Homeowners for Haiti Update - David Ramirez Will Appear

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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Award-winning pastry chef David Ramirez
More details are coming together for this Saturday's Homeowners for Haiti event at the Central Florida Home & Garden Show. Award-winning pastry chef  David Ramirez will be part of the team cooking a fabulous menu for attendees. Ramirez was the captain of the 2009 Team USA, representing the country in the internationally acclaimed Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, aka the World Pastry Cup, competition in Lyon, France.

Ramirez will join fellow chefs Michael Mullen, Jorge Olivera and Michael Rumplik to prepare such items as Focaccia-Crusted Lamb Chops, Tropical Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa, Tobias-Braised Short Ribs, Pan-Seared Diver Scallops, and Chocolate Sabayon for dessert. In addition, we'll be pouring wines from Rodney Strong and Opici.

Tickets are limited and MUST be purchased in advance. The cost is $25 and includes admission to the Central Florida Home & Garden Show. All proceeds from the event -- and by that I mean every cent of the $25 -- will go to purchase housing for victims of the Haiti earthquake. The Little Haiti House, a prototype of the specially designed homes that will be manufactured in Central Florida and shipped to Haiti for assembly, will be on display at the show.

This is a really wonderful event, and I know the food of all of these chefs and can tell you, this is an amazing deal.

The Homeowners for Haiti food and wine event is Saturday, March 20, 2010, from 6-9 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center, North Concourse. Click here to purchase tickets.

Rangetsu Closing

Written by Scott Joseph on .

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Rangetsu, the Japanese restaurant and sushi bar that has been a prominent fixture on International Drive since 1986, will close at the end of the month. General manager Takashi Kikuchi told me that the economy was a deciding factor. "We used to get big parties," said Kikuchi, "but conventions are down, Japanese tourists are down, and we have too many employees."

He said the building was under contract to be sold, but could not give any details about the prospective buyers. The current owner, according to Kikuchi, is in Japan. He also couldn't say what will happen to the many koi in the ponds in front of the restaurant, although he was certain they would be cared for.

Rangetsu, which was spelled with a hyphen for many years and whose name means orchid moon, has 350 seats and a staff of 40. The last day will be March 31.

Get Grilling Tips From the Pros in Scott's Grilling Garden at the Central Florida Home & Garden Show

Written by Scott Joseph on .

 

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Spring is here. It’s raining outside right now (March showers bring April...that doesn’t sound right). It has finally warmed up to a temperature resembling Florida. And Daylight Savings Time returns this weekend -- don’t forget to set an alarm so you can watch all your atomic clocks reset at 2 a.m. Or is it 3 a.m.? I forget.

Anyway, it’s spring, and that means grilling outdoors. It means doing some other things outdoors, too, but for now let’s keep our minds on grilling, shall we?

I love throwing things on the grill. I like to cook a nice juicy steak, of course, but I’ve also done a prime rib and a stuffed turkey on the trusted Weber. Sometimes I use a gas grill, but I prefer the heat of charcoal. That’s just me.

But I’m no expert by any means. And I can always use some advice. That’s why I’ve invited chefs who have a particular skill with the grill to be part of my Grilling Garden cooking stage at the Central Florida Home & Garden Show. The show is March 19-21 at the Orange County Convention Center, and I’ll have chefs each day doing demonstrations and giving tastes and recipes.

On Friday, at noon, Tim Keating, executive chef at Flying Fish Cafe will whip up some gazpacho and cook some of the fish he’s known for at the popular Disney’s BoardWalk restaurant. Then at 2:30 Dan Drayer, executive chef for Talk of the Town restaurants (Charley’s Steakhouse, FishBones, MoonFish, Vito’s Chophouse) will be cooking some halibut and talking about the best way to cook a big hunk of meat.

New Details and Menu for Homeowners for Haiti Food and Wine Event

Written by Scott Joseph on .


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As I told you in an earlier article, on Saturday, March 20, I'm hosting an event in conjunction with the Central Florida Home & Garden Show at the North Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center. I'm once again showcasing some terrific chefs on the cooking stage on Friday and Sunday, but Saturday night, from 6-9, we have something really special going on.

It's the Homeowners for Haiti food and wine event to raise funds to send structures, known as Little Haiti Houses, to the earthquake ravaged country. Here's what we'll have going on: Chefs from Cala Bella, A Land Remembered, Jack's Place and Everglades will be cooking up such items as Focaccia-Crusted Lamb Chops, Tropical Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa, Tobias-Braised Short Ribs, Pan-Seared Diver Scallops, and Chocolate Sabayon for dessert. In addition, we'll be pouring wines from Rodney Strong and Opici.

The cost is $25 per person, or about how much you'd pay for just one of the above entrees -- without wine. Here you'll be able to enjoy them all in a casual, walk-around garden setting constructed especially for the event. And thanks to the generous donations of Rosen Hotels and Southern Wine & Spirits and Opici Wines, every cent will go to the effort in Haiti. (One of the Little Haiti Houses will be set up at the Home & Garden Show.)

Also, the $25 ticket gets you into the Home & Garden Show (a $10 value itself). It's a great bargain.

I hope you'll consider supporting the cause by purchasing a ticket or 10, even if you're unable to attend yourself (perhaps you know someone who appreciates good food and wine to whom you could give the tickets). We'll also have entertainment, and I'll have each of the chefs on the stage to demonstrate the dishes and tell you how to prepare them at home -- we'll even get you the recipes.

Follow this link to a Web page where you can purchase tickets. Find the "Rosen Hotels' Homeowners for Haiti" selection and fill in the number of tickets you wish to purchase. Tickets are printed on your printer.

And here are the full details of the menu: