Orlando, Florida, Jan. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Orlando Wine Festival and Auction to Feature Iron Chef Morimoto, Top Chef Season 15 Winner Joe Flamm, Disney's 
Scott Hunnel and James Beard Award Winners

-Orlando Magic announce first chefs to be featured at the team's inaugural fundraiser -

Orlando, Fla. (January 4, 2019) – The inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction benefiting the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) will feature a large cast of award-winning chefs at the Magic's signature fundraiser on March 15-17, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, as announced by Magic CEO Alex Martins. The chefs are several of more to come who will take part in the fundraising weekend and include Chef Akshay Bhardwaj – Executive Chef at Michelin star Junoon; Chef Joe Flamm - winner of Bravo TV's Top Chef Season 15 and Executive Chef at Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia; Chef Kevin Fonzo – formerly of K Restaurant/now private chef; Chef Scott Hunnel –Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa; Chef Tony Mantuano – James Beard Award winner and chef-partner at Michelin star restaurant Spiaggia in Chicago along with Café Spiaggia, River Roast and Terralina Crafted Italian located in Disney Springs; Chef Brandon McGlamery – Chef/Partner Luma on Park, Prato, Luke's Kitchen and Bar; Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto; Chefs James and Julie Petrakis – The Ravenous Pig; Chef Justin Plank – Executive Chef at Terralina Crafted Italian; Chef Steve Richard  - Executive Chef at Paddlefish; and Chef Art Smith – James Beard Award Winner. Each of the chefs will prepare signature dishes at the exclusive vintner dinners around Central Florida on Fri., March 15 and create culinary delights for guests at the festival on Sat., March 16. Please see bios on each below.

 

"The Orlando Magic are thrilled to announce these initial 12 award-winning chefs as the first commitments to participate in our Inaugural Orlando Wine Festival and Auction," said Magic CEO Alex Martins. "We are so excited that they will be sharing their culinary talents with all of our guests while helping a very worthy cause, at-risk youth in Central Florida. The weekend promises to be one not soon forgotten."

 

The debut of the Magic’s signature fundraiser for the OMYF will include a wine festival, live and e-auctions and culminate with an Orlando Magic game. The weekend of events is set to feature exclusive vintner dinners, an outdoor festival featuring live music, live auction displays, local and celebrity chefs, wineries, and food pavilions, along with Magic players and coaches. Each guest will also receive an invitation to the OMYF grant ceremony, where all funds from the Orlando Wine Festival and Auction will be distributed to local nonprofit organizations.

 

For more information on the Orlando Wine Festival and Auction or to purchase packages, please visit www.wineauctionorlando.com or follow the OMYF on Twitter - @OMYF or Facebook /OrlandoMagicYouthFoundation.

 

The Orlando Magic and the DeVos family are committed to making a difference in Central Florida. Each year, the Magic gives more than $2 million to Central Florida by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants. At the heart of the Magic’s charitable efforts is the work done by the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.

 

Over the last 28 years more than $23 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation. The DeVos family’s investment in the OMYF covers all administrative costs which allows for 100 percent of all donations to go directly to the foundation to benefit children and families in need throughout Central Florida each year. The OMYF raises community dollars annually through donations, auctions and events such as the OMYF Open Golf Tournament and the upcoming 2019 Orlando Wine Festival and Auction.

 

CHEF BIOS

Akshay Bhardwaj

Junoon

Chef Akshay Bhardwaj is a two-time Michelin-star chef who found himself drawn to the restaurant industry at an early age. While attending Fordham University Gabelli School of Business in 2012, Akshay started an apprenticeship in the kitchen of Junoon under Chef Adin Langille.

 

His culinary career has been exclusively within the Junoon family. He began as an intern and worked his way up to Lead Line Chef training at different sections in the kitchen. Following a stint at Junoon Dubai, he returned to Junoon in New York to become Junior Sous Chef and eventually Sous Chef in 2015. Along the way, he learned French, Italian and even Japanese techniques working under various chefs, which he applies at Junoon to help push the boundaries of Indian cuisine. He was promoted as the Executive Chef in 2016. Chef Akshay’s cooking has a strong emotional component rooted in childhood food memories and how they made him feel.

 

In Nov 2018, Junoon was awarded and retained the Michelin Star for the eighth year in a row and holds the title of the only Indian restaurant in New York City with a Michelin Star. Executive Chef Akshay was one of the youngest Indian chefs to be recognized for this coveted award age 24 when Junoon got its Michelin Star October 2017.

