in Brooklyn, New Orleans, Chicago and Philadelphia. Construction won’t begin until August, which probably means it won’t begin until after the first of the year, so...a December 2024 opening? Any wagers? The development will also include a seven story hotel, a signature restaurant and bar (currently unsigned) and a microbrewery.
Speaking of microbreweries, we have many. But the Mills 50 district will be getting the area’s first micromeadery. Zymarium Meadery is taking over the Orange Studio – you know, that studio, the orange one – at 1121 Mills Ave. Later this year, maybe.
In other chef news, Huy Tin, who has been with Seito Sushi Baldwin Park since 2012 and was promoted to executive chef in 2017, has been named chef/partner. And New York-based Hung Huynh has joined Orlando’s Omei Restaurant Group (Bento, Doshibox, Collab Kitchen) as its director of culinary innovation. Huynh, a winner of tv’s Top Chef, has also collaborated with Orlando’s Earl Enterprises to open Asian Street Eats by Chef Hung Huynh, a fast-food concept at LAX.
Omei’s Johnny Tung wrote on his Facebook page: “My goal is to keep great chefs that come through Orlando to stay and help build our community into a nationally and internationally recognized food city. With Michelin now coming we have to take advantage of this momentum and help retain culinary talents such as Chef Hung.” I like that thinking.