Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Friends of Cooper’s Hawk dinner at the Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant on I-Drive here in Orlando. The event was amazing! It was hosted by co-hosted by Cooper’s Hawk founder Tim McEnery and Top Chef fan favorite Fabio Viviani. The evening included a cocktail reception, interactive cooking demonstrations, four-course dinner with wine pairings, and a special meet-and-greet with Fabio and Tim McEnery.
The evening started off with sparkling champagne, AMAZING sangria, passed appetizers, and getting to meet Chef Fabio Viviani. He was so nice and made quite the effort to get around and chat with everyone before dinner started. This was a private event so the restaurant was only open to those people attending the event. When it was time for things to get started to were lead into the dining room which had been decorated beautifully. They did assigned seating and it was fun to sit and get to know some new folks. I got to sit with fellow blogger Jeanette from J’s Everyday Fashion and we finally had a chance to chat. It was really nice!
We started off our meal with three appetizers served family style – tuna carpaccio , a sliced tomato salad, and whipped ricotta dolce.
During the appetizer portion of the meal Chef Fabio took the stage and showed us how to make his Crispy Broken Potatoes, that were also served during dinner. The cooking demonstration was so much fun! I could definitely see why he was a fan favorite on Top Chef. He was funny, entertaining, and definitely had a passion for food. By the time he was done with the demonstration the dining room smelled amazing and we were all ready to eat.
Dinner was a buffet the included Slow-Roasted Prime Rib, Tuscan Stewed Swordfish, Crispy Broken Potatoes, Caponata, Asparagus & Burrata Salad, and Truffled Gnocchi. It all looked and smelled amazing, so I tried everything (except for the prime rib). It tasted just as amazing! Each course was served with Cooper’s Hawk Winery’s amazing wine.
After dinner we were treated to another amazing cooking demonstration and then it was time for dessert. We had Fabio’s Mom’s Tiramisu paired with ice wine. I really didn’t think I could eat another bite but once the dessert showed up I couldn’t help myself. It was very different from any tiramisu I’d ever had before and I really enjoyed it. Even folks who don’t normal enjoy it were finishing off every last bite.
At the end of the evening we were each given a signed copy of Fabio’s cookbook “Fabio’s American Home Kitchen.” How cool is that? I definitely plan on trying a bunch of the recipes in this cookbook. After watching his cooking demonstrations I feel that even a novice cook like myself can make his recipes work.