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Highland Manor chefs to cook at prestigious Beard House in New York

Written By Scott Joseph On November 9, 2009

John MooneyJohn Mooney, executive chef and co-owner of Apopka’s Highland Manor restaurant, has been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York’s Greenwich Village. Mooney (pictured at left) will present a menu of contemporary American cuisine with “Southern flair” to guests at the dinner on Saturday Nov. 21. Joining Mooney will be Scott Barton, who is billed as chef at Highland Manor but is based in New York, and pastry chef Nicole Potter.

The evening will feature Crispy Crab–Filled Love Letters with Smoked Paprika Aïoli; Seared Diver Scallops with Antebellum Grits and Shellfish Broth; Country-Fried Quail with Whipped Potatoes, Braised Greens, and Pan Gravy; and “Red Head in the Big Apple,” a baked Lady Gala Apple with Kettle Corn Cake, Caramel Sauce, Peanut Tuile, and Red Hots Gelato.

The James Beard House is actually the former home of the renowned culinary maven. Guest chefs cook in the kitchen of the townhouse on 12th Street in the West Village — larger than most New York kitchens but decidedly not spacious — while guests sit at tables placed in the former living room and, off to one side and up a few steps, Beard’s bedroom.

While the quarters are cramped, the venue is one of the best “restaurants” in town, and an invitation to cook there is considered a high honor. Tickets are $100 for JBF members and $125 for nonmembers. You can find more information about the dinner at the James Beard Web site.

Congratulations to Mooney and his colleagues for carrying the Central Florida flag to the Big Apple.

And I’ll have more about Central Florida’s flag, New York and our chefs tomorrow. But for now, I have to go pack some warm clothes.

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