Brandon McGlamery, the James Beard-nominated wiz behind Luma on Park and Prato, welcomed a new addition to his restaurant family this year – Luke's Kitchen & Bar. Not surprisingly, the restaurant's "classic American cuisine" checks the "seasonal" and "responsibly sourced" boxes, and serves as an anchor for Maitland's burgeoning restaurant scene. After all, McGlamery's name resonates with Orlando's food community and he's often mentioned in the same breath as other stalwarts like Kevin Fonzo, James and Julie Petrakis, Scott Hunnel and others who helped establish Orlando's culinary reputation. But there was a time when McGlamery viewed the city as a stepping-stone to greater things.
"I came to Orlando to help open Luma and, to be honest, I wasn't planning to stay for the long run, but that clearly changed," McGlamery says. "I didn't want to like Winter Park and Orlando as much as I did, but when I got out onto the lakes, and got to know our clients – many I now call friends – and saw an opportunity to raise a family here, well, it really changed my perspective." Lucky for us it did.
McGlamery, like so many others, now feels invigorated by the city's restaurant makeup and buoyed by how culinary talents are staying put to make their mark right here instead of heading off to larger markets. It makes McGlamery want to be a better chef and a better restaurateur. "We strive all the time to make our food better, to make our servers better and to be active participants in our community. It's a fun city for those who really like to eat and, I can tell you, it's good to call Orlando home." —FK
Luke's Kitchen & Bar
640 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland 407-674-2400