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2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Parisian Breakfast at Les Chefs de France

It’s time to head back to one of my most favorite spots in all of Epcot’s World Showcase — Les Chefs de France!

Even though I’m happy to dine at this bistro anytime of the year, today we’re bringing you a review of a brand new special event from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — the Parisian Breakfast.

When this new event was announced for this year’s festival, I jumped at the chance to add it to my busy opening weekend schedule! It’s one of the lower-priced special events available, and I’m always looking for a value.

As a special bonus, the event took place before most of World Showcase was fully opened. I always love it when I can have any part of the park (mostly) all to myself. :-)

Atmosphere

The Parisian atmosphere of Les Chefs shines through at this new breakfast special event.

Seating and Setting the Table

After all, if  you look at the pic below, it even kind of feels like you’re in Paris, eh??

Beautiful Morning Sunlight

I was seated at a table looking out onto the World Showcase promenade. This event (along with most other special events at the festival these days) had assigned seating.

This is relatively new for festival events, so be prepared if you’re hoping to sit with a friend who booked separately from you!

Our Table with a View

Luckily, I got to sit with an awesome group of Disney food fans and we chatted the morning away! It was a great time!

Now, as beautiful as the morning surroundings are, I know you’re anxious to see the spread! Let’s take a look.

Eats

I was impressed to find a Mimosa already waiting at my seat when I arrived. As we entered the dining room, waitstaff were busy preparing the beverages for guests.

Making Mimosas

Mimosas were readily refilled throughout the breakfast, so if you’re a champagne fan you’ll definitely want to consider this event.

Making Mimosas

But in addition to mimosas, servers offered small, steaming cups of French-style Hot Chocolate – Chocolat Chaud!

Pouring Chocolat Chaud

OK, so back in my travelin’ days, my Paris visits were pretty much when I was a young, broke college student. I was usually sleeping in hostels and campsites (yes, it IS a good idea to bring a padlock for your backpack) and eating bread and cheese all day (I know; sounds great, doesn’t it! :-D).

Anyway, in Paris, my breakfast usually consisted of a baguette (fresh, of course!) and a big ol’ bowl of hot chocolate for dipping!! Ah, heaven. Seriously, I could probably go to Paris today and spend a bunch-a-money on a fancy breakfast and find it inferior to my baguette and chocolate deliciousness. I may be a simpleton when it comes to French food, but man that hot chocolate is good. I’m told the secret is high quality, grated chocolate. Must get me some of that… . Any suggestions?

Long story long, I was super excited to see the hot chocolate here. Kudos, France pavilion. Kudos.

Chocolat Chaud -- Up Close

Once I found my seat and we were welcomed to the event, it was time to check out the offerings. A selection of breads, pastries, and accompaniments were presented in a buffet-style setting.

The Set Up

There were four separate serving areas, but each offered the same items, keeping lines to a minimum.

A French cast member assisted guests by slicing fresh Baguettes, which were offered with Butter and Bonne Maman Confiture. Made fresh multiple times daily in Les Halles boulangerie next door, the baguettes are well worth trying.

Aurelien Helping with Baguettes

Slices of crusty Brioche, a bread rich with eggs and butter, as well as sliced White Bread, were also ready to sample.

White Bread and Brioche

You can see how rich the brioche is, with it’s slightly yellow appearance, from this photo. This makes the best French toast ever, by the way.

White Bread and Brioche

Beautiful, golden Croissants were piled high, ready to consume with the wonderful jams.

Croissants

Other pastries available included Apple Turnovers and Frangipane Triangles. I love apples and all things apple-y, so that was a given for me.

But I was truly surprised by how incredible the Frangipane pastries were! I’m not a huge marzipan fan, but whatever was inside these things was nothing like standard marzipan. It was a truly delicious vanilla-y almond paste. I totally wasn’t budgeting for the calories on this one since I knew I didn’t love almond stuff very much, so my quota for the day was way busted when I tasted these and ended up eating the whole thing!

Apple Turnovers and Frangipane Triangles

Saving the best for last — one thing is for sure: you can’t offer a Parisian Breakfast without Pain Chocolat, or chocolate croissants. Remember my starving student breakfast of baguettes and chocolat chaud? It gets even better if you mix in a Pain Chocolat!!! If you haven’t had one before, it’s basically a whole bunch of buttery pastry layers interspersed with big chunks of the richest chocolate ever. Gorgeousness.

Pain Chocolat

Next, we turned our attention to a few savory options.

One feature that I love about a French breakfast spread are the meats and cheeses that are normally available. To approximate this, there were Jambon Beurre Sandwiches, made with butter, ham, and Gruyere cheese. Yum! You guys already know I love these, so it was a must-do.

Jambon Beurre Sandwiches

Another savory option was a brand new offering at Les Halles — pinwheels that marry puff pastry, cheese, and bacon — which meant they were pretty much irresistible.

