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Bullet Point Buffet: Planning Ahead

Written By Scott Joseph On November 22, 2019

Chef Gala 2020

  • The date has been set for next year’s Chef’s Gala, the food and wine event that has been held at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Showcase for years and years. Next year, however, the gala, which benefits Heart of Florida United Way, will be held at the Contemporary Resort. That might be good news for the folks who didn’t care for the bus ride from the Epcot parking lot through the backstage area. Put May 16, 2020, on your calendar and watch for ticket information soon.
  • The following month, in June 2020, there will be a wizard-themed beer event. A press release calling it a “mystical beer festival” doesn’t give much information other than that it will be June 14 and dry ice will be involved to “set the mood.” Attendees will be encouraged to wear appropriate wizard attire (it’s bring your own wand, I assume). No location, no cost info. So I don’t know what to tell you – most of the people I know that are into dressing up like wizards aren’t old enough to drink beer.
  • Kudos to 4R Restaurant Group for donating $75,000 to World Central Kitchen to aid in relief to the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. World Central Kitchen is the nonprofit organization headed by José Andrés that provides meals to disaster victims.
  • Speaking of José Andrés, his Disney Springs restaurant, Jaleo, will host its first wine dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 10, featuring a five course meal paired with five wines from Ontañón, a fifth-generation winery from Spain’s Rioja Baja region. Tickets are $115 per person and can be purchased here.
  • Word came last week that Robbin Haas had died. Haas was one of the South Florida chefs dubbed the Mango Gang that elevated Miami’s culinary scene in the early ‘90s. The gang also included Mark Militello, Allen Susser and Norman Van Aken. In a memoriam on his website, Van Aken wrote of his friend: “He worked hard and he played hard. But what joy he found in both.” I reviewed Haas’s Coconut Grove restaurant Baleen in 2002 and wrote, “…it’s safe to say that even plankton in the hands of chef Robbin Haas would be transformed into something tasty.” Haas was 66.

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