Oprah-approved chef and cookbook author Art Smith is getting into the business of Disney with a new restaurant. The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Smith has struck a deal to open Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine at the Walt Disney World Resort. The 6,000-square-foot, 200-seat eatery will be located in the new Disney Springs development.
Smith isn't a stranger to the charms of Disney. The chef got his start in the culinary field with an internship through the Magic Kingdom College Program. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Homecoming plan calls for a moonshine bar serving cocktails, punches, and coolers, as well as a "glass-walled show kitchen." The restaurant's menu is also expected to delve into Southern and Floridian recipes with dishes like pimento cheese, deviled eggs, and low country shrimp and grits, and chicken and dumplings. Desserts will also play a central roll; cakes and pies will be shipped daily to the resort from Smith's bakery in Jasper, Florida. Homecoming is slated for a summer 2016 debut.
This is the latest in a series of new celebrity chef-driven and themed dining concepts at Disney parks. Fellow Iron Chef alum Masaharu Morimoto's pan-Asian eatery debuted in Downtown Disney on September 30. The Indiana Jones-themed Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar also came to life in September. Also on the Disney World docket for 2016 is a Patina Restaurant Group project called The Edison, which promises cabaret and contortionists.