The 2014 Chef’s Gala to benefit Heart of Florida United Way will be held 6:45-10pm on Saturday, May 10 at Epcot World Showplace at the Walt Disney World Resort. One of the largest events of the year, the evening will include a sparkling wine and martini reception, elevated cuisine paired with fine wines, live music, and a silent auction benefitting United Way programs. Last year, the event raised over $296,000 for education, income, health, and basic needs programs serving thousands of Central Floridians in need.
Heart of Florida United Way is the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. The Chef’s Gala is Heart of Florida United Way’s largest fundraiser with over 95% of all money raised going directly back to the tri-state community.
At the 22nd annual Chef’s Gala, over twenty of Central Florida’s top chefs will prepare gourmet dishes for the event. To whet the appetite, here are a few items from some of the featured chefs for this year’s event.
Chef de Cuisine Gilberto Ramirez, Jr. of Primo by Melissa Kelly, the signature restaurant at the JW Marriot Orlando Grande Lakes, creates his Poached Maine Lobster Roll on a Truffled Brioche Garlic Aiol, Primo Garden Chives, Crispy Buttermilk & Malt Vinegar Marinated Shallots. This lobster roll is light and savory, wrapped in a fluffy, buttery roll and accompanied by crispy and addicting mini-onion rings.
Chef de Cuisine Jared Gross of Napa at the Hyatt Regency Orlando highlights Florida seafood in his Spicy Florida Shellfish Cioppino with Smoked Paprika Rouille and Saffron Croutons. Rich tomato broth envelopes each bite of shrimp and fish, topped with crunchy melt-in-your-mouth croutons, and finishes with a smoky kick.
Award-winning Executive Chef Greg Richie of Thornton Park Restaurant Group shares his vision, the embodiment of Southern comforts, Slow-braised Pork Shank on Parmesan Grits with Shrimp and Sausage with the generous diners at Chef’s Gala 2014. This colorful dish brings together sweet shrimp, creamy grits, bright herbs, silky gravy, and tender pork that will delight any palate.
Pastry Chef Andreas Born of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will contribute beautiful and delicious desserts to the event. His Banana-Toffee Mousse on Cocoa Crunch with Strawberry-Banana Pearls delights the inner child in us all with its familiar, yet enticing pairing of bananas and chocolate, the rich addition of toffee, and the surprising and whimsical strawberry-banana pearls that pop with fruity sweetness. The Caramel Custard with Passion Fruit Glace appeals to those who prefer a less sugary dessert, reminiscent of flan, but with an unusual twist. The Milk Chocolate Cremeux with Mojito Concoction on Almond Rocher is like the adult version of a snowball – with creamy milk chocolate and its gelatinous minty center. Finally, abandon formality when indulging in the Crunchy Sugar Cookie Puff with Lemon Grass Cream. This is one that should just be picked up and eaten like a cream puff. Plus, it looks ridiculous to try to eat it with a fork or spoon, so go ahead and get a little powdered sugar on the fingers. It’s for charity!
These are just a few of the celebrated chefs participating in the 2014 Chef’s Gala. A Corporate Ticket Package is available for this event, 10 tickets for $2,500. A Couples Ticket is $500 per couple, and an Individual Ticket is $275 per person. Dress is cocktail attire. To purchase tickets, visit www.ChefsGala.org, call 407-429-2129, or email ChefsGala@hfuw.org.