Chef Steve Jayson is the first inductee exclusively from Central Florida’s culinary tourism into the Dick Pope Legacy Hall of Fame.
The Dick Pope Legacy Awards acknowledge leaders that significantly impact Orlando and the state of Florida as a premium destination. Chef Steve Jayson has been an integral part of the success of Universal Parks & Resorts since he began in 1989 as part of its inaugural opening team. As vice president, corporate executive chef for the Universal Parks and Resorts, Chef Jayson has delivered an incredible level of culinary expertise and service to Universal’s guests over 29 years in Orlando and around the world. He has also been recognized by his peers for his contributions to his profession; and has received more than 150 culinary awards from various organizations including being named National Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2000.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Jayson has served the culinary industry for 46 years, including several years with Hyatt and Omni Hotels. Jayson’s most recent culinary accomplishments include the Universal’s Harry Potter openings and the inventive menus and creation of the world renowned “Butter Beer”.
Orlando’s culinary world has been anchored by the works of Chef Steve Jayson. His level of consistent legacy of progressive foods and restaurants within Universal Orlando is unheard of says Dr. Mary Jo Ross, Executive Director of the Grand Tour Foundation. “Chef Jayson’s contribution’s to Orlando’s food scene has seeded what we enjoy in our city today. Orlando has grown to become one of the most innovative and eclectic food scenes in the country and it’s because of the level of culinary talent showcased within our hospitality community and tourism industry.
Chef Jayson will join the stage on November 4th at the Wyndham Resort on International Drive with this year’s other inductees; golf legend Arnold Palmer, President John Hitt of UCF, along with the posthumous recognition of Visit Orlando’s Gary Sain. Bronze likenesses will be immortalized on the new Dick Pope Hall of Fame within the newly renovated west wing of the Orange County Convention Center.
The mission of the Grand Tour Gala Foundation is to raise and distribute funds to student scholarship foundations and to non-profit organizations purposed to provide educational programs and directly to students pursuing hospitality and tourism careers.
The Dick Pope Legacy Luncheon and Foodstock Orlando, a multi-day destination festival are special events currently in production under the direction of Dr. Mary Jo Ross, CSEP, CPCE. The hospitality industry driven events will increase the financial support necessary for the high demand of scholarships and grants within Florida’s hospitality education mecca. Attendees and corporate sponsors of the Dick Pope Legacy luncheon can register at www.GrandTourFoundation.com.
For more information on Foodstock Orlando go to www.FoodstockOrlando.com.
Jayson has been an integral part of the success of Universal Parks & Resorts since he began in 1989 as part of its inaugural opening team. As vice president, corporate executive chef for the Universal Parks and Resorts, Chef Jayson has delivered an incredible level of culinary expertise and service to Universal’s guests over the years in Orlando and around the world. He has also been recognized by his peers for his contributions to his profession; and has received more than 150 culinary awards from various organizations including being named National Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2000.
Palmer has been known as one of the best sportsmen and businessmen in the world for nearly half a century. As a professional golfer, he has won 92 national and international championships, 62 of them on the PGA Tour, and seven majors led by four green jackets from The Masters. Palmer has been equally successful in the corporate world as President of Arnold Palmer Enterprises. Palmer has had a lasting impact on the Central Florida community by lending his name and helping to raise funds for the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
Hitt has been President of the University of Central Florida since 1992. Upon his arrival at UCF, the school was the fifth largest in Florida and 115th in the nation. Since then, UCF has grown to more than 60,000 students – triple the enrollment over the time of his appointment now making UCF ranked number two in the nation. Dr. Hitt has lead UCF in becoming a major metropolitan university of global impact and has launched more than $1 billion in new construction including the new expansion of its Downtown Orlando campus.
About Dick Pope: Richard Downing Pope, Sr. died in 1988 but his legacy lives on. Better known as Dick Pope, he was the founder of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida. Known as “Mr. Florida”, Pope played a momentous role in the development of tourism in the state of Florida and the growth of its theme parks as tourist destinations.