Keeping track of the moves among our local culinary artists.
For the “chefies” among you (it’s like a groupie, but for chefs—I just made it up), here are some changements de toques to add to your scorecard.
* Chef Venoy Rogers takes over the proceedings at American Kitchen Bar & Grill, located inside B Resort & Spa in Disney Springs. A winning contestant on the Food Network’s Chef Wanted program, and a veteran of San Diego’s Kelvin restaurant at the W Hotel, and Essensia at the Palms Hotel in Miami, Rogers has kept the signature red Ford F1 pickup truck that supports the salad bar, but shifted gears away from massive BBQ servings to a sharper, chef-driven menu.
* Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, has recently appointed Scott Pizzo as their Chef de Cuisine. A graduate of the late lamented Le Cordon Blue Culinary School, Pizzo has worked at Norman’s just across the Grande Lakes campus, Dragonfly Robata, and at both The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder.
* Chef de Cuisine Albert DeSue and Sushi Chef Shane Stinnett are now crafting the menu at Yuki Hana. DeSue has The Smiling Bison, Scratch and Seito Sushi on his resume; Stinnett, another Le Cordon Bleu graduate, has plied his trade at Morimoto Asia, Hanamizuki and Winter Park’s blu on the avenue.
* Relatively new to the kitchen at Jiko–The Cooking Place at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Chef Daniel Sicilia revamped the menu earlier this year to reflect a refocus on African cuisine and cooking styles, and it is a winner. Sicilia has trod the culinary boards at Disney restaurants since 2004 and his days in their College Program.
* Dinner delivery stars Farm & Haus have been serving up their local and seasonal creations at East End Market for a year; their new concept, Bowl Bar, began last week, offering gluten- and dairy-free warm grain bowls and salad bowls.
* Chef Bob Milligan, formerly of the Talk of the Town Group (Fishbones, Moonfish, Johnnie’s Hideaway) and the Grand Bohemian Hotel, has opened coffee, pastry and sandwich shop Noir Café in the CityArts Factory building downtown.