Rona Gindin is an Orlando-based multimedia writer, editor and TV personality.

  • Local Chefs Join Up for a 'Chef Series' Cooking Demo

    ChefSeriesTheCoop PressImage June2016 smallOrlando -- Chefs John Rivers from Winter Park's The COOP and James Petrakis from The Ravenous Pig will team pu for a "Chef Series" cooking demonstration on The COOP's patio. They'll demonstrate how to make Campfire monkfish wrapped in country ham with smashed potatoes, and brisket with grits. Attendees will receive samples and recipe cards. Wednesday, June 29, 6:30 p.m. Details  
  • Support the Pulse Families by Dining Out on June 30

    DineOutForOrlandoUnitedOrlando -- Dozens of restaurants in Orlando and beyond -- way beyond -- will raise funds for OneFund Orlando on June 30 by donating a portion of their sales or some other means. The effort is called Dine Out for Orlando United, and participation is widespread from restaurants from simple to sophisticated. Restaurateurs, join the fray by filling out this pledge form. Diners, simply visit any of the participating restaurants on June 30 to support our broken, but loving, community.  
  • Win a Grill in the Marlow's Tavern Burgers & Brews Contest

    Marlows Kitchen Sink Burger smallNational -- American-food chain Marlow's Tavern invites guests to create a burger. The prize for the best is a Big Green Egg. The Seventh Annual Marlow's Tavern Grilling Recipe Contest is part of a Burgers & Brews promotion that includes specialty and rotating burgers including the Colorado amb with merguez sausage and feta cheese. Deadline: July 31  
  • Hear a Free Concert at Lakeridge Winery

    Lakeridge Winery logoClermont -- Pull up a seat, or a blanket, and hear live music every Saturday in July on the lawn of Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards. What's more, you can sign up for a chance to win a gift basket worth $150. Starting July 2, the bands will perform in this order: Old Skool, Tory Wynter, The Dave Capp Project, Blue Train, Baby Blues & the No Attitude Band. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  
  • Spend an Afternoon with Chef Andres

    Normans logoOrlando -- Norman's is usually an evening-only restaurant, but on July 31 the signature Ritz Orlando establishment, owned by celeb chef Norman Van Aken, will host a leisurely event called An Afternoon with Chef Andres -- that's Executive Chef Andres Mendoza. Guests will be invited to help themselves to tapas, cheeses, roasted pig, raw bar goodies, mojitos, cigars and wines. Live music will play. Sunday, July 31. $150. Reservations: 407.494.4333. Details  
  • A New Restaurant called Chroma Is Coming to Lake Nona

    ChromaModernBar PressRendering June2016Orlando -- A new restaurant called Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen is being developed in Orlando's Lake Nona Neighborhood. It will be owned by the Tavistock Restaurant Collection. The menu will be modern America, and the 256 seats will be indoors and out.  
  • Experience the Palms' Sanctuary Yoga Retreat

    The Palms logoMiami -- Take a tip from Rona. Book yourself a weekend at The Palms Hotel & Spa's next Sanctuary Yoga Retreat. You'll stay right on South Beach, participate in covered open-air yoga and meditation classes -- with a farm-to-table lunch in the middle, and receive way more including 15 percent off the room rate, 25 percent off AVEDA spa treatments, and pool and beach access. The next Sanctuary Yoga Retreat is September 16, 2016. Details  
  • The Pharmacy Restaurant Now Serves Brunch

    Pharmacy logoOrlando -- The restaurant/speakeasy Pharmacy now serves weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Meals, which include an entree and a cocktail for $25 apiece, begin with complimentary chocolate- and spice-glazed donuts. Food options include buttermilk and chive waffles, and mushroom cream mac 'n' cheese with smoked brown-sugar cured bacon. The Bloody Michelada garnished with cheese, olive, and prosciutto is a cocktail choice.  
  • Try Fancified Asian Street Food at Baoery Restaurant

    baoery logoOrlando -- Now that the Thornton Park Restaurant Group has its New Southern restaurant Soco up and running, the team has introduced a second neighborhood eatery: Baoery. Pronounced, apparently, like the New York City neighborhood The Bowery, this so-called Asian gastropub serves up hipster versions of Asian staples like bao (buns), wontons, and stir-fries. Read Rona's blog post for menu details. Read  
  • Explore the Gulf Coast on a Four-Day Florida Eco-tour

    combo 2Bradenton -- Locally grown foods prepared by farm-to-table chefs are part of the low-carbon-footprint trips offered by the new ((ecko)), a fascinating and fun enterprise on the Gulf coast of Florida. Experts -- we're talking about scientists, PhDs, folks who make things happen -- take time out from their day jobs to lead portions of each tour. That means novices know what they're looking at and knowledgeable travelers get a more in-depth education. Leave your car in Bradenton and every element will be taken care of for you, including, for camping options, having your tent pitched and your bedding laid out. (Some trips involve hotel stays instead.) Bicycling or kayaking, birding or Indian heritage make this trips worthwhile. Here's Rona's feature and here's the ((ecko)) website.  
  • Eat for $35 at Emeril's Tchoup Chop

    Emerils Tchoup Chop logoOrlando -- Emeril's Tchoup Chop is offering a three-course dinner for only $35 nightly from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. You'll have the choice of two appetizers, entrees, and desserts including Kahlua chicken eggrolls, hibachi skirt steak, and tropical sorbet. Details.  
  • Cask & Larder to Open at Orlando Airport

    Cask and Larder logoOrlando -- Winter Park restaurant Cask & Larder will bring its New Southern cooking to Orlando International Airport in summer 2016. The owners are teaming up with chef Johnny Rivers, who has airport foodservice experience, to create and run the 390-seat restaurant and take-out shop. Housemade beers, and gin and tonics on tap, will also be served.  
  • Winter Park Distilling Co. Is Expanding

    WDPC Collection smallOrlando -- Winter Park Distilling Company has been producing spirits for awhile, but  could only sell them retail. Now the homegrown business will become a "brewstillery." The building, in the old State Auto body building on 17-92, will include the distillery itself, tours, and a brewery and taproom to be called Bear & Peacock. Expect a mid- to late-2016 debut.  
  • Disney Employees Receive 20% Off at Plancha

    Disney Plancha FlyerOrlando -- Cuban-American specialties like chorizo burgers, Cuban sandwiches, and mojitos are on the menu at Plancha, the restaurant at the Orlando Four Seasons' Tranquilo Golf Club. Now Disney World's 65,000 or so "cast members" will receive a 20 percent discount off food and beverage purchases. Details.  
  • French Classics Made Easy

    French Classics Made EasyFrench Classics Made Easy is a cookbook that gets you to satisfying Gallic fare without a ton of sacrifice. Author Richard Grausman simplified a load of recipes and takes away the intimidation factor, shrugging that unbleached all-purpose flour is best "but if you have bleached flour, use it" and casually explaining that using a food processor cuts pasta-making time to mere seconds.  I have bookmarked several recipes to try ASAP and I'm sure you will too.  
  • Sample Moroccan Tapas at Spice Road Table

    Spice Road smallOrlando -- Small plates of Mediterranean fare invite lingering at Spice Road Table, a civilized indoors-and-out escape at Epcot's Morocco pavilion.  Sip a just-sweet Lillet, a light chilled wine flavored with honey, orange, lime, and mint. Nibble on crazy-flavorful lamb sliders on a brioche with mint-tzatziki sauce, plus rice-stuffed grape leaves, beef skewers with garlic and fresh hrbs, and spicy garlic shrimp. The fried calamari is tender with a terrific flavor. It's served with two sauces: harissa, and caper aioli.