Cooking for a Cause


Local celebrity chefs and stars from the Food Network served up an interactive and inspirational evening at Florida Hospital’s first ever Gourmet Soiree on June 3 at Rosen Shingle Creek.  From start to finish, over 40 chefs (under the watchful eye of The Food Network’s Chef Robert Irvine, above and below) kept the food and the fun coming, all to support Florida Hospital and Healthy 100.

Chef Robert Irvine, the evening’s dynamic culinary leader

Chefs enjoy the pre-show hospitality

Before the show we caught up with old friends and new, including Food Network Star – Season 8 Chef Josh Lyons (above, with Edible Orlando contributor Dawn Viola, there to represent the American Culinary Federation).  Among the many Florida Hospital physicians in attendance was Dr. Angela Fals, featured in our Summer Issue.

Dr. Angela Fals and her husband Jose Venegas

After an invigorating welcome from “Dr. Des” (above), guests got to work making the first course, a refreshing strawberry and guava smoothie.

all the fixings for our first course

Each table was set with fresh ingredients and a pair of Tupperware Smooth Choppers, a fabulous (and quiet!) hand-operated blender perfect for the task at hand.  For the main course, chefs at each table enlisted guests to help gather ingredients from an island in the center of the ballroom.  While the recipes were different at each table, they all featured chicken, tofu and fresh vegetables to promote the evening’s healthy theme.  In addition, each chef had to prepare food for all ten guests at his or table in 30 minutes or less!

As we gathered the ingredients for our table’s dish (Hoisin BBQ Chicken with Chili-Lime Tofu), Chef Daniel Nester got to work on the chicken, knowing that it would need the full amount of time to cook and rest before serving.

Chef Daniel Nester, Rosen Shingle  Creek Hotel

Chef Emily Ellyn, featured in our Summer Issue, stayed on task to make sure that her table would eat on time.

When time is limited, the order of operations is key. So is a table full of eager guests who will dive in to help!

Chef Dan marinates the tofu in lime juice, coconut milk and red pepper flakes while the chicken cooks

stir-fried veggies add color and crunch

Chef Dan finishes the plate with strips of raw jicama, providing a cool counterpart.

the finished dish, ready with minutes to spare

More information on Florida Hospital’s Healthy 100 is at