Jaleo opens at Disney Springs

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Jaleo Opening

José Andrés officially opened his newest restaurant, Jaleo, at Disney Springs Thursday with a closed door reception for invited media and guests.

The Disney Springs Jaleo, which occupies a vastly refurbished building that once held Wolfgang Puck Cafe, is the fifth and largest for Andrés’ Washington, D.C., based ThinkFoodGroup. The building also has a dedicated corner for Pepe, a fast food restaurant based on Andrés’ food truck.

A highlight of the open kitchen is a wood-fired paella pit for cooking one of the signature dishes.

While invited guests were beginning to arrive inside the restaurant, Andrés sat down with a group of five media representatives, including three from Spanish language outlets. We sat on the patio overlooking the lagoon as the chef, still in a Patagonia quilted jacket, talked about opening the restaurant.

I asked him if there is a point where a chef and restaurateur loses control over what goes on at his properties because there are too many of them — his company owns and operates 15 brands. He said there was, but the key was having people he can trust at each location. He said that he is often asked, “Who cooks when you’re not here?” His reply: “The same person who cooks when I’m here.”

He told us that having a restaurant at Disney has been a dream of his ever since he first visited Epcot and saw that Paul Bocuse had a restaurant there. He said that Spain should be represented. “Spain is meant to have a bigger presence in Florida,” he said. “Spain arrived [to Florida] before anyone else in Europe.”

Here’s a video from the opening.

La Tavola dinner will preview upcoming tour of Tuscany

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Curious about the Food Secrets of Tuscany tour that Kevin Fonzo and I are cohosting in June?

Come to a special edition of Fonzo’s La Tavola dinner event on Wed., March 27, and we’ll answer all of your questions. Joining us will be Art in Voyage’s Mikael Audebert, the tour’s curator. Audebert can tell you about this and other AIV tours. Plus, he is offering to reimburse the cost of the La Tavola dinner to anyone who signs up for the trip that night. Tim Varan of Tim’s Wine Market (who also hosts tours through AIV) is serving some welcome sparkling wine to start the evening.

Cost of the dinner is $95 per person plus gratuity. Reservations are a must; the dinner is already nearly sold out. To reserve a space, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Baja Burrito Kitchen closes after 20 years

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Baja Burrito closed

Baja Burrito Kitchen, one of the first of the super-sized burrito shops to move into Central Florida, has closed its location in Colonial Plaza. A sign, above, was posted on the door thanking customers for 20 years of business. 

I first reviewed BBK in April of 2000 when the shopping center was known as Colonial Marketcenter. 

No explanation was given for the closing, and the Baja Burrito Kitchen website is gone.

9th annual Science of Wine is April 27

Written by Scott Joseph on .

SOW dinosauer

Here’s an event I look forward to each year: the Science of Wine. It’s a night of sipping wines, eating delicious nibbles, and learning a little bit, too, all to benefit the Orlando Science Center. The ninth annual edition of SOW will be Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Loch Haven Park facility.

Don’t let the learning part scare you, this is a fun evening that takes all the elements of a typical wine and food walkabout event and adds presentations and displays that teach the intricacies of winemaking. You didn’t think those grapes became wine by magic, did you? Well, some of it is magic but a lot of it is science.

And you can indulge in as much education as you’d like.