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Dinner:Impossible Meal at Walt Disney World!

Dinner:Impossible Production Sign

Dinner:Impossible Production Sign

After walking out of the Disney “Give A Day, Get A Disney Day” announcement event on Thursday, I saw none other than Chef Robert Irvine running through World Showcase with a team of volunteers behind him! I quickly realized that he was taping Dinner:Impossible! for the Food Network…and that I was going to be attending that dinner!

Scroll to the bottom of the page to read more about the “Give A Day” program and how you can be a part of it; in the meantime, let’s get on to the food…

Chef Irvine Plots With His Volunteers

Chef Irvine Plots With His Volunteers

Dinner Prep
Chef Irvine and his volunteers were preceded around the the World Showcase by an advance team who were tasked with finding the next individual the Chef would be speaking with, and setting up the shot. For instance, in Epcot’s Germany pavilion, the advance team set up a shot where Chef Irvine learned from Snow White what one of his main ingredients would be!

From there, the Chef and his volunteers took off running again — after all, he only had a few hours to cook dinner for hundreds.

Dinner:Impossible Advance Team

Dinner:Impossible Advance Team

Chef Irvine and Team Run to the Next Shot

Chef Irvine and Team Run to the Next Shot

For the hours of cooking Chef Irvine and his trusted sous chefs were about to endure, Disney had set up a show kitchen in front of World Showcase. Guests to the Epcot theme park were welcomed to watch as the show taping started heating up! I hung around for a good chunk of the day, snapping photos and trying to figure out what my meal was going to include. All I could figure out was that we were going to be eating a lot of apples…

One interesting thing I noticed is that the proceedings in the kitchen were pretty quiet. Lots of chopping, and seasoning, and sauteing in a giant wok being heated over a…garbage can, but no yelling. No angry Chef Irvine shouting in frustration that there are only 3 dishes done with only 20 minutes left. Maybe there was another kitchen somewhere where those things were happening. It’s not a Dinner:Impossible! show without them! My fingers are crossed that somebody got angry somewhere, or it might not be worth watching. ;)

Dinner Impossible Waiver

Dinner Impossible Waiver

Chef Irvine Instructs a Sous Chef in the Show Kitchen

Chef Irvine Instructs a Sous Chef in the Show Kitchen

The Dinner
After much running around by Chef Irvine and his sous chefs, it was finally time for those at the event to start digging in! Now, here’s the saddest part of my story — I’m pretty sure I didn’t get to eat Chef Irvine’s cooking. Word is that his handiwork was served only to the Give a Day Get a Day volunteers, who’d won trips to Disney World to celebrate their donations.

Alas, I’m still going to tell you all about the dinner WE, as members of the media, were served, because it was still delicious — thanks, Disney!

The event was held outside — on the bridge between the Fountain of Nations in Future World and the World Showcase Lagoon, and there were several stations set up where guests could collect appetizer-sized portions of the dishes.

Servers were also circulating with many of the dishes — primarily desserts — in case you couldn’t break away from a conversation to get over to the main serving areas. There were quite a few tables set up within the event space, along with cocktail tables bearing the Celebrate Volunteers! logo and canned goods theme. And, finally, at long last, here’s the event and the menu!

Celebrate Volunteers Cocktail Table

Celebrate Volunteers Cocktail Table

Epcot Dinner Impossible Canned Goods Theme

Epcot Dinner Impossible Canned Goods Theme

Stir Fry Vegetable Lo Mein with Cilantro

Stir Fry Vegetable Lo Mein with Cilantro

Grilled Free Range Chicken Fried Rice

Grilled Free Range Chicken Fried Rice

Freshly Tossed Traditional Cobb Salad with Foccacia Stick

Freshly Tossed Traditional Cobb Salad with Foccacia Stick

Fire Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup With Basil Foam and Tiger Shrimp

Fire Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup With Basil Foam and Tiger Shrimp