Savory Pinwheels with Cheese and Bacon

And just when I didn’t think it could possibly get anymore authentically better, Aurelien showed up with a platter of beautiful French Cheese! Yay!!

Aurelien and Cheese!

The selections here mirrored what you find in cheese plates at Les Chefs de France — a combination of Gruyere, Brie, Bleu, and Goat. So pretty.

Cheese Display

I couldn’t resist trying a little bit of everything. And my plate certainly reflects that! It’s like a pile-o-bread-and-cheese!!!!! YAY!!!

My Plate

I especially love digging into those rich cheeses alongside the sweet pastries. That’s one of my very favorite flavor combinations. (And don’t be afraid to mix the sweet pastries with the savory cheeses!! Pain Chocolat with brie? Yes please! To paraphrase Joey Tribbiani: “Pain Chocolat? Good! Brie? Good!” ;-D)

Close Up of the Cheese!

Inside the apple turnover, you can see the layers of flaky pastry and the sweet apple filling. The outside of the pastry offers a thin sugary glaze to add to the sweetness.

Apple Turnover -- Inside

And here’s the inside of that must-have frangipane pastry!! I got another one of these at Les Halles later in my trip and continued to love it!

Frangipane -- Inside

Every bite and sip that I enjoyed was pure authentic France — much of it reminded me of when I’d skip the border into France from Switzerland when I lived over there! This was one of my favorite events of the 2013 calendar.

Overall

I’m always looking for the next great value when it comes to Epcot Food and Wine Festival special events, and this is it. At $37 per person, the ever-flowing mimosas, fabulous all-you-can-eat pastries, and decadent cheeses offer a great deal compared to other Food and Wine Festival events. The only thing I was missing was a spread of fresh fruit!

The food was fresh and authentic, the staff was friendly and attentive, and the surroundings were beautiful. I can’t say enough how fresh and authentic the pastries were. I was amazed, and I can honestly say I’ve never had pastries so good this side of the Atlantic. I will absolutely be signing up for this one again next year.

If you can get on board with this event during the 2013 Food and Wine Festival, I heartily recommend that you do it! And if not, fingers crossed that this one returns next year!

Will you be booking the Parisian Breakfast? Leave a comment and tell us about it! To read more about the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, click here!

Thank you to Epcot’s France Pavilion for the invitation to review this event. I was not in any way required to attend or to review the breakfast here on the blog…but I am SO glad I did! You can read more about our disclosure policy here.

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34 Comments

  1. John says:

    We’ve got a short Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning trip and the only thing I hated about the scheduling is that we’ll miss this event. It looks fantastic ! I wish they did it year round. Hopefully our 2 Italian lunches make up for it !

  2. Joshua says:

    I fly out late Saturday on my upcoming trip, so I may have to spring for another day in the parks just so I can experience this. Looks delish!

  3. Cheryl Donofrio says:

    I wish they’d offered this last year! (I can’t come this year.) It looks magnifique! Tell us more about the assigned seating. Last year we didn’t see it at any of the events we went to, and it would have been welcome – less standing around for 30 minutes in a queue, then scrambling for a seat.

  4. Jenn @ Fairest Run of All says:

    Is the frangipane pastry available at Les Halles now generally? I LOVE marzipan!

  5. Alan says:

    When I was a kid, growing up in NYC, there was a little bake shop around the corner, run by a Belgian gentleman who baked those frangipane pastries, (along with rum flavored chocolate candies) only at Christmas time. I haven’t tasted those in more years than I care to remember. Leave it to WDW and AJ to evoke those sweet childhood memories on a cool rainy day in NC.

  6. Jill says:

    Anyone know if they sell those bacon and cheese pastries at the bakery in France when the F&W Festival is not going on?

  7. Jessica says:

    this sounds exceptionally fun and delish!! i think my mom would love this!!

  8. Angelina says:

    Everything looks great if not a bit too starchy!!! lol :)

  9. Michele says:

    I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear (read) you quoting Joey!! My friend and I talk about that trifle episode ALL THE TIME. The food looks amazing as well; so sad I won’t be able to make it to the festival to experience this breakfast!

  10. Miranda midas says:

    I love the look of the frangipane pastries. I hate marzipan (which is just almond meal and sugar) but love frangipane (which has a coarser texture and is more like a thick nut custard, it’s made of almonds, butter, eggs and sugar). The pain au chocolat look pretty good too.

    I never normally bother with french pastries at Epcot, since I go to France a lot (I live in the UK) but I might actually try a few of these on our trip next week! Thanks for such a helpful review AJ!

  11. CraigInPA says:

    Clearly, this is not a breakfast for someone trying to maintain a low carb or diabetic diet!

    I didn’t see it mentioned, so I looked up the price… $37 per guest. Yikes!

    I’ll be the guy sitting on the bench, eating the croissant, drinking the chocolat chaud, and watching the street performers. I just don’t see $37 of breakfast value there for me.

