The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is just about ready to kick off!
We are just days away from the start of the Festival, which gets underway this Friday, September 25. And we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the special event!
With more than seven weeks to party, there’s plenty of time to enjoy every bite and drink that you have on your list.
And speaking of, we’re celebrating our very favorite food items that are on our Disney Food Bucket List — with this special edition of #OnTheList: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Favorites!
Ready to stroll the Promenade? Let’s head out!
Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing — Hops & Barley
Nothing like starting with dessert, right? And if you’re going to limit your sweets at this year’s Festival, then the Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing has to be on your short list.
You’ll find this dreamy little cake at the Hops & Barley Booth, halfway around World Showcase — and the perfect spot to indulge in a decadent treat.
If you’re a frosting fan like I am, you may be concerned that the warm, liquid-y frosting won’t cut it when it comes to your craving — but I guarantee you, it will. Just be sure to ask for extra!
Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup — Canada Booth
Thick and rich, the soup, with its distinctive Sharp Cheddar and Beer flavor combo, is a menu favorite at Le Cellier Steakhouse. Since advance dining reservations can be tough to score at the pricey restaurant, it’s great that you can enjoy this fan favorite once a year without TOO much hassle (just follow our tips to avoid crowds and lines and you should be good to go)!
Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon — Scotland Booth
The Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon, which debuted in 2014, makes its return to the Scotland Booth menu this year — and I couldn’t be happier!
I know. Those of you who know me well are thinking “What?! AJ’s recommending a SCALLOP? And SPINACH?!?” Well, yes, those are two things that wouldn’t normally be high on my list, but when you add cheese-y goodness and bacon it makes a big difference.
While the scallop is delicious — especially when you consider it’s prepared almost to order in that tiny kiosk — it’s the Spinach Cheddar Gratin that is truly the standout.
There’s never been a more delicious way to get your veggies!
Cocadas: Brazilian Coconut Candy — Brazil Booth
One of my favorite things about the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is trying dishes that I’ve never heard of. And as common at Cocadas, or Coconut Candy, is in Brazil, it was totally new to me! This confection had me going back for seconds at the 2014 Festival, so I’m super happy to see it return to the Brazil Booth this year.
Sticky-sweet and huge, this South American goodie can be compared to a haystack here in the States! Yum!
Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie — Ireland Booth
No trip Around the World would be complete without a stop at another perennial favorite, the Ireland Booth. While I love all of the selections here — the Kerrygold Cheese Selection and the Warm Chocolate Pudding are both good choices as well — it’s the Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie that I come back for year after year.
With plenty of seafood in a rich sauce hidden beneath a baked layer of pureed potato, this dish is delicious. Want to make at at home? Here’s the recipe!
Potato and Leek Waffle with Beer-braised Beef and Smoked Gouda Cream — Belgium Booth
When you’re looking for comfort food, head to the Belgium Booth, where you can make an entire meal out of Belgian Waffles. While I love the sweet versions that come with garnishes of Chocolate or Berries, it’s the savory Potato and Leek Waffle with Beer-braised Beef that you’ll especially want to check out.
Because who can resist Beef Stew…and Waffles?
Escondidinho de Carne: Layered Meat Pie with Mash Yucca — Brazil Booth
I predict this Layered Meat Pie with Mashed Yucca will be one of the biggest hits of the Festival this year!
“Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce — Canada Booth
I think one of the coolest things about the Festival is that, in recent years, I’ve been able to enjoy what is probably my favorite dish in all of Walt Disney World without going to an actual restaurant. Yep, you guessed it — the “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce from the Canada Booth.
While it’s only a tasting portion, it’s still pretty impressive to me that you can enjoy Beef Tenderloin with the incomparable Truffle Butter Sauce (here’s a review if you’d like to see the entree version). In fact, I love the smaller portion, which is much more affordable than the entree and allows me to enjoy it alongside other favorites from Around the World! Now if only they’d add the risotto… .
Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel — Chew Lab
It’s time for another dessert stop! And for this sweet option, I’m going with a new favorite — the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel at Chew Lab.
While I don’t expect this one will be around for years to come (I’m just not sure that The Chew will continue to be part of the Festival long-term), I wanted to offer a new item on our must-do list. After all, that’s part of the Festival, right? Trying out returning favorites, and discovering brand new dishes.
This take on a frozen truffle is both inventive and delicious.
Loaded Mac n’ Cheese with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, and Green Onions — Farm Fresh Booth
While I’m not thrilled that one of my favorite dishes from last year, Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash, isn’t returning, I have been impressed with its replacement at Farm Fresh — Loaded Mac n’ Cheese with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, and Green Onions. Because really, what’s not to love about words like “bacon” and “loaded” and “mac n’ cheese”?
They’d have to work really hard to mess this one up.
Kālua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise — Hawai’i Booth
Surprisingly hearty, this little sandwich packs delicious flavors and textures into one, as the Sweet and Sour Dole® Pineapple Chutney is punched up by the Spicy Mayonnaise.
I dream of this one between Festivals. Good thing we have the recipe, so I can make it at home!
Beef Empanada — Patagonia Booth
I would be the first in line to protest if they ever get rid of this gem. Fortunately, we have the recipe for this one, too!
Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée — Patagonia Booth
Speaking of the Patagonia Booth — which brings together flavors of Argentina and Chile — another of my favorites here is yet another red meat favorite — the Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce. The spicy herbed goodness of the Chimichurri goes perfectly with the well-flavored beef.
Served on a bed of slightly sweet and silky Boniato Purée, I can never resist enjoying this one at least once Around the World. Okay, twice.
Sweet Corn Cheesecake — Mexico Booth
Finally, we’ll end with another dessert. Hey, wait — isn’t that where we started?
If there was one dish that took the Festival by STORM in 2014, it the was the Pastel de Elote Con Queso, or Sweet Corn Cheesecake, at the Mexico Booth. I can’t tell you how many of you went on and on about this one, and we received tons of requests for the recipe!
Similar to a flan, with with the addition of corn, this became one of the hottest dishes of the Festival. While it’s not really my thing, it makes the list because of its popularity!
So, there you have it — the dishes that get my vote for being #OnTheList, Food and Wine Festival-style!
Now that you’ve heard all about mine, I’m anxious to hear your suggestions as well! I want to hear which dishes from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival are on you Disney Food Bucket List. Share them with us in comments below!