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Seats Added for Popular ‘Kitchen Memories’ with Art Smith, Buddy Valastro at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on October 31st, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Two of the most popular celebrity chefs for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival are hosting Kitchen Memories lunches – and due to demand, they’ve added a handful of seats!

Art Smith, amiable chef-owner of one of D.C.’s premier dining spots, Art and Soul, will be on stage from 10 a.m. to noon this Friday. (He also was Oprah’s personal chef.)

Art Smith, Chef of D.C.'s Art and Soul, Will Host Kitchen Memories Lunch at This Year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Buddy Valastro, the famous “Cake Boss” from Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J. , is cooking from 10 a.m.-noon November 9.

Buddy Valastro, Famous 'Cake Boss' From Carlo's Bake Shop in N.J., Will Host Kitchen Memories Lunch at This Year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

More than just a meal, the three-three-course lunch gives the chefs a chance to tell their own culinary tales of growing up. They’ll also show guests how to make an appetizer, main course and dessert, each served with a wine pairing and a sommelier to explain.

Both are in the Festival Welcome Center Chef’s Showcase. Cost is $110 or $160 with wine, plus tax, gratuity included. Epcot admission is required.

To make a reservation, call 407-WDW-FEST (407-939-3378).

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What’s Your Favorite Dish? Trying All 29 Marketplaces in One Day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on October 26th, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


The fun is on the griddle at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and there’s still time to enjoy the culinary adventures throughout the park before the event comes to a close November 12.

Half the fun of the festival is discovering new dishes in the 29 marketplaces. But what’s your favorite?

That’s the assignment I had on my recent trip around the Epcot culinary world. Whether it’s the subtle seasoning of the Kefta Pocket at the Morocco Marketplace; the volcano sauce on the Spicy Hand Roll at Japan; a smooth, fine Merlot from France; Griddled Greek Cheese at Greece or the wonderful selection of ales and beers at the Hops and Barley Marketplace, there’s a lot to please every palate. Rob, our Concerned Bystander, also makes a cameo in this video, but it seems his tune has changed just a tiny bit.

So, after experiencing all 29 marketplaces in one day, what was my favorite dish?

The Kalua Pork Slider (the chutney and spicy mayo are an unbeatable blend) from the Hawai’i Marketplace takes the top spot in my (very) unscientific sampling. Although the White Corn Arepa (AREPA!) from the Florida Local Marketplace was a close second. With the famous sweet corn from nearby Zellwood, Fla., it’s a tasty treat. (And if you order it, please shout “Arepa!” and you might get a reaction just like I did in the video.)

The best thing is that I received a special stamp at the Festival Center for visiting all 29 countries. (Although I might suggest visiting Epcot a few times before the event ends to collect all of the marketplace stamps!)

Let us know in the comments if you have visited all 29 marketplaces, or if you have discovered your favorite from this year’s festival. Arepa!

See what’s happening at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the posts below:

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Just Two More Party for the Senses at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on October 25th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


There’s still time to enjoy one of the real treats of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – the Saturday night Party for the Senses, a feast of food, wine, beverages and entertainment that’s a true delight. And while the reserved seating is sold out, our favorite way to experience the party is to stroll and nosh (we never sit, but instead enjoy conversation with the chefs and wine experts, and compare notes with fellow party-goers). The final two parties for this year are on October 27 and November 3.

And while the cuisine changes each week, we always find something delicious at the tasting stations. A recent party featured everything from Peking-style braised duck (Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort) to Chef Paula Da Silva’s (1500˚, Miami Beach) buttery lamb belly and spicy tuna tartare cleverly wrapped in a crisp shell from Wolfgang Puck Café at Downtown Disney. All in all, there are nearly two dozen tasting stations with wine, beer and cocktails to pair. You won’t know until you arrive what you’ll be having, but the discovery is part of the fun.
Party for the Senses at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The only thing that stops our noshing is the extraordinary spectacle of Cirque du Soleil, on stage throughout the evening with live music and thrilling acrobatics.

You can start the evening at the Eat to the Beat concert at America Gardens Theatre and end with a stroll around World Showcase and the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks and laser show – it’s a special evening you won’t want to miss. Just come hungry (and leave satisfied).

