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Cows ‘n Cabs Grows Into Major Event

Written By Scott Joseph On October 24, 2016

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John Rivers was beaming Saturday night.

And why not? The Cows ‘n Cabs event he started five years ago as a fundraiser for local charities has grown into one of the area’s top food and wine events. Taking a break from serving guests some of the signature barbecue from his 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Rivers marveled that Cows ‘n Cabs has grown from a relatively small gathering of 350 people that first year to a sold-out event, with a thousand tickets sold this year. The participating restaurants, wine merchants and entertainers spilled out beyond the big tent in Winter Park’s West Meadow.

No matter there — it was a gorgeous evening, one of the first “cool” nights of the season. Which made this well-run operation even more of a pleasure.

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Kathleen Blake of the Rusty Spoon was the first restaurant through the bay-hale gate, a perfect welcome with her Lake Meadow “Red Devil” Stuffed Eggs.

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Kevin Fonzo of K restaurant had Beef Cheeks (referring to his dish, not his smile).

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Yuhi Fujinaga of Morimoto Asia served a Beef Tongue that was one of the evening’s favorites.

Another big hit: Osprey Tavern’s Oxtail Tartlets with truffle bone marrow sauce.

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You always know you’re in for a treat when you see the folks from Tapa Toro, with chef Wendy Lopez, and Taverna Opa in attendance. Lopez served a wonderful crispy pork belly. Lots of good cracklin’.

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Whisper Creek Farms: The Kitchen went cheeky, too, but with pork instead.

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The whole roast pig that has become a signature from 4 Rivers at the event kept its cheeks, at least early in the evening.

Funds from ticket sales will benefit United Against Poverty and Elevate Orlando.

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