As we near the end of March, and wrap up our Women’s History Month celebration, I wanted to take a moment to recognize just a few of the women from our Disney Springs restaurants who add a bit of flavor to our neighborhood! One of my favorite things about Disney Springs is the variety of locations we have here – each with their unique stories and individuals who share their talents with us. We are proud to have so many incredible women creating culinary magic for our guests every day.
At The Edison in Disney Springs, Executive Chef Deaundra ‘Dee’ Rolle brings her unique culinary vision to the lavish, 1920s-themed restaurant. Chef Dee is originally from the Bahamas, and says her favorite part of being a chef is the sense of fulfillment that comes from having others enjoy the meals she prepares. Some of her favorite dishes on The Edison’s menu are the Creamy Spinach Cheese Dip and Bacon Mushroom Swiss Burger. For her, Women’s History Month is about representation, and giving young girls role models to look up to.
Chef Crystal Dion is a Sous Chef in training at Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante, serving a range of handmade pastas, fresh fish, steaks and desserts in an elegant Italian trattoria set in a 1930’s airline terminal. She has been in the restaurant industry for 10 years, and loves being able to provide authentic Italian meals for the restaurant’s guests, such as the restaurant’s popular Ravioli Formaggi, Salmone alla Griglia and Pollo alla Parmigiana. Being able to make someone happy for just a small amount of time is why she wanted to become a chef.
At Morimoto Asia, Sous Chef Nanako Lugo brings authenticity to her cuisine through her Japanese heritage. Originally from Okinawa, Japan, her father was a chef and inspired her to follow in his steps to create meals that bring others joy. Being able to mentor young people and watch them grow is her favorite part of working in the kitchen. For aspiring female chefs, she suggests they don’t let challenges discourage them and always stay true to themselves. She says their hard work will pay off in the long run.
At Jaleo, Sous Chef Beyla Garcia brings the flavors of Spain to guests visiting from around the world. Growing up in Venezuela, her parents had a cooking school and encouraged her to expand her knowledge of cuisine, furthering her education and experience working in professional kitchens. She loves to share her expertise with new and young cooks, helping them to be savvy and innovative when creating dishes. She said Women’s History Month is important to her because it gives women in the restaurant industry a voice to tell their story on how they made it, especially in a male-dominated industry.
Chef Hannah has been a part of The Polite Pig family for a little over two years now. Her love for food and cooking blossomed at a young age. Growing up, she quickly learned that food was the root of quality time, great laughs and comforting memories. Hannah has found inspiration in memories of cooking alongside her grandmother and recreated her favorite childhood dish for The Polite Pig menu – Grandma’s Beef Tips & Gravy – in recognition of the woman who continues to inspire her daily.
And last but certainly not least – the pastry chefs at Paddlefish, Mely and Patty, are a creative and talented duo responsible for the tasty desserts on the menu. They also craft the beautiful dessert spreads at various private events and weddings that take place here.
We love celebrating our inspiring female chefs, this month and year-round! Be sure to check out their delicious creations next time you’re at Disney Springs.