Michael McMullen Named New Executive Chef at Rosen Centre in Orlando

New Executive Chef Michael McMullen Infuses the Spice of Life into Dining at Rosen Centre in Orlando

ORLANDO (July 22, 2021) -- To Michael McMullen, the new executive chef at Rosen Centre in Orlando, it is the little things that count when impressing the 1334-room hotel’s tens of thousands of guests each year.
“Whether we are preparing an olive-crusted Chilean Sea Bass for one guest at our award-winning Everglades restaurant or a five-course catered extravaganza for 1,000 in our Grand Ballroom, one thing remains the same: it is the attention to detail that sets us apart,” said McMullen, who is excited to take the helm, overseeing Rosen Centre’s nine dining outlets and catering for groups utilizing the hotel’s 150,000 sq. ft. of luxurious meeting and event space.
His culinary philosophy is measured -- a little goes a long way. Blessed with a diverse, international team of long-time Rosen chefs, he encourages each to draw upon their most memorable childhood flavors, unconventional seasonings and cultural spices and to subtly meld these into unexpected dish enhancements for the American palate.
Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill's succulent sliced beef.
For instance, Rosen Centre’s Chef Adelberto can be found most mornings expertly mincing sweet peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro for an authentic sofrito that evokes fond memories of his childhood in Puerto Rico. The freshly prepared aromatic mixture is then infused into that day’s rice served at the restaurants and with catering for a delicious alternative to the typical quick-steamed version. “The small touch elevates a mundane side dish to a whole new level,” says McMullen.
Kosher salt exclusively is used in the Rosen Centre kitchens for its much cleaner flavor than iodized salt. A little touch that most diners would be hard-pressed to identify, however, to Chef Mike, it is a flavorful distinction.
Chef McMullen is adamant about purchasing spices from first grind houses and the freshest herbs for flavorings and marinades for his chefs. Because of this, Chef Tello Luna’s hand-crafted mole sauce, inspired by his boyhood in Mexico, is that much better as an unanticipated accompaniment to intensify the Caribbean-Cuban-inspired dishes at Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill.
Chilean Sea Bass finished with an artisan craft mix of micro greens, one of the featured dishes at the award-winning Everglades restaurant.
In Everglades restaurant, Chef Fred Vlachos enhances dishes like the Chilean Sea Bass with a special artisan craft mix of micro greens sourced from a local herb farm. A custom blend of micro cilantro, micro onion and micro wasabi greens finish each exquisite bite with a range of flavors from cool ranch to fresh onion, ending with a quick hit of spicey wasabi. Edible garnishes of baby flower petals are oftentimes added to finish the artful display.
For Chef Mike, his own Cincinnati childhood has influenced many of the understated, but notable flavor enhancements found in his menus today.
“As a young boy and the baby of the family, I was not allowed to play unsupervised outside with my three older siblings, so I would hang around with my mom Jeanne in the kitchen,” said Chef Mike. “Mom filled our kitchen with cookbooks and our pantry with an extensive array of fresh ingredients at the ready to make any dish from scratch.
“While one of the best parts was licking the spoons, I came to appreciate later in life the enormous impact of this impromptu ‘education.’ In our own little test kitchen, I learned to respect food and its unique history within each person’s life. While Mom passed away in 1998, I still have the box with all of her handwritten favorite recipes, which I oftentimes refer to for inspiration. It is very dear to me.”
Everglades restaurant is available for buyouts sure to inspire and delight guests as they dine within its vibrant tropical atmosphere.
Trained at the American Culinary Federation and via stints at Five Diamond resorts in Orlando, Chef Mike arrived at Rosen Hotels & Resorts 15 years ago to serve in the role as executive chef at sister property Rosen Plaza, before now moving to Rosen Centre.
“One of the best days of my professional career was when I found this incredible hotel company, Rosen Hotels & Resorts,” said Chef Mike. “Our guests are varied, yet all seem to appreciate the Rosen value we provide. In one day, my staff can be challenged with developing a healthy menu to appeal to a youth group, creating made-from-scratch soups and sauces for our restaurants and preparing a gourmet awards dinner for our more discerning business clientele.
“Ultimately, it takes a dedicated team to provide an incredible experience with food,” says Chef Mike. “From the dishwashers to the bartenders, from the line cooks to the servers, through to leadership, the goal is to land a perfect 10 every time!”
A tranquil view from Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill of the inviting tropical swimming pool, one of many world-class amenities at Rosen Centre.
The impressive 24-story Rosen Centre Hotel is ideally connected to the Orange County Convention Center and soars high above all of International Drive’s best nightlife, shopping and attractions. An ideal meetings headquarters hotel and luxurious leisure retreat, guests relish in the most impressive venue, accommodations and amenities in Orlando. After relaxing at The Spa at Rosen Centre, basking in the sun at the outdoor Olympic-size tropical pool or building up an appetite at the full-service fitness center, guests will find the hotels’ nine dining and lounging options ready to serve.
Rosen Centre's nine dining outlets satisfy a range of tastes from sushi at Banshoo Sushi to a juicy Reuben (pictured below) at Sam & Bubbe's Lobby Bar.
For a leisurely, fine dining experience, the whimsical atmosphere of Everglades restaurant and an inventive Southern-inspired menu charms guests with a sophisticated taste of Florida. Here, impeccable prime steaks and fresh seafood are presented, while taste buds are drawn to discover regional specialties like Gator Chowder.
Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill transports guests on a Caribbean escape, while 98 Forty Tapas & Tequila’s fresh Mexican fare and Banshoo Sushi’s colorful sushi rolls round out more international offerings. Located off the hotel’s main lobby, Café Gauguin has something for everyone with three-times-daily buffets and extensive menu options. Nearby, Sam & Bubbe’s Lobby Bar delights with craft cocktails to enjoy with over-stuffed blintzes and cultural favorites unique to I-Drive.
Rosen Centre Hotel is located at 9840 International Drive, Orlando, Fla. 32819. For more information, please visit RosenCentre.com or call 407-996-9840.
Media Contact:
Mary Deatrick, DPR