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April is a Tasty Month with Food and Wine Festivals Galore

Written By Scott Joseph On April 11, 2012

Taste of Winter ParkCould it be that April is the most tasteful month of the year?

Sure seems to be, what with all the “Taste of…” events, not to mention a couple of major food and wine galas. The month started with the return of the Downtown Food and Wine  Festival at Eola Park, and in the next couple of weeks we have the Taste of Winter Park, the Taste of College Park, the Taste of Pointe Orlando, Taste in Mount Dora, Food & Wine at Portofino, the Cattle Baron’s Ball, Cabaret & Cabernet at the Rosen College, the Florida Film Festival and its many food events, and the Great American Pie Festival. 

I’ve already told you about the Food & Wine at Portofino (and how SJO readers can get discounted tickets). Here’s a rundown of everything else coming up:

Next week is the Taste of Winter Park, on Wednesday, April 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market. Tickets are $45, and that will get you tastes of the terrific food from Prato, Winter Park Fish Company, 4Rivers Smokehouse, Luma on Park, the Ravenous Pig. Peterbrooke Chocolatier and man others. Click here for the official site and a full list of participants. I’ll be there, too, with the folks from 90.7 WMFE-FM. I’ll be a judge for the food competition and I’ll have copies of the 2012 Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide on hand.

The following night, Thursday, April 19, is the Taste of College Park at the historic Dubsdread Ballroom, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tap Room at Dubsdread, K restaurant, Citrus, Caffe Positano, Wild Side BBQ and Yum Yum Cupcakes are just a few of the participants. Tickets are $50. 

There are two major events on Saturday, April 21. The annual Cattle Baron’s Ball will be held from 6 p.m. to midnight (or, as they say on the Cattle Baron’s Ball website, until the cows come home), at Rosen Shingle Creek resort. The ball features a dine-around with lots of terrific culinary talent, including Jack’s Place, A Land Remembered, Everglades, BB Kings, K Restaurant and Wine Bar, Three 2 Oh, Empress Sissi, Café Tu Tu Tango, CS Brisket Truck, Hawk’s Landing Steakhouse and Vital Flair Catering. Tickets are $250 per person and proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. I attended the Cattle Baron’s Ball last year and I was impressed with how well it was run and the quality of the food that was being offered. And it was a lot of fun, too, because attendees are encouraged to wear their cowboy and cowgirl best. Gingham prints and cow-chip kickin’ boots galore!

That same night, just next door on the campus of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, the third annual Cabaret & Cabernet (Cab & Cab for short) will offer A Taste of the 20s, a four course dinner with wines (count on a cabernet or two) and music, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (there’s time to go to CabCab first then hoof it next door to Shingle Creek well before the cows arrive) . Tickets are $65. The UCF Rosen College Campus is at 9907 Universal Blvd., Orlando. Here’s a link to the Cabaret & Cabernet site for ticket info.

The next day, Sunday, April 22, you can sleep in and then head to Lake County for the 11th annual Taste in Mount Dora (apparently different from a Taste of Mount Dora). Local restaurants will offer their best from 5 to 8 p.m. at Lake Receptions, 4425 N. Highway 19A, Mount Dora. Tickets are $30 and available from the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce. Call 352-383-2165 for ticket info (there is a website, but it has less information than I just gave you).

The Florida Film Festival kicks off this weekend and runs for 10 days, and , as it has for several years now, includes a variety of food events (The tagline is Film. Food. Fun.) There will be talks, brunches, elaborate dinners and lots more. Here’s a link to the official Florida Film Festival site’s Food and Parties page.

On Sunday, April 29, from 2 to 5 p.m. it’s the Taste of Pointe Orlando, a fundraiser for Florida Hospital’s Esophageal Cancer Program. There’s some pretty tasty food at Pointe Orlando, and you’ll find such restaurants as Funky Monkey, Cuba Libre, Taverna Opa, Maggiano’s, Tommy Bahama’s and more doing out the treats. Tickets are $30 ($35 the day of the event. But here’s a special deal for SJO readers. Click on this link to the Taste of Pointe Orlando 2012 website, click on “Enter promotional code” and enter SJOtaste in the box for the promo code, and you’ll get the tickets for a ridiculously low $20 each. That’s a bargain, and you’re still helping to raise money and awareness for a good cause.

Then on April 28 and 29 it’s the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, a pie baking competition sponsored by the American Pie Council. Yes, there is such a thing. Here’s a link to their website for more information.

I don’t know about you, but I’m already exhausted!

And don’t think you can start dieting in May — the Heart of Florida United Way’s annual Chef’s Gala is just around the corner. More on that soon.


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