Branlard joins Lake Nona Wave

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Branlard headshotLaurent Branlard, the only person to win the World Pastry Team Championship competition twice, has joined the staff of the soon-to-open Lake Nona Wave Hotel as its pastry chef. Branlard had previously been pastry chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

“I’m very excited because it is a boutique hotel,” Branlard, pictured at left, said by phone Monday. “We won’t have to mass feed and do mass banquets.”

The Lake Nona Wave will have 234 “high-tech” guest rooms. An opening date has not been announced but Branlard said it will be late fall. (Tick tock.)

Branlard joins executive chef Guillaume Robin, who was the opening chef for the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek hotel.

Nominations and recommendations open for 2022 Beard Awards

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Beard medals

Here’s something for those of you who are fond of banging your head against a wall: The James Beard Foundation is accepting recommendations for its 2022 chef and restaurant awards.

Bang lightly, however, as this will be the first award program following an audit conducted by the foundation to attempt to make the awards more diverse, both in nominees and voting body, and remove any systemic bias.

(If I were giving this information in front of a live audience, this is where I would pause for laughter.)

1 room available for Flavorful Escape to New York tour

Written by Scott Joseph on .

NYC iceskating copy

If you’ve been kicking yourself because you missed out on booking the Flavorful Escape to New York City tour that I’m hosting in conjunction with Art In Voyage, I have good news: We’ve just had one room open up for the Dec. 8-12 trip.

That’s less than two months away so click on the Art In Voyage link for details and to snag that room. We’re keeping the group small – 10 or 11 of us – so no additional rooms will be added.

It’s going to be a wonderful return to New York, and December is one of my favorite times of the year to be there. We’ll do culinary tours to Chinatown and Little Italy, we’ll have high tea overlooking Central Park, we’ll take a class at the legendary Murray’s Cheese in Greenwich Village and do some cooking at De Gustibus Cooking School at the top of Macy’s in Herald Square.

Bad As's Sandwich closes Winter Park shop

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Badasstogo ext

Bad As’s Sandwich, the Milk District Foodster Award-winner that opened a second restaurant in Winter Park last year, has closed that location.

A post on the sandwicherie’s Facebook page told customers about the closing, saying, “Knowing when to walk and learning how to grow during these uncertain times!”

The statement continued: “As most of you know, we opened our Fairbanks [Avenue] location in the midst of a global pandemic, meanwhile, in the past 15 months, we have given it our all to grow a buisness during these difficult and challenging times without any government help, making it very difficult to sustain.”

Bad As’s chef and owner is John Collazo.

The post also said that the Winter Park staff had been moved to the original location at 207 N. Primrose Drive in Orlando and that “new projects” would be coming soon.

Originally operating as a food truck, Bad As’s Sandwich went brick-and-mortar in 2017 with the opening of the Milk District shop.