One food and wine event I eagerly look forward to all year is Cows n Cabs – A food and wine celebration with One hundred percent of ticket sale proceeds and auction items donated back to the community – Community Food and Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando, which assists with fighting hunger and mentoring youth, respectively.
Curated by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue and celebrated Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The COOP, this Western-themed festival was founded in 2010 with the hope to break the cycle of poverty Central Florida. Anheuser-Busch, Southern Wine & Spirits and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits contributed to the evening with more than 200 wines, spirits and craft beers samplings.
Orlando’s chefs never cease to amaze me with their generosity and culinary brilliance. It was an evening filled with love and pride.
A selection of decadent offerings by local restaurants including veterans of the community – 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Cress, Norman’s and K Restaurant, and newcomers included The COOP, P is for Pie, Txokos Basque Kitchen, Seven Bites, and American Gymkhana.
Here’s a mouth-watering synopsis of the highlights from the evening showcased through the brilliant Bokeh Studio lenses.
Chef Mendoza with Norman’s plating their signature Shrimp Ceviche.
Jim Beam‘s lineup included the small batch Basil Hayden and Knob Creek. Basil Hayden‘s spicy-sweet perfume shows hints of peppermint and black tea and its flavors are spicy, peppery and honeyed, with a light body and a gentle bite. Knob Creek is aged nine years in charred American white oak barrels and bottled at 100 proof with aromas of maple sugar and toasted nuts with a distinctly sweet, round and rich palate with slightly fruity oak flavors. I couldn’t help go back for seconds and thirds.
Chef Trina with Se7en Bites blew me away in one single bite with Garlic Buttermilk Biscuit, Brown Sugar Spicy Pork Sausage, Signature Pimento Cheese.
Braised Pork Belly Bao – Melting in your mouth pork belly encased in a freshly steamed bao – such a treat by Hawker’s Asian Fare. If you haven’t visited them on Mills Avenue – you truly are missing a melange of amazing flavors from South East Asia.
I was anxious to check out American Gymkhana (now open on Sand Lake Road). Chef Aarthi‘s Angrezi Chicken – Tri Chili Marinated and Tandoor Fired with Garam Masala Butter, Roasted Roma Tomato Coulis, over Cumin, Dill, and Pea Pulao – was surprisingly juicy and bursting with delicate Indian flavors. I can’t WAIT to check out the restaurant….
Incontestably my favorite wine table of the evening was the beautifully smooth wines from old vines of Achaval Ferrer – Argentina’s impressive Malbec producer. Elegant tannins, with lively acid balance, and food friendly fruits – these Malbec’s are immediately pleasurable.
A table I dreaded to visit – our dearest late friend Chef Steve Saelg’s new full service restaurant The Crooked Spoon Gastropub – Braised Short Rib over Polenta with Sweet Pomme Frites. Food porn as predicted by Executive Sous Chef AJ Kraft.
Chef Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant as usual tantalized my palate with Anderson Lamb Shank, Tomazin Farm Parsnip Potato Puree, Roasted Turnips, Carrots, Braised Red Cabbage and Boudin Noir with Caramelized Sweet Onion and Apple Marmalade.
Chef Greg Richie with Soco, Chef Hari from Cress, Chef Todd English’s Blue Zoo, Taverna Opa, Puff n Stuff, Peterbrooke Chocolatier, The Meat House, and Citrus Restaurant, showcased their scrumptious treats too.
Cows n Cabs is a wonderful opportunity to taste and experience the finest, Central Florida has to offer in the culinary arena. Delicious samples beautifully and meticulously presented by some of the most exceptional and talented chefs in town, free-flowing wide range of craft beers and wine; all in all a great way to spend your Saturday evening. I for one can’t wait until next year…..and YOU should mark your calendar too. Connect with Cows n Cabs via Twitter and Facebook.
Huge Shout Out to Rockaway PR, Ms. Major and her team for organizing another flawless event. Bravo!!