A Year in Review and a Look Forward

First I would like to wish each and everyone of you a Happy New Year!!  As we bid farewell to 2010, I would like to take a moment to look at some of the exciting moments we shared with many of you throughout the year.

January brought us the grand opening of The Gallery at Interlachen, an incredible art gallery and event venue(www.galleryatinterlachen.com).  Exciting Gallery events included Food & Art for Thought, the Florida debut of photographer Javier Gomez (www.javiergomez.com) hosted by Colin Cowie (www.colincowie.com) and  Black Tie and Blue Jeans in honor of a very special 50th birthday.  In between there were christenings and weddings, fundraisers and networking events.  St. Patty’s was deliciously enjoyed by many as was a very special event with Italian Chef and writer Pamela Sheldon Johns (www.Facebook.com/pamelasheldonjohns).   The food and cuisine continued to marry for fashion shows, graduation parties, Bat Mitzvahs, rehearsal dinners, and pharmaceutical dinners.  Many thanks to all of you that helped make the Gallery’s first year a success!

Back in the kitchen we were excited to welcome Harold Henderson as Chef de Cuisine.  The culinary team had the opportunity to participate in the Culinary Vegetable Institutes’ Annual Gala in Milan, Ohio, the Share our Strength/Taste of the Nation event at the Convention Center, the first annual Winter Park Harvest Festival and many other charitable events.  We have also adopted The Morning Star School in College Park as a part of Michelle Obamas “Chefs Move Schools” initiative.

One of the year’s biggest highlights for me was a return visit to the James Beard House in New York City to prepare a Central Florida inspired dinner.  As in my first visit I was proud to prepare this dinner along side some of Orlando’s finest culinarians.  They included Chef James and Julie Petrakis, Chef Kevin Fonzo and Chef Scott Copeland.

2010 welcomed the debut of Edible Orlando Magazine (www.edibleorlando.com) in which I am honored to sit on the advisory board.  Our PEAS Foundation website launched in 2010 (www.peasfoundation.com) and also raised funds for organizations such as The Second Harvest Food Bank and The Hope and Help Center.

As predicted, pork remained at the top of everyone’s recipe card as the most popular ingredient in 2010.  However, the tide is about to turn in 2011 and we will see beef will slowly make its comeback.  Burgers still reign but watch as haute sandwiches begin to steal the spotlight.  Farm to table restaurants are all the buzz, and truly support the Slow Food Movement.  The Meatball craze came and went but thankfully Charcuterie Menus are here to stay.  Look for new interpretations of the Slow Gin Fizz, The Sidecar,  and local artisan creations of vodka and bourbon.

Lastly look for upcoming amazing events at the all new Mezz in downtown Orlando.  Owned and operated by Artful Events this new events venue is unlike any other in Central Florida, and Cuisiniers is the House Caterer!  Visit www.artfulevents.com for more information.

Finally,  I will close with again saying thank you to all of you for your continued friendship and support – it truly is appreciated.  And……stay tuned for a VERY exciting announcement in the next few weeks that will have all of you “foodies” mouths watering.
Remember “Entertain Deliciously” in 2011 and always!

Chef Jamie