The list of chefs participating in this year’s Jetport Food & Wine Festival has grown, and grown increasingly more impressive. I had told you previously that Daniel Boulud of Daniel in New York and Cafe Boulud at the Brazilian Court in Palm Beach, would be there. Joining him will be several of the culinary world’s elite, including: Scott Boswell, chef/owner, Stella! and Stanley, New Orleans; Georges Perrier, owner and founder of Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia; Timothy Hollingsworth, executive chef, The French Laundry, Napa; and Paul Liebrandt, chef/owner, Corton, NYC.
Norman Van Aken, owner of Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, is also listed among the celebrity chefs in attendance.
The above list includes three finalists for 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards. Boulud’s Daniel is nominated for Best Restaurant, Boswell is a finalist for Best Chef, South region, and Hollingsworth, who represented the U.S. at Bocuse d’Or, is nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year. (Boulud and Van Aken are previous Beard winners.)
The visiting chefs will cook alongside some of Central Florida’s star chefs. Besides Van Aken, they include: Kevin Fonzo, K Restaurant, College Park; Greg Richie, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Orlando; Brandon McGlamery, Luma, Winter Park; Jerome Bocuse and Bruno Vrignon, Chefs de France, Epcot; and Jens Dahlmann, executive chef, Epcot. Other restaurants represented include Circa, Seito Sushi, Tutto Italia, San Angel Inn, Blue Martini, Bice, Bruno White Food, Douce France Bakery, and Notter School of Pastry Art.
The Jetport Food and Wine Festival is unique among area tasting events in that it is held in and around a hangar at the Kissimmee Airport and includes an air show, exotic car and private jet displays, and a runway fashion show by Saks Fifth Avenue. The hangar is transformed to a massive nightclub for the evening, with music, lights and, of course, plenty of food and wine. I attended last year, and I was impressed with this event. This is one I urge you to attend.
Part of the Celebration Exotic Car Festival, the Jetport Food and Wine Festival is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Florida. The event is Friday, April 16, 2010, from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person prior to April 1 and $125 thereafter, if available. No tickets will be available at the door. For ticket information, visit the Web site for Celebration Exotic Cars.