Tell me, where have all the chefs gone? 10 years in Orlando and in 2009 the winner for best over all restaurant is Seasons 52? I mean, no disrespect to Chef Clifford, but this is a chain restaurant. In fact, Seasons 52 won for best Chain! They also won for best wine list and you’re telling me that in all of Central Florida, the best restaurant is Seasons 52. Hey, all of my clients love it, but, please. This is the best Orlando can do? This is the best in ALL of Central Florida?
When I first arrived here by way of Disney, California Grill and Flying Fish restaurants were the talk of the town. By the way, Clifford and George ran the Grill then too. Now 10 years later they are still on top. Once again, no disrespect, but you work for a major corporation, just like when they worked for Disney. You’re telling me that in 10 years, no other chefs have evolved in this area? No other chefs have gone on their own to capture the gold. No other independent chef driven restaurant in Orlando was deserving of the title of Overall Best Restaurant in Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel?
Where is the Orlando food scene heading? Help me out here folks. Your saying that after 10 years, no one has stepped up to the plate to rattle the chains of this town. Question, would Clifford and George have been this successful if they had gone independent with this concept? Would Orlando have embraced such a radical concept and would it have endured the economic times?
Chain restaurants have their place in this world. However, independent restaurants fuel local businesses and areas. Independent restaurants create relationships and partnerships with communities because they have to in order to survive. Food and service obviously play a factor and key role In the success of a restaurant; however, you need the community and word of mouth locally in order to weather the storms that often arise.
So I say, get out and support your local independent restaurant. Support your local chef and gourmet stores and farmers markets. If you don’t, no one else will.