What would you be able to make with only Chicken McNuggets, French fries, and special sauce at your disposal? That’s what some of central Florida’s finest chefs will be using to make gourmet dishes for "Appetite for the Arches" on Saturday March 1st for a fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House, the McDonald’s charity that supports families with sick children. For the last 13 years, the fundraiser has taken the form of a clambake but this is the first year that chefs will stretch their cooking abilities to create tempting concoctions using only McDonald’s ingredients. Tickets are $250 each.
The event is headed by James Beard Award-nominated chef-couple Julie and James Petrakis from The Ravenous Pig and Cask and Larder — two popular Orlando restaurants. Chef James will be making a brandade fritter with smoked tomato Bolognese using fish filets, hamburger, sausage, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and steak patties. Chef Julie will be making caramel apple bread pudding, oatmeal raisin streusel, and bourbon ice cream using Cinnamelts, oatmeal raisin cookies, apple slices, lemon, milk, eggs, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
So what was it like working with only McDonald’s ingredients?
“Some products were already manipulated for their needs, making it hard to change those manipulations,” James Petrakis told us. “The fish filet was already breaded so it was difficult to work with just the fish.”
The most important thing, both chefs said, was where the money is going.
“The people at the Ronald McDonald House are angels at a time when families need it the most,” said Julie Petrakis.