We told you earlier in the week
that a DBPR restaurant inspector had ordered Kappo, the seven-seat omakase sushi bar at East End Market, to install a plastic sneeze guard or face a lawsuit. Supporters of chefs Jennifer Banagale, Mark Berdin and Lordfer Lalicon insist that the traditional cultural serving style Kappo offers has value to Orlando that shouldn't be destroyed, and say that the "salad bar/buffet" clause cited by the Department of Business & Professional Regulation is inappropriate to this situation.
"In the ancient Japanese 'kappo' tradition, chefs prepare food directly in front of guests and serve directly to them, all while explaining the dishes and their cultural significance. Kappo's owners contend that installing this 'sneezeguard' around the perimeter of the counter would destroy the cultural atmosphere that the restaurant's young chefs have created," says Ryan Julison, Kappo's media spokesman.
Today supporters of the restaurant will protest the DBPR decision at a rally dubbed "Friends of Kappo," 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive. The chefs will provide a selection of free sushi. Julison points out, "Kappo uses only the freshest and highest-quality ingredients. Craftsmanship and cleanliness are hallmarks for these chefs, who previously worked at some of the most well-known restaurants in New York City and London after they graduated from the University of Florida. Kappo hasn't had a single complaint filed against them, until this 'sneezeguard' issue."
"While Kappo recognizes the importance of maintaining the highest level of safety and sanitary conditions, it has vowed to contest the DBPR's order. They are hopeful that there is a solution that will work for all involved that doesn't destroy the tradition they seek to preserve."
Those who can't make it to the rally can still sign the Change.org petition vowing to "Save Kappo!" here