Chefs Accept Challenge to Fill the Grill

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Looking for something fun to do this evening, maybe something that will take you away from the Food Network and all the contrived chef cooking competitions? How about a live chef cooking competition?

Whole Foods Market at Phillips Crossing is sponsoring a Fill the Grill challenge that pits four area chefs against each other. The chefs are John Rivers, 4Rivers Bbq; Alec Cheak, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Tuan Tran, Crave; and Steve Saelg, Crooked Spoon food truck. The first competition will feature Rivers and Cheak this evening, Tuesday, August 2; the second challenge will feature the other two chefs on August 16. The winning chef, determined by a panel of judges, from each first heat -- and it’s August, and they’re grilling, so when I say heat, I mean HEAT -- will compete head to head for the title on August 30.

Here’s the challenge: each chef will have 20 minutes to spend $20 for ingredients and then have 20 minutes to make something creative and delicious using only a grill. Twenty bucks for ingredients. Did I mention this is at Whole Foods? And they’re calling it Fill the Grill? What are they using, a hibachi? You can spend $20 before getting out of the produce department.

If you want to see the action live, it all starts at 6:30 this evening. Whole Foods is at 8003 Turkey Lake Road (corner of Sand Lake Road), Orlando.

{fblike}

Reservation Date Announced for 16th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Written by Scott Joseph on .

 

Epcot_fw
Chef de cuisine Gregg Hannon, left, and executive chef Jens Dahlmann plan the 16th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
The reservation phone lines for the 16th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will open Tuesday, August 16, at 7 a.m. EST. Traditionally, many of the hot-ticket events sell out within minutes, so set the alarm and practice your redial technique.

 

Among the events that will be available for booking are:

  • First Bites Opening Reception (Sept. 29, 6:30-9 p.m.)
  • “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery (Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11)
  • Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French Grand Marnier Tasting and Interactive Experience (Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5)
  • Epcot Wine Schools (Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 5)
  • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining
(Oct. 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 27, 30, Nov. 1, 2, 3, 7, 10)
  • Kitchen Memories — formerly Celebrating Family & Friends in the Kitchen (Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11)
  • Cheese Seminars (Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12)
  • Party for the Senses (Oct. 8, 15, 22, Nov. 5, 12 at new times: 7:30-10 p.m.)
  • Food & Wine Pairings (Mondays, Tuesdays)
  • Sweet Sundays (Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13)

Additional special events will include Italian and French wine and food pairings and a Mexican tequila tasting.

The reservation line is 407-939-3378 (that’s 407-939-FEST if you like your phone numbers to have meaning).

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run from Sept. 30 through Nov. 13 and will include plenty of activities and events that will not require reservations (but will require admission to the theme park). Keep track of new announcements at the official website.

{fblike}

Bravissimo Chophouse Closes

Written by Scott Joseph on .

It appears that Bravissimo Chophouse has closed. The phone is disconnected and the website does not load; usually good indications that the business is no more. The restaurant, which had resided near downtown Orlando where Shine Neighborhood Kitchen currently serves, relocated last year to the former Straub’s Fine Seafood building in Altamonte Springs. With the move, it added chophouse to its name, but, oddly, didn’t seem to offer much in the way of steaks and chops. My experience wasn’t all that great, and apparently it wasn’t unusual. Bravissimo Chophouse’s rating on Urbanspoon indicated that only 41 percent of 56 voters liked it. You can usually boost your rating over that mark just with friends, coworkers and family members. Still, sorry to see another restaurant close, especially one that, at least in its early days on Shine Avenue, did a very nice job.

{fblike}

Logan's Bistro, Closed Since July 2, To Reopen Wednesday

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Logan’s Bistro, the little cafe at 802 Virginia Drive, Orlando, just off of Mills Avenue, has been closed since July 2nd. But according to the owner it will reopen Wednesday, albeit only for lunch at first. Sonya Condrey said she plans to resume a regular Monday through Saturday lunch schedule and serve dinner only on Fridays and Saturdays. The sluggish economy is the reason for the change. In addition to the scheduling changes, Logan’s will no longer accept credit cards; all meals will be cash-only transactions. Condrey said she’s struggling to remain open and has been trying to work out a new arrangement with the building’s owner. However, she said that her lease is up at the end of the year, and unless some new arrangement can be made she did not think the restaurant could stay in that location.

Logan’s Bistro was featured as an SJO Dining Deal in April.

{fblike}