Inside TODAY Cafe at Universal Studios Florida

July 27, 2022
Chefs Today Cafe opening door

Direct from Studio 1A at NBC Studios isUniversal Orlando Resort’s incarnation of the TODAY show,The TODAY Cafe, which happens to be my favorite place to eat inUniversal Studios Florida.

To learn more about why this spot is worthy of a visit for any trip to the theme park, I interviewed three of the culinary visionaries behind the incredible cuisine at the cafe, Chef Robert Martinez Jr., Chef Christian Markussen and Chef Christopher Colon.

CHRISTIAN FULTON: Thank you for meeting with me. So, I have been to the 30 Rock building in Manhattan a couple of times and noticed design elements from the TODAY set carried over to the TODAY Cafe. I love that immersion and continuity of storytelling from Studio 1A in New York City to the TODAY Cafe at Universal Studios Florida.

CHEF ROBERT MARTINEZ JR.我们在奥兰多环球影城度假村非常擅长让客人沉浸在氛围和体验中。我想这就是当你走进“今日咖啡馆”(TODAY Cafe)的时候你会得到的感觉:就像在这部剧的真实拍摄现场一样,就像你在1A工作室一样。我们想让客人们在准备去主题公园的时候,一边吃牛油果吐司、松饼或美味的热咖啡,一边享受幕后的体验。

CHRISTIAN FULTON:I’m very interested in the architecture and the thought that goes into a good design. How did the layout and furnishings come to be at TODAY Cafe?

CHEF ROBERT MARTINEZ JR.:We worked alongside our creative partners at Universal Creative and gave a lot of input in the culinary items at the cafe. We, as culinarians, really have more say when it comes to those things — for example, what kind of dessert cabinet we might want and the features of the cabinet and how guests will see it.

CHRISTIAN FULTON:你的团队在这个地点上花了这么多心思,真的是太棒了!尤其是这个,因为它位于佛罗里达环球影城公园的前面。西班牙vs德国历史比分TODAY Cafe有什么客人可能没有意识到的酷的地方吗?

CHEF CHRISTIANMARKUSSEN: In the mornings, we have the ability to play live that day’s TODAY show, something you can’t get anywhere else in the theme park.

CHRISTIAN FULTON: Are NBC and TODAY part of the conversation when it comes to developing any of the dishes?

CHEF CHRISTIANMARKUSSEN: For any of the seasonal items, we work with the producers and anchors of the show. And whenever we roll out a new food option and the team in NYC is able to make it to Orlando, we do a tasting with our executive chef, Steve Jayson, as well as with one of the show’s hosts, such as Al Roker or Dylan Dreyer. When that happens, we get to produce a live feed from our TODAY Cafe.

CHRISTIAN FULTON:人们可能没有意识到的是,你在不断地更新菜单。你能给我讲讲吗?

CHEF ROBERT MARTINEZ JR.: We definitely keep an eye out for the hot foods and trends that are happening so we can see how that comes to life at the TODAY Cafe. We’re always changing our options to keep up with the seasons and the trends and to give guests the best experience that we can. We consistently add new salads, for example.

CHRISTIAN FULTON:One of my favorite things to do in the park is grab a salad! The quality of the salads at the TODAY Cafe truly exceeds anything you would expect to get outside of an upscale restaurant.

CHEF ROBERTMARTINEZ JR.: Which one is your favorite?

CHRISTIAN FULTON: It’s hard to pick one because I like so many, but I’m typically enjoying theChinatown Chicken Salador theSOHO.

SOHO Salad from TODAY Cafe
SOHO: roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula, farro, avocado, prosciutto and lemon vinaigrette

CHRISTIAN FULTON: It’s interesting to learn about the thought process behind the cuisine options. Are there any items exclusive to the TODAY Cafe at Universal Studios Florida?

CHEF ROBERTMARTINEZ JR.: We have a signature blend of coffee. Here, guests aren’t getting standard coffee, but a very cool blend of Peruvian dark and Ethiopian.

CHRISTIAN FULTON: Wow, that’s definitely something guests would want to know as they are planning their day, especially those coffee drinkers out there looking to get a fresh start to their morning.

CHEF ROBERT MARTINEZ JR.当前位置今天咖啡厅是我们的客人早上一进门就会光顾的第一个地方,尤其是当他们饿了的时候。所以,我们总是对场地本身了如指掌。我们确实花时间为他们精心制作了完美的菜单选项。

Today Cafe Coffee and Pastry

CHRISTIAN FULTON: Shifting gears a little bit: a lot of people are becoming more conscious about the ingredients they eat and food establishments are becoming more cognizant of this. For someone coming to the cafe with a member of their party with dietary restrictions, how can they find out about food allergens?

CHEF CHRISTIANMARKUSSEN: Something we do now is put allergens on our menu boards. We try to create food items that can be adjusted to a dietary need, a restriction or even a lifestyle change for that matter.

CHRISTIAN FULTON:Bravo. That is so essential.

CHEF CHRISTIAN MARKUSSEN:We actually partner with a lot of theAnnual Passholdergroups that reach out to our food safety teams who ask them for suggestions of easily modifiable items — you know, remove this one ingredient, now it becomes gluten-free! So, we’re very conscious while creating all the food items so they can be modified.

CHRISTIANFULTON:I love hearing how conscientious and involved you are in accommodating those with unique dietary needs. Can you give me an example of a dish that can be easily modified?

CHEF CHRISTIANMARKUSSEN当我们制作隔夜燕麦时,如果想保持纯素,我们会选择添加龙舌兰,而不是像往常那样添加蜂蜜。

Chefs at Today Cafe hugging in front of restaurant
Cheryl Figueroa has recently joined the TODAY Cafe team as the restaurant’s pastry sous-Chef

CHRISTIAN FULTON: Is there anything, like a signature dessert, that is the embodiment of the experience that guests should look out for at the cafe?

CHEF CHRISTOPHER COLON今天咖啡馆有很多招牌菜,但我觉得最棒的是它的甜品陈列柜,因为甜品经常更换。我们几乎想要邀请人们继续回来,因为你永远不知道你会得到什么。谁知道呢?你甚至可能在TikTok上看到我们的甜点。

CHRISTIAN FULTON: Speaking of social media, the cafe itself seems so Instagram-worthy. I’m sure the great desserts paired with the vibrancy of the cafe make it an influencer’s dream.

CHEF CHRISTOPHER COLON:是的,今天咖啡馆的大招牌是一个很好的背景,可以放在你的照片里。You might have seen something on Instagram and you’re now coming into the cafe like, “Oh my gosh, this is where I saw this dessert the other day and now I’m here at the TODAY Cafe!

CHRISTIAN FULTON: As we wrap up, are there any big takeaways to know about the TODAY Cafe?

CHEF CHRISTIANMARKUSSEN: For me, it’s that we bake fresh bread right here on property at our central bakery everyday. It’s the freshness of the product and partnering with our creative partners on the look and feel so that when you walk in, it’s a really great immersive environment to be in. That’s TODAY.

CHEF CHRISTOPHER COLON:At the TODAY Cafe, we make everything ourselves. We have all the ovens in the back baking fresh croissants, muffins, cookies constantly. Everything is made fresh.

CHEF ROBERT MARTINEZ JR.:I agree, I think the main takeaway here is freshness, which goes with all our locations, but especially here. I think the word “today” for us means it’s made TODAY.


Epic in your Inbox

Never miss a thrill. Subscribe now to get email updates from Universal Parks & Resorts.

FacebookShare on Facebook TwitterShare on Facebook PinterestShare on Pinterest

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply