Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Having an office next to the director of Food & Beverage for Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek  has it perks.  Especially when that office is occupied by Francis Metais, one of the most brilliant minds in food and beverage today.

Sometimes, Francis would emerge from his office and make an official pronouncement of the day’s conquest, often to nobody in particular.  It was a ritual to mark the beginning of his latest project.

This happened time and time again, always with amazing results… and a parade of “test meals” fresh from the Waldorf Astoria kitchens, located one floor below.

These were innovative  ideas that eventually became menu staples, along with raves from our guests – items like “The Lemon” and “Pasta Explosion” at Bull & Bear, for instance. Sometimes they were twists on a favorite, like hummus made from edamame, or a chocolate dessert made from lentil beans.

I didn’t always comprehend his vision, partially because of his perfectly thick French accent.  But the proof, as they say, was always in the pudding.  And I (as well as other members of the Marketing and PR team), made sure we were readily available to lend our taste buds to the cause.

Bonnet Creek Cinnamon Rolls But one day, I understood Francis loud and clear:  “Keith, this week we will make the most amazing cinnamon rolls you have ever tasted,” he said.  “I will bring you one.”

As you can imagine, it was difficult to work that morning.  I love cinnamon rolls, and I had no doubt these would dazzle.  Francis is a classically trained pastry chef from France, and his work alongside executive pastry chef Kurtis Baguley is legendary.  He is the pastry team’s biggest cheerleader, as they have developed new menu items that lead the Orlando market.

That afternoon, I heard the door open, and a team of chefs came in, led by chef Kurtis.  I could smell the sweet aroma of cinnamon.  My mouth began to water.

I heard muffled conversations, followed by a click.  The door closed. The cinnamon smell slowly faded away.

Oh no.  Panic set in.   I could hear the ticking of the clock.  My mind raced.

Confused, I stuck my head in Francis’ office.  “Where’s the cinnamon rolls,” I said, hoping to find a platter in his office.

“They were good – really good,” he said.  “But we had some more ideas.  We’ll try again tomorrow.”

This happened several more times that week:  a team of chef came in… followed by discussions… and the team of chefs would leave with an unfinished platter of cinnamon rolls in tow.

I could barely stand it.

Then finally one day, Francis appeared in my office:  “Keith, we are ready,” he proclaimed.  “Take a bite.”

The magic hour had arrived.  It all came down to this.

And one bite was all it took.  I was in love.

I could see the smile on Francis’ face.  “Now that is a Waldorf Astoria cinnamon roll,” he said.

If this were a movie, there would have been a crescendo of music.  People would have applauded.  Tears would have been shed.

Me?  I took a second bite.

Wow.  The dough,  a wonderful mixture of textures similar to that of a croissant or a Danish, was extremely light, airy, and flaky.  The icing soaked into the dough, creating, well, the perfect cinnamon roll.

Hungry?  You can experience for yourself what we refer to as the Bonnet Creek Cinnamon Roll.  At Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, they are served warm at MUSE, the lobby coffee and sweet shop.   Guests come down early in the morning to claim their treat before we sell out for the day.   Yes, they are that popular.    At Waldorf Astoria Orlando, they are often found on the breakfast buffet at Oscar’s, where a pastry bar is filled with the many of innovations of Francis and Chef Kurtis… all developed with enthusiasm and baked with love.

A visit to either hotel just isn’t complete without a bite.  And listen for the crescendo of music in your head!


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Sushi Restaurant at Disney World

Zeta Bar Serves the Best Sushi inside the gates of Disney World.

Did you know Zeta Bar at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is Orlando’s newest place for sensational sushi?

The man behind the sushi at Zeta Bar is Chef Daniel Ling.  Chef Daniel was born in Hong Kong and came to the United States in 1988 to work as a server in Epcot’s Nine Dragons Restaurant.

After Disney, Daniel decided to further the hospitality education that he started in Hong Kong by attending Mid Florida Tech, followed by  the California Sushi Academy in Venice Beach.  After graduating, he worked as a Sushi Chef in California before returning to Central Florida, where he was Sushi Chef at Kimono’s, a popular sushi establishment.

Daniel left Kimono’s after 12 years to join us in Zeta Bar as Sushi Chef Extraordinaire.

Be sure to say hello to Chef Daniel at Zeta Bar… and we recommend the Dragon Roll!

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Orlando Home & Leisure  releases their Best of Orlando issue in May.  In anticipation of its release, here is a mention of Bull & Bear from the blog of Rona Gindin, the magazine’s food editor…

Tomahawk steak presentation at Bull & Bear, inside Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Tomahawk steak presentation at Bull & Bear, inside Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Most Indulgent Steak in All of Orlando “Fat equals flavor,” dietitians dictate when explaining why fat-free versions of traditional desserts are unsatisfying. So imagine how sated you’ll feel after sharing the Tomahawk steak for two at Bull & Bear, since the 36-ounce hunk of beef is served with extra “flavor.”

