Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Big Beards 

click to enlarge 1193015.jpg

Central Florida James Beard Nominees Charity Dinner

6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29
Cress Restaurant
103 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand,

Call it a gastronomic all-star game, a midsummer classic bringing five of Central Florida’s finest chefs together under one roof for one night. The names – Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and Wine Bar, Scott Hunnel of Victoria and Albert’s, James and Julie Petrakis of the Ravenous Pig and Hari Pulapaka of Cress Restaurant – are notable in their own right, but more so for having been nominated this year by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: South (with the exception of Fonzo, who was nominated in 2010). The James Beard Award, Oscar of the food world, may have gone to Stephen Stryjewski of New Orleans’ Cochon, but come Monday at Cress Restaurant, the local quintet will prepare an epic feast the likes of which DeLand has never seen.

The seven-course dinner with wine pairings will feature applewood-smoked bison, bluefin tuna and scallop tartare with caviar, pickled beef tongue and chicken bisteya with tikka masala ice cream … and those are just the amuse-bouches. Goat rib, oxtail tortellini, Spanish octopus and roasted snowy grouper are but a few of the dishes that await guests who pay the $275 ticket price. All proceeds benefit Share Our Strength (, which directly supports the Coalition for the Homeless and the Second Harvest Food Bank, and will join funds raised by the Aug. 6 Taste of the Nation event at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

The dinner coincides with Cress Restaurant’s third anniversary, and it promises to be a memorable one. Look for a post-meal account on our Salivation Army blog next week. For event details and tickets, go to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

Sept. 15, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation