Shin Jung destroyed by fire

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Shin Jung front

Shin Jung, one of the area’s oldest Korean restaurants, is closed after a fire Wednesday destroyed the building in which it was housed.

The structure, a former house in the Mills 50 district, caught fire early Wednesday morning (June 26) at approximately 1 a.m. The restaurant was closed and no one was injured. According the the Orlando Fire Department the cause was possibly due to an electrical problem; foul play is not suspected.

Shin Jung roof

Shin Jung side

Flames shot through the roof, and considerable damage can be seen from the outside.

Shin Jung condemned

A bright orange sign affixed to the front door declares that the property has been condemned.

Shin Jung opened in late 1994 as one of only three or four exclusively Korean restaurants in the Orlando area. It took over the space that had previously been a restaurant called Chubby’s. Originally, the building, at 1638 E. Colonial Drive, had been a private home, one of the few remaining houses frontingState Road 50.

The owners of Shin Jung could not be reached for comment.

Explore Central Florida's unique dining venues with author Kendra Lott

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Lott with bookPhoto by Lucy Hill

Correction: An earlier version of this article had an incorrect date for the book signing at Buttermilk Bakery. It is July 28, not June 28.

Too often, restaurant guides are just glorified directories, lists that offer little more information than you can get from the Yellow Pages. (You remember the Yellow Pages, don’t you?) I should know, I’ve participated in some of those publications, including a couple of Zagat Surveys.

But Kendra Lott, publisher of Edible Orlando, has produced a guide that goes beyond mere cross-referenced listings with her recently released book, “Unique Eats and Eateries of Orlando” (208 pp. Reedy Press. $20.95). It’s a great resource not only for newcomers but for longtime locals, as well, from an entertaining writer, dedicated culinarian and Central Florida native.

First of all, the book is not a comprehensive guide to every restaurant in the area, not even close. Even longevity and general popularity weren’t enough for some establishments to make the cut. (I was amused by the omission of one particular longtime restaurant with an inexplicably diehard following; If I see you at one of Lott’s upcoming book signings I’ll tell you which one.)

2nd Annual Sous Chef Challenge is Sept. 15

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Sous Chef Challenge 2019

In the hierarchy of the professional kitchen, it’s the executive chef and chef de cuisine at the top. But often running the show, especially when the top chef is absent, is the sous chef. If you’re a sous, this event is for you.

The second annual Scott Joseph’s Sous Chef Challenge: The Next Big Thing, part of the ACF Central Florida Chapter’s Culinary Arts Competitions, will be held Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, as part of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show at the Orange County Convention Center.

The event allows the region’s sous chefs to step to the front and demonstrate their culinary creativity. They’re challenged with coming up with “the next big thing” — the dish, ingredient or preparation that might become a trend. And for each sous to show why he or she is the chef to present it.

The winner selected by the judges will be awarded a prize of $1000.

Supper Club at Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster will feature wines of Chalk Hill Estate

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Christners Logo FINAL 1 copy

If you’ve been reading my reviews for the past three decades, you’ll know that I’m a fan of Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, which just celebrated its 26th anniversary. My most recent review solidified my fondness for this restaurant.

So I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be hosting a special Supper Club with Christner’s featuring the wines of Chalk Hill Estate. The Sonoma County vintner is another favorite of mine.

The dinner is 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, at the restaurant, 729 Lee Road, Orlando. Cost is $145 per person, which includes tax and gratuity, a bargain even before you start to add in the wine pairings. Call the restaurant at 407-645-4443 for reservations.