I recently had the incredible opportunity to speak with Anthony “Tony” Porcellini, the Director of Food and Beverage at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and the brains behind the brand new annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!
Tony was kind enough to share with me a few more details on the upcoming event, including menus for the tasting booths, specifics on the seminars, and a few surprises for next year’s event! I also received fantastic photos of some of the menu items that will be available in the tasting booths! You can see a few of them below, and a few more will be highlighted over the upcoming weeks.
What We’ll Be Tasting at the Food and Wine Classic
Six Swan and Dolphin restaurants will be featured at the Causeway tasting stations on Friday and Saturday nights (October 8th and 9th, 2010). The offerings will change each night, so be sure to check out the menus below before deciding your dates (or just head over both nights — that’s what I’d do!)
Todd English’s bluezoo
The first night of the festival will feature one of the restaurant’s trendiest dishes: Shrimp Steamrollers! According Tony Porcellini, to make the steamrollers, bluezoo Executive Chef Chris Windus basically “deconstructs a shrimp cocktail in a tube.” Eating them is an even bigger adventure! Chef Windus will be on hand at the tasting booth to demonstrate.
Another trendy dish takes the stage at the bluezoo booth on Saturday. Pipettes filled with buerre blanc sauce will spear small pieces of scallop and bacon. To eat, simply pull the scallop and bacon from
the pipette and squeeze the pipette to release the buerre blanc sauce!
Shula’s Steak House
A “Pick Your Own Filet” action station will offer guests the opportunity to choose a steak on display and have it grilled up to their liking right in front of their eyes! Served on a bed of creamed spinach, the tender cut of meat will simply melt in your mouth (trust me, I’ve had the Shula’s filet and it’s amazing!)
Il Mulino New York Trattoria
On Friday, go casual with a bite into some beautiful mini-meatball-subs, filled with meat, marinara, and cheese! A hand-crafted pasta dish will be the focal point at the Il Mulino booth on Saturday. Details are still being worked out, but you can bet it will be delicious!
Kimonos was voted best sushi in Orlando by Orlando Sentinel readers! At the Classic, sample their Dragon Roll, whose ingredients include tempura shrimp topped off with salmon and avocado.
The Fountain Eats and Sweets
The Fountain’s booth will offer falafel balls along with mini homemade ice cream sandwiches — creamy ice cream between mini homemade chocolate chip cookies!
Cabana Bar and Beach Club
On Friday, sample the Cabana’s Tuna Nachos. On Saturday, sink your teeth into the Crab and Watermelon Salad, an interesting creation made with compressed watermelon and topped with crab meat and dressing, this is an idea way to celebrate the end of summer!
Acclaimed pastry chef Laurent Branlard will be on hand with five mini-desserts prepared for guests. Chef Branlard is highly acclaimed, having won gold medals in the World Pastry Championship and the National Pastry Championship. Any opportunity to meet him and taste his confections should be grabbed!
What We’ll Be Drinking at the Food and Wine Classic
Beverage Tasting Stations
There will be 11 beverage stations at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic covering a full variety of alcoholic favorites including Italian Wines, Reislings, and Craft Beers. Tony Porcellini gave me a little more insight into two of these beverage booths:
- From Base to Bubbles: At this booth, guests will be able to sample three base components of sparkling wine, followed by a finished glass of champagne!
- Modern Mixology: For those who didn’t get into the seminar, never fear — you’ll be able to explore Modern Mixology right here at the tasting booth! Experts here will be creating molecular cocktails by infusing the alcohol with liquid nitrogen. As cold as the surface temperature of Pluto, the liquid nitro can cool and freeze alcohol without those pesky ice crystals. Plus, it looks cool.
According to Tony, “We love to teach!” That’s exactly what will be happening at the seminars taking place both nights of the Classic. Seminars will focus on wine blending, riesling, mixology, beer, sake, and champagne/sparkling wine — check out the details about each seminar here!
The in-depth seminars are limited to 75 people, and there will be three to four trainers in every class offering plenty of one-on-one time for guests.
Tony, a certified Wine Sommelier, will be teaching the Wine Blending Seminar and gave me a few specifics about the event: Each guest will have the opportunity to sample the five different raw red grape varietals that are used in creating a Bordeaux while learning what each different wine will add to the final product. Guests will then have the chance to create their very own blend — to their liking — from the different varietals they’ve just sampled and learned about! You’re basically getting the chance to create your very own personal label!
Tony mentioned that while the seminars were “an add-on” this year, they have been so popular (several have already sold out) that they will likely require an extra cost next year. What does that mean to you and me? Time to get on the phone and reserve our spots this year!
What to Expect at Next Year’s Food and Wine Classic
Tony mentioned that the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic was born when a group of food and beverage folks were trying to dream up something food-related where they could really make a mark in the industry. The answer? “We love to teach –- let’s have fun with that!” And that’s exactly what they’ve done.
While the Classic is small this year, Tony and the rest of the food and beverage team at Swan and Dolphin “want to do something that in 15 or 20 years we can all still enjoy.” He said that we can expect the Classic to be expanded upon greatly in the next couple of years, and celebrity chefs Todd English, Bobby Flay, and Michael Mina have already been suggested as participants for next year.
While the event will always be just a weekend long, guests can expect that next year’s event will include between 10-12 food stations and over 30 beverage stations on the tasting causeway.
Stay tuned for more great food photos and information about the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic! For more details on the event, click here. For reservations information, see below.
For reservations, please call 1-888-828-8850 and refer to rate code FWCLAS.
For seminar reservations only, please call 407-934-1609.
* Hotel Package includes room at a special rate of $169 plus taxes and $10 mandatory resort service package for overnight guests, complimentary admission to the Friday and/or Saturday seminar of their choice plus admission for two to the nightly Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic taking place between 5:30 and 9:30 Friday and Saturday night on the Swan and Dolphin causeway. This package can be booked for one or two nights. One night deposit required at time of booking, 5 day cancellation period-based on room and rate availability.