Help for Stranded Travelers; CVB Issues Call for Discounts, Other Offers

Written by Scott Joseph on .

The Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau is trying to help the masses stranded in Orlando by the disruption of air traffic to Great Britain and Europe. If you're like me, by the time your vacation is over you've spent your allotted dollars -- or pounds or euros as the case may be -- and need to get back to work to earn more so you can vacation again.

The poor folks stuck at Orlando International Airport -- getting poorer every day -- are in a real pickle. Here's a chance to show a little Central Florida love.

Here's the message from the CVB:

We have been following the unprecedented events that have forced the closure of European Air space. In our community, we have stranded travelers that have been trying to return home since Wednesday, April 14.

The Orlando/Orange County CVB would like to ask for your cooperation in assisting European travelers, by offering discounts and free admission to any United Kingdom, Irish or Continental European tourists stranded in Florida due to the interruption in international air travel caused by Icelandic volcanic ash.

Please consider offering discounts to these stranded visitors. Your help will go a long way in showing our compassion and customer service.

As proof of travelers being affected, you can ask to see their return flight ticket from Wednesday, April 14, 2010, through Wednesday, April 21, 2010, or until normal flight schedules resume.

So how about it, restaurateurs? If you're able to offer a discount, send me a note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll pass it along to the good folks at the CVB. Or you can contact them directly by sending a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thanks for your help.

Countdown to Jetport

Written by Scott Joseph on .

There are still some tickets available to the huge Jetport Food & Wine Festival Friday night at the Kissimmee Airport. Besides the food and wine that are part of the name, the fest also features a showcase of private jets and luxury cars. And the venue is a hangar transformed for the evening into a lavish nightclub.

The food will be prepared by chefs from some of your favorite local restaurants, including Bice, Luma on Park, Emeril's Tchoup Chop, Chefs de France, Seito Sushi, The Palm, Circa, Urban Flats and others. Cooking alongside them is a Who's Who of the culinary world. Just who is who? Here's a list:

Fish On Fire Burns

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Here's one of life's little ironies. The Florida fishhouse known as Fish On Fire was destroyed by a fire on Tuesday evening. The restaurant was closed at the time and no one was injured in the blaze. According to an article on, a fire alarm was set off when flames activated a motion sensor inside the restaurant on Daetwyler Drive near Orlando International Airport.

Fish On Fire opened in 2004.

Disney Cruise Line's New Ship Will Have Dream Team of Chefs Designing Menu For New Restaurant Remy

Written by Scott Joseph on .

The_Disney_Dream61110061Updated to include artist rendering of Remy main dining room.

When Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Dream, sets sail in January, it will boast a fine-dining restaurant with a menu designed by a dream-team of chefs: Scott Hunnel of Disney’s estimable Victoria & Albert’s and Arnaud Lallement of l’Assiette Champenoise in Reims, France. The announcement of the new restaurant, Remy, was made during a dinner prepared by the two chefs Wednesday at New York’s Le Bernadin.

The onboard restaurant will feature a continental -- or maybe that’s bi-continental -- menu developed by the two chefs. The menu will change with the seasons and will feature products sourced globally.

Hunnel is a multiple James Beard Award semi-finalist. His restaurant is considered one of the finest in the southeast and has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond award 10 years in a row and also holds the highest honors with the Mobile Guide. Lallement’s restaurant in Reims has two stars from the Michelin Guide.

The restaurant is named, apparently, for the rat in the Disney animated feature Ratatouille. The question of a rat in a restaurant has already been raised by others -- and indeed is the focus of the movie. Anyone who has witnessed the animatronic Remy that is revealed from underneath a silver cloche on cart wheeled throughout the dining room at Epcot's Chefs de France can attest to the uneasiness one feels upon seeing it.

True, its a short trip from the mouse that leads the company to another rodent in a restaurant. But rats have a storied infamy aboard ships. You’d think that would have raised some eyebrows in the planning room.

Still, the Disney Dream is expected to be a state-of-the-art, luxurious ship, and the talents of the two chefs charged with designing its premium restaurant’s menu should keep it well afloat.


Remy main dining room (Disney Cruise Line)