Category: Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Epcot Food & Wine Booths

Kill-Marry-RefurbThe Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is by far the BEST event at Walt Disney World.  This was my 5th year attending the event and I must say that it just keeps getting better every year.  The chefs are always looking for new ways to bring innovative dishes to the kiosks and explore more of the world through food.

So when I saw that this month’s topic for Kill, Refurb, Marry was Epcot Food & Wine Booths I got very excited, but then immediately was filled with dread.  How could I pick a favorite?!  That’s like a parent picking a favorite child!  After much agonizing and review of my DFB Guide to the Festival, I have narrowed down my choices….with a few honorable mentions for good measure 🙂

Kill – Singapore

I have to be honest, this is a booth I always avoid.  While the Seared Mahi Mahi looks good, everything else at the booth looks completely unappetizing.  My first reaction when I saw the Lemongrass Chicken Curry this year was that it looks like vomit, seriously.  This photo actually makes it look ok, but in person…nope.

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

Then there is the Singapore Sling.  This just sounds like a tropical version of a Long Island Iced Tea where you mix together a bunch of things and call it a cocktail.  Plus anything with gin immediately heightens my gag reflex.

It is rare that you will find someone that actually enjoys the food at this booth and most people have strong opinions against it.  Take it from my friend Rick who had an interesting review from last year’s festival.  So let’s move on from Singapore and add something a bit more appealing like Thailand!

Refurb – Terra

This was a tough one sine I find something redeeming at most booths.  I decided to go with Terra because I feel like there are so many interesting Vegan dishes out there that don’t have to include “fake meat.”  I was a vegetarian for over 8 years and I never enjoyed any of those products.  The texture was always very strange to me and I always wondered what kind of additives were being used to mimic those flavors. Doesn’t the texture of this year’s CraB’less CraB Cake look odd??

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

While I haven’t tried anything from Terra yet this year, I did try the Chick’n dish last year and my predictions were correct.  However I really enjoyed the sauces and sides that were served with the Chick’n.  My hope is that the chefs get a little more creative with natural vegan ingredients in the future.

Marry – Scotland

Scotland made it’s Food & Wine Festival debut last year and I loved everything they had to offer.  You can actually see me gushing over everything in this video…even the Vegetarian Haggis which I thought I was going to hate.  Well this year Scotland has outdone themselves.  It’s hard to believe, but they have actually gotten BETTER!

Scotland-Scallops-Smoked-Salmon

Along with the Vegetarian Haggis, they have added a Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin with Crispy Bacon AND a Fresh Potato Pancake with Smoked Scottish Salmon and Herb Sour Cream.  OH. MY. Both of these dishes are absolutely amazing.  When I visited they actually ran out of bacon for the scallop (a punishable offense!) and the dish was still outstanding.  I can’t wait to try it again with the bacon…I might actually pass out.  On top of that, all the drinks at the booth are wonderful.

Scotland, you are everything a Food & Wine Booth should be.  I Love You!

So those are my choices…what about you??  What Epcot Food & Wine Booths would you Kill, Refurb & Marry??  Make sure to visit This Happy Place BlogMouse on the Mind and all of the other great blogs participating in Kill, Refurb, Marry today!

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Also, make sure to check out the DFB Guide to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to help plan your visit.  It’s a lifesaver in helping you get the most out of your time at the festival!

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dooney & Bourke Bags!

Ok Disney…now you’ve done it!  Do you just want my bank account number so you can take all my money?!?

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This September Disney is releasing and all new Dooney & Bourke collection inspired by my favorite event of the year, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! Unlike some of the other patterns that have emerged from the Disney Dooney & Bourke Collection, I actually really like this!  It is subtle, yet still whimsical.  Well done Disney…

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These beauties will be released on September 29th and will be exclusively sold at the Food & Wine Festival.  You will be able to find them (if there are any left!) at the Festival Center which is located in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion between Universe of Energy and Mission: Space in Future World.

Wow…what a coincidence!  I am actually going to BE at the Festival on September 29th!  Maybe this lovely hipster will magically end up in my suitcase 🙂

2014-Epcot-Food-and-Wine-Dooney-HipsterWhat do you think of the new Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dooney & Bourke designs? 

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New 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival DFB Guide!

It is hard to believe that the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival starts in less than one week! Once again it is the most wonderful time of year for us Disney foodies.  Bring on the lamb chops and cheese soup and tacos and beer and and and…  Clearly I’m not excited at all.

