A delicious look at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging trade show

From the experts at Attractions Magazine…

The annual Florida Restaurant Association trade show was in Orlando this weekend. Owners, managers, chefs and students from all over the state were here to try the latest food from suppliers, and to be inspired to prepare the best food in the world.

Above is the dessert portion of the Loews Royal Pacific team entry in one of the professional competitions. It’s a Banana Brulee Tart, with Dark Chocolate Mousse, Peach Sorbet and Strawberry Coulis.

Students also entered in the culinary competition. This student is putting the final touches on the salad course.

Here’s the salad entry for that team. Looks very interesting and different.

The dessert course of the same team entry.

Each entry had an appetizer, a salad, an entre and a dessert.

Above, the complete student entry, and below is the dessert course.

Another great-looking student dessert.

Above and below, great-looking student entres.

An intriguing student salad.

The judges share words of encouragement to the students. The students seemed to have prepared outstanding meals.

Some of the entries in the chocolate competition. Each of these chocolate sculptures is about three feet tall!

Most of the show floor at the Orange County Convention Center hall was a vendor showcase, often with live demonstrations.

A popular booth was the Wisconsin Cheese, where several small cheese makers offered tasty samples.

One of the tastiest Wisconsin cheeses was this Cranberry Chipolte Cheddar Cheese.

There were a few other cheese vendors at the show and dozens of cheeses to sample.

Small samples were also available of many kinds of baked goods and prepared desserts.

The show had a special section of first-time vendors. Among the things to discover was a vendor selling chocolate pizza! One of the best flavors of the chocolate pizza was Sangria, and it was heavy with bits of fruit.

Also in the first-time exhibitor showcase was this vendor of edible real flower garnishes.

Another great find in the showcase were Yucca Fries!

Be on the lookout for these hand-crafted ice cream sandwiches.

The samples of these ice cream sandwiches were very professionally distributed in a small sealed cup, right from the freezer.


Note: the Florida Restaurant and Lodging trade show ended Sept 24th and it was not open to the general public.


Disney: Where to eat in the parks

After visiting all 4 major resort areas and partaking in countless rides and attractions, it’s only a matter of time before families vacationing at Walt Disney World work up ravenous appetites. And there’s no shortage of dining options here! Known for making dreams come true, Disney has managed to accommodate the tastes and needs of its visitors with an array of fabulous restaurants — below are our favorite picks.

Best All-Around Character Meal
Chef Mickey’s Restaurant

At the Contemporary Resort in the Magic Kingdom, kids will adore Chef Mickey’s Restaurant as they dine among their favorite Disney celebrities — Chef Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and even Chip ‘n’ Dale. As the characters mingle among tables entertaining their wide-eyed guests, families can line up for a mouthwatering buffet filled with goodies including prime rib, peel ‘n’ eat shrimp and the chef’s seasonal entrees. You can even make your own cupcake at Goofy’s cupcake bar.

Best Dinner Show
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

Disney’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a not-to-be-missed toe-tappin’, hand-clappin’, all-you-can-eat Wild West extravaganza! Six performers keep the crowd in stitches with their array of Hee Haw-style high jinks, corny jokes and singalongs. Audience participation is 1 of the show’s many highlights, culminating in the hilarious hoedown finale.

Best Themed Restaurant
50’s Prime Time Cafe

At ’50s Prime Time Cafe in MGM Studios, diners find themselves eating a home-cooked meal amid a kitchen straight from a ’50s sitcom set. Classic kitsch like pull-down lamps and knickknacks are sure to leave some diners nostalgic as they chow on their home-style meals.

Best View for Fireworks Displays
California Grill
Atop the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the elegant California Grill, boasting sprawling vistas of Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon and Cinderella’s Castle. This spectacular view has granted the restaurant prestige as one of the premiere venues from which to watch the park’s nightly Wishes fireworks display. The fireworks show lasts approximately 6 minutes and commences with Tinkerbell soaring from the highest point of the castle and over the crowds below.

Most Luxurious Dining Spot
Victoria & Albert’s

Guests will enjoy a royally exquisite meal – this intimate 5-diamond restaurant seats only 65 people, so make reservations well in advance. Each party is assigned their own host and hostess (named Victoria and Albert, of course!), rich velvets and linens drape the furniture, Royal Doulton china decorates the tables and a harpist serenades the crowd. The 7-course menu is customized daily by award-winning chef Scott Hunnel.