Ever wonder where chefs find the spices or delicacies like cremini mushrooms for their delectable dishes? Orlando has some hidden gardens that supply their chefs de Cuisine with some lovely fruits and vegetables they incorporate into their fare. Here are some local finds:
K Restaurant and Wine Bar, located in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood, is one of the first establishments to advertise local ingredients and has a menu that changes daily to reflect the seasons. This restaurant has been featured as one of “America’s Top Restaurants” and “Best Restaurants in Orlando.” K restaurant operates without the walk-in cooler; instead they converted their backyard into a fresh herb and vegetable garden which they regularly use in the menu.
Head out to the Whisper Creek Farm located at The Grande Lakes Orlando Resorts. Whisper Creek Farm boats a 7,000-square-foot garden, which produces more than a dozen types of fruits, herbs and vegetables. This 11,000-square-foot outdoor event space creates an authentic farm experience for groups of up to 250. This farm also provides many of the ingredients for restaurants such as Whisper Creek Kitchen, located at The JW Marriott. The garden allows the resorts to integrate local and sustainable products into many of their dishes.
This fall, the Orange County Convention Center will serve food grown on property in an all-natural environment. The 2,300 square-foot Vision Garden located in the Westwood Lobby of the convention center will be ready to grow herbs, edible flowers, and non-root vegetables such as cabbage and spinach. This concept will help serve green cuisines and provide additional sustainable and healthy produce options to our locals.
Come together to Txokos to eat, drink, socialize and experience fresh local ingredients that are plucked right from the gardens at East End market in the Audubon Park area, north of Orlando. Experience the kitchen bar with a view of the chefs at work, the Asador bar which is in front of the wood-burning grill, and a farm table choice that seats up to 8 people.
Crimson Tavern in the Marriott Lakeside offers fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients for their ever changing menu. This “farm to table” restaurant uses everything from eggplant to pumpkin from their 2,500 square foot Chef’s Garden in their original recipes. There’s also a smoker in the back where they make their own bacon! This American Gastro Tavern is perfect for a small event for up to 20 people. The outdoor chef’s garden seats 60 for receptions and 45 for formal dining.