Because there is so much to see and do during the festival, planning is key!  For the past few years, I have relied on the DFB Guides to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to help me plan what booths I want to visit, what demonstrations I want to book and help me put together a general plan of attack.  There are over 30 booths to choose from and I want to make sure that I don’t miss anything!

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The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-book has everything you need to know before heading to Walt Disney World.  From what’s NEW at the festival, to touring strategies, to detailed menus and an entire FAQ section!  Here’s more of what you will find:

  • In-depth descriptions, prices, dates and times of events, seminars, demonstrations, and tasting options at the festival and how to book them
  • A full, daily schedule of events for every day of the festival
  • Details on how and where to use Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits at the festival
  • A list of the most popular items and events and how to experience them
  • An updated Epcot Food & Wine Festival FAQ section with information on how to make your visit more enjoyable
  • Printable checklist of the World Showcase Booth menus
  • Full index of brand new additions to the festival

Since this will be my 6th year attending the festival (WOW!), my first stop in the guide is always the “What’s NEW!” section.  I have my favorites that I MUST get each year (lamb chops and pork lettuce wraps, I’m talking to you!), but I love to try new things.  This is so helpful in prioritizing what new items to try and some of the new events I might want to attend.

2014-DFB-Food-and-Wine-Guide-Whats-NewOne of my favorite features has to be all of the detailed information on the Marketplace Booths.  Each booth has it’s own page, complete with photos of the booths AND food as well as the full menu.  This gets me so excited for what is to come and makes it easy to plan out the booths I MUST visit.  The photos are also great if you are not familiar with a particular dish or ingredient.  Here’s what you’ll find at one of my favorite booths, South Korea:

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Another great feature are the special event listings.  Between the large events, like Party for the Senses, and the smaller culinary demonstrations, there is A LOT to keep track of.  The guide has a full daily schedule of events complete with times.  Are you as excited to see Sister Hazel as my friend Rick is?  No worries, this guide will tell you the dates and times they are performing!

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And that’s not all!  There are fun bonus items like:

  • Eleven themed World Showcase Booth Crawls!
  • Customized touring strategies for the festival based on how much time you have to spend, if you have children, what your priorities are to see, and more!
  • Indexes of food, beer, wine, wineries, and chefs – complete with chef bios!
  • A fun playlist of songs featuring artists appearing at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series

So what’s better than having this awesome e-book downloaded to your phone as you walk around the Festival or on your laptop as you’re planning your trip??  A discount of course!  Right now you can receive $3 off your purchase of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-book by using the discount code CHEFS at checkout.

All books come with a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose!  But trust me, you won’t want to give it back.  Find out more about the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-book here!

Happy eating!!

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Friday Feast: Epcot Food & Wine Festival with Friends

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is by far my favorite time of year in Walt Disney World.  Wait…have I said that before?? 🙂  So of course I was incredibly excited when my good friend Rick asked me to join him at some of the booths to film a few episodes of his series Travel With Rick.  Food, wine, beer, Disney and friends…um YES PLEASE!

TWR-F&W-Logo

So here is where I got to visit (I’ve highlighted everything I tried):

Cheese

This was the 2nd year that I was able to review this booth and this year I have mixed feelings.  While I really enjoyed the selection of cheeses, the blue cheese souffle was odd and now very appetizing.  Here are all of the offerings:

  • Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé with Fig Jam
  • Artisan Cheese Selection: Flagship Reserve Cheddar, La Bonne Vie Triple Crème Brie, Wijngaard Goats Gouda
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc 
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Fairest Chardonnay
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Big Bad Red Blend
  • Once Upon a Vine’s A Charming Pinot 

France

You can rarely go wrong with France and this year was no exception.  I was a big fan of almost everything…Rick even got me to try the escargot!  Here’s what they have:

  • Escargots Persillade en Brioche (Garlic and Parsley Snails in Brioche)
  • Boeuf Bourguignon (Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes) 
  • Crème Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait (Chocolate Milk Crème Brûlée topped with Caramelized Sugar)
  • Beer Kronenbourg Blanc
  • Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
  • Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
  • Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush (Vodka, Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice)

Scotland

This booth is new this year and is definitely one of my favorites.  There wasn’t one thing that I didn’t enjoy here and really, how can you go wrong with Scotch?!  Get all of these things:

  • Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette 
  • Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties-Griddled Vegetable Cake with Rutabaga and Mashed Potatoes 
  • Scottish Banoffee Tart with Bananas, Scottish Whisky Toffee, Walkers Shortbread Crumbles and Sweet Cream
  • Innis & Gunn® Original 
  • Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 year
  • Glenfiddich® Scotch Flight (12, 15 and 18 year)

Craft Beers

Always a winner in my book and it’s even more fun when I get to share beer flights with my girl Amanda.  We tried all the beers!