 

Prior to embarking on the culinary path Chef Akshay studied Business at Fordham University and is completing a Business degree at Baruch College in New York. His interests include football, basketball, soccer, playing the piano and spending time with family. He visits India regularly, where he enjoys his grandmother’s cooking.

Joe Flamm

Top Chef Season 15 Winner

Joe Flamm is Executive Chef of Chicago’s Michelin-starred Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia. Working alongside Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano, Chef Joe showcases his Midwestern and Italian heritages through Spiaggia’s tasting, bar and a la carte menus. The menus rotate seasonally and regionally and are inspired by Chef Tony and Joe’s travels throughout Italy.

 

Growing up in a large Italian family on Chicago’s south side, Chef Joe fell in love with cooking at an early age while spending time in the kitchen with his Grandma Mary making homemade pasta, ravioli and pizza. It was this passion that led him to the Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts, where he received his associate degree.

Prior to joining the Spiaggia team, Chef Joe worked alongside some of Chicago’s most prestigious chefs, including Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat, Art Smith at Table Fifty-Two, and Bill Kim at bellyQ and Urbanbelly. Chef Joe has also staged in some of Italy’s best kitchens including Glass Hostaria in Rome and Del Pescatore in Mantova, and cooked for presidents, celebrities, the James Beard Foundation and more.

Chef Joe is the champion of Top Chef on season 15 of Bravo’s hit show.

 

In his spare time, Chef Joe enjoys spending time with his wife and trying new restaurants. He is involved with Pilot Light, a Chicago charity which helps children make healthier choices by connecting the lessons they learn in the classrooms to the foods they eat on their lunch trays and beyond.

Scott Hunnel

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Scott Hunnel is executive chef at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, overseeing all culinary operations at the award-winning hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. From quick service to Five Diamond, Hunnel works with the chefs in each of the resort’s 11 food-service locations to achieve top-tier experiences, whether it’s an artisan burger at Gasparilla Grill, elegant canapes in Garden View Tea Room or a truffle course at Victoria & Albert’s. Hunnel works with each of the restaurant proprietors and chefs to create new menus and to provide the best possible guest service.

 

The resort’s re-imagined Gasparilla Grill is the latest concept under the direction of Hunnel, creating a world-class, fast-casual experience with a chef-driven menu, state-of-the-art pizza ovens and a sandwich bar concept that originated in French boutique bakeries. But Hunnel’s focus remains on Victoria & Albert’s, the AAA Five-Diamond restaurant where he has been at the helm in the kitchen for 22 years. Now Hunnel and Chef de Cuisine Aimee Rivera collaborate on the exquisite menus as Hunnel’s role expands to encompass the entire resort food operations. Certified by the American Culinary Federation, Hunnel is the first and only James Beard-nominated chef in the Walt Disney Company. He was a James Beard nominee for “Best Chef in the South” in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015, and was named Santé magazine’s “Culinary Professional of the Year” in 2008.

 

Originally from the Chicago area, Hunnel graduated from the Joliet (Ill.) Junior College culinary arts program, where he worked in the Renaissance Hotel with three master chefs, learning classic European techniques that are the foundation of his cuisine. Shortly after graduation, he joined Walt Disney World Resort and was tapped as chef for Victoria & Albert’s in 1995. Hunnel also collaborates with three Michelin-star Chef Arnaud Lallement on the menus for Remy restaurant aboard the Disney Cruise Line Fantasy and Dream ships.

Tony Mantuano

James Beard Award Winner

James Beard Award winner Tony Mantuano is an influential culinary force, a chef who has been on the ground floor of defining true Italian cuisine in the United States. In addition to his role as chef-partner at Michelin-star restaurant Spiaggia, Mantuano is the chef partner at River Roast, situated on the Chicago River; Terzo Piano, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant at The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago; Terralina Crafted Italian, a waterfront Italian restaurant located in Disney Springs set to open this spring; and a new restaurant concept set to open early 2019 in the heart of Wrigleyville in partnership with Joe Maddon.

 

Mantuano is a recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Midwest and The Chicago Tribune’s Good Eating Award, which honors achievement in the food and restaurant industry. Outside of the kitchen, Mantuano is often recognized for his participation on season two of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” Other projects include cookbook collaborations with Cathy Mantuano, a wine expert and former manager of Spiaggia. The husband and wife team authored “The Spiaggia Cookbook” and “Wine Bar Food.”

Brandon McGlamery

Luma on Park

After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Brandon passionately pursued his culinary career, seeking exposure to both domestic and international techniques and experiences. He attributes much of his inspiration and success to time spent at notable Northern California dining destinations including his time spent at Stars, The Fifth Floor & Delfina in San Francisco, The French Laundry in Napa Valley, & Chez Panisse in Berkeley. It was in these establishments that he first discovered his love for great ingredients and the craftsmanship of cooking.

