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.
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.
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.
Turkey Sausage and Craisins® Strata
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!
Ghiradelli Chocolate Dinner
Reception Items Prepared by Chef Lisa Rios
Chef Dale Reynolds Presents:
Oxtail Consommé with Dark Chocolate Chile Ravioli
Chateau St. Michelle Reisling, Columbia Valley
Prepared by Chef Rebeca Modia
Chicken and Waffle
Braised Chicken on a Chocolate Dipped Waffle Chip
Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay
Prepared by Chef Alejandro Ocanto
Prepared by Chef Dennis Byras
Maine Lobster with White Chocolate Beurre Blanc
Chocolate Rosemary Braised Short Ribs
Cocoa Bean Smoked Shallot Mashed Potatoes
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
And La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Prepared by Chefs Omar Harris and Micah Ginder
Baked Brie with Dark Chocolate Caramelized Onions
Prepared by Chef Jason Jakubowski
Milk Chocolate Risotto
With Drunken Cherries and Pistachio Brittle
JDK & Sons™ Crave Chocolate Cherry Liquor
Prepared by Chef Melissa Webster
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!
Craisin® Infused Five Spice Char Kobe Beef with Sriracha
Craisin® Vegetable Fried Rice
Seared Free Range Chicken with Craisin® Moonshine Pearls
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Craisin® Ketchup
Cranberry and Sea Salt Cured Wild Salmon with Maple Sugar Crystals
Craisin® Glazed Pork Belly with White Cheddar Maple Grits
English Mustard Dusted Scotch Egg with Cranberry Marmalade
Beef and Craisin® Sheppard’s Pie
Artisan Cheese Stuffed Craisin Brioche
Craisin®, Bacon and Brie Potato Gratin
Mole Shrimp Quesadilla with Cranberry Salsa
Pulled Chicken Craisin® Tamales
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
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!
Thank God we had our jogging stroller with us. All that walking at the theme park would have been way too much on the children. Our double stroller really paid off in the end. I’m really glad we checked out: Top 5 Best Double Jogging Strollers | 2017 Reviews | ParentsNeed.