March 7-14 marks Eat Local Week — seven days to celebrate of Central Florida food, community and culture. Presented by Slow Food Orlando, our chapter of the worldwide group dedicated to slowing down and enjoying life's tasty pleasures, the week offers eating, drinking, shopping and learning opportunities, all featuring local food products, chefs and speakers.
Several area restaurants offer locally sourced dishes all week, showcasing ingredients from Florida farms, ranches and fisheries, including:
- California Grill
- Crimson Tavern
- Flying Fish Café
- Jiko, the Cooking Place
- The Rusty Spoon
- Swine & Sons
As well, there are several local-focused events:
Audubon Park Garden District Sip & Stroll
2-5 p.m. Saturday, March 7
Check in at Redlight Redlight, 2810 Corrine Drive
Kick off Eat Local Week and enjoy locally sourced light bites along with wine and craft beer curated by Redlight Redlight at businesses throughout the District, including Fresh 24, Bikes Beans and Bordeaux Café, Blue Bird Bake Shop and more. $25 via audubonparkgardens.com.
Hari Pulapaka Book Signing at APEX at East End Market
4-6 p.m. Sunday, March 8
3201 Corrine Drive
Chef Hari Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant in DeLand will sign his self-published book Dreaming in Spice, which includes recipes that reflect his interest in both cuisine and culture. $75 per person includes a signed copy of the book, hors d’oeuvres by Cuisiniers Catered Events, champagne or wine and a Cress T-shirt; $112 per couple includes an additional shirt. Tickets available here.
Lexicon of Sustainability Pop-Up at Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery
6-8 p.m. Friday, March 13
211 E. First St., Sanford
Learn the language of the local food movement via a collection of photo collages featuring thought leaders from all over the country. Florida made and/or grown refreshments. Free event, though the public is invited to make voluntary donations to support Celery Soup, Florida’s Folk Life Play.
Field to Feast
4-8 p.m. Saturday, March 14
Long & Scott Farms, Mount Dora
Walt Disney World Chefs present a farm-to-table dinner at a working farm in Zellwood. Hosted by Edible Orlando, all proceeds to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank Kids Café. (Sadly, this one's sold out ... but keep an eye on your phone for plenty of tasty Instagrams from attendees.)
Post a comment or photo on the Eat Local Week Facebook page, or tweet at them with the hashtag #sunshineplate before midnight March 14, and you'll be entered to win two tickets to Gourmet Soiree.
Of course, you can drink local any time of the year, not just during Eat Local Week. Try these local establishments that make or brew their beer and wine on site:
- Hourglass Brewery, 480 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood
- Cask & Larder, 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park
- Wop’s Hops, 419 S. Sanford Ave., Sanford
- Lakeridge Winery, 19239 US 27 North, Clermont
- Quantum Leap Winery, 1312 Wilfred Drive
And check out these local-focused markets all season long:
- Audubon Park Community Market, Mondays from 6-10 p.m.
- Brevard Farmers Market, Thursdays from 3-7 p.m.
- Wild Ocean Seafood Market, Port Canaveral and Titusville
- L&L Farms, Samsula
- Long & Scott Farms, Mount Dora