 

Prior to moving to Florida, Brandon served as Chef de Cuisine at Bacchanalia in Atlanta, Ga., where he worked with his mentor, James Beard Award winner, Anne Quatrano. Brandon moved to Winter Park to Luma on Park in 2006, the restaurant received much critical acclaim including Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, Florida Trend Magazine’s Golden Spoon Award, Steward of the Monterey Bay Aquarium for Substainable seafood, and the AAA Four-Diamond Award. He has also been nominated as a James Beard Best Chef: Southeast in 2013 and 2017.

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

 

Chef Masaharu Morimoto — known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America — has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. Since 1998, Morimoto has competed on the Japanese television show, Iron Chef and also appears on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America.

 

In 2001, Chef Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia, which was later followed by restaurants in New York, Napa, Honolulu, Boca Raton, Mumbai, New Delhi, Mexico City, Tokyo and Maui. Morimoto Asia Orlando at Disney Springs opened in 2015, followed by Momosan Ramen and Sake NYC and Morimoto Las Vegas at MGM Grand in 2016. Morimoto Asia Waikiki, Momosan Waikiki, Morimoto Dubai and Morimoto Doha opened in 2018, bringing his global restaurant count to 16. Momosan Seattle was announced in the summer of 2018 and expects to open in 2019.

 

His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking (2007), won two IACP awards (in the “Chefs and Restaurants” category and the “First Book: The Julia Child Award”) and it was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. His second cookbook, Mastering The Art of Japanese Cooking (2017), introduces readers to the healthy, flavorful, surprisingly simple dishes favored by Japanese home cooks.

Chef Morimoto also has a variety of signature products including Miyabi Morimoto Edition knives, a line of beer in partnership with Rogue, signature wine Morimoto Cabernet Sauvignon by Mondavi and two lines of premium sake, including his convenient Easy Cup, a resealable on-the-go product perfect for parties and backyard BBQs .

 

Keep up with Chef Morimoto via InstagramFacebookTwitter or www.ironchefmorimoto.com.

James and Julie Petrakis

The Ravenous Pig

Husband-and-wife duo, James and Julie Petrakis both grew up in Winter Park, Florida and met while studying at the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Collectively, their resumes including working in kitchens spanning from New York City to Atlanta. It was during this time where they gained a strong appreciation for local and sustainable ingredients. The couple returned to Orlando to start a family and open their first concept, The Ravenous Pig, in 2007.

 

Today, James and Julie are culinary leaders spearheading Orlando’s burgeoning food movement with multiple concepts in Orlando, including: The Ravenous Pig (2007), an award-winning American Gastropub; Cask & Larder (2012), a Southern Public House featuring seasonal ingredients located in Orlando’s International Airport; Swine & Sons Provisions (2015), which specializes in artisanal charcuteries, butcher sandwiches, craft beer, a line of products including biscuits, spices and rubs, jellies and more; and The Polite Pig (2017), a fast-casual concept in Disney Springs combining local Florida flavors with wood-fired, smoked modern barbecue.

James and Julie have been recognized as semi-finalists by the James Beard Foundation for “Best Chef-South” for four consecutive years. They have also received notable accolades from publications, such as Food & Wine, Saveur, and Southern Living. They are also authors of The Ravenous Pig: Seasons of Florida cookbook.

Justin Plank

Terralina Crafted Italian

Since he was six-years old, Justin Plank has been preparing dishes for the masses. From helping his mother cook meals for his eight brothers and sisters to feeding the guests who come to visit Terralina Crafted Italian at Disney Springs, Plank knows what it takes to create a dish that will appeal to a variety of tastes.

 

Plank graduated at the top of his class from the Florida Culinary Institute and won the opportunity to travel to Zurich, Switzerland, for his externship. While there, he earned the honor of becoming the chef of house. Since then, Plank has run different kitchens from Wolfgang Grand Cafe in Seattle, Wash, to LeGrand’s Alaskan Prime Seafood & Steaks in Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Park Plaza Gardens in Winter Park, Fla. During his 2002 to 2007 tenure at at Park Plaza Gardens, Plank established the restaurant as an Orlando hotspot and was voted one of Central Florida’s top 10 chefs two years in a row.

 

Before joining the Levy Restaurants family, Plank switched gears by taking a job at Lake Port Square, an Independent Living Community in Leesburg, in order to be closer to his family. Instead of making the same meals every night for different people, Plank made different meals each week for the same people and it was a great change of pace from his usual work.

