Third Time's a Charm

James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards
For the third consecutive year, Orlando captured more nominations in the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards-considered the Oscars of the culinary world-than any other Florida destination.

The five Orlando chefs named semifinalists in the "Best Chefs in the South" category are Kathleen Blake (The Rusty Spoon), Scott Hunnel (Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), James and Julie Petrakis (The Ravenous Pig) and Hari Pulapaka (Cress).

This week's announcement comes on the heels of several prominent culinary accolades for our destination, including Wine Enthusiast naming Orlando one of the "Ten Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2015" and The New York Times highlighting Orlando's "surprising food scene" as a reason to choose Orlando as one of the "52 Places to Go in 2015." With an intriguing lineup of both original and world-famous restaurants set to open in 2015, Orlando is poised to expand even further as a culinary destination in 2015. Recognition like this helps broaden the appeal of our destination among leisure visitors and helps Orlando compete more aggressively in the strategically important convention market.

On behalf of Orlando's tourism community, we'd like to thank our passionate community of chefs for the role they serve in making memorable experiences for our visitors. Best of luck to Kathleen, Scott, James, Julie and Hari against our nation's top chefs in this year's James Beard Awards.


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