The food at Fusion Fest speaks volumes about Orlando’s diversity

For five years, Fusion Fest has been highlighting and celebrating Central Florida’s impressive diversity, showcasing fashion, theatre, visual art, spoken word and more, but it’s the food of all these cultures that might do the best job of opening doors from one to the next.

“Scheduled this year from November 26-27, noon-6pm, at the Seneff Arts Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “It’s one of the things we love so much and want to highlight.”

Participating members of the area’s culinary community—this includes chefs, restaurateurs, catering companies, and more—are encouraged to share not just the food of their own culture, but daring combinations of it. In fact, that was the principle behind the recent Fusion Cooking competition at Fusion Fest, an event that saw competitors compete for a $1,000 prize in June.

Previous winners have included Ryan Manning of MX Taco, Kevin Vanvilay of Sticky Rice Lao Street Food and Guillermo Herrera of The Pass Progressive.

Fusion Fest is a free, two-day celebration of the many cultures that make Central Florida such a delicious place to live.

Among the vendors at the festival this weekend, 2022 winner Simon Quintero, a Venezuelan who has fused the cuisine of his homeland with that of India, will serve his winning dish.

“The concept was for chefs to use and combine ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques from different countries around the world,” Mancia explains.

The festival, which will feature dozens of singers, dancers, musicians, and more—plus craft vendors interested in holiday shopping—is free. Food items from 15 vendors will feature dishes at $3, $6, and $9, serving up everything from meaty empanadas to vegetarian Vietnamese food to Spanish goodies from the team at Disney’s Springs Galleo.

“We really want to highlight diversity,” says Mancia. “This is important to us and we want everyone to bring their families and explore.”

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