Earlier this week, we had the chance to check out a sneak preview of some of the wonderful offerings at the 2015 Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic.
The Swan and Dolphin Resorts’ companion event to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off TONIGHT! And if you haven’t gotten your tickets already, no worries — you can purchase them at the Will Call Table.
The Food and Wine Classic consists of two different offerings. You can attend informative seminars, where you can learn about everything from Cheese Pairings and Pasta Making to Wine Blending and how to make the perfect Caipirinha!
But there’s also the Causeway Grandtasting. Set up between the two resorts, the Causeway offers tasting-size portions of special dishes that represent all of the resort’s restaurants. There are also additional areas highlighting the diverse talents of the Swan and Dolphin Culinary Team.
I have plenty of new stuff to share with you, and there are some great food and drinks returning. Let’s take a look around at what the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic has to offer this year!
NEW! Carnival Corner
Carnival Corner will be a brand new addition to this year’s Food and Wine Classic! The area, inspired by sweets and treats from childhood, will showcase the Swan and Dolphin Food Trucks/Trailers.
In this special area, guests can enjoy four different fun foods: Mac and Cheese, Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes, and Nitro Kettle Corn!
I expect to see the Cabot Cheese Food Truck in this area.
The Plaid Truck was a last-minute add on to the Food and Wine Classic in 2014, and it served up some wildly popular and delicious Legacy Mac and Cheese! I’m crossing my fingers for the return of this dish.
At the event this week, we had a chance to see the Nitro Kettle Corn prepared right in front of us. It’s Kettle Corn with a Mad Scientist Twist, and it’s been a favorite at previous Swan and Dolphin events.
To make this treat, the chef added Popcorn to a bowl.
Next, he added a Caramel Cream Foam.
Then came the fun part — he poured Liquid Nitrogen over the whole thing to “superfreeze” it!
Finally, he sprinkled the frozen popcorn with Caramel Sugar and Honey-Roasted Peanuts.
It’s almost like ice cream popcorn — delicious and definitely different.
Along with the food offerings, Carnival Corner will also feature different takes on Prosecco – unexpected flavors and colors.
New and Returning Favorites: Dishes and Drinks
We also had a chance to try a couple of returning favorites and sample a few new dishes as well.
Il Mulino New York Trattoria will offer their Mascarpone Chestnut Ravioli with Italian Sausage, Celery Root, and Bacon Jus. The garnish of vegetables on this one was delicious.
Cib’s Smokehouse, a special event presentation, also returns this year with new dishes. On Friday, guests can dig into Southern Fried Chicken with Creamy Polenta, Pickled Vegetables, and a BBQ “Gravy.” This chicken is crazy tender and so full of flavor. Plan to get seconds.
Saturday night’s featured dish will be Smoked Wagyu Shortrib and Parsnip Puree with Melba Toast and Pommery Mustard Sauce.
The Smokehouse dishes have been consistently some of the best, and we can’t wait to sample them again this year!
Award-winning Pastry Chef Laurent Branlard always crafts special pastries for the event as well. Some of the beautiful creations this year include Raspberry Chocolate Fondant Cake and Lime Panna Cotta with Coconut Lemongrass Pineapple Soup.
But my favorite so far is the Caramelized Banana Cream Eclair.
In addition to the plated desserts, there will be “action stations” where chefs will create S’More Sundaes with Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Graham Cracker Streusel, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Marshmallow, Vanilla Whipped Cream, and Caramelized Hazelnuts.
Finally, we’re sharing some delicious dishes from past years that will return again in 2015.
Fans of Shula’s Steakhouse can enjoy their Carved New York Strip, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise while they stroll the promenade.
Todd English’s bluezoo will also offer a fun deconstructed Shrimp Cocktail Steamroller on Friday Night.
Kimono’s Sushi Bar will offer two different Sushi Rolls — a Jalapeño Roll with Spicy Tuna, Yellowtail, Jalapeño on Friday; and a Dragon Roll with Crispy Shrimp, Tuna, Avocado, Japanese Mayonnaise on Saturday.
Picabu will once again bring a Taqueria to the Causeway, featuring Corn Tortilla with your choice of Barbacoa of Beef, Braised Pork, or Organic Vegetables. Toppings include Cheddar Cheese, Lime Wedges, Lettuce, Onion, Shaved Radish, Pico de Gallo, and Assorted Hot Sauces.
And I’m so excited to see that once again, Garden Grove Cafe will be offering Fish ‘n’ Chips — Beer Battered Sustainable Bass, Sarson’s Malt Vinegar Chips, and Tartar Foam. This upscale version of a pub favorite has been one of my favorite Food and Wine Classic dishes of all time!
Seriously, do not miss it!
The Beer Garden
As the Craft Beer movement continues to gather steam, Beer Gardens are popping up everywhere, it seems. And for the second year in a row, the Food and Wine Classic will offer its own Beer Garden.
Last year, the Swan and Dolphin featured its own craft brew — Phins and Feathers’ Sweet and Mallow — crafted exclusively for the resort by Shipyard Brewing Company.
That partnership continues, with a new Phins and Feathers beer introduced every quarter. Currently, Oktoberfest is on tap throughout the resort. And it’s proven to be Phins and Feathers’ most popular brew to date. In fact, it’s been so popular, they had to create a new batch to have enough for the Food and Wine Classic!
But in addition to Oktoberfest, Beer Garden guests can also be among the first to experience Phins and Feathers’ next offering — Belgian Abbey Style Ale. It will be tapped for the first time at the Food and Wine Classic.
Truth be told, we did have a chance to sample it. The Abbey-style Ale will be the perfect sip on cool nights, we think.
During each night of the event, guests can choose from more than 30 different beers to sample that will be exclusive to the Beer Garden. And, the offerings will be different Friday and Saturday night. For more information about featured beers, check out our Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Menu Page.
With all of that beer, you’re going to need food to soak it up a bit. The Beer Garden will also offer a menu of German-inspired specialities to nosh on while you sample.
Wiener Schnitzel with a side of Warm German Style Potato Salad returns this year.
Sonta Sausage, garnished with Braised Red Cabbage, is served on Pretzel Rolls with plenty of Mustard available to finish it.
Made-to-order Soft Pretzels will also be available again this year.
Access to the Beer Garden requires an upgrade to your Causeway Ticket. Be sure to opt for the add-on if you’d like to experience all that this corner of the Causeway has to offer!
In addition to all of the great Causeway food, keep in mind that the Food and Wine Classic offers fun and informative seminars. The staff is passionate about teaching, but they make it so fun at the same time! For a glimpse behind the scenes, check out our review of From Base to Bubbles and Modern Mixology.
We can’t wait to head out to the Causeway for a delicious evening under the stars! And now, let’s hear from you! Will you be attending the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic? Leave a comment and tell us what you’re most looking forward to trying this weekend!