Temperatures are cooling a bit for the final six days of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – so we’ll have great weather for one final lap around World Showcase with a side trip to the new marketplaces in Future World (where the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel in the Chew Lab is getting raves).
On that final lap, enjoy your favorites one last time and then hope the chefs will decide to bring them back for 2016. Ours include Pescado con Coco (seared grouper, pigeon peas with rice and coconut sauce) at the Dominican Republic marketplace, Loaded Pepper Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese at Farm Fresh, vegan moussaka in Greece, escargot croissant with garlic and parsley in France, chilaquiles de pollo in Mexico, cheese puffs in Brazil, beef sliders with pimento cheese at Hops & Barley, a grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato chip “crunchies” in Australia . . . the list goes on and on, with perfectly paired wine, beer and cocktails.
One of our favorite chefs, Alex Guarnaschelli (of “Chopped” fame), will be around this weekend, hosting the What’s Cookin’ With… Sunday brunch at 10 a.m., and a cooking demo at 3 p.m. Sunday – both at the Festival Center. She connects with her audience and has lots of stories to share.
Also in the Festival Center, take a moment to watch “The Making of the Food & Wine Festival,” a fascinating, short film that takes you behind the scenes to really appreciate what goes into making the 53-day festival.
If you need a little pick-me-up, end your evenings at the three final Eat to the Beat concerts at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily at America Gardens Theatre: Hanson (“I Will Come to You”) performs tonight and tomorrow; Maxi Priest (“Close to You”) Nov. 13-14, and Chaka Khan (“I Feel for You”) Nov. 15-16. They’ll have you on your feet.
As you bid the festival farewell, you can always take home a festival cookbook to re-create a memory, or grab a bottle or two of the wines made just for the 20th celebration of the festival – the Napa Valley Festival Chardonnay and the Paso Robles Festival Cabernet Sauvignon are both for sale in the Festival Center (and by the pour at the Chew Lab marketplace).
Hope to see you this weekend at the festival. What’s been your favorite dish or drink this year?