News! Disney Chef Scott Hunnel Named James Beard Award Semi-Finalist; Wolfgang Puck To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year the James Beard Foundation spotlights the best food and beverage professionals by bestowing the Beard Awards — considered one of the highest culinary honors in North America!

The semifinalists in the 2012 Restaurant and Chef categories have been announced, and we’re thrilled to see two Disney chefs on the list! In addition, several Orlando-area chefs were also named. The finalists will be announced on March 19, 2012, in Las Vegas. And we’ll be cheering on our faves when the winners are announced on May 7th in New York City!

Best Chef – South, Semi-Finalists

Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant
Congratulations to award-winning chef, Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa! Under Hunnel’s innovative leadership, Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has won many prestigious local, national, and international nods.

This exclusive restaurant has also won nine consecutive AAA Five Diamond Awards and twenty consecutive Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Awards.

Chef Scott Hunnel

James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig
The Ravenous Pig is located in Winter Park, FL, very close to Orlando and Walt Disney World. Stop in for “an American gastropub experience” — casual dining with pub fare and upscale eats by culinary team James and Julie Petrakis.

Chefs James and Julie of The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, FL

Outstanding Chef Semi-Finalist

Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in Chicago is also the consulting chef for Portobello Restaurant in Downtown Disney.

Stop by Portobello and try the meatball bar!

Tony Mantuano, Consulting Chef for Portobello in Orlando's Downtown Disney

Lifetime Achievement Award

Wolfgang Puck will be honored on May 7, 2012, with the Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck has been the recipient of many James Beard awards. In addition, he’s the only Chef to have won Outstanding Chef twice! Congrats to Chef Puck!

Chef Wolfgang Puck

Visit Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room or the Wolfgang Puck Express on your next stroll through Downtown Disney Orlando!

Source: James Beard Foundation


  1. says

    I love how chefs can now reach “rock star” status almost among foodie circles … it’s so funny too when my husband and I know who certain chefs are and get excited and some people look at us like we’re nuts. LOL. Congrats to everyone!

  2. says

    Great to see some Central Floridians on the list! The Ravenous Pig is fantastic. It’s one of my all-time favorites. Absolutely worth a visit, if you venture away from the parks for the day.

  3. Chris says

    I went to Portobello to try the meatball bar around 7:30 – 8 o’clock one night last October and they told us they were out of meatballs :(

    Had a couple of drinks and the caprese salad instead. it was excellent

  4. Mary says

    Wasn’t Scott Hunnel a semi-finalist last year too? I wonder how often there are repeats on the list. It would be nice to see him win this year.

  5. anderson says

    @Mary. I wondered about that too! I was looking through the list of finalists from previous years and saw that the same people are on there every year. Haha

  6. says

    I’m so excited to head to Portobello again on this upcoming trip!

    @Mary and Anderson — Yep; I think he’s been a semi-finalist for quite a few years, actually!

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