  12. Joy O says:

    I am a sucker for all things Parisian! $37 or $107 – I said I was a SUCKER – I would do this anyway! Champagne brunches no matter the nationality typically run around that price – so this doesn’t seem that bad especially for WDW. I have heard the same fruit comment echoed by others – hopefully someone at Disney is reading and will add that to the spread. Thanks not only for explaining that marzipan is not your paste of choice – I don’t care for it either and would have ignored that pastry for the same reason. Just goes to show you – try everything (at least 3 times:). I am also interested in the assigned seating so if you get a chance to elaborate I’d appreciate it. And as always – thanks for another awesome review made even better with a little Friends nostalgia!

  13. catherine says:

    The reserved seating is a pain. I go with friends and we don’t pay for each other, at several events last year I was not permitted to sit with them under any circumstances. I think they believe it is better to risk splitting up friends arriving anytime than splitting up late arriving couples. We could solve that by booking together, but these events are not cheap.

  14. Carol says:

    I went last Saturday and loved this. Go this year folks. Next year Disney will either cut the free flowing Mimosas or raise the price through the roof.

    We didn’t have fruit, but honestly I didn’t miss it. The food was good (And doesn’t the OJ count as fruit :) )

  15. Don Livingston says:

    I went last Saturday as well and enjoyed the experience but it’s a one and deal for me. The pastries were truly excellent as were the sausages but a breakfast of bread, pastries, and more bread just isn’t my cup of tea. It’s all you can eat, but how many pastries can one person truly eat (without going into a carb coma!). My wife definitely enjoyed the Mimosa’s and i enjoyed The coffee. Service was excellent.

  16. Shelby says:

    Would this work with Dining Credits? I’m guessing not. Do you need to make a reservation? If so where do I go to reserve?

  17. Josh says:

    We signed up for this last Saturday for 10-19-13. This review gives me everything I needed know of what to expect. My wife read mimosa in the description and that is all it took!! I can not wait to give this a try on our first full day at WDW! This is following our Hoop Dee Doo Review dinner on our first night. Thanks for the review!

  18. mealtrip says:

    @shelby – this is one of those FWF events that there’s no online booking for… you’ll need to call 407-939-3463 to make a reservation (which you do need in order to go). dining credits can not be used for the event.

  19. CJ says:

    At FW this week, just made a reservation at the festival center today. Our resort concierge couldn’t find this event this past Tuesday when we checked in. Thank goodness I asked on the information desk. Looks so yummy!

  20. Paula says:

    Thanks for posting this review!! I’ve been watching for it! I booked the event after you tweeted it was awesome! We will be going to it after the F&W Classic so the carbs will probably be good after the massive amounts of wine the night before!!

  21. M'Shel Bowen says:

    My daughter and I really wanted to do this on our upcoming trip. As a Disney Visa cardholder I was able to call a day before ressies opened to the public. However the CM could not book this for some reason. She spent 30 minutes trying. I called back again and spent another 30 minutes trying with a different CM; no luck. I called back the next day and the same thing. I found out weeks later that it was for guests 21 and over, so we couldn’t have gone anyway but it was aggravating that Disney’s system wasn’t working properly and that initially there was no age limit for the breakfast. My foodie daughter would have loved this minus the mimosas :)

  22. Agnes says:

    Although pricey, everything looks wonderful. And I loved that you quoted Joey! Great line, always makes me laugh.

  23. V No Privacy says:

    This is probably the most perfect meal of all time.

  24. catherine says:

    There are no age limits for food & wine events. Persons under 21 are just not served any alcohol. No reduction in price.

  25. catherine says:

    There are no age limits for food & wine events. Persons under 21 are just not served any alcohol. No reduction in price. There are even some instances of persons bringing infants to these events.

  26. brettmegher says:

    Guys i also wish to join but this time I’m really gonna miss this wine and food festival.

  27. Susan says:

    Ok, this just made want to quit my gluten free diet. I love bread AND cheese.

  28. Denise says:

    Is this on both sat and sun mornings?

  29. AJ says:

    Denise — It’s just on Saturdays.

  30. Mary says:

    My husband and I went to this last year and it was great but I didn’t like sitting at a large table with other people. This year we are thinking about it again and our son will be with us. Since there will be 3 of us this year do you think we will have our own table? If so I would sign up for sure….if not I’m not sure I want to go again.

  31. Anne says:

    Just WISH I had known about this last year when I was celebrating a milestone birthday at Food and Wine — this year I made it my mission to get in to this!! And I did! I can’t wait for all of the deliciousness to hit my mouth!
    I am now officially dieting to make room in my clothes!!

  32. Emileigh says:

    Thank you for the in-depth look! My husband and I got reservations for our anniversary in October. Can’t wait to go now!!

  33. Theresa says:

    I booked the first Saturday and I can’t wait to go. Everything sounds so delicious. AJ, will you be attending the first Saturday of the festival? If so, I would love to say hello to you in person.

  34. teresamnj says:

    I’m going the first Saturday too!

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