Posts Tagged by chef jens

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.

2013-F&W-South-Korea-Pork

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.

2013-F&W-Canada-Trout

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!

2013-F&W-Scotland-Drinks

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!

2013-F&W-Scotland-Food

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??