Tip Jar: Local celeb chefs have a busy month ahead

James Beard Award nominations, Ronald McDonald House charity dinner, Books & Cooks to benefit Winter Park Public Library and more

Congratulations go out to James and Julie Petrakis (Ravenous Pig), Hari Pulapaka (Cress) and Henry Salgado (Spanish River Grill) for being named James Beard Award semifinalists for Best Chef: South. Finalists are announced March 18.

Appetite for the Arches, a charity event for Ronald McDonald House, takes place 7-10 p.m. Saturday at the Orlando World Center Marriott, featuring some of the city’s finest chefs (Blake, Fonzo, Petrakis and the like). The chefs will use ingredients found at McDonald’s restaurants to whip up creative dishes. Tickets are $250 per person.

A cadre of celebrity chefs gather at the Alfond Inn at 6 p.m March 6 for Books & Cooks – an evening of eats and speaks. A mere $25 gets you into the panel discussion featuring Norman Van Aken (Norman’s), John Rivers (4Rivers, The Coop), Brandon McGlamery (Luma), Hollis Wilder (Sweet!) and Richard Gonzmart (Columbia Restaurant), as well as the post-event food truck fest. You’ll nibble on truffle popcorn and mini cupcakes, and sip on wine and a bourbon cocktail created by Rivers. Proceeds from the event benefit the Winter Park Public Library.

Noted chef Kevin Dundon returns to Raglan Road for a four-course Modern Irish Food lunch March 12 and a five-course signature dinner March 13 (lunch highlight: upside-down steamed orange pudding with caramelized clotted cream; dinner highlight: smoked haddock with vintage Dubliner cheddar bake). Lunch is $49.94 and dinner is $115 (plus tax/gratuity); both meals come with wine pairings.


Through March 31, Marlow’s Tavern offers a NOLA-inspired Bayou ’n’ Bourbon menu … Austin-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s has opened in the I-Shops on I-Drive … Look for the Barley & Vine Beer Garden to open in the old El Coqui space on Washington Street soon … Another Another Broken Egg Café opens in Lake Mary later this year … The Dubliner Irish Social House has been carved out of Don Jefe’s Tequila Bar on Church Street … Also on Church Street, the owners of Graffiti Junktion open the higher-end Red Café in the former Five Guys location soon.

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