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Keith Fogarty is a 20-year veteran of the restaurant industry in both Boston and Orlando and spent 10 years in operations in the travel industry working for Smart Destinations. Keith also spent several years in the craft beer industry in New England, specifically with the Brooklyn Brewery. It was on a business visit in Miami when he took his first food tour and thought this would be something really neat to start in Orlando. Introducing Celebrate Food Tours!!
If you don’t live here, one may think of the food scene in Orlando as turkey legs at theme parks (I do partake in one occasionally) and chain restaurants. But the Orlando food scene has been evolving spectacularly both in the local farm to table with our multitude of great chefs and in the celebrity chef restaurant offerings. Ok, you want specific foods. Gator tail, conch, rock shrimp, key lime pie and of course our Florida oranges are the usual delicious suspects.
Well of course Celebration and Winter Garden because of our food tours but there are several others where you’ll feel miles away from the theme parks if that’s what you choose. Winter Park feels a bit like Boston, historic Sanford on the St. John’s River and Thornton and College Park really speak to the word neighborhood to name a few. Each are distinctly different and offer not only diverse dining options but have a neat historical past.
From a local’s point of view, Fall is the best time to visit as the summer crowds have shrunken a bit. But please remember, our perspective of the “slow season” may be skewed as 65 million visitors annually visit Orlando! The weather is a bit cooler around mid October which makes walking the “City Beautiful” much more enjoyable. It’s also the time of the EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival as well as tons of local food events.
The aforementioned EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival runs from mid September through mid November and the Annual Strawberry Festival in Plant City which is halfway between Orlando and Tampa, is the 1st 2 weeks of March. Both include great concert lineups to compliment the great food.
We are brand new and started running our Taste of Celebration tour in August. Celebration is a Walt Disney inspired All-American town just minutes from most of the theme parks. It’s beautifully designed around a town center which has a plethora of great restaurants. Our tour stops at 5 of them and is almost a progressive lunch tasting which includes a bit of history, architecture, culture, and fun facts.Tastings include a Spanish restaurant, a New England Seafood Tavern, a boutique hotel, a wine room and of course dessert. But honestly our main goal is lots of fun and laughs!! Coming soon is the Taste of Winter Garden Tour.
Mariana Kavroulaki is experimental archaeologist- food historian & founder of Greek Culinary History and Cooking Adventures. GCH&CA explores the evolution of Greek cuisine throughout the centuries and the relationship between food and art as participatory performance with socio-historical focus. Her work takes many forms, including pop-up dinners, experiments, lectures, historic cooking courses, edible installations, and food walking tours. On the walking tours, the participants do not only eat but also explore the tales behind the foods and the preparation of each food item. She is the author of a Gourmand award-winning cookbook (The Language of Taste) and the founder and organizer of the biennial Symposia of Greek Gastronomy (conference).
The edible wild greens (horta) and the edilbe weeds play a vital role in the Cretan diet. Chania boast many varieties of them. According to the season, they are eaten raw or boiled, put in pies or stewed with meat or fish. Don’t miss askolimbrous (Scolymus Hispanicus) and stamnagathi (Chicorium Spinosum). Blanched or raw, with extra virgin olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice, they can make your salad a luxury item. Cooked with lamb or octopus and egg-lemon sauce, they make delicious dishes. With a bitter flavor, the young shoots of avronies (black byrony) pairs very well with octopus or eggs. Horta Yahni, a stew of wild greens with chopped onions, wild fennel and lemon juice is another tasty dish based on greens. Octopus and cuttlefish fresh from the Cretan sea are incredibly tasty, boiled or grilled and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or cooked with wild fennel and green olives.
Askordoulakoi or vrovioi are actually the bulb of a tassel hyacinth, the muscari comosum. They are boiled and then pickled or preserved in olive oil. They are thought to stimulate the appetite.
The ever-popular dakos is known by regional names throughout Crete. What is it? Barley rusks lightly soaked in water to soften them and topped with grated fresh tomato, black olives and mizithra, the local creamy sheep or/and goat’s milk cheese. They are drizzled with virgin olive oil and dusted with salt and oregano. The highly aromatic bitter orange is a favorite of Chania’s cuisine. Its peel can be candied, is used in sweets, pies and salads and is turned into a typical spoon sweet (neratzaki glyko). Its juice is used as preservation for olives and gives a unique flavor to one of most popular legume dishes: chickpeas cooked with onion, olive oil and bitter orange juice.