Gyros

Gyros

Wilted Grees With Barbeque Braised Beef Shortrib and Cornbread Button

Wilted Grees With Barbeque Braised Beef Shortrib and Cornbread Button

Mickey-roni and Sharp Cheddar with Spiced Barbeque Pork Belly and Bear Bread Crisp

Mickey-roni and Sharp Cheddar with Spiced Barbeque Pork Belly and Bear Bread Crisp

Mid-Western Beef and Pennsylvania Mushroom Pie

Mid-Western Beef and Pennsylvania Mushroom Pie

Main Lobster and Atlantic Seafood Fisherman's Pie and Corn Crusted Florida Root Vegetable Pie

Main Lobster and Atlantic Seafood Fisherman's Pie and Corn Crusted Florida Root Vegetable Pie

Warm Sweet Apple Crumble With Rum Butter

Warm Sweet Apple Crumble With Rum Butter

Warm Brownie Torte

Warm Brownie Torte

Brownie Torte and Apple Crumble on Plate

Brownie Torte and Apple Crumble on Plate

Berries with Vodka Sauce Stick

Berries with Vodka Sauce Stick

Cheesecake Push Up

Cheesecake Push Up

Tiramisu and Cannoli

Tiramisu and Cannoli

Chef Irvine Thanks his Dinner:Impossible Sous Chefs at the Event

Chef Irvine Thanks his Dinner:Impossible Sous Chefs at the Event

Overall, the event was incredible and the food was delicious. My favorites were the braised short ribs, the chicken fried rice, and the brownie torte, though I could easily have eaten a few more of those cheesecake push ups! And the event was capped off with a very cool performance by Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas — they sang their new duet, “Make a Wave!”

I’ve heard that the Dinner:Impossible! show will air sometime in April (NOTE: The Show is airing on June 2nd on the Food Network!).

More About Disney’s “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” Program
This was part of a week-long series of events promoting what I believe to be one of the most game-changing Corporate/Non-Profit partnerships in the history of philanthropy. Disney’s “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” volunteer program aims to encourage 1 million people to volunteer one day of service at a local nonprofit in exchange for one free day in a Disney park. To date, Disney’s already hit the 600,000 person mark…and that’s in just six weeks. I’m guessing they’ll hit their 1 million person goal in no time flat.

You can learn more about how YOU can trade a day of volunteering in your community for a free Disney parks ticket — including screen shots of how to sign up — right here in our “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” primer!

Please Note: Author received complementary transportation, accommodations, and event entry for this event.

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41 Comments

  1. Janna says:

    What a fun event! I look forward to seeing the actual show.

    I’m sure the food was fabulous but the presentation was outstanding!

  2. Ro says:

    Thanks for the food porn, AJ. Looks so yummy. And I love your action shot of Chef Irvine sprinting through the World Showcase. : )

  3. AJ says:

    Janna — It was so interesting! I had no idea they made plastic food serving products like that!

    Ro — My pleasure! And, yeah, I was a bit of a Chef Irvine stalker that day… ;-) I DID get to meet him, though, and he was great.

  4. sarah says:

    looks like a great time

  5. AJ says:

    Thanks, Sarah! It was really an amazing day and evening.

  6. Chip says:

    Are we going to be seeing you in the show when it airs :)

    Good idea with the sign..Wish I could have had something like that when I was filming TV back in the day.

  7. AJ says:

    Chip — I don’t think I’ll be in the show at all. The cameras were in a separate area filming the volunteer families Disney brought in for the Celebrate Volunteers event :-)

    I agree — I’ve done a few promo videos in my career and a big old sign would have been great, as opposed to all of those release forms we had to get people to sign.

  8. What an awesome experience! I love Dinner: Impossible (as someone who is culinarily challenged, it’s like watching a good science fiction program!), and have always thought Chef Irvine would be kind of an interesting guy to meet.

    The food all looks amazing – we need smell-o-vision out here on the web!

  9. TraciLeigh says:

    That was such an amazing dinner/event!

