Orlando’s Signature Dish
Culinary Competition

Honey + Dessert + Orlando’s Best Chefs = Orlando’s Signature Dish

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has challenged the Orlando community to take the first step in creating a dish that defines Orlando and expands people’s awareness of who we are as a destination. Chefs, residents and visitors are invited to join in the fun to help create and choose a Signature Dish for Orlando. It’s a big (and tasty!) challenge.

Here’s how to get involved: 

Competition Criteria

The dish must be a dessert incorporating local honey as a key ingredient. The competition is open to all Orlando restaurant chefs with a license to serve food. Only one entry is allowed per restaurant.

Why Honey?

Honey is both delicious and of historical significance to Orange County. European honeybees and citrus trees entered the state together nearly 500 years ago. As the citrus trees flourished in the state’s mild climate and sandy soil, so too did the bees. Central Florida has long had an abundance of local crops and plants that contribute to numerous flavors of honey such as gallberry, saw palmetto, blueberry, Brazilian pepper and popular orange blossoms.

Central Florida Beekeeping

In 2016 alone, the state produced 17 million pounds of honey! The popularity of beekeeping and honey has increased in recent years in Central Florida. The number of registered beekeepers in Florida has more than quadrupled in the past decade. About 500 new beekeepers register every year — many in Central Florida.

Enter Now

Timeline

Submissions: Aug. 23–Oct. 1
  • Original honey dessert creations may be submitted by licensed food service providers throughout Central Florida until Oct. 1
Voting: Oct. 2–Nov. 3
  • Once an entry is submitted, you’re automatically entered into the competition.  A complete listing of all dishes will be live for voting on Oct. 2.
  • Restaurants may start serving their original honey dessert on Oct. 2 and encourage patrons to vote at VisitOrlando.com/Dish.  
  • Voting ends on Nov. 3.
Finalist Announcement: Second Week of November
  • Visit Orlando will reveal the top 10 finalists based on voting results.
Winner Announcement: December 6
  • A celebrity judging panel of experts will narrow down the top 10 to one winning dish.
  • Join Visit Orlando’s luncheon event on December 6 for the live announcement.