Snails have been eaten since ancient times. In Chania they are cooked in many different ways but you definitely have to try the hohlioi boubouristoi which means snails with their heads looking down. They are sauteed in olive oil with sea salt, rosemary, garlic and are simmered down with wine vinegar.
Apaki is an excellent salt, vinegar, and smoke –cured pork meat. The final product tastes of the fresh herbs which were used to smoke it. As the name ‘gamopilafo’ hints (gamos means ‘wedding’ in Greek) this rice dish is traditionally offered in many regions of Chania as the main dish of the wedding feast. Nowadays you will find it also in many tavernas of Chania. It is a pilaf prepared in a rich broth that you make from simmering goat and hen or rooster. Lemon juice and local butter are added before the pilafi is completely done. Its taste relies especially on the high quality of the local meat and on the aroma of the local butter used (stakovoutyro).
Staka comes from the separation of butter (stakovoutyro) from the milk solids by adding a little flour during heating the creamy skin that forms on the top of the fresh goat’s or/and sheep’s milk. It is eaten still warm, sprinkled with lemon juice.
Chania is well known for its pies. Tourta is a very rich pie used to be eaten only at Easter although now you can find it all year round. Tourta has pieces of lamb – or a whole lamb- between layers of local cheeses and phyllo.
Boureki is also a pie. The word derives from Turkish but the Chaniotiko Boureki is a speciality of Chania. There are many variations of it so it can consist of layers of zuchini or pumpkin, mizithra (local fresh cheese) and mint. It can be made with or without tomatoes, with or without a layer of phyllo dough.
Kalitsounia are small pies. They can be round, semicircular, rectangular or triangular; they are made up of phyllo and are filled with local soft cheese or greens or a mixture of them. They can be sweet or savory and are fried, oven baked or baked on “satsi” which is a domed metal piece that sits over the fire.
One type of pie, the Sfakiani pita, isn’t found only around Sfakia but even in the city of Chania. It looks like a pancake with soft cheese kneaded into the dough and is served with thyme honey.
Wild fennel pie, Marathopita, also looks like a pancake filled with chopped fennel and onions. Bougatsa is the iconic food symbol of Chania. It is made with crusty phyllo pastry and filled with fresh soft cheese. It is served cut up into small pieces, sprinkled with sugar and optionally, cinnamon.
Chania is famous for its cheeses. Graviera is made with sheep’s milk and resembles Swiss gruyere; its best quality is aged in caves in the White Mountains for at least six months. You can have it as a snack with a piece of bread or paximadi (rusk), in salads, fried, with fruits (especially with fresh figs and grapes) or sprinkled with good quality honey. Mizithra is a soft, creamy, white cheese. It is made with sheep’s and/or goat’s milk. It is consumed on the table, as a spread on bread and rusk, in salads, over pasta, in sweet and savory pie fillings, as a filling in rabbit and chicken dishes.
One very unusual cheese is malaka (=soft). It is white, very milky and elastic – sort of like mozzarella. It is mainly eaten in Easter pies. The mixture of mizithra and malaka is used in tourta and Easter kalitsouni. Apart from sfakiani pita and bougatsa, another dessert to snap up is xerotigana, etherial pastry ribbons that are coiled around a fork as they are deep fried. They come dipped in honey syrup and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The best time to visit Chania is in late spring – early summer, because it’s the very beginning of the touring season and nothing is crowded. Also, it’s just after the rainy season, and the gardens are bursting with flowers!
Agricultural August is an annual event taking place for the last 13 years in Chania. It is organised to promote the agricultural food- products of the region. Visitors can taste and buy a lot of local products.
Crete has a long sardine fishing tradition so sardine festival is as popular with Chania visitors as it is with locals. It is celebrated each year in early September on Nea Chora beach, just a short walk from the Venetian harbour of Chania.
Chania has 4 weekly farmer markets (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday) at different locations. They are great places to buy fresh locally grown fruit and vegetables, cheeses and herbs from small producers at low prices but even if you don’t buy it will give you a glimpse of local life. The markets run from early morning until around 14.30.
Yannis Tsivourakis, the executive chef at the five-star Minoa Hotel, modernises traditional Cretan cuisine. He is one of the few chefs who uses olive oil almost exclusively as the main ingredient for his dishes. Also, he is very fond of humble and underestimated ingredients. Iosif Petrov, executive chef at the restaurant of Serenissima hotel, creates avant garde dishes combining local ingredients and recipes with french techniques. South of Chania, in the small traditional village of Drakona, Stelios Trilirakis, chef-patron at Ntounias, honours traditional Cretan cuisine and the methods of Slow Food.