 

Eager to get back on his original path, Plank is excited to lead Terralina Crafted Italian’s kitchen. Working alongside James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, Plank hopes to put his personal spin on traditional Italian dishes.

Steve Richard

Paddlefish

As a Massachusetts native, seafood is part of Chef Steve Richard’s DNA. Some of Richard’s earliest memories involve driving around New England with his grandfather and trying out different lobster rolls together at all kinds of places, from eateries located on the side-of-the-road to upscale restaurants. His grandfather’s love of seafood and of cooking for friends and family were both contagious.

Once in college at Northeastern University, Richard often found himself cooking for his roommates at any opportunity he could. After graduating and embarking on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, Richard decided to change course and follow his passion for cooking.

 

In the late 1990’s, Richard moved to Florida and started his journey to becoming a chef. He began at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café as a pantry chef and worked there part-time while taking every culinary class available at Valencia College. For the next seven years, he quickly worked his way through the ranks and became an Executive Sous Chef. In 2007, Richard was named Executive Chef for Portobello Yacht Club. While there, Richard worked closely with James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano on the transformation of the restaurant into Portobello Country Italian Trattoria. Richard was named regional chef for Levy Restaurants in 2011 and is excited to bring his talents to Paddlefish.

Art Smith

Two-time James Beard Award Winner; owner of Homecomin' Florida Kitchen

Chef Art Smith is the chef and owner of Homecomin' Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine at Disney Springs, Blue Door Kitchen and Garden in Chicago, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar in Atlanta, and Art Bird & Whiskey Bar at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

 

Art Smith has received two James Beard Foundation awards, the culinary profession's highest honor, and has cooked for some of the world's most famous celebrities. He cooked for Bob Graham and Jeb Bush in the Florida Governor's Mansion, and in 1997, Smith became the personal, day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, a position that lasted ten years. Smith now coordinates and cooks for special events all around the world.  


Smith is the author of "Back to the Table;" "Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families;" "Back to the Family;" and "Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort," with a focus on healthy cooking and healthy living.

 

Chef Smith is the founder of Common Threads, a non-profit organization teaching low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals since 2003. He believes that through hands-on cooking and introducing children to fresh foods we can help prevent childhood obesity, reverse the trend of poor eating habits, and learn about diversity and tolerance through the celebration of our cultural differences and our commonalities.   


In 2015 Smith launched a non-profit organization, Reunion, Florida Garden and Kitchen School, in Madison, Fla. at the historic Wardlaw-Smith House near his childhood home in Jasper, Fla.  At Reunion, students of all ages receive free classes on southern cooking traditions, horticulture, and weather forecasting via Weather Stem systems. 


In 2008 Chef Art Smith received an Honorary MBA Degree, awarded by the School of Hospitality at Florida State University.  On May 19, 2012 Chef Art Smith received an Honorary Doctorate of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University, North Miami Campus. 


Smith lives in Chicago and Florida with his husband Jesus Salgueiro, their four children Zumy, Zuky, Brando and Angel, and numerous dogs, cats, chickens, fish and turtles.  

 

About the Orlando Magic

Orlando's NBA franchise since 1989, the Magic's mission is to be world champions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step of the way. Under the DeVos family’s ownership, the Magic have seen great success in a relatively short history, winning five division championships (1995, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010) with seven 50-plus win seasons and capturing the Eastern Conference title in 1995 and 2009. Off the court, on an annual basis, the Orlando Magic gives more than $2 million to the local community by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants. Orlando Magic community relations programs impact an estimated 100,000 kids each year, while a Magic staff-wide initiative provides more than 7,000 volunteer hours annually. In addition, the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) which serves at-risk youth, has distributed more than $23 million to local nonprofit community organizations over the last 28 years. The Magic’s other entities include the team’s NBA G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, which began play in the 2017-18 season in nearby Lakeland, Fla.; the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, which serves as the affiliate to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning; and Magic Gaming competed in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League in 2018. Ticket highlights for the 2018-19 Magic's 30th anniversary season in the award-winning Amway Center, honored withTheStadiumBusiness Awards’ 2013 Customer Experience Award and named SportsBusiness Journal's 2012 Sports Facility of the Year, include: 2,500 seats priced $20 or less, 8,000 seats priced $40 or less and 9,000 seats priced $50 or under. For ticket information log on to www.orlandomagic.com or call 407-89-MAGIC.

Trish Wingerson
ORLANDO MAGIC
Director of Corporate Communications
(407) 916-2635 Direct
(407) 916-2830 Fax

Attachments

Joel Glass
Orlando Magic
407-491-4826
jglass@orlandomagic.com