Here’s how it works at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s signature restaurant. Once you order, a server will discretely place a candle that is in a stainless steel gravy boat on your table. When the  28-day dry-aged Four Diamond Harris Ranch steak arrives, your server will pick up that gravy boat with the candle in it and pour some of the “wax” onto your meat

As it turns out, the Bull & Bear candle is made of beef fat, seasoned with the mix that chefs sprinkle onto steaks in the kitchen. As it melts, a “gravy,” let’s call it, accumulates at the bottom of the gravy boat. And it’s that luscious liquid that tops your Tomahawk. This subtle surprise enhances the Tomahawk significantly — not that this expertly aged hunka flesh needs improvement.

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Mother's Day Experience at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

A Mother's Day to Remember at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

It’s a gift Mom will remember forever!

Looking for a memorable way to spend Mother’s Day?  How about a holiday getaway to Orlando, where you can enjoy the Mother’s Day Breakfast In Bed Experience?

Get ready for super cute stuff.

On Mother’s Day morning (Sunday May 13), your children can become little gourmet chefs at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, as they  help to prepare (and plate) breakfast for mom, alongside the staff at Harvest Bistro.

And, because most moms love flowers, your kids can create a fresh flower bouquet, to delivered along with breakfast in bed.  Yes, the breakfast that your children helped to prepare and plate will be delivered to mom in her guest room, with the help of our in-room dining servers.

The Mother’s Day Breakfast In Bed Experience is available to all guests, for $24 per adult.  Reservations can be made at the Front Desk during check in, or through the Concierge team.

For Dinner, Harvest Bistro will feature a Mother’s Day Seafood Dinner Buffet from 5pm until 10pm. Prices: $29/adult, $14/child.  Remember that Kids Eat Free at Harvest Bistro, up to two children per full-priced adult meal. And, of course, dinner includes one complimentary glass of champagne and a flower for mom!

At the Sena lobby bar, we will feature $4 Mother’s Day Mimosas all day long.

And don’t miss dinner at La Luce by Donna Scala, where we will highlight special holiday features.

The rest of the weekend is yours to enjoy! Maybe it’s an afternoon at our neighboring Disney theme parks, time at our lazy-river pool, or a special Mother’s Day Weekend spa or golf experience at the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain or Waldorf Astoria Golf Club.

For reservations, please call  888-353-2013, or visit our website.

Mother's Day Getaway to Orlando

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Join Adobe Road Winery at Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando, for a one-of-a-kind dinner and wine pairing as only Adobe Road Winery can bring, at 6:30pm on Monday March 12.

On hand will be Kevin Buckler, Adobe Road Winery / TRG team owner and Le Mans and Daytona winning racecar driver.

Experience the award-winning Bull & Bear restaurant, serving a culinary journey of epic proportions. The restaurant, named Best Fine Dining by Orlando Home & Leisure, offers a menu of trend-setting fare.

During this special dinner there will be ample opportunity to speak personally with Kevin regarding his incredible racing stories and the challenges involved in owning one of the top professional sports car team teams and an award-winning boutique winery.

This is an opportunity for an amazing evening not to be missed! Cost for the night is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Cost includes 7 courses paired with the latest award-winning wines from Adobe Road.

To make reservations, please call (407) 597-5409 or contact us by email at: alexandria.herndon@hilton.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Adobe Road Winery

Wine Pairing and Dinner Menu



~Amuse Bouche~

Foie Gras Flan Topped with Parmesan Foam

Wine: 2009 Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc

~1st Course~

Brentwood Farms Corn Soup – Brilliant Savarin and Pain Perdu Terrine – Spicy Pop Corn

Wine: 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

~2nd Course~

Wood Crusted Langostine – Braised Chipolini Onion – Sun Artichoke in a Lobster Bouillon

Wine: 2008 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

~3rd Course~

Foie Gras Torchon – Rainier Cherries Pure – Saint Germain Gelèe – Marcona Almond Powder

Wine: 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

~4th Course~

Escargot and Gnocchi – Black Fermented Garlic – Shimeji Mushroom

Wine: 2007 Dry Creek Syrah

~Cheese Course~

Bijou and Mesclun Salad

Wine: Redline Zin/Cab/Syrah Blend

~6th Course~

Briquette of Aged Midwestern Sirloin, Potato Pave, Petite Vegetables, Perigourdine

Wine: 2007 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

~7th Course~

The Lemon

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