  • Beer Flight 1: Dogfish Head Brewery Namaste, Abita Brewing Company Fall Fest, Leinenkugel’s® Seasonal Shandy, Florida Beer Company Devil’s Triangle 
  • Beer Flight 2: New Belgium Brewing Company Fat Tire, Widmer Brother s Brewing Alchemy Ale, Red Hook Audible Ale, Sierra Nevada Torpedo® 

After sampling all of the awesomeness that Food & Wine had to offer, we all met at our favorite spot, the Top of the World Lounge, to review our favorite and not so favorite items from the festival.  Don’t mind the blender in the background!

There are still 11 days to enjoy Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival and eat all the food you can!  What do you want to try most at this year’s Food & Wine Festival?

Friday Feast: Epcot Food & Wine Favs

It’s no secret that Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is my favorite time of year….seriously, my FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!  How can you go wrong with food, drinks, friends and Disney?  You can’t.  Period.

Last weekend when I was in WDW for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, I spent quite amount of time at the festival enjoying my old favorites and some awesome new dishes.  Come on, let’s look at some awesome food porn together…

Old Favorites

There are two dishes that I MUST always get or else my trip to Food & Wine will not be complete.  First is my all time favorite Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw from South Korea.  Yum, Yum and Yum!  It’s such a simple dish, yet full of flavor and probably one of the healthiest dishes at the festival.

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Last year I became obsessed with the Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies from Australia.  I think I ate about six of them.  Well I was beyond happy to see that they hadn’t changed it this year and it was better than ever!

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New Discoveries

One thing I love about the Food & Wine Festival are all the new dishes that are introduced every year.  Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann takes great pride in creating innovative dishes and bringing the flavors of the world direct to Epcot.  I had the pleasure of meeting him and picking his brain a bit last weekend…what a treat!

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Chef Jens’ favorite dish of the festival and one that he takes the most pride in is the Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado and Cilantro from Brazil.  This dish takes 3 days to make and really is delicious.  But I may be biased because pork belly is by far my favorite food ever!

2013-F&W-Brazil-Pork-Belly

There was a new addition to the Canada booth this year and that was a Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette.  Ever since this was announced I was looking forward to trying it.  Top something with bacon and I’m sold! As expected, this dish was wonderful and the bacon combined with the maple vinaigrette was the perfect salty, sweet combo.

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New Zealand added quite a few new dishes this year.  After Sarah from Eating WDW raved about the Gratinated Green Lip Mussels with Garlic and Herbs I had to give them a try, along with the Venison Sausage with Pickled Mushrooms, Baby Arugula and Black Currant Reduction that had caught my eye immediately.  Both were great, but that sausage was out of this world.  I am definitely going back for another one of those over Wine & Dine Weekend!

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A new addition to the festival this year was Scotland.  Being a Scotch lover, I couldn’t wait to try the beverages.  I was actually more excited about that than the food there. The Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich 12 year was delicious as expected and has the potential to be very dangerous.  The Glenfiddich Scotch Flight was a really fun way to experience the flavors of the different ages as you experience the 12, 15 and 18 year varieties.  It was a tough choice, but I think the 15 year won for me.  But the surprising favorite was the Innis & Gunn  Original.  Oh. My.  Chef Jens filled me in that this beer is matured in scotch barrels, giving it a very unique flavor.  I think this might be my favorite new beer!

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So the drinks held up to my expectations, but surprisingly the food in Scotland greatly surpassed them!  I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word haggis I’m instantly nauseous.  Too much offal for my taste.  But here they have Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties translated to a Griddled Vegetable Cake with Rutabaga and Mashed Potatoes.  This was surprisingly delicious and I actually went back and got it a second time.  I was also surprised that I actually enjoyed the Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette considering I don’t like cooked salmon.  Although the highlight of the dish was the cauliflower puree…just give me a big plate of that please!  And then the dessert, Scottish Banoffee Tart with Bananas, Scottish Whisky Toffee, Walkers Shortbread Crumbles and Sweet Cream…chocolate, shortbread, bananas and whiskey, really?!  It’s like heaven on a plate!  Overall, Scotland NAILED IT!

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There are still a TON of new dishes I’m dying to try, so be sure I will be stuffing my face over Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November!  Is it November yet??

What are your Food & Wine favs??  What new items are you looking forward to trying??

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