Chefs cook up creative dishes with McDonald’s ingredients for a cause

in Orlando News & Events

SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel

Not many could see a McGriddle and think to pair it with fois gras. Or use McDonald’s oatmeal cookies as a crumble for a decadent bread pudding.

Local chefs will be creating similar high-end dishes for Appetite for the Arches, a fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Florida. It will be held on March 2 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, 9939 Universal Blvd. in Orlando.

Chefs field multiple invitations to participate in charity events, making it sometimes difficult to recruit them.

Appetite for the Arches is attractive for chefs beyond its unique concept, said Julie Petrakis, chef-owner of The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park and a key figure in coordinating chefs for the fundraisers.

The event’s goal — to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida — is something chefs can get behind, Petrakis said.

Many have a personal connection to the organization, which provides a home for families with children being treated at Orlando hospitals and medical facilities.

“It’s so close to home,” Petrakis said. “It’s so important. It can touch all of our lives at some point.”

The roster for Appetite for the Arches’ March fundraiser includes Dovecote, Luma on Park, Rosen Shingle Creek, The Kevin Fonzo Foundation, The Rusty Spoon, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs, Talk of the Town Restaurants and Cuisiners Catered Cuisine and Events.

The mixture of cuisines and restaurant styles represented by those eateries is reflected in the dishes created for Appetite for the Arches. Everything from vanilla bean panna cotta with a tangerine gelee and compote to plays on the Big Mac using filets have been served.

You see “people take it to the next level,” Petrakis said. Participating chefs get creative — and sometimes a bit competitive with the number of McDonalds ingredients used.