If you’ve been to Disney Springs lately, you’ve probably noticed a couple things. First, you’ve noticed between the design, live entertainment, great new shopping and general atmosphere, it’s a really cool place to be. More importantly, you’ve probably noticed that Disney Springs is turning into a mecca of sorts for lovers of great food and drink. The dining scene at Disney recently took a serious step up with the addition of Morimoto Asia, creation Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto; and with the opening of STK Steakhouse just around the corner it’s hard to imagine how things could get better. Well, Disney isn’t stopping there.
Disney World has announced this morning the addition of another celebrity chef to the Disney Springs line up and this one has our mouths watering. Chef Art Smith, best known for being Oprah’s chef, will bring Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine. Featuring southern inspired favorites, Chef Smith will capitalize on the currently popular farm to table trend offering diners the freshest ingredients and seasonal choices. The location is expected to open in the Summer of 2016.
Here’s what the Disney Parks Blog had to say:
“You might remember Chef Smith from his years as Oprah’s chef, or for his appearances in “Iron Chef America,” “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters.” The James Beard Foundation award winner was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border, where his family still raises cattle, pecans and heirloom vegetables. And after 25 years of preparing award-winning meals for celebrities and heads of state and appearing on television, he is making Florida his home once again.
The Homecoming menu will feature Southern favorites like homemade pimento cheese, Church Lady deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, kale salad with Sweet Grass Dairy cheese and spiced pecans and a grilled Blackstrap pork chop with sawmill gravy. “Each dish has a little Florida twist and make guests feel like they’re on the back porch with me for every meal,” says Smith. Desserts will be a specialty, with cakes, pies and delectable sweets made daily and shipped from a bakery in Hamilton County, including the restaurant’s signature Mockingbird Cake.
The “rustic-chic” restaurant has a glass-walled show kitchen and the Southern Shine bar, featuring whimsical cocktails, punches and coolers that celebrate an era where characters might have created some homegrown spirits on their homesteads just beyond the springs.”
Disney World is setting a new bar for dining in Orlando and this addition certainly seems to up the game further. With so many menus at so many Disney World restaurants looking pretty similar, we’re most excited to see a new and unique style being added to the line up.