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Guest Review: Robert Irvine Demo at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

The amazing Ms. Sarah Holodick is back to share some insights and pics of her recent encounters with two of TV’s most famous foodies — Robert Irvine, from Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible, and Andrew Zimmern, from Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods! Don’tcha just wish you coulda been there? You can find the review of Andrew Zimmern’s demo here. Below is Sarah’s review of Robert Irvine’s demo!

Robert Irvine Demo: Sunday, October 24th, 2010

On Sunday, October 24th, Matt and I headed back over to the Festival Center to see Robert Irvine’s Culinary Demonstration. Let’s just say it’s not quite what I anticipated!

It started out much like Andrew Zimmern’s demo on the previous day, with a representative from Purple Wine Co. telling us about the Avalon Cabernet that had been paired with the dish we would be served.

Talking Wine

Robert then came in and took a look at everything around him.

Robert's Intro

And told us that he stole the hat from Gale Gand, who shortly after reclaimed it.

Gale Reclaims her Hat

It was quickly noted that Robert had two assistants on stage. Robert spent more time entertaining and providing information to the audience, while the two chefs did most of the labor. He did, however, lend them a helping hand here and there.

Robert In the Crowd

All about grapeseed oil

We were presented with “Olive Tapenade Stuffed Lamb with Balsamic Fig Glaze.” Here’s the recipe.

Read “Method for Lamb” number 2: What the heck is eye potion?!

Here is what our completed dish looked like:

Plated Lamb Dish

The lamb was tasty, and the mashed potatoes with which it was served were VERY buttery! The green beans were fresh and delicious.

Toward the end of his demo, Robert was given a Dinner: Impossible-esque challenge. He was given an array of fruits and veggies along with fish, and was told he had 5 minutes to create a dish. This is what he created:

Surprise Mission

Plating

Challenge Dish

Fish with Green Beans and a Mango-Ginger Puree.

While I was really hoping to see Robert cooking more, it was still a fun demo to watch, and I was glad that I secured tickets when I did. He was very entertaining and a little bit crazy (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). He interacted with the audience and had everyone laughing. He also ran about 15 minutes past his allotted time, so those fortunate enough to have a ticket got their money’s worth. After the demo, he had an autograph/photo session. We waited for about 15 minutes, but the line just wasn’t moving, so we decided to pass. If he comes back next year, we’ll catch him then!

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9 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    I’m pretty sure the “eye potion” thing is a typo. I believe it should have said “eye of lamb”, which is referring to a particular cut.

    HTH! :D

  2. Kelly says:

    Err… “eye portion”, even!

  3. Sarah says:

    Kelly, we did have a good laugh over it! Matt caught it while reading over the recipe at the demo. Seeing how eccentric Robert was, we didn’t know what to expect!

  4. Alan says:

    The most amazing thing about Robert when he does his Impossible dinners is that he just eyeballs the amounts of ingredients; things like salt or hot sauces and somehow, turns out tasty dishes. That’s a real skill.

  5. AJ says:

    Kelly and Sarah — Did he clarify in the demo?! ;-D

    Alan — I wish I had even an ounce of that talent!

  6. Sarah says:

    AJ – no he didn’t!

  7. Josh says:

    Sounds like it was a very interesting Demo Sarah!

    I bet most of the ladies were ogling at him more than the dishes there. It looks like he wears VERY tight shirts as well!

    The lamb looks quite moist.

  8. AJ says:

    Sarah — Too funny!!

    Josh — I think there was probably a fair share of ogling!

  9. It is kind of a typo. What he is saying is to sear the side of meat that is the “presentation side” first. This is done to ensure the best look for that side of the meat. If you did presentation side second, it might look cloudy, or pick up residual off the pan. Eye po(r)tion is what I’m thinking he was going with. Especially the way the recipe was worded. imho.

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