Casual Foodie

Food Blog Forum Orlando – The Food

Food Blog Forum Orlando – The Food

Last week I gave you a bit of a rundown of the actual conference that was the whole point of Food Blog Forum – Orlando. Now we’re going to talk food. Because what kind of food blogger conference doesn’t include lots and LOTS of food?

So. Much. Food. I really dislike the use of periods as emphasis, but there really was just that much food. A full stop between words is needed to iterate just how much they fed us at Food Blog Forum.

Because of the huge number of photos in this post, I’m going to set up this post a little differently than I normally do. I’m going to talk first, dump pics after. I figure it’ll be easier to keep track of my words if they’re all in one place. I know you’re just here for the food, so I’ll keep it short.

Friday night opened the conference with a blogger meet and greet dinner hosted by The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World where they treated us to a tasting of the new menu at their lake-side restaurant PB&G. Passed apps, a buffet of Southern-style food, and a dessert bar left us all completely stuffed.

Saturday morning bright and early we were greeted at The Contemporary with a special tasting of local Florida strawberries. Call me dense but I never even thought about different varieties of strawberries. Apples, peaches, oranges, sure, but I hadn’t thought about different strawberry varieties and the differences in their flavor and texture. This little tasting surprised me with just how different each strawberry variety tasted!

Lunch…lunch was the stuff of foodie dreams. You know on those cooking shows like Top Chef and Masterchef when the contestants put together amazing small dishes to serve a lucky group of VIPs? We were those VIPs. Every time I saw one of those episodes I wished that I could be one of the lucky people tasting the food, and Food Blog Forum and Walt Disney World granted that wish!

The head chefs of some of the most popular restaurants on Disney World property came together to serve us some of the signature dishes from their restaurants. It was surreal, and I wish I had taken pictures with each of the chefs. At least I got photos of the chefs to prove it happened. 😉  The food was beautiful and so much better than I’ve imagined “theme park food” could be. I tried everything and even went back for seconds. I guess that makes me a glutton. O.O I’ll pray for forgiveness.

How can you top that experience, right? Oh wait, Orlando wasn’t done with us.

Monday took us to East End Market where they not only opened the whole market just for us, but each merchant set up a tasting of one of their dishes or products…on the first level. On the upper level they had a group of James Beard nominated chefs waiting to serve us a tasting of their food as well. Crazy, right? I wish had had more time there because I didn’t get to taste everything or check out the market in its entirety. I was busy having too much fun with my girls Gretchen and Lindsay. What I did taste was so good, and I left having gained a few pounds for sure. Next time we’re back in the Orlando area, I’m heading back to East End Market for sure because it’s just my kind of place!


steak frites, ahi tuna poke, eggs with eggs in an egg (deviled eggs with caviar), red velvet skewers and strawberry shortcake from PB&G at The Four Seasons at Walt Disney World.


Florida local strawberry varieties.


Top left“power salad” – kale, chard, chicory, radicchio, broccoli, brussel sprouts, quinoa, goat cheese, toasted sliced almonds and dried sour cherries with spiced honey vinaigrette
Sunshine Seasons – Epcot
Chef Charles Dolson
Bottom rightsauteed shrimp and scallops with seasonal vegetables and mushrooms served in puff pastry with a creamy lobster sauce
Be Our Guest Restaurant – Magic Kingdom Park
Chef Mark Norberg


Zig zag from top left:
local wild ocean shrimp, risotto di carnaroli alla frutti di mare
Flying Fish Cafe – Disney’s BoardWalk
Chef Tim Keating

wild striped bass with tiny potatoes, sweet corn puree, romanesco, shiitakes and warm tomato-pickled mustard seed vinaigrette
Narcoossee’s – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Chef Dennis Thompson

{repeat of wild shrimp}

roasted baby beets with pear, goat’s milk feta, toasted pistachio and petit greens
Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot
Chef Robby Sayles

braised beef “bolognese” with house-made cavatelli
Trattoria al Forno – Disney’s BoardWalk
Chef Christian Rumpler

braised pork belly with goat cheese polenta and country applesauce
California Grill – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Chef Brian Piasecki

spicy tuna tartare with cucumber and radish salad, avocado wasabi sauce and lotus root chips
The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Chef Craig Schleider

chocolate pudding cake with chocolate-hazelnut sauce and mint cream
florida strawberry-orange cake with champagne sorbet
Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes


roast tomazin farms beet, turtle creek goat cheese, Florida citrus, my yard farm micros, garden thyme
K Restaurant
Chef Kevin Fonzo


caramel pecan mini pie and strawberry basil mini pie
P is for Pie
Chef Tara Gould


mini chicken n’ waffles with signature bourbon maple syrup
Chef John Rivers

{Sidenote: If you remember my post about Roscoe’s in Southern California, I admitted I didn’t really “get” the whole chicken and waffles combo.  I asked Chef John about the soft waffle (as these were soft as well), and he said that that was definitely intentional to give texture contrast to the crispy fried chicken. I still don’t get why chicken and waffles is so hyped, BUT this version tasted delicious, especially with that bourbon maple syrup.}


Left: vanilla bean lavender biscuits
Se7en Bites
Right: sausage & grits – house made smoked kielbasa, royal red shrimp sausage, tomato and pepper jack grits
The Smiling Bison
Chef Josh Oakley


Left: sunflower seed sprouts
Right: canaveral shrimp toasts with pickled kumquat
The Rusty Spoon
Chef Kathleen Blake

{Sidenote: Those sprouted sunflower seeds were so interesting! You eat the whole sprout, and it tasted just like a sunflower seed.}


Cask & Larder


Cask & Larder

{I feel horrible, but I didn’t take a photo of the descriptions of all this Cask & Larder goodness. I believe the bottom picture is of Cuban sandwich scones and duck pastrami with caviar, but I can’t tell you what everything else is. Food blogger fail.}


Clockwise from top left:
cheese grits topped with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese from La Femme Du Fromage
earl grey tea cake from Fatto In Casa
stuffed french toast grilled cheese from La Femme Du Fromage


bacon and yogurt + kumquats from Local Roots
a look inside East End Market

This event really was a foodie’s dream. I left feeling so spoiled and quite a bit fluffier. 😛

Special ups to FBFOrl organizers Julie and Lindsay and to the event sponsors Walt Disney WorldVisit OrlandoPB&G at The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, Kitchen AidFlorida Dairy FarmersOXO and Sabra.

{While this was a sponsored event, my attendance was not sponsored, and all opinions are my own.}

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