Let's Get This Party Previewed!: Orlando Area Chefs Celebrated Central Florida While Looking Forward to ICC

by Sean Kenniff
Brian Adams
July 2013

The Rusty Spoon
55 West Church Street
Orlando, FL 32801


Sweet and Hot Australian Lamb BBQ, Smoky Grits Fritter, and Pickled Vegetables
Chef Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon

Australian Beef Flank Pastrami, BBQ Chicken Liver, Honey Braised Turnips, and Spiced Granola
Chefs Alexia & Rhys Gawlak, Cuts And Crafts

Australian Lamb Merguez, Quince Marmalade, Cocoa Nibbles, and Warm Radish Salad
Chef De Cuisine Derek Perez, Luma on the Park

Scmozza and Bone Marrow Cavatelli, Australian Short Rib “Brasato di Barolo,” Sunchoke Fritto, and Red Vein Sorrel
Chef De Cuisine Matthew Cargo, Prato

Rabbit Run Passionfruit and Chocolate Cannoli
Pastry Chef Brian Cernell, Luma on the Park and Prato

The Slippery Pickle: Nolet’s, Rosemary-infused Smoked Pineapple, Spicy Dill Pickle
Mixologist Brian Minkel, The Woods

(Bar provided by Nolet’s Finest Finest Gins, Boyd & Blair Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, Brewery Ommegang, and Duvel Brewery)

A special thanks to Australian Beef, Australian lamb, Steelite International, Jade, Daesang, PreGel America, servewise by FOH for providing the disposable plateware, and to all the event sponsors.

Back in February, when the weather in central Florida was at its best, Chef Kathleen Blake welcomed the best of the Orlando area’s restaurant scene to her much-loved public house, The Rusty Spoon, as host of the 8th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress Preview Party at the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers show. She served heaps of hospitality and smoky grits with Australian lamb barbecue and pickles.

Her co-hosts included noted chefs of the region’s proudly farm-centric food community. Chefs Alexia and Rhys Gawlak of Cuts and Crafts brought their Australian beef flank pastrami, barbecued chicken livers, honey braised turnips, and spiced granola to the pot-luck style soirée. Chef Brandon McGlamery and Chef de Cuisine Luma on Park plated Australian lamb merguez with quince marmalade, cocoa nibs, and warm radish salad. Matthew Cargo, chef de cuisine at Prato, offered “scmozza” and bone marrow cavatelli with Barolo-braised short ribs, sunchoke fritto, and red vein sorrel. Luma and Prato’s shared pastry chef, Brian Cernell, sweetened the pot with his Rabbit Run Farm passionfruit and chocolate cannoli. Acoustic guitarist Matthew Fowler provided the music for the convivial late-night event.

Matthew Fowler

Matthew Fowler


Tipples were tendered by Mixos Bryan Ahlstrand of The Rusty Spoon and Brian Minkel of The Woods. Brewery Ommegang, Duvel brewery, Nolet’s Finest Gins, Boyd & Blair Vodka, and Bulleit Bourbon stocked the lively bar. Minkel poured a provocative cocktail of Nolet’s and rosemary-infused smoked pineapple juice spiked with a spicy baby dill pickle dubbed The Slippery Pickle. However, the friendly crowd—full of familiar faces from the central Florida food clique—required little liquid lubricant to get the celebration going. Guests ranged from farmers to food lovers and professionals alike. Contacts and conversation were shared, insiders mingled with enthusiastic diners, and ideas and inspiration spread as easily as the contagious laughter.

The festive culinary crew will meet again this fall at the ICC in New York City, where the conversation and celebration will continue on a national level—with a healthy dose of competition and even larger sense of occasion.