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Friday Feast: Epcot Food & Wine Festival Culinary Demonstrations

I recently attended two amazing culinary demonstrations at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  This is my 4th year attending the festival and these demonstrations were something I had yet to do, so I made it a priority this year.  Given my love of cooking and how I’m always interested in trying new food, I knew these would be right up my alley.  The culinary demonstrations are relatively inexpensive ranging from $9 – 14 depending on the chef.  DVC Members and Annual Passholders are eligible for a $2 discount, so make sure to utilize that when booking.

I was lucky to be in Walt Disney World when two great chefs had demonstrations back to back, Cat Cora of Kouzzina and Iron Chef fame and Kevin Dundon from one of my favorite restaurants on property, Raglan Road.  Cat Cora was the first for the day and she drew a HUGE crowd.  Not only was the demonstrations area full, but there were a lot of people watching from the preview center.

Iron Chef Cat Cora and Kouzzina Chef Dee Foundoukis

We were seated and immediately given a glass of wine.  Wine?!  Score!  I didn’t know these demonstrations came with a wine pairing.  My $12 investment was now well worth the price.  There was also a menu listing what we would be eating that included a recipe so we could replicate it at home.  From the menu, I found that the wine was a Bloomfield Viognier from Bloomfield Vineyards, which was a nice crisp white.

There was a change to the menu that day and the feta mashed potatoes were being substituted with orzo.  The chefs walked us through the steps of making the dish and shared some techniques on how to prepared the items.  There was a camera set above the cooking station that was being shown on televisions around the room, so we could see just what they were doing….a really nice touch!  This was also when the audience got to ask questions and I was pleasantly surprised to see how fun and down to earth Cat Cora was.  She had a great time conversing with the audience.

Then the carts appeared!  We were about to taste these yummy smelling meatballs.  I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but these were DELICIOUS!!  They were much lighter than regular meatballs and the sauce had a little spice to it to add some additional flavor.  I’m glad that this was served with the orzo because I think that the feta mashed potatoes would’ve been too heavy.

This was a fun and entertaining demonstration and the food was a hit too!  Cat Cora is at the Food & Wine Festival every year and I would highly recommend checking this one out next year if you are in town during that time.

Later that afternoon, we saw Chef Kevin Dundon from Raglan Road in Downtown Disney.  I love this restaurant and it’s upscale pub fare, so I was most looking forward to this demonstration.  Chef Dundon did not disappoint!  He was incredibly funny and lively.  You can see that he is really passionate about cooking and also enjoyed talking with the audience.

On the menu was an updated version of the classic French dish, Coquilles St. Jacques, which is scallops in a heavy cream sauce with mashed potatoes.  Delicious, but rich!  Chef Dundon instead seared the scallops and made a lighter cream sauce infused with apples (YUM!!) and served this over mashed potatoes.  It was to die for…I really would’ve like 4 more of these little plates.

This dish was served with a nice, full bodied Chardonnay that brought out the apple flavor in the sauce.

A surprise bonus of this demonstration was dessert!  In sticking with the classic theme, Chef Dundon prepared Cherries Jubilee   This is always a show stopper because of the flambe aspect in the preparation   We were all instructed to oooh  and ahhh on cue.  This was a very good dessert, but the sauce was a little too sweet for me.

Overall, both of these demonstrations were well worth the nominal fee.  You get about 45 minutes of culinary entertainment, wine, a food tasting and maybe even dessert!  Not bad for $12, but remember that park admission is required.  I’m already looking forward to next year and who I will be able to see!!

Have you attended any of the culinary demonstrations at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival? 

5 Responses to Friday Feast: Epcot Food & Wine Festival Culinary Demonstrations

  1. I wish I knew it was a wine and beer fest going on when we planned out trip. Or, I wish Disney would have advertised it as a drunk fest. By 2:00 PM people we sloshed and falling over each other. It was lued and crude.
    I brought my family to Florida for a wholesome vacation. We left early unable to see but a small percentage of the park because of our rising fear for our safty. It was not the Disney I grew up with.
    The Disney dream of family entertainment must have died with Walt because it’s just s out money now.

    • I am SO sorry to hear about that! That is horrible to hear you had that experience. I’ve never experienced that in the 4 years I’ve been attending the Food & Wine Festival and I just hate to hear that happened to you. I think that what you experienced is definitely out of the ordinary for the festival and most people know how to behave themselves.

      I hope that you were able to enjoy your vacation in the other 3 parks and that this didn’t tarnish you entire vacation 🙁

  2. what a great recap and all the food looked delicious! I’m going to have to make an effort to do some of these next time. Did you mention how many people were at the food demonstration? Just curious… and was it difficult getting a ticket? did you have to get it as soon as it went on sale or did you have time to buy it?
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      I think there were around 150 in the demonstration area…I’m not really sure. For these I did get the tickets right when they went on sale because I figured Cat Cora would sell out. There were still seats left for Kevin’s demonstration, so it probably depends on the chef.

  3. […] indulges in two culinary demos during Food & Wine over at Running at Disney. She also recaps her Making Strides Against Breast […]

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