(ohhhh…”Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer”…la la la)
Chef Robert Irvine of Dinner: Impossible fame, in town for the 15th Annual Epcot international Food and Wine Festival, took an hour out of his busy schedule of cooking and filming last night to have drinks with a small intimate group of Facebook folks at the Crews Cup Lounge inside Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. What a treat!
Chef had been filming in Epcot prior to our meet-up. The filming had gone over, which put him about an hour and a half late. (We weren’t too worried because we were all having fun amongst ourselves) He finally arrived to cheers from the group. Robert apologized profusely and graciously posed for pictures with each of us and then promptly asked for a beer and settled in to a chair in the middle of our table SMACK DAB IN FRONT OF ME! *swoon*
As Robert was getting to know each one of us he asked where we were from. One of the gals at the end of the table was from Mexico City and Chef told her that he had lost his luggage there once. That lead to a story of how he had left a pair of underwear in a hotel room and subsequently found them being auctioned off on eBay where he was forced to buy them back at a cost of $26!
When asked how he feels about Walt Disney World, chef told us that he loves it here. He loves the people and all that Disney stands for and he especially loves the fact that when he arrives at “the World” he is greeted with…”Welcome HOME!” Chef also told us that he has an “in” over at the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot’s UK pavilion and that is where he likes to go when he breaks from his Food & Wine Festival duties *hint hint*
Irvine also hinted of “Lots of FUN stuff in 2011″…including two new shows that will be airing on FOX and three new shows with Food Network. Watch for announcements on his Twitter and Facebook Pages for all the deets after the Christmas Holiday Season.
Chef is currently filming a new series for the Food Network “Restaurant: Impossible”. The series follows Irvine as he rescues failing restaurants and gets them back up on their feet turning a profit. He had just flown in from New York the night prior, where he had been working on the new show. He told us a story of 30-year-olds whose parents had passed. The two owners took $900,000 of their inheritance and put it into a restaurant (Salt Works II in Wilmington, NC) that wasn’t worth $100,000. Chef came in and whipped Salt Works II back into shape and still maintains an open line of communication with the owners as they forge on their road back to financial recovery.
Chef also invited us to a special Mondavi Wine Dinner that he is hosting at his restaurant “Robert Irvine’s eat!” in Hilton Head Island on Thursday November 4th featuring Peter Mondavi. He also told us that he sometimes pulls “all-nighters” at the eatery because his schedule is so hectic. Which makes me wonder how he keeps such a slammin’ physique!?!? Check out these guns! (jokingly, each aptly named by Chef as “casualty”and “cemetery” LOL)
After Robert leaves the Walt Disney World Resort on Monday he flies off to do “Celebrity Chopped” until Thursday and then he flies off to do another “Restaurant: Impossible” until his Mondavi Dinner on November 4th. After the dinner he informed us that he was then heading to Canada for a Make a Wish Foundation benefit. Love! Love! Love! Robert said that the three causes close to his heart were the armed forces, veterans, and kids cancer.
Before he made his exit, Chef Irvine bought all of us a round of tequila shots and a few toasts were made by the group and then it was chef’s turn to toast. He said,” Thank you for staying a little longer…thank you for Facebook. Facebook is an amazing way to communicate…so keep doing it and do me one thing, keep doing what you do, and if you can do something special for somebody you don’t know every day, the world will be a better place! On that note…CHEERS!”
…And “Cheers” to you Mr. Irvine for your time!