You kind of feel humbled on their behalf. At Appetite for the Arches, Orlando chefs prepare bite-size foods--elegant hors d'oeuvres--using McDonald's ingredients. It's a playful yet upscale fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House.
It's quite the challenge, I'd imagine. The chefs involved say the hamburger megachain does, indeed, begin its cooking process with so-called real foods, and the chefs are free to use those ingredients for this challenge. Still, the pantry repertoire differs from these chefs' norm. The folks from The Ravenous Pig, for example, which hosted a media preview last night, have local farmers grow obscure vegetables just for them, area bakers prepare hamburger rolls to order, and so on.
I tasted four items that will be served at the 2015 Appetite for the Arches. I'll share details below. All were fine. None was amazing, and the chefs involved plate up amazing on a regular basis at their restaurants. Still, they're donating their time and expertise for an extremely good cause. And, I've been told by trustworthy food-lovers that last year's event, the inaugural here in Central Florida, was fabulous. Wine pours freely, sure, and a silent auction is always fun, but they swear the food was calorie-worthy. So give Appetite for the Arches the benefit of the doubt and buy a ticket ($200 for the next 10 days; then the price goes up). You'll help families lodge affordably near their hospitalized children. It's what we call a mitzvah, a good deed. You'll also have a really nice time.
You'll meet these chefs and other headliners at Appetite for the Arches. Here are the other restaurants that will be represented:
- 4 Rivers Smokehouse
- Blue Bird Bake Shop
- Chef's Table at the Edgewater
- Cuisiniers Catering
- Emeril's Tchoup Chop
- Funky Monkey Wine Co.
- Hamilton's Kitchen
- Kabooki Sushi
- LUMA on Park
- Orlando World Center Marriott
- Paxia Modern Mexican & Tequila Lounge
- Pig Floyd's
- SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando
- The Rusty Spoon
- The Smiling Bison
Honestly, this is essentially a line-up of most of Orlando's most talked-about restaurants, the ones I eat in regularly--and it's no secret that I'm a picky pain-in-the-tush. You can't go wrong wining and dining on nibbles created by these restaurants' chefs, McNuggets aside.