[PHOTO] Chef’s Gala Preview

Now in its 24th year, Heart of Florida United Way’s Chef’s Gala is a premier food and wine pairing event that features dishes from 21 top Central Florida chefs.

United Way, Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical programs, has partnered with the Walt Disney World Resort each year of the event. Last year’s Chef’s Gala raised nearly $300,000 to support the United Way’s efforts in the community.

We recently got to take a look at some of the menu items that will be featured at the 2016 Chef’s Gala, and it’s looking like it will be a tasty evening.


Chef Mariano Vegel from Primo by Melissa Kelly prepared Peeky Toe Crab Salad on a Gougere, Lemon & Smoked Paprika Aioli, Shallots and Root Vegetable Chips. The root vegetable chips were made with ingredients straight from Primo’s garden.


Bull & Bear’s Chef Nicolas Lebas served Bull & Bear Beef Short Rib with Yukon Gold Mashed Potato. The short rib was braised in Syrah wine for six hours, leaving it nice and tender, and the creamy mashed potatoes were mixed with crème fraiche and butter.


Chef Jared Gross from Urban Tide made Loch Duart Salmon, Meyer Lemon Aioli, Green Apple Avocado Toast and Hot Pepper Jelly. This take on a bagel and lox was elevated with bold flavors.


The Ganachery’s Chef Amanda Lauder presented A Tasting of Chocolate Ganache. Referred to by Chef Lauder as an “edible chocolate garden,” a mini salted caramel macaron, raspberry ganache square and pistachio ganache square were plated on top of almond cocoa soil. Dots of calamondin seed curd, as well as edible flowers, playfully topped the dessert.

2016 participating establishments:

Artist Point, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
blu on the avenue
Bull & Bear, Waldorf Astoria Orlando
California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Coral Reef Restaurant, Epcot
Disney’s Grand Floridian Bakery
Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Universal Orlando
Fatto in Casa
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Jungle Skipper Canteen, Magic Kingdom Park
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Morimoto Asia, Disney Springs
Primo by Melissa Kelly, J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando
Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant
Sanaa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
STK Orlando, Disney Springs (opening soon)
The Ganachery, Disney Springs
The Wave… of American Flavors, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Todd English’s bluezoo, Walt Disney World’s Swan & Dolphin
Trattoria al Forno, Disney’s Boardwalk
Urban Tide, Hyatt Regency Orlando
Yachtsman Steakhouse, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

2016 event details:

When: May 21
Where: Epcot World Showcase
Time: 6:45-10 p.m.
Price: $275 for individual tickets, $500 for two tickets, $2,500 for a corporate package

Tickets for the Chef’s Gala can be purchased at ChefsGala.org


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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