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Tasting Notes with the Seven Seas Chefs

January 30, 2024
Learn more about the sous chefs behind the Seven Seas Food Festival along with their must have's for this year's event!
SeaWorlds’s Seven Seas Food Festival invites guests to embark on a culinary journey like no other and discover the delicious tastes from around the world. From savory delights to sweet indulgences, this festival showcases an eclectic array of dishes inspired by cuisines spanning continents. We invite you to learn more about Chef Walason and Chef Vargas, the pillars behind the Seven Seas Food Festival. Read on to learn more about their culinary journeys and must try’s for this years festival!

Chef Jose Vargas has been an integral part of SeaWorld Orlando's culinary team for almost two years now, where he values the collaborative spirit that drives the team to achieve excellence for their guests. Among his diverse experiences, the most challenging was orchestrating a park buyout for 10,000 people, marking a significant milestone in his career. His culinary passion lies in Japanese cuisine, appreciating its complexity, innovation, and beautiful presentation. Chef Vargas's go-to comfort meal reflects his Puerto Rican roots with Pernil, Arroz con Glandules, Pasteles, Alcapurrias, and his mom's macaroni salad. Inspired by Executive Chef Jerry Taylor, who nurtured him from a dishwasher at 16, Chef Vargas cherishes the mentorship that shaped his culinary journey.

Tempura Sushi
Tempura Battered Sushi located at the Asian Market (Booth 17)

His top picks from the Seven Seas Food Festival include Chicken Tikka Masala, Tempura Sushi with Masago, and Galinhada. When asked to recommend a booth, he encourages exploration, emphasizing the uniqueness of each dish- emphasizing that there is no way to select just one. Excited about the new addition of Tostones at Seven Seas, he humorously admits he might linger by that hut a bit longer. To aspiring chefs, Chef Vargas offers seasoned advice, emphasizing the commitment, lifelong learning, and resilience required for a fulfilling culinary career, drawing from his own 30 years of valuable experiences, lessons, and connections

Galinhada
Galinhada located at the Brazilian Market (Booth 25)

Although Chef Frank Walason recently joined the SeaWorld culinary team, he has found comfort in the welcoming atmosphere of his new kitchen and crew. One of his most memorable experiences in the kitchen was the challenge of transporting an array of foods and transforming them into a multitude of dishes, a task he found enjoyable and exciting to witness. When asked about his favorite culinary style, he shared his gravitation towards French cuisine due to its authenticity and timelessness. As for Chef Franks comfort food, he humbly turns to the pure simplicity and satisfaction of a well-crafted sandwich. His kitchen inspiration also stems from his mother’s expertise in the kitchen.

Bangers and Mash
Bangers and Mash located at the Irish Market (Booth 14)

His top three picks for this year’s Seven Seas Food Festival include Bangers and Mashed, Jambalaya, and Beef Barbacoa. Amongst the selection of new dishes, Bangers and Mash has become his must-try dish for the festival. To those aspiring to become chefs, Walason expressed the need to ensure a deep passion for ‘living the dream in the kitchen’.

Make sure to visit SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival, select dates February 2 through May 19, to get the chance to try some of the chefs personal selections along with some of our other delicious dishes!