Cooking In Stilettos...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 A Night Out With Foodbuzz and Florida Foodies at Todd English's bluezoo...

Everyone is "buzzin'" about it and let me tell you - it was an event to be remembered. Last Saturday, yours truly, along with a fabulous group of Florida Foodbuzz Featured Publishers had an evening out at Todd English's bluezoo here in Orlando, Florida.

The event was amazing, to say the least. My buddy, SL, and I departed for all things Disney and something about the hotel just reminded me of Palm Beach. Calm, serene and decadent. The restaurant didn't disappoint either. We met up with a host of fabulous people and, after a cocktail at the bar, we were ushered into the private dining room (Squueeee!) and treated to a 6 course menu prepared by their executive chef that was to die for. OK, VIP at the club, I have to say that I'm spoiled. VIP at a fabu restaurant - just lead the way. Thank you!

The staff at bluezoo left no need unattended. Their waiters were attentive, the wine was flowing and the conversation was fabulous. Attending this lovely evening were Jenn of The Leftover Queen, Judy of No Fear Entertaining, Ingar of Taste Memory, Chris of Pickles & Cake, Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, Peter and Christey of Fotocuisine, Erin and Chris of The Olive Notes, Rachel of My Little Marshmellow, and Bryan of The Tattooed Gourmet. Also, joining the Florida crew was the uber fabulous Ryan of FoodBuzz and The Pink Spoon fame.

Now, you get this group together and fun is only the beginning.

I know you really want to hear about the food, though so, while these snaps were not professional (have you SEEN the photos on the other blogs - I so need to put back the stilettos and get a better camera), trust me when I say you are going to get a little hungry. The menu started off with:

AMUSE
clam…bacon ragout



My take: the bacon provided the perfect touch of smoke to something that was already near perfect.

The amuse was followed by:

FIRST COURSE
shrimp cocktail steamrollers…traditional garniture, modern form


My take: This was just stunning. I wish you could see it in person and, if you do get a chance to go to bluezoo, you MUST try. It's a deconstructed shrimp cocktail that was just divine. You have to see some of the other posts to see the hilarity that ensued as everyone had their "shot".

This was followed by:

SECOND COURSE

beet salad…candied walnuts, goat cheese fondue

My take: OK, I have to be honest. The salad was just fine but I am NOT a fan of beets. I don't think I ever have been. It's just me. That's all.

This was followed by:

THIRD COURSE

spice route char...curried beluga lentils, zhataar carrot, yogurt spill


My take: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this dish. Did I tell you I loved this dish?? The char was perfectly cooked. The sauce had the right amount of spice and the carrots and lentils were flavorful. If I could pester the chef for the recipe, I would.

This was followed by:

FOURTH COURSE

sous vide amish chicken...parmesan polenta, picholine olive, deconstructed tomato sauce


My take: While the chicken was good, I was more of a fan of the polenta. (What can I say - I love polenta.) And you pair this with arugula, I'm sold. The deconstructed tomato sauce was also flavorful.

Finally, we were presented with:

FIFTH COURSE

warm chocolate cake with liquid ganache center……
maracaibo chocolate cream pudding, peanut ice cream

My take: Ummm... yes, it was BETTER than it looked. TRUST a gal. Thanks to this decadent treat, I am inspired to make the peanut butter ice cream.

Dinner was followed by coffee and cordials, more fabulous conversation and goodie bags courtesy of Ingar. Also, before Judy slaps me, I have to divulge a little secret. If you want a great after dinner coffee, add some Frangelico, Baileys and, I believe Amaretto, to the coffee and enjoy. If I wasn't driving, I would have definitely had one or two. Now if only I can learn how to make a proper cup of coffee at home. :::sigh:::

Many thanks to all that came out. The camaraderie and conversation is only the beginning and I look forward to spending more time with these wonderful people. Also, I have to say a special thank you to Jenn, Judy and Ingar for putting this all together. Finally, we wouldn't have had this fabulous opportunity if it wasn't for Foodbuzz and Ryan. Thank you so much.

bluezoo rates high on my "must go to" spots here in Orlando and I know I will be going back often. I cannot recommend them enough. And, coming from a gal who goes OUT of her way to avoid all things Disney, you know it must be damn good. Tourists & I are non-mixy things, except when it comes to this spot.

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Check out everyone's take on the evening:

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Posted by Lys :: 9:28 PM :: 5 comments

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