Saturday marked my second Pop-Up dinner following the event at Quantum Leap Winery this spring. I reserved my coveted seat for the evening showcasing women entrepreneurs in the local community. Compounding my enthusiasm and support for local small business was the fundraising for the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs scholarship fund.
National recognition for the surge of local and independent purveyors in Orlando and Florida in general is not yet pervasive, but it is my personal undertaking to change this through social networking with similar chefs and restaurateurs around the U.S. So please share, share, share away!
East End Market is the exciting new food hub in Orlando’s Audubon Park neighborhood. Think of an enclosed farmers market that operates six days a week rather than just on Saturdays. Inside you’ll find fresh bread, a cheesemonger, a fishmonger, meats, coffee, a juice bar and more. There is also an event space with its own kitchen, and another “incubator” kitchen that will allow aspiring food entrepreneurs a space to produce their items for sale in a licensed, professional kitchen. – Scott Joseph
Notable women for this event included: Kathleen Blake (Rusty Spoon), Julie Petrakis (Ravenous Pig), Jephanie Foster (Blue Bistro) and Anette Grecchi Gray (Red Lobster; cheese course), Melissa Kelly (Primo), Janice Talty (Old Hearth Bread Company), Gigi Chilvers (Wine on the Way).
The reception commenced with passed hors d’oeuvres by the ever professional Cuisiniers, featuring an array of Blanco and Rosado wines.
- Anova Tuna Tartare – cilantro, chili, black barley, greek island zough yogurt, flax crackers
- Crawfish Beignet – spiced local honey
- Chicken Liver Mousse – black truffle, ciabatta crouton
- Smoked Grit Fritter – romesco, grissini
Let’s get on with the menu. It was not without great internal debate to post photos or not, so scroll quickly past the granulated blasphemy I call snapshots, and read about the course descriptions. Note: I prefer not to use flash even in low light in respect for the talents of those responsible for decor and ambiance.
Second Course: Chef Anette Grecchi Gray
Seared Florida Cobia – indian harvest jade rice-spinach cake, north african curry broth, OHBC naan
Wine Pairing: 1998 R. Lopez de Heredia “Vina Tondonia” Blanco Reserva – Maria Jose de Heredia
Third Course: Chefs Kathleen Blake and Melissa Kelly
Whey Braised Jamison Farm Lamb Shank – jeweled fall grain, local greens, OHBC miche
Wine Pairings: 2007 Marques de Murrieta Reserva – Maria Vargas, 2005 Montecillo Gran Reserva – Maria Martinez-Sierra
Olde Hearth Bread Company presented with each course and provided a take-home bag with fresh baked fig-anise baguette, granola and peanut butter sandwich cookies.
Fatto in casa provided biscotti samples in guest take-home bags.
La Brexta showcased Spanish olives in the take-home bags. Fellow foodie Eat Local Orlando mentions them in his post on East End Market.
Ahhhh. CHEESE Course!!! – Chef Annete
Emmi Roth Kase Cheeses, guava paste, wonderful fruit asian pears, nuts, dried fruits, OHBC fig-anise baguette
Wine Parings: Variety from Bodegas Conde de Valdemar, Christina Alvarez
Wine on the Way based in Winter Park, FL tucked discounts for future purchases into guest bags with an order list and this video from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America)
In closing, Scott Joseph has outdone him self once again. From his revamped blog which he dubs the ‘flog’ short for food blog, to his recent undertaking of culinary travel recommendations, the Orlando figure continues to keep an unbridled pulse on Central Florida foodie culture. It’s everything to I wish I had more time to pour into this moonlighting foodie site.
Thanks to all who contributed to making this possible.