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East Orlando Beer Festival, Brews Around the Zoo, FFF’s Locally Fresh 

Tip Jar: local food news, parties, restaurant openings and closings

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Sample more than 100 brands of beer at the sixth annual East Orlando Beer Festival 4-8 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Waterford Lakes Town Center. Admission gets you unlimited beer samples from the likes of Brooklyn Brewery, Terrapin and Flying Dog, and unlimited food samples from Mellow Mushroom, Froggers, Heavenly Hot Dogs and more. Advance tickets are $25 at, $35 at the door.

The suds will also flow at the seventh annual Brews Around the Zoo event 6-10 p.m. April 5. For $40, you can stagger and sway around the Sanford Zoo with the finest beers from Magic Hat, Sweetwater, Southern Tier and more in hand. More at

Closer to home, Leu Gardens director (and vegetable garden guru) Robert Bowden hosts a Tuscan cooking class at the gardens’ Courtyard Kitchen 6-8:30 p.m. April 9. Cost is $25.

Six of the finest chefs in Central Florida gather under the same roof at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, for a panel discussion. Norman Van Aken moderates Behind the Line: Heard, Chef! with Kathleen Blake (Rusty Spoon), Scott Hunnel (Victoria and Albert’s), Brandon McGlamery (Luma/Prato), Hari Pulapaka (Cress) and John Rivers (4Rivers/The Coop) as panelists. Admission is free, but seats are limited. Call 407-236-6566 for reservations.

Be sure to check out Locally Fresh! at Enzian Theater April 5 during the Florida Film Festival. The lunch tasting of local eats ($11) is followed by a video presentation on our local farms; the lunch and movie are followed by a farmers market on the Enzian lawn.

At the Rosen Shingle Creek, the Cattle Barons Ball goes from 6 p.m. to midnight April 12. Tickets are $250 per person. At the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, the fifth annual Cabaret and Cabernet takes place 6-10 p.m. the same date. Tickets are $65.


Look for two Cheddar’s Casual Cafés to open on East Colonial and on South Semoran near the airport … The newly expanded Café de Paris has reopened in Dr. Phillips … Minus5 Ice Bar opens in Pointe Orlando sometime next month – I’m sure it’ll get a chilly reception from the similarly themed ICEBAR Orlando just up the road.

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