2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Kick Off

We had a big week at work with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Presented by CHASE® kicking off. Take the chance to taste your way around the world and discover global cuisines and a world tour of cultures and experiences.

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This is the best time of year in the park, there are so many food related events and a focus on food that reaches around the globe, how can a chef not love it! The festival runs thru November 11th this year, plenty of time to get your passport stamped!

There are many events during the festival that our team is responsible for and I just love being able to be part of them.  The energy in the kitchen in the coming weeks will be dynamic, along with all of our cast, we add in many eager students and talented guests chefs from across the world.

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The festival started for our team predawn on Friday with a plated breakfast in the Festival Cranberry Bog, where a few local news programs featured Discover the Cranberry, hosted by Ocean Spray® Craisins® Brand Dried Cranberries.  We had the pleasure of recreating these Ocean Spray recipes for our guests. I can’t to make the pizza for my niece and nephew.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Craisins® Roll Ups

Craisins® Breakfast Bars

Ocean Spray® Craisins®-Orange Muffins, Disney’s BoardWalk Bakery

Craisins® Crunch Breakfast Bowl

Mickey Fruit Pizza

Turkey Sausage and Craisins® Strata

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On opening day we also had The Chocolate Dinner –Prepared by Dale Reynolds, Chef Epcot, World Showplace East Hall.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed being around while Chef came up with this Ghirardelli® chocolates menu.  These guests truly got lucky.  I literally was licking my fingers when Chef Dale brought me samples to try.  Tip of the day- never pass up White Chocolate Beurre Blanc!  Below is the team that worked on it, Chef Carla Hall wanted to get a picture with this team!

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Ghiradelli Chocolate Dinner

Reception Items Prepared by Chef Lisa Rios

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 Chef Dale Reynolds Presents:

Soup Course

Oxtail Consommé with Dark Chocolate Chile Ravioli

Chateau St. Michelle Reisling, Columbia Valley

Prepared by Chef Rebeca Modia

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 Second Course

Chicken and Waffle

Braised Chicken on a Chocolate Dipped Waffle Chip

Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay

Prepared by Chef Alejandro Ocanto

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 Sorbet Course

Chocolate Sorbet

Prepared by Chef Dennis Byras

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Main Course

Maine Lobster with White Chocolate Beurre Blanc

Chocolate Rosemary Braised Short Ribs

Cocoa Bean Smoked Shallot Mashed Potatoes

Baby Vegetables

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

And La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Prepared by Chefs Omar Harris and Micah Ginder

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Cheese Course

Baked Brie with Dark Chocolate Caramelized Onions

Rosa Regale

Prepared by Chef Jason Jakubowski

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Dessert Course

Milk Chocolate Risotto

With Drunken Cherries and Pistachio Brittle

JDK & Sons™ Crave Chocolate Cherry Liquor

Prepared by Chef Melissa Webster

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We also had an Ocean Spray reception back at the Festival Cranberry Bog and the Butterfly Garden area opening night. The Ocean Spray reception menu was an international experience, all with cranberries incorporated into the traditional dishes.  It was a fun menu to create taking classic flavors and putting a cranberry twist on them.  We truly learned about the versatility of cranberries!

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Japan

Craisin® Infused Five Spice Char Kobe Beef with Sriracha
 Craisin® Vegetable Fried Rice

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United States

Seared Free Range Chicken with Craisin® Moonshine Pearls
 Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Craisin® Ketchup

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Canada

Cranberry and Sea Salt Cured Wild Salmon with Maple Sugar Crystals
 Craisin® Glazed Pork Belly with White Cheddar Maple Grits

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United Kingdom

English Mustard Dusted Scotch Egg with Cranberry Marmalade
 Beef and Craisin® Sheppard’s Pie

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France

Artisan Cheese Stuffed Craisin Brioche
 Craisin®, Bacon and Brie Potato Gratin

Mexico

Mole Shrimp Quesadilla with Cranberry Salsa
 Pulled Chicken Craisin® Tamales

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Chef Damon was lucky enough to take a dip in the Festival Cranberry Bog and chat with the guests about the vast uses of cranberries! Ahhh- the #CranberryLife

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What a exciting and fun start to the best time of year at Epcot! I can’t wait to get out and experience it as a guest! But the behind the scenes experience are ones that I will cherish for a lifetime. Super lucky to be on this great team doing amazing things!! If you have the chance be sure to get to the festival and bring your appetite!  Follow along with all the chatter at #EpcotFoodFestival!

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2 thoughts on “2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Kick Off

  1. It must be wonderful being a chef. Especially at the Epcot Center. I lived in Orlando for 1&1/2 yrs. I moved to finish up my retirement with Chrysler Corporation. Our plant shut down in Huntsville, Al. I loved it there. I really miss it. I only got to go to Sea World. I would love the recipe to the chocolate covered carmel rolled in pecans. Wish my family and I could vacation there. My husband has heart problems and isn’t able to work so my check is what we live off of. I copied some of your recipes, hope it was ok to do so. Thanks, I really enjoyed your photos and all. jannievannie@aol or gmail. com

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