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!

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.

Party For The Senses – October 6th 2012

The Party For The Senses is a hard ticket event that happens every Saturday night during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.   Chefs from across the world come to participate as well as many of Disney’s talented Chefs.  It is an event that guests look forward to all year, as well as the Disney Cast.  The planning for these events is extreme and detailed, starting before the final event of the year is even finished.  Happily I am getting a first hand look at these event this year, being on the Park Events team.

Our Front of the House partners have taken the room to a even cooler level- the vipe of the Wine View Lounge is straight up “swank”.

The lighting of the room and the even the tables is a perfect complement to the creativity of the food and wine being showcased.

Love these displays!

It is always great to talk to someone excited about what they are offering, displaying their passion for the products.

It is a pretty surreal experience to be around so many talented chefs- and the way we all engaged was even better!  I walked away this weekend with a ton of ideas!

Chef Jessy and the talented team held everyone together, delivering a perfect event!

I was told the reveal was something not to be missed- and it was extreme!  The guests were certainly excited!

Our own Chef Damon Lauder used our new Cvap to cook Pasture Prime Pork Jowls.  Was worried for a bit for not having enough, they were so popular!

Celina Tio, a long time participant of “Party” knows what she is doing- perfect flavors and perfect amount of product!  The Tio team was a pleasure to have in the kitchen for a few days!

All of the participating Chefs and teams delivered flavorful and creative dishes.

AND….they had fun, kids included!

They also worked hard! The King and Queen of Pork included!

Party for the Senses is always a blast, seeing friends from wayback and creating brand new friendships…even thru twitter.

It has been such a great experience to be a part of the #EpcotFoodFestival this year, so fun to get to know so many talented Chefs, and to support their success!

We did have a small degree of celebrity oogleing, but for the most part we kept it cool…

Some of the best looking and tasting desserts had…I renamed the sphere, “Noahsphere” in honor of Chef Noah French, who made it.

I guess it is clear that I lean towards the chocolate desserts.

I was captivated by Chef John Hui and the sculpture he did.  I spent a few minutes gawking as he nonchalantly threw together a sugar hummingbird.  Walked away amazed, after I told him, I completely got it- and thanks for the lesson, I’ll throw one together on my next day off.  He laughed.  and then laughed again.

What a great few weeks it has been, hard, but so worth it.  I can’t wait to see the rest!

Party For The Senses 11/5/11- From Behind The Scenes!

 
Party For The Senses!
The Party For The Senses is a hard ticket event that happens every Saturday night during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.   Chefs from across the world come to participate as well as many of Disney’s talented Chefs.  It is an event that guests look forward to all year, as well as the Disney Cast.  The planning for these events is extreme and detailed, starting before the final event of the year is even finished. 
I was lucky to get my press pass for the event!  .
The prep of each chefs dish starts a few days prior to the event, we started cooking the Wild Boar in plenty of time to get it tender enough.

Seth and Melanie are doing a bit of prep for the event.

 

The Wild Boar is slowly cooking, soaking up a ton of flavor!

 
Here is Dave cooking the tortillas before we leave our kitchen
Over 1000 guests are expected each Saturday so planning is key in delivering a great dish! 
We travel in Reefer Trucks to our events.
Trucks are in and out of the backdock area all afternoon, unloading trams, hotboxes and coolers filled with the chef’s mise en place.

Chef Joe directs the team in setup to create a good flow of cooking and building plates.

 
The back hall of the World Showcase Pavillion was peaceful before the hustle and bustle started!
 I look forward to going to The Party For The Senses each year, it’s always fun to see old friends and meet new people!  Not to mention to see and taste what other Chefs are doing! 

The Catering Kitchen was full of energy!

 
Chef Orlando was able to take a moment to say hello to his old friend! 🙂
Some of the guests are lucky enough to be welcomed into the Wine View Lounge.  For a little extra money, these guests are brought into the event earlier and have a lovely lounge to enjoy.  Every week the Chefs of Park Events Operations come up with a new, trendy dishes to offer these guests.

The WIne View Lounge offers guests an early entrance, extra seating, a few extra surprises from the Chefs!

 

An intimate WIne View Lounge table in the midst of a premier event! Wow!

 

WIne View Lounge guests enjoy mouth watering cheese offerings.

 

Chef Dale prepares for the Wine View Lounge guests.