They can expect tasty food tastings, food history, politics and culture. Since Arabs, Jews, Venetians, Ottomans, Greeks from Asia Minor and immigrants have passed through Chania, adding their flavors to the local cuisine, they will follow their trail. Therefore, they will experience a multisensory food event and a short lesson in ancient cooking, they will be treated to historic foods made according to ancient and medieval recipes and will taste delectable delicacies from one-of-a-kind specialty food shops while enjoying the opportunity to understand better the culinary history of the city.
Andre Arriaza is passionate about sharing food, simply because it has giving him so much about cultures and people, there has been always something new and great to learn and try, and moreover to connect with. So far, according to Andre, food unites and thats unique in nowadays world, a fact that is now he exercise every week with the curious foodie who joins Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours. We asked him a few questions…
Pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomato). An art on itself and an identity to Catalan people. Bread rubbed with garlic, tomato, olive oil and a pinch of salt in that very same order Escalivada. Eggplant and Bell Peppers cooked in ashes served with a generous amount of olive oil are the ingredients of this perfect pairing to Pa amb Tomaquet Crema Catalana. Burned cream recipe unique to Catalonia as the custard is flavored with orange zest and cinnamon, and the sugar caramelized under an iron boiler. Catanies. Locally grown almonds which are toasted and covered by caramel, white chocolate and powdered black chocolate. A perfect pair with cava or coffee. Vermut. Indispensable drink if you want to go for tapas in Barcelona. It is basically a type of fortified wine flavored with herbs. Pair it olives or clams and anchovies.
All of them! Why, because each Barcelona neighborhood is unique. Nevertheless to answer your question, I give you my favorite ones and the reason why i choose them: – Sant Antoni and Poblesec. This is where I got to know Barcelona 12 years ago. These are two neighborhoods that have been always flying below the radar, the place that is close to Barcelona bustling center which is not invaded by massive tourism and where the locals just live and enjoy life at their own pace. Moreover, the gastronomic offer has been always amazing, and more these days with famous chefs settling their restaurants there. Unique! – Barceloneta. Beyond the noise of the city center, this is the place that turns its back to Barcelona and reveal itself on a distinctive atmosphere linked to its past as a fisherman village. I really love strolling around its windy narrow streets, smelling fish and seafood based recipes prepared everywhere and getting the first glimpse of what the Mediterranean sea has to offer us. Amazing! – Left side of Eixample. This is the side, close to the city center, that is glamorous and concentrates most of Barcelona top restaurants within a distinctive representation of day to day life in the city. I really love the trendy places that share their offer with the old renowned eateries that didn’t see time passing by. Superb!
Funny question, Barcelona host a fantastic weather all year long. Even in winter some people go into the sea, and moreover its proximity to the Pyrenees makes it a top attraction during winter (sky during the day, sleep by the sea at night), and no comments about spring and summer – we all like wearing flip flops and t-shirts day and night.
Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours celebrates people that are passionate about food by providing customers a culinary and cultural experience in fascinating neighborhoods of this city, exposing them to the way locals eat, source their food and embrace its culture in a sustainable way. Did you hear about the famous Mediterranean diet? well, that´s showcased in our food tour! We provide a remarkable experience to taste the local life through best Barcelona restaurateurs and business owners who are part of the districts history, and moreover, the ones making this adventure feasible.These eateries and specialty stores which use locally sourced ingredients and fresh products, a represent the most environmentally and nutritionally responsible choice to make while choosing tasty and healthy food.
Midgi Moore is food writer and blogger living in Juneau, Alaska. She owns Juneau Food Tours, a culinary walking tour highlighting wild Alaskan seafood.
Juneau is a small, land-locked city. With the ocean to the west and the mountains to the east, we have an abundance of delicious food offerings. We are most known for our wild Alaskan seafood. In the southeast Alaska area, we have all five species of salmon, dungeness crab, rockfish, halibut, spot prawns, and the luxurious sable fish. Diners in Juneau are treated to some of the best seafood one can imagine, prepared by gifted and creative chefs.
Typically summer is the most popular time to visit Juneau. Our visitor season is May – September, when many of the attractions are ope for example, sport fishing, whale watching, and flight seeing. Juneau Food Tours operates a walking tour during this time, with six tasting locations and eight tastings total. We focus on the seafood, but also include locally produced charcuterie, as well as locally brewed beer. We also offer a winter option from mid-December to the end of March. This is a progressive dinner with a prohibition theme. It has three courses, each at a different location, and three cocktails, because it’s prohibition! Most of our popular restaurants are open year-round, so finding a great meal isn’t too difficult. Juneau is only a two hour flight from Seattle, so any time of year is a great time to visit.