    Those cheesecake push-ups were to die for! So yummy!

    There was so much food I didn’t get to try 1/2 of it …. but what I did have was delicious!

    PS: So happy we finally met at the previous night’s event! ;)

  10. AJ says:

    Anna — It was an incredible thing to see. And Chef Irvine was so nice — even though he was running around trying to make dinner for hundreds in just a few hours, he was smiling and joking around. Didn’t seem stressed at all when I met him! :-)

    TraciLeigh — Me too! It was a fantastic event. Disney does great work, eh? ;-)

  11. chris says:

    Admit it: You swooned just a little bit. I mean over the food, not Chef Irvine’s huge biceps.

  12. AJ thank you so much for capturing the event. Thanks to the kids, we missed out on taking a lot of the photos. Now I can point all of my friends/family here to check everything out before the episode airs in April.

  13. Oh my gosh that is so darn cool. Very jealous! That food looks delicious and I would have had a hard time not trying everything. I love Dinner Impossible and can’t wait to see this on Food Network. Great post by the way, you really captured it all.

  14. AJ says:

    Chris — I as swooning over everything. Yes indeed!

    TAF — Great! I’m so glad I can help out. Speaking of, I should send this to MY friends and family, too! :-)

    Mel — Thanks for reading and for your comment! I’m really looking forward to seeing the episode air, too.

  15. Shayne says:

    I just ate dinner, but now these photos have made me hungry again! The food all looks wonderful and such interesting presentation. I think I could have made a meal of the desserts alone, but it all looks good. How cool that you got to participate in this!

  16. The food was wonderful, wasn’t it? My favorite was the fried noodles. I could have eaten those all night.

  17. My daughter could not get enough of the seafood Fisherman’s pie. It was great.

    I missed the cheesecake push-ups because we were up at the concert. Bummer!

  18. AJ says:

    Shayne — I pretty much DID make a meal of those desserts! I had to try them all, after all :-) Thanks for the kind words.

    Susan — Thanks for reading! You guys set up what sounds like an incredible conference; I’m on the mailing list for next year! Agreed on the fried noodles — delish.

    Jennifer — At least you were up-close and personal at the concert! What an incredible evening. I bet your daughter just loved it!

  19. I was under the understanding that the food the media was eating was not prepared by the Dinner: Impossible! crew. That was a separate buffet set-up just for the volunteer families.

  20. AJ says:

    Oh no! Matt, don’t break my heart! I know that the volunteer families were in a separate area for the filming portion of the event, but I sincerely thought we were all eating the same stuff. Ah well; if that’s the case, kudos to Disney catering for a wonderful meal! :-)

  21. Lissete says:

    Thanks for the fabulous pictures! I just linked up to this post because I totally forgot to take food pics!

  22. AJ says:

    Thanks, Lissete!

  23. KristenWDW says:

    I didn’t catch the details about the fabulously yummy food served at this event so it was especially awesome to discover them through this fabulous post! While, I didn’t get to meet Chef Irvine, I sure was lucky enough to get to meet you! Love this blog!!

  24. AJ says:

    Agreed! Thanks, Kristen, it was wonderful to meet you as well!

  25. Mush says:

    Wow….just wow. We love this show and can’t wait for it to air. Thanks for the recap of the event!

  26. AJ says:

    Thanks for the comment, Mush! (Sorry to hear about your sick kid, by the way :( ) I’m really looking forward to the episode, too!

  27. The food we had that night was delicious, but I realized now that we missed out on some real good stuff, especially the dessert. Thanks for the photos and details about what went on behind the scenes to create our meal.

  28. Jessica says:

    I was there that day as well, not participating in the volunteer event though. I heard one of the Jonas brothers was in epcot that day as well. When I went over by the filming I was brought up on stage! just about where the picture below the waiver was taken! And I could hear Robert yelling to the other chefs about the dishes. I was also maybe 5 feet away from him, but when I was not on the stage, I couldn’t hear the yelling. Can’t wait to see the episode!

