Jaleo will open March 17

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Jaleo exterior construction

The much anticipated Jaleo from José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup will open at Disney Springs on Sunday, March 17. It will be the company’s fifth Jaleo location, its first in Florida, and its largest.

Also opening on that date is Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick and mortar iteration of the chef’s popular Washington, D.C., food truck. It occupies a space in the front corner of Jaleo. The quick-serve Pepe will will open for both lunch and dinner. Jaleo will open initially for dinner service only with lunch hours to be added later in the month.

Jaleo, with locations in Washington, Maryland, Virginia and Las Vegas, is known for its modern Spanish cuisine and tapas menu, including paellas cooked over a wood-fired paella pit, hand-carved Iberico ham, and shrimp sauteed with garlic and chili.

The restaurants were designed by Juli Capella of Spain with an exterior that mimics opening petals.

Jaleo exterior construction 2

Andrés is a much celebrated chef, recognized as Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People. He was recently profiled by the news magazine 60 Minutes for his efforts to feed citizens of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of its hurricanes.

Delgado leaving Sentinel

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Sentinel Logo

Orlando Sentinel food reporter Lauren Delgado announced Wednesday that she is leaving the position she has held for the past three years.

In an article published on the newspaper’s website, Delgado said that this would be her last week at the Sentinel and that she was taking a position in the marketing department of a local nonprofit organization. On her Facebook page, she said the organization is Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County. In her article, she thanked the readers, the local culinary community and her Sentinel colleagues.

In a private Facebook message, Delgado declined to comment further. Neither her supervisor nor the Sentinel’s managing editor was immediately available for comment.

Delgado’s duties included articles about food and recipes and writing restaurant reviews for multi media platforms. She also oversaw the annual Foodie Awards. The position has evolved over the years — food editor and restaurant critic used to be separate positions. Any further changes to the position — and indeed whether or not it will be filled — remain to be seen.

Inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction will take wine tasting to a whole new level

Written by Scott Joseph on .

orlando wine fest barrels

The inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction kicks off Friday, March 15, with a weekend of dinners, tastings and events organized by the Orlando Magic and benefitting the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF). It’s already clear that this is not going to be your typical wine and food tasting.

It is certainly set apart from other wine events because of the cost, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

But there is also the scope. The weekend begins with a series of dinners hosted in private homes — well, ok, private mansions in many cases — featuring celebrity chefs, both local and visiting, and a featured winery at each location. Unfortunately, it’s not a dine-around or a progressive dinner — attendees will have to choose just one location. But there’s a varied array from which to choose.

For example, Robert and Tricia Earl will host a Japan themed dinner that will be prepared by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in their Isleworth estate featuring the wines of Accendo Cellars.

Bullet Point Buffet: Women in the KItchen

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Women in the Kitchen

  • I can’t imagine you could have anything better to do on Sunday than to attend Legends, Mentors & Friends: Women in the Kitchen, a celebration at Lake Meadows. Kathleen Blake (The Rusty Spoon), one of our favorite women from one of our favorite kitchens, is hosting a lineup of stellar culinary talent from throughout the country. Proceeds from the dinner, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Lake Meadow Naturals in Ocoee, will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s WEL Program, which supports women in the culinary industry. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased here. Use that link for more information, including directions to Lake Meadows. As for who else will be there cooking, get ready for the sub bullets:
    Jennifer Hostetter- The Rosen School
    Kerri Rogers, Bellwether, Jacksonville
    Abra Berens, Granor Farm, Three Oaks, MI
    Liza Hinman, The Spinster Sisters, Santa Rosa, CA
    Whitney Otawka, The GreyField Inn, Cumberland Island
    Melissa Kelly, PRIMO, Orlando, Rockland, Tucson
    Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale
    Ilma Lopez, Chaval & Piccolo, Portland, ME
    Emily Luchetti, Big Night Restaurants, San Francisco
    Katharine Elder, Elderslie Farm, Wichita, KS
  • Blake is teaming up with chef Jamie McFadden of Cuisiniers Catering for another event Sunday, March 24, at 10 a.m.: Swamp Sistas La La Charity Brunch at the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park. Food, drink and music. Tickets are $75 and benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Buy them here.
  • Our friend Ricky Ly from Tasty Chomps is hosting a dinner Saturday, March 9, at the restaurant of another friend, Tony Roma’s (we’re so close he lets me call him Tone). The dinner will feature Tone’s New Classics menu and is priced at $65. Click here.