When Gerald Bennett began work as head chef at the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland, he was accustomed to whipping up dishes for celebrity clientele. But when the royal family of Dubai came to visit and he served them in their opulent suite, he never thought they'd ask him to leave with them as their personal chef. Since returning to the states and stepping into his role as the president of the Private Chef Association, Gerald has worked to bring his gastronomic prowess to the masses through Food Fun Adventure’s classes and tours. He passes along a visible passion for culinary fusion, which shines through in dishes blending French and Thai or American and German influences.
Culinary tours take participants to local sushi houses, steak houses, and bistros, each highlighting specialty dishes. When head chefs come out to greet their visitors, they often divulge culinary secrets and answer questions about curfew hours for free-range ingredients while doling out tapas and other small plates.
In a more hands-on culinary experience, customers gather in classes and learn to refine dishes based on a chosen theme. Using mostly local and organic ingredients in two kitchen classrooms, chefs show students how to craft delicacies such as scallion waffles with orange-zest chicken and tagine-roasted rack of lamb. In one kitchen, which doubles as an art gallery, knives flick through ingredients, and pots clatter at island stations and small burners. The company’s event center, Heaven, fills with chatter as up to 40 pairs of students filter in. Beneath projectors for screening chef demonstrations and documentaries about the life of a paring knife, separate kitchens equipped with ovens and burners fill with the bustle of creation, which gives way to reverent exhalations as patrons finally sample the fruits of their labor.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Whether you are a rookie that burns everything or are a gourmet cook in the kitchen, you'll have some fun trying new recipes and enjoying fine wine with other singles and couples. Arriving at our hands-on class, you'll find a variety of stations set up for easy, intermediate or advanced cooks.
What can a student expect in one of your classes?
Most Food & Wine Cooking Society events will be themed dinners that include appetizers, salads, entrees and dessert. Dinners range from classic menus to exotic, ethnic and adventurous fare. The only things you need to bring are a friendly attitude and bottle of wine to share with the group.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Rose Forbes was owner and executive chef at Asheville, NC's first organic and eco-conscious B&B Inn. She is a self-taught experimental cook. Her love of entertaining and using cooking as a nurturing and creative outlet led her to create the Food and Wine Cooking Experience.
What do you love most about your job?
Meeting new people and watching them help each other create a meal together is incredibly rewarding.
I learn a lot from the Advanced Students and love to see a "rookie" accomplish a technique or take pride in a delicious dish they helped prepare.
At Orlando Bartending Academy, professional bartenders school future crops of drink slingers in a realistic bar atmosphere. The instructor-owned-and-operated facility's main draw is its 40-hour mixology course, which grants students bartending certification. It also covers alcohol awareness training and a flair seminar that teaches fledgling bartenders how to entertain customers without resorting to the popular bar trick of sawing guests in half. Small class sizes enable instructors to provide one-on-one attention, and job-placement assistance ensures students always have a place to apply their skills.
The professionals also educate home bartenders during couples' martini classes, teaching guests to make a lineup of popular martinis for delighting future dinner-party guests.
Cuisine Type: Contemporary American
Most popular offering: Pastas and steaks
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Alcohol: Beer and wine
Number of Tables: 11–25
Outdoor Seating: No
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: We are located inside the Orlando Live Events center.
To Gerald Bennett, executive chef at Artista Prime, food is art. The
only side dish he pairs with his art is, of course, more art. The upscale bistro doubles as an art gallery and concert venue, where diners get the chance to see the work of painters, poets, and musicians.
Sometimes, they even get the chance to interact with the artists one-on-one after a meal and show and finally prove to themselves that Mom was wrong about artists being no more real than the Tooth Fairy.
Much like the gallery's exhibitors, Chef Bennett's prix fixe menu changes monthly, as he redesigns
it around locally produced, seasonal ingredients. He partners with a local garden to acquire his produce and sources his meats from farms that practice both humane and sustainable agriculture. From these ingredients he creates his dishes, which have included such flavors as king salmon covered in a burned-honey and nectarine-jalepeño butter sauce and porcini-crusted racks of lamb. His sustainable practices don't end once the food is on plates; he consciously reduces waste in the kitchen, recycles packing materials, and composts the scraps of the meals he prepares.
Better Way Gourmet’s chefs know that sometimes, cooking delicious meals and maintaining a healthy diet seem like mutually exclusive goals. They disagree, of course, and set out to simplify the home cook’s task and encourage healthy eating with their chef-created recipes. Users can login to the site and peruse weekly menus wrought with seasonal, healthy ingredients and void of processed foods and preservatives. Each original meal plan packs at least one protein, carb, and vegetable, ensuring balanced and healthy nutrition for the entire family. In addition to providing recipes, the site rounds out healthy lifestyles with helpful articles and plenty of fitness tips and tricks, and even takes away the guess-work of shopping with an inventory of grocery products. Better Way Gourmet also provides customer service to address any concerns and walk clients through any problems. You can also plumb Better Way Gourmet's social community, blogs, reviews, and videos for help and inspiration.
Little Bites' squad of culinary craftspeople prepares menus that cull aspects of fine, globetrotting cuisine when catering events or teaching captive audiences how to cook. At private cooking lessons for children or adults, kitchen counters populate with ingredients and supplies that the chef unpacks before chopping methods and flavor profiles are explained. The same delicate hands that weave ingredients into dishes during lessons create complementary courses for dinner parties, food seminars, and wine tastings when called upon for catering services. Grub arrives customized for each event, whether sculpted into fun shapes for a youngster's birthday party or accompanied by flowers and soothing tunes at a romantic dinner for two. In addition to adjusting menus around the dietary, kosher, or vegetarian restrictions of their customers, Little Bites' chefs dispense suggestions to elevate feasts, such as which wines and velvet-rope colors pair best with the evening's food.