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Epcot’s 15th International Wine and Food Festival Kicks Off Saturday

September 29th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Fifteen years ago, the marketing folks and chefs at Disney World got together and decided to host a wine and food festival at the theme park. The Epcot International Wine and Food Festival has grown along with the park, and now represents more than 24 countries and draws thousands  to Disney World to get in on the food and wine pairings that last six weeks in fall.

This year’s festival, called “Delicious Discoveries,” runs from Oct. 2 to Nov. 14 – with more than 24 countries represented with foods and beverages set around the 40-acre lagoon in Epcot.

Chef Jens Dahlmann, executive chef and cuisine coordinator of the festival (and former Palm Beach chef), said Belgium and Singapore are newcomers to the event, and South Korea is returning after an absence. He’s been working with all the Disney chefs to create the foods that will represent those countries with authentic cuisines.

“At South Korea, you’ll smell the shortribs on the grill – they’ll be cooked fresh to order. We’ve trained all the chefs to handle the crowds, but it’s tricky, still,” he said. The barbecue short ribs will be served with steamed rice and cucumber kimchi. “It’s a refreshing version.”

He salivates talking about the steamed mussels in garlic sauce at the new Belgium booth. “We’ll be making waffles to order, too – we bought several waffle grills just for this,” he said. The famous Belgian-style waffles, “puffier” than American types with burnt sugar in the batter – the key, he said – will be served with a berry compote and whipped cream.

Singapore’s food was born of suggestion from other Disney chefs – a coconut-braised beef rendang with jasmine rice. “I have been in Singapore and it’s very authentic – I love their food,” Dahlmann said. A version of a street food, shrimp cake with a noodle salad, is also on the menu. “Their street foods are the best, and we discussed whether we should feature them – and one of our Singapore chefs said ‘absolutely.'”

Interactive dining

“Every year we try to do something different, and this year I wanted to get that excitement back for the guests. We’ll be cooking live in the promenade, so you get the smells when you first walk in, then see the chefs preparing the foods. It’s great when you are involved before you even take a bite,” he said.

Foods and drinks set up around the fest are presented daily – and cost between $2.50 and $7.50 (for the lobster roll at the American pavilion); the festival is free with admission price to Epcot.

For a menu of all foods at the kiosks, go here.

Other events

A number of other events are planned, some cost extra, and some are included with the Epcot admission ticket. Here’s a brief list:

Culinary Demonstrations

$9 & $13 per person, tax included. Theme Park admission required.
Learn from the pros at these 45-minute culinary sessions. Meet the featured chef and wine presenter, pick up a few tips and taste the demonstrated dish and wine pairing.
Daily: 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m.

Culinary Demonstration from 2009

Wine and Beverage Seminars

$8 & $12 per person, tax included. Theme Park admission required.
A 45-minute seminar allows you to meet the featured winery principal or beverage expert, learn a few tips, and sample the selected wines/beverages.
Daily: 12 noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m.

Authors without Borders

*Included with Epcot admission
Listen to renowned authors from the food and wine industries speak about popular topics in these 30-minute conversations.
Friday – Sundays at 12:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Authentic Taste Seminars

*Included with Epcot admission
Each of these 30-minute seminars celebrates the origins, properties, and history of pure ingredients in an informative presentation by subject authorities.
Friday – Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Book Signings and Meet & Greets

*Included with Epcot admission
Chat with a celebrated author or personality. Be sure to have your purchased book/merchandise autographed. Check the daily schedules for featured authors or visit the Festival Information Desk.

Grilled Pineapple Vanilla Gazpacho from a Demonstration

Bottle Signings

*Included with Epcot admission
Meet the winemaker and have your purchased bottle of wine autographed as a souvenir or a gift. Check the daily schedules for topics and presenters or visit the Festival Information Desk.

Seasons of the Vine

*Included with Epcot  admission
This seven-minute journey provides a “behind-the-scenes introduction” to wine growing. Narrated by Jeremy Irons this film will run continuous shows throughout the day.

Dine with chefs

You can get in on numerous lunches or dinners with chefs — Cat Cora, Andrew Zimmern, Todd English, to name a few. Wine and food pairing seminars, and the popular concert series, Eat to the Beat, returns with top name acts.

For a schedule of the fest, and all the event info, including pricing, go to the Disney Food Blog.

Epcot International Wine and Food Festival 2010

  • Oct. 2 to Nov. 14
  • Epcot at Disney World and surrounding restaurants
  • For all information, visit the web site.

Tags: Florida! · What's Happening Here

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Dana Orff // Jan 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Appreciate it for sharing the information with us.

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