Newsy Nuggets: Linda’s Winter Park Diner; Beard Awards; other stuff

Written By Scott Joseph On June 6, 2023

Linda's Winter Park Diner

Linda’s Winter Park Diner will cease to be the last week of July. Owner Linda D’Auria has been the owner of the Fairbanks Avenue favorite for 35 years and decided it was time to retire. She has sold the property and would not say who the buyer is but did say it will no longer be a restaurant. “I feel like I served the community for a really long time,” D’Auria said by phone Tuesday, “I made so many great friends and I wanted to go out on top.”

The James Beard Foundation handed out its chef and restaurant awards Monday at a ceremony in Chicago. As in years past, Central Florida left awardless, though at least we had a dog in the fight this time – and a Michelin Guide-recommended dog at that. Henry Moso, the chef and owner of Kabooki Sushi, was the first Orlando chef to ever advance to the final round. He was nominated for the Best Chef: South region, which also includes Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and New Orleans. I mean Louisiana. For a change, a New Orleans chef did not walk away with the medallion. Instead, Natalia Vallejo, the chef at Cocina al Fondo in San Juan was named the winner.

Southeast 9 23 Bosch

It would have been nice to finally have a Central Florida winner, and I’m sure Moso would have enjoyed it, too. But frankly, being a Beard Award winner wouldn’t bring as much recognition – and business – to a restaurant as being a Michelin recommended business, in my opinion.

In other Beard Awards, Rob Rubba of Oyster Oyster in Washington, D.C., was named Outstanding Chef and Philadelphia’s Friday Saturday Sunday Outstanding Restaurant. See the full list here.

Earls Kitchen + Bar, the Canadian restaurant at Mall at Millenia, has been closed for several weeks due, apparently, to a plumbing issue. And it isn’t scheduled to reopen until June 14. That’s some plumbing issue. And it’s not like we’re talking about some old property with rusted pipes. Earls opened in Sept. 2016 in the former Blue Martini space, which is attached to the mall but only has an outside entrance.

Feather & Quill, the Windermere restaurant from the group that brought you the Stubborn Mule and RusTeak, has closed after a little more than three years. It had taken over the space that used to be Dexter’s of Windermere.

Wine Quest, the annual tasting event that was held last week, raised $365,000 for Quest, Inc., which provides resources to people with disabilities.

Cuisiniers, the popular local caterer, will host a dinner and comedy show to benefit Mirna Valenzuela, a Cuisiniers chef who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The dinner is Friday, June 23, at The Cottage on Lake Fairview, 4410 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. Tickets are $100 per person; call 407-975-8763. Doors open at 6, dinner at 7 and show at 8 p.m. Jamie McFadden will handle dinner and Rahn Hortman and Catherine Maloney the show.

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