Call me nosy, or, more politely just curious: I love memoirs. Here are 10 excellent memoirs that make great gifts. Each is absorbing and easy to read. Most were also fascinating.Read More
Loads of Orlando restaurants are opening their doors on Christmas Eve and Christmas so you can celebrate without a bit of work. Others will prepare food in advance that you can heat and eat once at home on the big day. Here are our favorites.Read More
Plenty of women like frivolities as gifts, but often the holidays call for practicality -- items that we'll actually use yet wouldn't buy for ourselves. Here are five gift ideas that will bring wrapping-paper joy to the no-nonsense recipient on your list.Read More
As the holiday season gets underway, downtown Orlando's The Courtesy Bar has taken on a new identity. Under the sub-name Miracle on Orange, the craft cocktail lounge is using recipes, barware and other items from a global Miracle promotion.Read More
Here are five great places to eat on Thanksgiving in Orlando 2017. I'll be sharing this info on Orlando's Fox 35 about 9:45 on Sunday morning, so please tune in.Read More
From bar snacks to fine dining, you'll find great food at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.Read More
I think I found it this time -- a really good slice of New York style pizza. It's at Pizzeria Roberti.
Details >>Read More
Fully 50 percent of Hammock Beach Resort's summer visitors are from the Orlando area about 90 minutes south. So who was I turn down a night's stay and a seven-course dinner? Here's what I found.Read More
A few months ago, Disney World's top chefs – the heads of the signature restaurants and the bigwigs in the Flavor Lab – put together Delicious Disney, A Chef Series. The goal: to bring guests who are at once Disney and food enthusiasts together with the kitchen artists behind Lake Buena Vista's most noteworthy meals.
Delicious Disney is tricky to find. The program does not have an official Web page. It has been mentioned on the official Disney blog, but other than that only Golden Oak residents and Tables in Wonderland members receive notifications. Attend once, though, and you'll be added to the email list. (Tables in Wonderland is a food-focused Disney dining discount program.)
For Delicious Disney, each meal has a theme, and each dish is tied to an element of that theme. The series kicked off in 2016 and has several events so far in 2017. I was lucky enough to participate in Walk Around the World with Disney. Here's how it played out.
This Delicious Disney dinner was held in the warm and elegant Markham's Restaurant, the exclusive eatery in the private Summerhouse clubhouse at Golden Oak, a high-end residential community located on Disney property. The evening began with a signature cocktail plus pass-around hors d'oeuvres that were upscale twists on theme park foods. For example, a corn dog on a stick, like those sold on Disneyland's Main Street, were here made with a fine German sausage in a natural casing. It was an ironic twist in a room filled with gentlemen wearing jackets and ladies in cocktail dresses.
Promptly at 7, guests were escorted into the main dining room. The room is a lovely space with vaulted brick ceilings, tufted red leather banquettes and classic lamps, all in view of the open kitchen. A long rectangular menu was at each seat. One one side, the menu showed the Disney castles around the world featured with each course. On the flip side was each of the seven menu items tied to the castle. The wines paired to each course were written out too.
As each course was served, a chef described it in detail. Then Master Sommelier Brian Koziol talked about each wine. The chefs and Koziol also visited with tables throughout the meal.
Seven courses later, guests received one final gift: the same colorful, informative menu again, this time signed by each of the chefs above castle representing the course he or she created.
Two more Delicious Disney events are on the calendar for 2017: A Culinary Tribute to Mickey Mouse's Birthday at the Contemporary Resort's California Grill (November 18); and a Farm-to-Table repast on a tree farm (December 6; a few seats left). The meals are not inexpensive: Prices range from $199 to $499 per person, per event. These are legitimately what you'd call gourmet dinners though. They're prepared by experienced chefs, made with luxury foods, and paired with exquisite wines. And, the groups are intimate, with no more than 60 diners total.
For food details on my meals, hover your curser over each photo for descriptions.
If you'd like to join either of the last two 2017 Delicious Disney dinners, call 407-939-5773 between 9am and 5pm to make a reservation. I'm told these fill up quickly, so don't dally.
If you can't make it this year, stay tuned. The Delicious Disney chefs are already buzzing with ideas for a Star Wars-themed dinner when the space-themed land debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2018. Let's hope the Delicious Disney, A Chef Series stays around that long, because a Star Wars-themed dinner would be out of this world.
Try the DoveCote Magical Dining Menu 2017 for $35. What a value!Read More
Crispy Chicken Skin Skewers, and other culinary adventures from Hawkers new menu.Read More
Thrones and slaves, weapons and stories -- you'll see an astounding collection of African tribal art at Bronze Kingdom.Read More
Talk about fun in the Florida sun. I just took a Giraffe Ranch Segway safari. What a fun way to spend the day.Read More
Win two tickets to see -- and taste (yum!) -- Orlando artist-inspired chef creations.Read More
Now that my kids are grown, I seek out family lodging options with a residential layout. That way we can make our own little breakfasts, play Bananagrams at the kitchen table and watch movies in the living room. Now The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando offers that option -- plus it will soon have a water park.Read More
I'm sitting in a doctor's office-like chair, eyebrows up in skepticism, as a nurse with a healthful glow finds my vein and sets me up for an intravenous infusion of nutrients. I'm at the IV Lounge Orlando, concerned. Is this a medical facility? A scam? A blessing-to-be?Read More
Maybe it was a fellow foodie's disappointed Facebook posts. Possibly, sheer pragmatism. But with Orlando's Swine Family restaurant group expanded so quickly in recent months, I couldn't imagine that its new restaurant, The Polite Pig, could be extraordinary.Read More
Midway through its multi-weekend SeaWorld Orlando Seven Seas Food Festival, the theme park has added several Latin-inspired foods and drinks.Read More
Orlando has so many food events that I post about only a fraction, and of those only a few turn to to be spectacular in terms of food, drink and ambiance. I am betting that Women in the Kitchen: A Celebration at Lake Meadow will make the cut.Read More
About a fourth of my work involves this: telling readers how to get the most for their money in Orlando. One of the always-valid tips involves choosing hotels that are on Disney World property but owned by others. Today's feature: Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace.Read More