A challenge was issued by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs for local Orlando chefs to create a signature dish that defines Orlando and expands people’s awareness of who we are as a destination. Of course Disney accepted the challenge! Chefs Bobby Rivera Otero, sous chef at Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot, and Jason Stricker, pastry sous chef for Epcot volunteered to craft Disney’s entry in the competition.
The idea was to create a dessert that incorporates local honey as its key ingredient. Did you know that Florida is one of the top five honey-producing states in the U.S., producing 17 million pounds of honey last year?
Chefs Otero and Jason Stricker knocked it out of the park by serving up a Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses and an Orange-scented Cookie. You can see in the picture above that wildflower honey flecked with gold pools in an indentation on the top of the cheesecake. It’s also drizzled over the ice cream and decorated the plate.
Chef Otero, who has been with Disney for over 12 years, knew Chef Stricker was the perfect partner for this collaboration as he had grown up with a grandfather who was a beekeeper in Texas. “The flavor profile of the different honey varieties makes it a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes.”
Now through Nov. 9, Orlando residents and visitors will have an opportunity to vote to determine the finalists. A judging panel will select the winning dessert that will be announced Dec. 7. If you would like to try this amazing dessert for yourself you can enjoy it at Le Cellier Steakhouse.
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