We are so proud of our local chefs. Chef Lionel Uddipa, chef de cuisine at SALT is a local boy who has lived here since he was two years old. He studied at Cordon Bleu in Atlanta. From there he honed his craft interning (stodging as it’s known in the restaurant world) in James Beard award winning restaurants such as Tru and Next in Chicago and the three-star Michelin rated Alinea, also in Chicago. He brings a sophisticated avant garde flare to the dining scene and we are fortunate to have him. SALT is favorite stop on our summer and winter tours. Another chef on the rise is Chef Beau Schooler, who, with his business partner, Travis Smith, owns and operates four eateries: The Rookery Cafe, Taqueriea, In Boca al Lupo, and Panhandle Provisions, which is featured on our summer tour. Chef Beau is creative talent in the kitchen and has been nominated twice for James Beard Rising Star. He is a nose-to-tail chef, which means he uses all of the animal. In 2015, Chef Beau won the Great American Seafood Cook-Off with his nose-to-tail salmon. This dish included a salt made from the ground fish bones, as well as his trademark salmon chorizo. if you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience, The Rookery is the place to go. The third chef to keep an eye on is Vienetia Santana of V’s Cellar Door. V is a fusion chef who blends earthy flavors of Latin and Mexican food with spicy and rich flavors of the Asian and Korean cultures. Her must have dish is her fusion nachos, which blends these two flavor profiles into one amazing dining experience. For our summer tour, V provides halibut fusion nachos. They are a guest and a local favorite.
People can expect the best of Alaskan food and Juneau. We pair the tasty side of Juneau with the fun and colorful side through sharing history and fun facts. The walk isn’t too far, only 1.2 miles because all the great places are close to one another. We don’t feel like you need to walk all over town to get great food and to experience Juneau. Each tour is guided by a local resident, who lives in Juneau year-round. Our tour isn’t a “touristy” tour, we take you where we go, where we eat, where we have a beer with our friends. It’s off the beaten path of where most visitors tread.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours was founded by Las Vegas restaurant industry professionals with years of experience working in top-rated restaurants. With our exclusive connections and tireless research combing through menus, blogs, editorials, and respected dining reviews, we’ve uncovered the little-known gems and hideaways both on the Strip and off-the-beaten path that truly make Vegas one of the most eclectic dining scenes around. We asked Donald Contursi of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours some questions about the Las Vegas food scene.
Every major resort has their own Steakhouse; Asian, Italian, American, Celebrity Chef, along with other great dining options. Get to know Vegas’ newly revitalized downtown and visit the most magnetic, chef-driven restaurants that are all about farm-to-table, seasonally-focused, artisan-crafted fare. Chef-Owned Gems Off The Strip: Fat Choy Viva Las Arepas DW Bistro Yonaka Other Mama Lotus Of Siam Flock & Fowl District One The Goodwich El Dorado.
Vegas Uncork’d Great American Foodie Fest Las Vegas Epicurean Affair Life Is Beautiful The Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival Las Vegas Greek Food Festival Las Vegas San Gennaro Feast Pure Aloha Festival.
Josh Smith Geno Bernardo Bradley Manchester Brian Malarkey Sheridan Su Dan Khromer John Chien Lee.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours hosts award winning food tours in Las Vegas with visits of up to 5 of the top restaurants on the Strip or Downtown. Our guests consistently state their Lip Smacking Foodie Tour is “the best thing they have done in Las Vegas”. Guests receive immediate seating, VIP service, 3-4 signature dishes at every restaurant and a guided walking tour between stops packed with insider information on Las Vegas and the sights along the way.
Gourmet burger concepts; Social plates; Celebrity chefs; Chef-owned gems off the Strip
Dwight Furrow, the author of American Foodie: Taste, Art, and the Cultural Revolution, talks about the philosophy of food. We discuss everything the impact of everything from automobile to Alice Waters to the Slow Food movement have shaped the way Americans think about food.
Inbal Baum, the Founder of Delicious Israel, joins us to talk about where foodies should eat when they travel to her country.
Bennet Jacobstein, author of The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine, talks to us about what foodies can find at different baseball stadiums around the country.
Veggie Happy spearheaded the movement to get veggie dogs sold at ballpark stadiums.
Here’s what Bennet recommends you try at each ballpark:
Busch Stadium in St. Louis: The BBQ.
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