Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Lobster Creole Culinary Demo with the Authors of Good Catch

Summer is in full swing, and that means lots of long, lazy days, summer fun, barbecues — and the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be here before we know it!

Festival Center During the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Festival Center During the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

While we love spending time at the festival, hitting up all the great eats and drinks at Festival Booths, I also love to carve out a little time to attend a Culinary Demonstration or Beverage Seminar. And I have to say, of the two, the culinary demos are my favorite.

These Low Cost Events take place daily in the Chef’s Showcase at Festival Center, and offer guests a great opportunity to see a live cooking demonstration.

Chef's Showcase Set Up

Chef’s Showcase, Festival Center

But even better, the events include a tasting portion of the dish that’s prepared during the demonstration, and usually include a beverage pairing as well.

Last year, we had the opportunity to attend a couple culinary demonstrations. Join us as we share our experience at one of them today.

Lobster Creole with Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand, and Heather McPherson

The day I attended, there were some notable guests on the Chef’s Showcase stage. Familiar favorite Pam Smith hosted the event. She was joined by Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand, and Heather McPherson, authors of Good Catch: Recipes and Stories Celebrating the Best of Florida’s Waters.

Festival Chardonnay, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cookbook, and Good Catch

Festival Chardonnay, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cookbook, and Good Catch

All three authors are also notable in their own right. While Heather is a well known former Orlando Sentinel food critic, mother-daughter duo Pam and Katie may be a little more familiar to Disney audiences. Pam has co-authored several Disney cookbooks and writes for Disney Parks Blog, while Katie shares hosting duties on the stages of Festival Center with Pam Smith.

Pam Smith with (L-R)  Heather McPherson, Pam Brandon, and Katie Farmand

Pam Smith with (L-R) Heather McPherson, Pam Brandon, and Katie Farmand

Pam, Katie, and Heather are passionate about promoting the use of local ingredients whenever possible. The book celebrates the bounty of seafood in the state of Florida with anecdotes and recipes from fisherman and locally-owned restaurants statewide.

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For the demo, the trio shared a recipe for Lobster Creole from Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market. Founded more than 40 years ago by a family escaping communist Cuba, the combination restaurant and market, located on the Miami River in Miami, is still run by “mami and her sons.”

Lobster Creole Recipe -- Click to Enlarge

Lobster Creole Recipe — Click to Enlarge

While the Pam and the writers shared a little about the history of the restaurant as well as the recipe, servers passed out glasses of 2016 Festival Chardonnay to pair with the dish.

Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demo Lobster Creole FW 17_-002

2016 Festival Chardonnay

The recipe combines locally-sourced Florida spiny lobster with aromatic vegetables familiar in Creole cooking: tomatoes, peppers, and onions. As the authors shared details, the space filled with the smells of special seasonings, sauteed veggies, and briny lobster. Catching all of the details was easy, thanks to large monitors situated on either side of the stage.

Culinary Demo -- Lobster Creole

Culinary Demo — Lobster Creole

Heather shared that the recipe was a great way to “stretch” expensive seafood ingredients. She also suggested cold water lobster, langoustines, or even shrimp would work well in place of the spiny lobster.

As the crew finished preparing the dish, we were served generous samples to try. I loved it! And the pairing with the medium-bodied Chardonnay was a good one. The wine stood up nicely to the richness of the lobster and the light, tomato-based sauce.

Lobster Creole -- Up Close

Lobster Creole

I walked away with a nice snack and a lovely recipe to try at home.

Whether you’re a veteran of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, or this is your first visit to the event, be sure to book a culinary demonstration or a beverage seminar. At $17 per person, the price point is super affordable. And besides, you’re basically attending a live cooking show — with samples. Fun + delicious always = awesome.

Want More Epcot Food and Wine Festival Info?

We’ll have all the coverage and information you need right here on Disney Food Blog!

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2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth and Menu Index
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2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations
2017 Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule
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2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Items

How to Book Epcot Food & Wine Festival Events

To book all special events and demonstrations, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378) starting July 20 at 7:00AM ET. Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars and general admission for some special events may be bookable online at www.epcotfoodfestival.com as well as by phone.

Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Golden Oak Residents are eligible for a $2 discount (per person, per event) for beverage and seminars and culinary demos taking place Mon-Thurs during the festival. Members of these groups can also book all Special Events early on July 18th beginning at 9:00AM ET. Discounts are by phone only at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378). Stay tuned to DisneyFoodBlog.com and the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for details.

Chase Disney Visa Cardholders will not have early access to booking.

So now let’s hear from you. Are you planning to attend a culinary demo at Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

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