The James Beard Foundation's "Celebrity Chef Tour" Dec. 5 at the Four Seasons Resort promises to be the culinary event of the year. Chefs at the $235-per-plate dinner (includes wine, tip and tax) include Norman Van Aken, Edward Lee, Tony Mantuano and Gerard Craft, alongside host chefs Tim Dacey, Fabrizio Schenardi and Rabii Saber. Master sommelier James Tidwell will be on hand as well.
Chef Lonny Huot of Nine18 at the Villas of Grand Cypress will cook at the James Beard House in New York, along with four other chefs from Benchmark Hospitality International's portfolio of properties around the world. Huot will feature the dishes he'll prepare at the Beard House at Nine18 throughout the month of December.
Winter Park Distilling and the Bear & Peacock Brewery will open a "brewstillery" on North Orange Avenue near the Ravenous Pig early next year.
OPENINGS Update: The Thirsty Topher, cypress bar and all, was scheduled to open Nov. 25 on Virginia Drive but has delayed the opening by "a few more days" ... DaVi Vietnamese Cuisine has opened on East Colonial Drive near Hampton Avenue ... Yamasan Sushi & Grill has opened in Mills Park ... Look for UCF-area pizza joint Lazy Moon Pizza and Orlando Meats, a proper butchery, to open next spring in the former Euro Living building next to Snap Space on East Colonial Drive ... Jeremiah's Italian Ice will open in the former Chilly Spoons space on South Orange Avenue next month ... Lucky's Market, often referred to as the "love child of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's," will open its first Orlando-area store in the Alafaya Trail/State Road 50 corridor sometime next year ... iShanghai, the city's newest Chinese restaurant, has opened in the tourist sector ... Zoës Kitchen, serving "Mediterranean-inspired comfort food," has opened on Red Bug Lake Road in Winter Springs.
EVENTS "Prime Time" Wednesdays at Hamilton's Kitchen feature a prime rib dinner with soup or salad, vegetables, potato and Yorkshire pudding for $26 ... Calling all coffee hounds: The Four Seasons hosts a "barista bootcamp" Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 5-7 p.m.; cost is $75 ... Cress Restaurant hosts its third Lesser Seafood Dinner Dec. 9, as well as an India-themed dinner Dec. 16. Both will cost $70; the Lesser Seafood Dinner has the option to add wine pairings for an extra $24.
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