Central Florida is increasingly becoming a melting pot of international cultures yet many of the 120+ million visitors to the Sunshine State in 2021 may not be aware. Most of the diversity is concentrated in the state's major metropolitan areas like Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.
Surely the small towns of Lake Hamilton and Dundee, Florida wouldn't come to mind. Yet, Chef Lorell Diaz of Creation's Cuisine Bistro and Creation's Cuisine Catering & Events has set up her first brick and mortar café concept here and is introducing residents in the heart of Florida to her Puerto Rican roots in subtle yet delicious ways!
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A Quick History Of Chef Lorell Diaz
Lorell Diaz was born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico where her entrepreneurial spirit and aspirations to become a chef were fueled by her family who ran several restaurants on the island. She began her formal culinary arts training in Puerto Rico and expanded her studies in Pasadena, California and at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in New York City.
Chef Lorell Diaz moved to Kissimmee, Florida in 2006 with little money but rich with ambition and determination! Although her first job cooking professionally was at a restaurant within the Centro de Convenciones de Puerto Rico (the convention center in San Juan, Puerto Rico), her first opportunity to showcase and expand her culinary skills in Central Florida was at Jiko - The Cooking Place at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge within the Walt Disney World Resort. Here Chef Diaz brought to life traditional African, Indian, and Mediterranean dishes at one of Disney's signature dining experiences.
Near the end of her tenure at Disney, Chef Diaz had her first child which reignited her entrepreneurial drive. She took another leap of faith and decided to go into business for herself, carrying on the family tradition of business ownership. Her first business venture was Just Purses: The Mobile Boutique, which gave her the opportunity to meet lots of people in the Central Florida area.
As her network grew, so too did requests for Chef Diaz to offer catering services. Just Purses: The Mobile Boutique operated for more than 10 years while Chef Diaz continued growing her catering business and officially incorporated in 2018 as Creation's Cuisine Events & Catering. She was formally back in the kitchen!
Creation's Cuisine Events & Catering
Chef Lorell Diaz started Creation's Cuisine Events & Catering in 2018 where she leveraged her culinary arts training/experience as well as her growing network in Central Florida to provide turnkey event planning services of exceptional quality.
Event planning and execution is Chef Diaz's core business which melds together her passions for food, service, and design. In fact, their slogan is "Where Food Is An Expression Of Art". Creation's Cuisine offers comprehensive services for events of all types and sizes. Weddings, birthdays, baby showers, quinceaneras, corporate events, and more!
Leveraging the broad network she's forged within Central Florida, Chef Diaz is able to plan your event, find the perfect venue, design and prepare an incredible catering menu, help with floral arrangements, provide exceptional cakes, and hire photographers, entertainment, DJs, and more.
Creation's Cuisine Bistro In Lake Hamilton
After a few years of producing incredible events all across Central Florida, Chef Lorell Diaz took another leap of faith in establishing her first brick and mortar location in Lake Hamilton, Florida. Since the catering and events business is largely a weekend operation, opening up a physical restaurant would provide an additional stream of income while allowing Chef Diaz to bring her culinary talents to another part of Central Florida.
Creation's Cuisine Bistro was opened in September 2021 and is located at 29890 US-27, Dundee, FL 33838. This cafe style concept features a selection of artisanal soups, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, pasta, desserts, and juices (make sure to try their lemonades!!!). They are currently open every weekday between 11AM and 3PM; follow their social media accounts (linked below) for any schedule changes and to learn about daily specials.
Soups are one of the best sellers according to the chef. I can attest, I tried out three varieties and all were incredible! I sampled the broccoli & cheddar, loaded potato, and the sweet potato puree which was absolutely divine. Creation's Cuisine Bistro always has four fresh daily soups on a rotating schedule, so call ahead if you want a particular one, but trust me, you are going to want to try them all!
All menu items are made fresh by Chef Diaz and her team. Even the salads get the gourmet treatment with homemade vinaigrettes to top these tasty and colorful creations. I had the Blue Paradise salad which is bright blend of mixed greens, pecans, feta cheese, sangria tomatoes, fresh blueberries, and their homemade blueberry vinaigrette. Wow, this was bright and fresh and totally worth the trip to Lake Hamilton alone!
During my visit I spoke with a couple of customers who had great things to say about Creation's Cuisine Bistro. A friendly lady told me that she always brings clients to Chef Diaz's restaurant because all menu offerings are gourmet and that is something most people wouldn't expect in the area. Another couple learned about the cafe from an event at a nearby community church which was catered by Creation's Cuisine. It goes to show that quality, consistency, and excellent service are surefire ways to gain repeat customers!
Infusing Puerto Rican Culture & Flavors
"It's not always easy", Chef Diaz explained, " we are in an area that is very seasonal so there are very slow times and very busy times." Many of the people who live in the cities of Lake Hamilton and Dundee, Florida are "snow birds", that is an individual who lives here seasonally, generally in the winter when the rest of the country is very cold.
This means that Chef Diaz has to be creative in order to remain profitable during the slowest months of the year. Leveraging her experience in creating memorable events and borrowing from her Puerto Rican roots, Diaz finds ways to spice things up! In order to draw in some of her Kissimmee and Orlando-based customers, the chef regularly adds special menu items that appeals to the LatinX market. In doing so she is also helping to introduce the local community to her culture by way of food.
Whether it's a Taco Tuesday, infusing tropical fruits like mango into a chutney, or adding a twist such as a cilantro aioli, patrons of Creation's Cuisine Bistro are in for a flavorful and inspiring dining experience. Additionally, Chef Diaz hosts events on weekends when her catering business doesn't have her booked.
Brunch is a super popular offering that she is regularly asked about but is only able to offer on occasion. Make sure to follow their social media accounts to know when it's happening. Other creative events hosted at the cafe include Movies Under The Stars, special dining events such as their Valentine's Candlelight Dinner, or their Pinchos Saturday Galeria that introduces patrons to traditional Puerto Rican grilled meat skewers - yummy!
The Future Of Creation's Cuisine Bistro
Although their current primary business is Creation's Cuisine Catering & Events, Chef Laurell Diaz is planning on expanding Creation's Cuisine Bistro. Her hope is to be able to bring her fresh cafe concept to Kissimmee and Orlando to serve the people who have supported her entrepreneurial journey.
Chef Diaz's story is inspiring! Her hardwork and commitment to providing high-quality fresh food to local communities and helping to introduce others to her Puerto Rican roots does not go unnoticed. We highly recommend that you take a trip to the Lake Hamilton and Dundee area to experience the culinary talents of Chef Laurell Diaz! And if you have an event, you can have her bring those talents directly to you and your guests.
Follow Creation's Cuisine
Follow Creation's Cuisine Bistro on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on their daily specials and to know when they're hosting special events! Make sure you tag @Pedacitos.Blog so we can see all the tasty dishes you had during your visit.
You can also follow Chef Lorell Diaz on her Instagram account to see the work of her incredible events and catering business. Online ordering and delivery are available using Uber Eats, Doordash, and Grubhub.
If you'd like to book her services, you can email email@example.com and let her know that you discovered her on Pedacitos Travel & Culture Blog.