Price is $145 per person, plus tax. Epcot admission is required. Call 407-WDW-FEST for reservations.

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Meet Disney Artist Brian Blackmore at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on October 23rd, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


'The Art of Food and Wine' at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

I can’t get enough of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I believe I have been around the world at least five different times this year! My favorite foods kiosks are Hawai’i, Australia and South Korea (hello, lettuce wrap!). A great place to start is at the Festival Center located in Future World next to Mission: SPACE. This themed area is home to food demonstrations, special activities, and an extensive merchandise location (which I previously discussed). If you enjoy fine art, there is a section within the Festival Center called “The Art of Food and Wine.” This store-within-a-store showcases artwork from several talented artists including Noah, Heather French, Patryk Poslednik, Liné Tutwiler, William Silvers and others.
'The Art of Food and Wine' at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Artwork from Disney Design Group character artist Brian Blackmore recently joined this section at the Festival Center. You may recall my conversation with Brian back in early September about his artwork found at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. We recently introduced some canvas wrapped giclées based on that art. Brian also created one-of-a-kind original paintings based on his four designs. Each of these original works will measure 2-feet by 4-feet, and will be introduced starting October 26.
'The Art of Food and Wine' at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

If you are headed to the Festival in the coming weeks, please stop by the Festival Center to meet Brian during these dates and times:

  • Friday, October 26 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 4 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 
Join other fans of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival on the official Facebook page. On Twitter, join the conversation by using the hashtag #EpcotFoodFestival.

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What’s Your Favorite Dish at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival?

posted on October 21st, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival offers nearly 30 different international marketplaces, but with all of those choices, where do you start?

In this video, Chef Jens Dahlmann walks you through the festival’s top-five most popular dishes from years past – which may be some great options to start with this year.

What’s your favorite dish at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

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HGTV Stars Return to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 30th, 2012 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


We love our festivals here at Walt Disney World Resort!

Having finished the 2012 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, we now turn to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year’s food and wine extravaganza runs from September 28 to November 12, and we’re excited to announce the return of some your favorite HGTV stars.

As regular watchers of HGTV (and I’m one of them) know, HGTV programs go beyond just home renovation and gardening. They feature ideas and helpful hints for party planning, catering and tons of other food and beverage topics, which makes them a perfect fit for our festival.

“HGTV Design Star” winner Danielle Colding will kick off this year’s HGTV presentations. Here’s a look at what to expect.

Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information on the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

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Seats Added for Popular Lunches at Italy for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 30th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Good news! The Italian Regional Food & Wine Luncheons that have sold out for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival have added more seats, starting with this Saturday’s lunch.

Tutto Gusto in Italy Pavilion at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Setting is the new Tutto Gusto wine cellar, where guests enjoy authentic Italian food paired with a variety of regional Italian wines from noon-2 p.m. It’s a wonderful way to escape the mid-day heat, leisurely dine and learn a little about Italy’s finest.

Lunches are every Wednesday and Saturday during the festival. Cost is $75 plus tax, gratuity included, Epcot admission required.

For reservations, call 407-WDW-FEST.

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Fans Get Early Start Today at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 28th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Even before the 11 a.m. opening of World Showcase, guests got an early start on opening day of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at the Festival Center, sipping Ghirardelli gourmet drinking chocolate and, yes, sipping wine by 10 a.m. at Kitchen Memories with Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, who shared stories from her own kitchen with husband John.

Guests at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort

Out on the promenade, guests started noshing at 11 a.m. when the Marketplaces opened for business. The new Terra Marketplace just across the bridge from Future World was a happy surprise for guests we chatted with as they tasted the vegan Trick’n Chick’n Curry and the Chili Colorado. Fans from last year were lining up for the Kalua Pork Slider in Hawaii, and we overheard guests talking about other favorites: the Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie at the Ireland Marketplace, the Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw at the South Korea Marketplace, Linda Bean’s Perfect Lobster Roll at the Hops & Barley Marketplace.

We encouraged them to head over to Canada for the new Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce, and not to overdo and save room for dessert – but plenty of guests were starting there with a morning glass of bubbly and the trio of mini-sweets.