In the Wine View Lounge the buffets float!
Before the event starts each week the Chef de Cuisine of Park Event Operations and Executive Chef of Epcot welcome all the chefs and their teams, and recognize the Events Team that spent all year planning.  Each Chef then introduces themselves and briefly describes their dish of the night.

Chef Leonard, the Chef De Cuisine of Park Event Operations welcomes the chefs and their teams and goes over the flow of the evening.

 

Chef Celina Tio describes her dish and passes the microphone off to Chef Ken Vedrinski.

 
Here is a group shot of all the guest chefs- that is a TON of talent!  
 Chefs bring a demo plate to the center stage so everyone can see what will be served before the event starts. The dishes had a huge range and offered so many choices.

Chef Noah French of the Sandy Lane Hotel was back this year with a Molecular Gastronomy inspired dish!

 
 
Chef Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca in Charleston, SC brought his renown talent to the Party For The Senses! Charleston Chefs are World Class!
The event would start soon and it was time for all the Chefs to organize their teams so we would be ready for the crowd of 12oo. 

Chef Damon coordinates with all the guest chefs each week and ensures his team is ready to help create an amazing night for all!

  

Chef Jim of the Magic Kingdom instructs his team before service starts.

 
Chef Celina Tio guides her team before the guests arrival.
There are a ton of Winery’s and Vendors at the event, for every dish there is different beverage pairing.  The drinks were flowing for sure! 🙂

Star Tree Winery would be a popular table amongst the guests!

 

Sam Adams offered their Boston Lager, Octoberfest and Latitude 48 IPA.

 

Not a bottle would go "unpopped"! Cheers!

The Party For The Senses made Green efforts this year, giving guests the options to rinse and reuse their wine glasses!

 

The moments before an event start can be the most satifying for a chef, all the work is done and the chefs take a breath and wait to delight guests with their insprired dishes!

 

The Chefs of the Contemporary Bakery created a breath taking chocolate sculpture to display!

 

This chocolate flower is AMAZING!

 

Chef Ben of the Contemporary was going to be a popular table!

Before the Party For The Senses guests arrive, all is set and ready!

 

Chef Joe's Wild Boar Carnita with a Watermelon Radish and Pepperdew Slaw and Tequila Foam

 

George and Pete of Park Event Operations were nice enough to taste test!

 

We waited all night for this gentlemen to come to our table so we could get a good look at his hat- Fabulous!

 

As every year we had a great time at The Party For The Senses and had so many delicious dishes by talented chefs across the world!

Party For The Senses is an event looked forward to all year.  Each year world class wineries, and vendors are there offering a range of wonderful wines and beers.  The Chefs bring their most creative and seasonal dishes and ensure that even the fussiest diner has something to remember!  If ever a chance to attend the Party For The Senses Event, I highly recommend it!  

 
 

WDW Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2011 and a BAMA Hat!

Last weekend was a good one, yes sir!  Food and wine and a Crimson Tide victory!  I would also note that I was thankful to have been touring around the countries of Epcot, as it prevented me from seeing the Steelers game. Blah!

Caribbean Islands- Jerk spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Salsa and Frozen Rock Coconut Mojito

The weather was beautiful and the crowds fortunately were not to bad being that it was the first weekend of Epcot’s F&W Festival.  If you ever get the chance to go, I recommend it highly; it’s just a great day outdoors, with tons of great food and plenty of beverage choices.  You can read more about it here.

Starting our around the world tour at WDW Epcot Food and Wine Festival!Beer in hand and we are ready to go!

"Yes, I am quite brave to be wearing this Paul Bear Bryant hat the day after Alabama rolled Florida!"

"Well, sure you can call me Lady Carroll! And I like your hat as well!"

 

Hawaii- Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise and Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips

Just a fun shot of the "Golf Ball"!

There are guest Chefs from around the world and Chefs from Walt Disney World that participate in the Food and Wine Festival.  The creativity and planning starts very early in the year, all of these details you can see as you are walking around the World Showcase.

We really loved the new utensil dispensers!

South Africa- Bunny Chow

 

Hops and Barley- Pumpkin Mousse with Ocean Spray Craisins and Orange Sauce

Sir Wes is working on his skillz!

France- Coq au Vin sur gratin de macaroni and Crème Brulée au Chocolate au Lait

Poland-Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

Yes, a good time was had by all! Fat and Happy!

Yes, a good time for sure!