The Florida Film Festival (April 8 – 17) is hands down one of my favorite events in Orlando. Of course, the selection of films is grand (this year there are more than 150), it’s somewhat likely you’ll rub shoulders with a celebrity (past attendees include Paul Newman, Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Walken, Oliver Stone, Cat Cora and Ed Burns) and there’s the chance to chow down on some fine foods. And by fine I mean down-home, southern-style classics.
This year’s theme, “Flavors of Florida,” is all about Floridian traditions at the table.
From fresh squeezed citrus to soft shell crab, Latin fusion to Southern soul food, these authentic flavors will be celebrated in a stellar lineup of casual brunches, elegant dinners, food and film pairings and parties.
For the love of savory Southern food and fabulous films, purchase your tickets now before they are sold out. Visit www.floridafilmfestival.com, or call 407.629.1088. Plus, check out a trailer for Super, a movie I’m dying to see, not only because it starts Rainn Wilson from NBC’s The Office and Ellen Page from Juno, but because it’s also about super heroes. Click here for the trailer.
Opening Night Film and Party: Fresh Squeezed Florida
FILM ONLY, $20 / PARTY ONLY, $85 / FILM AND PARTY, $100
Regal Winter Park Village 20, Enzian, and Eden Bar
Friday, April 8, 2011. 6:30 p.m.
Hand-picked local culinary heroes will serve their most creative, one-of-a-kind, mouth-watering dishes inspired by the state we call home. This bustling kick-off party will include entertainment, food and drink, and other goodies throughout the night. The Sunshine State’s utterly unique twist on the culinary arts never tasted so good!
Swamp Cabbage Culture, Sweet Tea, and Pie: Florida Food Discussion and Tasting
Saturday, April 9, 2011. 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Sweeter than the syrup squeezed at Fort Lonesome, this relaxed afternoon is equal parts inspiring, enlightening, and fun! Take delight in real fresh squeezed orange juice; home-brewed sweet tea; and the gem of Florida desserts, homemade Key Lime Pie—all served alongside specialty items available on our brunch menu. As you savor the flavors, Gary Mormino, a Florida historian, culture maven, food scholar, and gourmand, will answer the question, “What the heck is Swamp Cabbage?” during a surprising conversation on Florida’s sinful, bountiful cornucopia.
Come hungry. A special Florida menu prepared by Enzian and Eden Bar Chef Charles Hamilton will be available to order. It’s the perfect complement to a fascinating dialogue.
Celebrity Book Signing
Free and open to the public
Saturday, April 9, 2011. 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Meet the special guests, share a laugh, gab about food, and grab an autograph or two during this gathering of food experts at the casual Floridian splendor of Eden Bar.
Floridian Feasting: A Native Tribute
NORMAN’S at The Ritz Carlton, Grande Lakes
Saturday, April 9, 2011. 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
With dishes like Gasparilla Island grouper cheeks, steamed Steinhatchee clams, and Key West gamecock; this is the stuff food lovers’ dreams are made of. This upscale feast features the flavors of Florida’s seductive cuisine and courses personally designed by a lineup of Florida’s culinary elite—all headlined by legendary award-winning Chef Norman Van Aken.
Fish Camp Brunch
Black Hammock Restaurant
Sunday, April 10, 2011. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Throw etiquette out the window, pull up a chair, and pass the gator tail! At this genuine Florida fish fry you will dine on the banks of beautiful Lake Jesup while you feast on favorites like home cooked okra, steamed crawfish, and sweet fritters. Held at the certifiably-unforgettable Black Hammock Fish Camp and featuring live music, this Florida feast makes no apologies for its charming, regional authenticity.
Catfish Tales: Charles’s Florida Brunch
Sunday, April 17, 2011. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Enjoy a brunch that sparkles with regional flavors and fun—as carefree as the Sunshine State itself. Enzian and Eden Bar Chef Charles Hamilton will offer the Florida-inspired meal you’ll deserve after nine days of nonstop film-food-friends. Share your Festival tales at our own Eden Bar while you eat the best catfish south of the Suwannee River. Brunch is served!