This is a great weekend to be a Central Florida foodie. There’s so much going on — food being flung and drinks being slung — that I’m exhausted already. Here’s what’s happening:
Global Venture — A Wine Pairing Dinner
During its Food & Wine Weekends, which run through November 9, Waldorf Astoria is hosting wine dinners at its Bull & Bear restaurant. The dinners are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and feature an exclusive three-course menu. Cost is $110 plus tax and gratuity. Tonight’s dinner is sold out, but there are seats available for Saturday. Call 407-597-5500 for reservations.
Edible Orlando Cooking Stage at the Orlando Home Show
My good friends at Edible Orlando will be hosting the cooking stage at the massive home show that takes place at the Orange County Convention Center. They’ve put together a roster of terrific chefs who will demonstrate some of their key dishes. Some of the highlights include:
Hari Pulapaka of Cress in DeLand at 12:30 p.m.
Mark Jeffers, chef de cuisine at Highball & Harvest at 1:30 p.m.
Jairo Mehia, Oceanaire Seafood Room, 12:30 p.m.
Melina Salazar and Tyler Hoffert, chefs at the Wine Barn, at 2:30 p.m.
Camilo Velasco, Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen, 4:30 p.m.
Marc Kusche, Hamilton’s Kitchen, 12:30 p.m.
Laurent Hollaender, the Boheme, 2:30 p.m.
Admission to the show is required, of course, but you might be able to find some ticket discounts online. I hosted the cooking stage a couple of times, several years ago, and it’s a lot of fun. I know that Edible Orlando does a great job here.
Central Florida Veg Fest
Vegetarians, rejoice! It’s the ninth annual Veg Fest, dedicated to vegetarian cuisine, health, animal welfare, and the environment. It’s Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s at the Orlando Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St., and admission is free. There will be exhibits, vendors with food, demonstrations and all sorts of other unmeated activities. And dogs are welcome. More details at the Central Florida Veg Fest website.
Cows ‘n Cabs
This is the fun event spearheaded by John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse and the Coop, held in a big ol’ tent next to Winter Park’s Central Park off Park Avenue (no, I don’t know where you can park). I had a great time at last year’s CnC (see the video above) and I’m sorry that I have to miss it this year (I told you there’s a lot going on). It’s from 7 to 10 p.m. (a fact that is well hidden on the website) and general admission tickets are $110. The $140 VIP ticket gets you in an hour earlier, and for $200 you can have access to a private lounge with its own bar.
This year’s food talent includes:
John Rivers, of course.
Kevin Fonzo, K restaurant
Greg Richie, Soco Restaurant
Katerina Coumbaros, Taverna Opa
Hari Pulapaka (does that guy ever stay at his restaurant?)
Lucas Reid, Citrus
Andres Mendoza, Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton
And several others, including Aarthi Sampa, who will head the kitchen at the soon-to-open American Gymkhana. Check out the site for all the chefs and for ticket info.
Party for the Senses Featuring Disney Chefs from Around the World
Saturday’s edition of the weekly extravaganza that is part of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is a unique one. Disney has brought in star chefs from its properties around the globe — not just around Epcot’s World Showcase, though there are some fine chefs there, too. General admission is $149 plus tax; admission to Epcot is required; 7:30 p.m. I don’t have a list of the chefs who will be there, but this is bound to be a special one.
Supper Club at Eddie V’s
Then of course there’s tonight’s Supper Club at Eddie V’s with premium wines from Rioja. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, sorry, we’re sold out. If you are joining us, we’ll begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. (If you arrive early, please enjoy yourself in EV’s lounge and enjoy the music). Valet parking is complimentary and, trust me, better than trying to find your own parking space. Dress code is casually upscale — this is a classy joint — but jackets and ties are not necessary.
Want to plan ahead? Join us for November’s Supper Club at Highball & Harvest.