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Epcot Food & Wine Festival Update: Cat Cora Event Canceled

It’s come to our attention that Iron Chef and Kouzzina Celebrity Chef Cat Cora will no longer be appearing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Kitchen Memories Event slated for October 28th, 2011.

We’ll watch for news of another celebrity chef taking over the kitchen during this 3-course lunch since the listing is now marked “To Be Determined.”

Disney should be contacting all guests with bookings; you can also call 407-WDW-DINE for options.

Also, we note that dates for Cat Cora’s Signature Dinners are no longer appearing on the official Food and Wine Festival calendar.

UPDATE: We’re hearing from readers that Chef Cora will be appearing at the signature dinners, but we haven’t found confirmation. If you have updates, please let us know.

We wish Chef Cora well. Canceling something like this at the last minute is usually not due to positive news eh? :-(

Thanks to my good friend Andrew Serio for the heads up on this news.

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16 Comments

  1. The Signature Dinners are all cancelled with no rescheduling. We got the phone call cancelling our this afternoon. :-(

  2. Alison S says:

    I see her dad passed away earlier this month- maybe that has something to do with it. Hope she is ok- met her once at Couzina- she is a really gorgeous woman and very nice- I was so awestruck when I met her I probably seemed like a wacko- I could barely speak!

  3. Glenn says:

    I have one of the Signature events booked and noticed they were missing from Disney’s website yesterday, so I called. They seemed to think all was okay because they weren’t informed of any cancellations and my reservation was still there. But I knew otherwise — something just didn’t seem right.

    I’ll try calling again if they don’t call me beforehand.

    I hope everything is okay with Cat’s family.

  4. JoAnn says:

    She’s still listed for the Culinary Demonstration on October 29 @ 3:00.

  5. Vanessa says:

    I called today and was told the Kitchen Memories was cancelled on the 28th but her other appearances were still happening. But then I was told all Cat Cora signature dining events were able to be cancelled if I wanted. When I asked if she was still going to be there, they kept repeating that the only conflict was on the 28th. I still haven’t received a call from Disney yet (I’m booked for the 25th).
    It’s very frustrating because we cancelled a nice dinner elsewhere to go to this, and now there’s no availability and no clear information.

  6. Chris says:

    If they’re allowing cancellations for all of her events, I’d think that’s an indication that she’s not going to be attending. Maybe they’ll still try to hold them with Chef Dee instead. It might interesting to see how much of the demand was for Cat Cora and how much was for her food, since the menus and kitchen staff likely aren’t changing.

    Vanessa: What about the Flying Fish wine dinner as an alternative? It’s next door, in the same price range, and you can cancel with a few days advance notice if you find something else you like better or even decide to keep Kouzzina.

  7. Aydin says:

    A bit off-topic, but weren’t you surprised when Cat Cora was first named an Iron Chef? WHO?!
    It seems that every Iron chef was a BIG name before they joined the show (other than Michael Symon, who won the Next Iron Chef). Morimoto, Batali, Flay – they were all superstars in the food world before becoming Iron Chefs, whereas few people I know could have picked Cat Cora out of a lineup before her first season of Iron Chef!
    If they needed a southern chef, they should have gone with John Besh or the Lee Brothers, or even one of the Dean boys. If they needed a female chef, they should have gone with Sara Moulton, Ruth Reichl or Kylie Kwong. Maybe if Cat Cora’s food was FANTASTIC, I wouldn’t be having this thought, but I’m never nearly as “wow”ed as with her performances as I am with the other Iron Chefs!

  8. Kevin says:

    We booked both the Kitchen Memories on the 28th and the Cooking Demonstration on the 29th. We have not yet herd from Disney. She has been replaced for Kitchen Memories on the 28th but it sounds like there may be some confusion as to whether she will participate in the other events?

    Kevin and Mona

  9. Catherine says:

    I have not received any call regarding the Kouzzina signature dinner on October 28, and it is still listed in my reservations on the Disney site. Someone else is being told the 28th is the only day there is a conflict. Another person got a call to cancel the Kouzzina lunch on the 30th. A replacement has been named for the Kitchen Memories but people who have already paid for it are reporting they have not received a phone call with their options -they are of the impression that they have to go to the event with the replacement. What’s Disney doing? Waiting?

    I will be at Epcot on Thursday, and will likely take it up with Guest Services.

  10. Glenn says:

    I was in contact with Cat’s people to set up a surprise proposal to my boyfriend during the event on Thursday 10/27. I emailed them again to find out if Cat would be there and this is the response:
    “No, unfortunately we’ve had to cancel all of Cat’s appearances at the Festival this year due to an unforeseen scheduling change.
    She’s unavailable to make it down to WDW for the Festival this year for any of her appearances.
    I believe the dinners are still open for reservations and are happening, but she will not be able to be there to say hi to all the guests as we’d originally planned for.”

  11. Catherine says:

    I am not accepting paying the “celebrity chef” premium for the dinner if the chef is not going to be there. I plan to take it up with WDW Guest Services in person on Thursday.

  12. Kevin says:

    I just got “the call” verifying that Cat Cora will not be appearing at either the Kichen Memories on the 28th. or the Cooking Demonstration on the 29th. We cancelled both. I asked about the Signature Dinners the person I talked with called Kouzinna and was told that Cat Cora will NOT be appearing at any of the Signature Dinners. Guests with a signature dinner reservation will be offered an alternative “Chef’s Dinner” with a reduced price of $60pp.

    thanks,

    Kevin and Mona

  13. I know I’m super late to the game in replying here but, I’ve heard quite loud rumors of Cat and Kouzinna being no more at WDW, that she and the restaurant will be leaving Disney in the near future. I hope its not true because I really like her but the rumors are getting more and more out there…

  14. AJ says:

    Thanks for the feedback, all! Anthony, I haven’t heard those rumors, myself! That would be a bummer since the restaurant’s only been around for a couple of years! :-(

  15. Noone says:

    Could those rumors be true?
    Didn’t they just have a refurb, only about a year after opening? Maybe there will be a Food Network crossover episode of Restaurant: Impossible…

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