  29. AJ says:

    Connie — My pleasure! Thanks for reading!

    Jessica — Thanks for the update and info! Congrats on a cool experience :-) Yep, one of the Jonas Brothers was there that day for the volunteer event; he performed with Demi Lovato that evening!

  30. Chris Worthy says:

    I am sorry we didn’t get to meet at the event. The root veggie pie was out of this world, despite the fact that it was COLD! :) If you get an update on when the episode will air, please let me know. Thanks!

  31. Chris Worthy says:

    I wasn’t specific — the veggie pie was warm and wonderful. Florida was freezing. :)

  32. AJ says:

    I hear ya, Chris! It was SO cold that night! :-) Thanks for your comment; hopefully we’ll meet up soon!

  33. [...] This episode of Dinner: Impossible is slated to debut sometime in April.  Let’s see…did I leave anything out? Hmmm…. Oh…you want to see the food you say! =) My dear friend AJ over at The Disney Food Blog did a magnificent post with photos of all of the dishes that were served that evening. I suggest you check it out … Dinner:Impossible Meal at Walt Disney World. [...]

  34. Mary Jo says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful opportunity you had with us. The food looked amazing, but there were 2 items that looked vaguely familiar. When I attended the D23 One Year Anniversary Event in the Magic Kingdom on March 5th, part of our agenda was a dessert party served in Fantasyland. We were served the canollis in the same little cups and the warm chocolate torte. I’ll have to send you the pictures. So, not sure if Chef Irvine’s group made those.

  35. AJ says:

    Mary Jo — I’m hoping against hope that Chef Irvine made our food, too, but if not, it was still a lovely event with incredible food! I think I’ve seen the pics of the canoli and torte from the D23 event — was it as wonderful as it looked?! You’re so lucky to have had the chance to go!

  36. Steve Bilzi says:

    We were honored to have been chosen a volunteering family from North Carolina and attended this event. The food was as awesome as the entertainment and hospitality. Our family will never forget the entire week.

  37. [...] Dinner:Impossible Meal at Walt Disney World! [...]

  38. Aurora says:

    I am so lucky that I got to be a participant of this event! I LOVED most of the food (mushroom pie was nasty but the cheesecake pops were the MOST AMAZING THING EVER) and I can not wait to find out if any of us were seen while he was running around the park! If anyone hears someone scream I LOVE YOU CHEF then that was totally me because i screamed like a 13 year old seeing the JoBros!

  39. Lia says:

    UGGHHH!!! I WAS THERE!!! AND I DIDN’T KNOW IT!!! I saw Belle and the people from France with their baskets but didn’t think to ask what was going on! I AM SO MAD AT MYSELF!!! (True, I was only there in the morning. But still.) THE NIGHT BEFORE, I WATCHED ILLUMINATIONS FROM WHERE THEIR KITCHEN WAS SET UP!!!!!!!!!

  40. AJ says:

    Steve — That’s awesome!! I got the chance to meet some of the the families and I was so inspired! I’d love to hear about the rest of your week at Disney!

    Aurora — Ha! That’s awesome! Did you end up seeing yourself on the show, Rora?? I loved those cheesecake pops, too, but I could have eaten the whole brownie torte myself. ;-)

    Lia — Hee hee!! Poor you!!! It was, like, hero worship when I saw the Chef running around. I was SO paparazzi that day!

  41. Maria says:

    I was so happy when I came across your pictures. I did not get a chance to take pictures of all of the food. We were honored to be part of this amazing event. My family and I had the time of our lives. The food was excellent and the presentation was amazing. We are still talking about it! My favorite dish was the Main Lobster and Atlantic Seafood Fisherman’s Pie. Is the recipe available? I would love to try to recreate this at home. Also, where can I buy the plasticwear that dishes, such as the cheesecake pops and the cannolis were served in? Thank you!

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