Worth the Drive: Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, Part 2

 

Just part of the amazing raw bar selection platter at Todd English's bluezoo at the Walkt Disney World Swan & Dolphin
Just part of the amazing raw bar selection platter at Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin

Last week, we told you about Todd English’s bluezoo and their special Magical Dining Month offer. This week, it’s an interview with executive chef Andrew Bernier, the man behind the amazing seafood at this award-winning restaurant.

Innovative cocktails are perfect for before, during, and after dinner.
Innovative cocktails are perfect for before, during, and after dinner.

Seminole Magazine (SM): Please tell us about your background and how you came to bluezoo.
Andrew Bernier (AB): Before bluezoo I was the Shula’s Steak House executive chef, which is also at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. Prior to that, I was in Atlanta at the airport Marriott as their executive chef. Prior to that, I was at the JW Marriott here in Orlando as their banquet chef. I graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

SM: Where does your inspiration come for menu items and specials? 
AB: I’m all about seasonality. I like simple, but well-executed food. I love to deal with everything that’s fresh in season.

Tableside fileting and boning of fresh fish is just one of the special touches that make bluezoo stand apart from other seafood restaurants.
Tableside fileting and boning of fresh fish is just one of the special touches that make bluezoo stand apart from other seafood restaurants.

SM: What are the guest favorites? Did you find any of those choice to have been surprising?
AB: Our crispy Asian ribs, our seared grouper and our harissa-marinated dancing fish. I don’t actually find any of those to be surprising.

SM: What about your personal menu favorites?
AB: Definitely the ribs and I loved the bacon-wrapped tuna. Who doesn’t like bacon?

SM: Please tell me about Bluezoo’s commitment to local ingredients (when possible). Are there any ingredients you haven’t yet locally sourced that you are looking forward to being able to get?
AB: We support, whenever possible, local partners. We have the utmost respect for the effort and skill and the love that they put into producing these ingredients, and we aim to honor them with high-end and greatly executed dishes using their products.

Beautifully presented appetizers showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Beautifully presented appetizers showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients.

SM: Summer is here – what summer ingredients are you excited about?
AB: I’m definitely excited about tomatoes coming into full bloom, squash, zucchini and also peaches.

SM: Finally, the infamous chef question: describe your perfect meal.

AB: The perfect meal would have to be a grilled cowboy steak, toasted garlic mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and for dessert, tiramisu.

Desserts also take advantage of the best in local, seasonal ingredients.
Desserts also take advantage of the best in local, seasonal ingredients.