The Happiest Place on Earth kicked off the 17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase on Friday! This is a festival that is eagerly anticipated by food and wine lovers all year. It is a not to be missed event for anyone that loves culinary experiences, wine tasting or any Disney fan. The festival runs thru November 12th this year, a bonus of one more day than last year!
The opening day and weekend is filled with special events and activities for guests to enjoy- one in particular which I was looking forward to for weeks was a reception in the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog.
I have loved work the last 10 months since I joined the Disney Parks Event Catering team- we have had so many magical events that thrill and delight our guests, but some experiences are still extraordinary to even the most senior veterans of Park Events. I have to admit, my jaw dropped when I realized that the Ocean Spray reception was actually going to be in the Ocean Spray #DisneyBog. That is just plain Crazy Town to me…
We had first class servers offering the guests small bites and cocktails. They were so great to suit up in the waders and their gracious service really added to the magic of the experience!
The menu was to incorporate Ocean Spray Craisins® and Cranberries, and it was simple for the Chef to get creative with the red beauties. From breads to meats, butters and desserts they offer a such a versatility, so fun to play with in the kitchen! One of my favorite recipes for cranberries is Cranberry Salsa.
The team put together great recipes for the items which the guests received to at the end of the evening. Hopefully they will take them home and delight their own guests!
Craisins® Infused Five Spice Char Kobe Beef
Rock Seared Free Range Chicken with Craisins® Vodka Caviar
Artisan Cheese Stuffed Craisins® Brioche
Cranberry and Sea Salt Cured Wild Salmon
Cranberry Marinated Gold Beets with Kumquat Jalapeño Marmalade
The Cranberry Beets were our favorite, they looked like petite sliced peaches. We cut the beet in a cylinder shape and then submerged it in crushed fresh cranberries to let the flavor and color absorb. This is a method I will surely use again, they are so pretty!
The waders were lined up for the guests to pull on before they jumped in the bog.
This is definitely a high fashion jumpsuit, would have loved to gotten in one of these numbers!!
Meanwhile the focus went to the Cranberry Inspired Cocktails that were being served!
Cranberry Bomber, Cranberry Martinis, O Fizz, Cape Codder were mixed by our bartenders and enjoyed by all.
The storms were off in the distance, flirting to give us a downpour, but with a stroke of luck, the weather held up. The sunset came and went and the guests ate, drank, and learned about cranberries and the versatility of the treasure, all right in the comfort of the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog.
This reception was one that I will add to my Disney Catering tales. The experience for the guests was once in a lifetime for many, and it certainly was phenomenal for the team that put it together!