HGTV's Daniell Colding at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort

We cooled off in the Festival Center, and picked up some great tips – Andrea Robinson says she add a flourish of smoked sea salt to her guacamole for a little zip, And HGTV’s Daniell Colding (pictured above) took us on a trip around the world with decorating ideas inspired by Morocco, Sweden, Mexico and France.

So much to do, just 46 days to try it all! The festival runs through Nov. 12. Do you have a favorite taste our readers shouldn’t miss?

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A Look at Festival Center Merchandise for the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 27th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“2012

I’ve been looking forward to the return of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival since the day the 2011 festival ended. This year, the festival returns to Epcot from September 28 through November 12. I love this event as it combines a few things I enjoy: food and beverages from around the world, and great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series (can’t wait to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy again). This past week, I stopped by the Festival Center at Epcot while the merchandise events team was setting the Festival Store. The Festival Center operates daily from 9:00 a.m. to park close, and is the best place to find an assortment of goods. Here is a look at some of my favorites from this year.

“2012

In July, Lindsay Voigt, product developer for this event, told me about the colorful “Sketch” program she was introducing for the Festival. It was nice to finally see the entire assortment in one sport. I loved the four mini-dishes with different icons, and the set of four stemless wine glasses would be a nice addition to my cupboard.

“2012

This year, there are several different apparel options for both women and men. We are introducing a new program called “Brews Around the World,” which features a shirt, sweatshirt, some glassware and a bottle opener. I personally like the “Mission: Around the World” shirt as it always feels like I’m on a mission to visit each booth during the festival.

“2012

One thing that will help during my multiple visits this year is a new food tray. It conveniently contains a checklist and a place to hold glasses (no more balancing act!).

We will be holding a special week-long sale of select items from October 8-14 via the Disney Parks online store. We will offer the ever popular festival cookbook, the shirts seen in the third image above, the set of two wine glasses and the “Brews Around the World” glassware. I hope to see you in World Showcase in the coming weeks. I’ll most likely be at the Hawai’i booth.

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Top 10 New Tastes for This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on September 26th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


The countdown has begun! The 17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival opens Friday, and the chefs are putting last-minute touches on the tastes in the 29 Marketplaces around World Showcase Lagoon. We’ve been lucky enough to sneak in the kitchen for a few tastes, and here are our Top 10 “must tastes” for this year.

  1. The new Florida Local Marketplace shrimp ceviche. Pair with key lime wine for a taste of the Sunshine State.
  2. Also at Florida Local, we can’t get enough of the white corn arepa with Mangalitsa pork rillette and Zellwood sweet corn salad. Doesn’t get any fresher than this.
  3. Trust us when we tell you, you won’t believe the chili Colorado is vegan at the new Terra Marketplace. You have to taste it just to say you’ve tried vegan chili with crunchy housemade chips and cashew cheese.
  4. The grilled lamb chop in Australia – it’s back, but this year the finish is a-mazing: salt & vinegar potato chip crumbles with a kicky mint pesto. Oh yeah.
  5. In Belgium, the steamed mussels are back, but they’ve ditched the cream for Hoegaarden Beer broth and a baguette for sopping up the juices. We like it better than the cream.
  6. We just might recommend starting at the Dessert and Champagne Marketplace and digging into the dark chocolate mousse with chili and salted caramel. It’s a small serving, so the guilt factor is low and it’s worth every calorie.
  7. Canada kicks it up with a favorite dish from Le Cellier Steakhouse brought out on the promenade just for Food & Wine – the buttery wild mushroom beef filet mignon with a splash of truffle butter sauce. You may want to go ahead and order two.
  8. Zapiekanki – Yes, it’s hard to pronounce, but step up at the Polish Marketplace and order this street food that most closely resembles pizza bread with cheese, mushrooms, onions and a drizzle of homemade ketchup. Comfort food.
  9. Frozen Strawberry Nesquik® – Childhood is calling at the Desserts and Champagne Marketplace. They added this just for kids, but we think adults will love this just as much as a glass of bubbly.
  10. Bacardi Torched Cherry Frozen Cherry Limeade – The finale, this slushy drink guarantees a brain freeze if you don’t slip it slow, which isn’t easy. Tart, icy and just right for a hot afternoon.

Check out John Graham’s videos that give you the lowdown on what to eat…

…and sip.

Enjoy! Let us know your favorite tastes.

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