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COUNTER INTELLIGENCE

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Ever get the urge to tell a chef how you really feel about a dish you sampled — or just wonder how it got on your plate? Well, Hollerbach's Willow Tree Café in Sanford, widely considered to serve the finest German fare in the area, is offering patrons a chance to play food critic.

At 7 p.m. each Wednesday night through September, a trio of the restaurant's chefs will prepare (and serve) a special three-course meal based on an ingredient or theme, then discuss the art of food preparation and plating with like-minded foodies. Patrons are encouraged to jot their candid assessments of taste, presentation, quantity and wine pairings on scorecards, without the fear of having mysterious fluids drizzled onto the food or any such back-kitchen repercussions. The idea is to showcase the kitchen's talents while providing a venue for gourmands to socialize and talk food.

Dishes will veer beyond the Teutonic and focus solely on haute cuisine, comprising a range of culinary traditions. Items such as duck confit, spinach-stuffed cod and raspberry vacherin have been offered in previous weeks; Wednesday, Aug. 22, will feature frisee salad with applewood-bacon vinaigrette, cider-brined pork chops, braised beef short ribs, wild-mushroom risotto and blackberry crème brûlée. Each week's menu items can be viewed on the Hollerbachs' website (www.willowtreecafe.com). Seating for Chef's Night Out is limited to 32 participants and costs $30 per person. For more info, call (407) 321-2204.

dining@orlandoweekly.com

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