For those of you that have dined and wined with me, are well aware of my admiration for Chef Kevin Chef/Owner of K Restaurant in College Park. For the rest of you, please indulge me, while I once more, with great pride share one of the many reasons why Chef Kevin is a culinary icon in CFL!
As if running a full service high-end restaurant, constantly supporting local charities and small businesses, working almost exclusively with ethically and sustain-ably operated local farms., was not gratifying, Chef Kevin has contributed his culinary talents by working at the Orlando Junior Academy. Earlier he worked at the cafeteria every day to prepare fresh, healthy lunches for the students of OJA while creating a program that can be sustained by the school staff including supporting the school’s garden.
Since 2011-12 Chef Kevin has been volunteering as an educator. He uses cooking instruction as an integrated education method where the students learn about nutrition, biology, chemistry, practice math skills and practice the cleanliness and discipline necessary for a culinary career. Kevin’s work at the school was recognized by Michelle Obama as a part of her “Chef’s Move to School” initiative earning him an invitation to the White House to tour the White House garden. Bravo Chef!!
Recently Chef Kevin hosted a Sunday Supper Benefit for the Edible Schoolyard at his restaurant K. A cause close to my heart in more than one level. I started cooking at the tender age of 12; I taught myself how to hold a knife, cook, and bake simply by observing, and now my daughter, eager sous-chef in the kitchen is turning out to be a budding chef in the making.
Joining Chef Kevin were the culinary talents Chef Kathleen Blake (Rusty Spoon), Chef Henry Salgado (Spanish River Grill and Txokos Spanish Kitchen), Chef Jamie McFadden (Cuisiniers’s Catering) and Ms. Shannon Talty (Olde Hearth Bread Co.). Wine and libations were provided by the bubbly Ms. Erin Allport of Vibrant Rioja, Augustan Wine Imports, Courtesy Bar, and Cigar City Brewing. While the decadent chocolates were courtesy of Chocolate Provocateur.
From freshly muddled cocktail to freshly fried apple doughnuts, Chef Kevin’s vegetable garden and back yard was transformed with lights and seating and maintaining his farm to table fresh food philosophy – freshly muddled cocktails to freshly fried apple doughnuts were some of the tasty highlights on the menu.
Chef Henry Salgado treated us to a melange of vibrant colors and flavors with his Paella Valenciana.
Chef Jamie McFadden seduced me with Braised Short Ribs, Creamed Collards, Tabasco Onions, Molasses Demi, and Cheddar Herb Biscuits. I was in foodgasam!!
My dear Chef Kathleen Blake tantalized us with her fall inspired creations – Lake Meadow Duck Confit with Jeweled Cracked Wheat and Roasted Butternut Squash with Shaved Fennel, Waterkist Sprouts, and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds. The textural inter-play and flavor combinations was simply brilliant. Oh yeah! I went in for seconds….with melting in your mouth duck and citrusy grains, how could I resist?
The kind-hearted host of the evening Chef Kevin treated us to an array of delectable treats – Deviled Eggs, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fall inspired with apple, pears, brussels, kale, grapes, and maple vinaigrette, Lake Meadows Roasted Poussin, Cheddar Grits, Ju, Grilled Corn, and Cajun Butter. For dessert Fresh Apple Doughnuts with Cinnamon Sugar and Chocolate Brownie with Shortbread Biscuit.
Each dish with its flawless execution and delicious creations was a true reflection of Chef Kevin’s warm hospitality, graciousness, and culinary talents. Yet another reason why I am a life time patron. I truly am in awe each time I have the pleasure of tasting Chef Kevin’s wonderful dishes.
Whether it is for lunch, dinner, or one of their weekly hosted events; I highly recommend making a trip to K Restaurant or any of the above listed fine restaurants. I guarantee, you will be as impressed as I was.
For those who missed it, you can still support the Edible Schoolyard Project by making a donation on their website.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston S. Churchill