Epcot’s L’Artisan des Glaces Celebrates its Second Anniversary with New Flavors and Sundaes!

Happy Second Anniversary, L’Artisan des Glaces!

From the moment the doors opened two years ago in the former spot of Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion, it was clear L’Artisan des Glaces was not your typical ice cream stop.

The Boulangerie relocated to a larger space, and L’Artisan des Glaces began to carve its own unique niche in the Disney dining scene almost immediately upon its debut.

So, what made the arrival of this little shop so special?

First of all, every single one of the 16 flavors of ice cream and sorbet was — and still is — made in-house.

L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Opening Day L'Artisan des Glaces Flavors

Opening Day L’Artisan des Glaces Flavors

L'artisan des Glaces ice cream case

L’artisan des Glaces ice cream case

And second? The shop began to introduce some incredible and unique ice cream confections that we’d never seen the likes of before in Walt Disney World!

As we wish L’Artisan a huge Happy Birthday and Bon Anniversaire, we wanted to take a peek at just a few of these creations that are now a part of the eating scene in Epcot!

Ice Cream Martinis

Thanks to the addition of L’Artisan, Epcot guests 21 and over suddenly had the option of pairing their ice cream flavor of choice with…BOOZE! Grand Marnier, Clement Rhum from Martinique, or Whipped Cream flavored Vodka could be added to create their own gorgeous Ice Cream Martini.

Ice Cream Martini from L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

Ice Cream Martini

Between this and the rich, creamy homemade ice cream, L’Artisan started earning its terrific reputation from the get-go. Refusing, however, to rest on their laurels, the ice cream artists have continued to change things up and crank out surprises year-round.

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches

Additional treats began to appear later in 2013, starting with the Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich. This decadent snack is a scoop of chocolate ice cream sandwiched inside a large, crisp-on-the-outside, chewy on the inside chocolate macaron cookie.

Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich

Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich

While you can still get the Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream sandwich any time of year, new versions of this treat began [Read more…]

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival News: Menu for Mexico Tequila Tasting Lunch

We have some exciting news today for you about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! We’ve confirmed that Tequila Pairing Lunches in the Mexico Pavilion are back as part of the Special Events line up!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 2.14.45 PM

I had the chance to attend the luncheon a while back. It was a great way to spend the afternoon — sampling tequila, and learning how this versatile spirit can pair beautifully with different menu items.

In anticipation of this year’s lineup, our friends from the Mexico Pavilion recently held a tasting to determine just what would make the menu cut.

We’re excited to share some menu descriptions straight from La Cava del Tequila! Let’s take a closer look.

Menu Planned for the Tequila Pairing Lunch at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

When I attended the Tequila Pairing Lunch, we enjoyed four courses, paired with three different tequilas as well as Agovera Liqueur. (This event is not for the faint of heart. :-) )

Display Table at Entry of Luncheon

Display Table at Entry of Luncheon

As of the writing of this post, the lunch will include four courses paired with tequilas. But please keep in mind, the dishes are subject to change! Anything is possible between now and Festival Go-Time on September 25!

Your journey through the world of tequila will start with a Flautas de Carnitas — a mini crispy Flauta filled with Pork Carnitas and accompanied by Avocado, Cream, Queso Foam, Roasted Serrano Pepper, and Tomato.

Crispy Carnitas

Flautas de Carnitas

The next course, Sopa de Chile Poblano y Calabaza, will be prepared with Roasted Poblano Pepper, Zucchini, Cilantro, Queso Fresco, and Guajillo Pepper Oil.

The Main Entrée will be a combination of Mar y TierraPan-Seared Snapper and New York Strip — served with a creamy [Read more…]

Pre-Order the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival…and Get the 2014 Guide FREE!

Happy 20th Birthday, Epcot Food and Wine Festival!!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

Can you believe it? 2015 will mark the 20th Consecutive Year that Walt Disney World has hosted this event. What started as a way to draw crowds during a slower part of the year has officially become a huge draw and destination in its own right.

And even though it’s only (ONLY?!?) April, it is NEVER too early to start the countdown to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! We’re already sharing who will be playing at the Eat to the Beat Concerts, so it’s definitely time to start booking your dates…

This year’s Festival will once again run a record number of days — more than seven full weeks of food, music, and special events! But with so much awesomeness to enjoy, my number one piece of advice remains the same: Plan, Plan, Plan. And then Plan some more.

And we have a fun and easy way for you to get started, even before the first menu or culinary demo is announced!

The DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is now available for pre-order. (Expected publish date is mid-Summer 2015.) And when you enter discount code “CHEFS” at checkout, you’ll enjoy $3 off the cover price!

But AJ, Why Do I Want to Order the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Now?

I’m really glad that you asked! The biggest and best reason for you to pre-order your 2015 DFB Guide to the Food and Wine Festival is that you’ll get the 2014 Guide immediately for FREE!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Brazil Marketplace Booth

Find out our best tips for visiting the World Showcase booths in the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book!

That means that you can start planning today! And I promise, that is something that you totally want to do. Because when Culinary Demonstrations, Seminars, and Other Special Events are announced, it’s usually just days before booking opens — and then they book up super fast. Time is of the essence when you’re ready to book.

And with the Festival celebrating its 20th year, we already are expecting that it’s going to be truly over the top.

Chef Gale Gand

Events with Celebrity Chefs, Like This One with Chef Gale Gand, Book Up Extra Fast

We expect an expanded Marketplace offering, plus all kinds of Special Extras.

What does all of this add up to? If you’re ever going to plan a trip to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, then 2015 is the year to do it!!!

So, What Do You Get in the DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book?

As is the case with all of our DFB Guides, we’re making this edition downloadable for your convenience, and it’s a snap to install on all of your mobile devices. The 2014 version is a PDF guide with over 220 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items, and we expect the 2015 guide to weigh in at a similar heft.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll love our advice on how to [Read more…]

News! 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — More Booths and Special Events Confirmed!

It’s that time of year!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

Okay, so it’s not exactly time for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival juuuust yet (that’s September 25 – November 16th this year). But is IS time for LOTS of news to come out in anticipation of the event!

Just last week, we brought you word of NEW booths and dishes set to debut at this year’s Festival, along with the full Eat to the Beat line-up and lots of other great news!

Today we’re happy to confirm a few more booths that will be returning to this year’s Festival!

Fan favorites including Poland (and those terrific Pierogies), Belgium (Waffles!), and Hawaii (Kalua Pork Sliders, anyone?) will all return again this year as part of the Festival’s 20th Anniversary celebration.

Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

The Kalua Pork Slider from the Hawaii Booth is a Family Favorite

The Kalua Pork Slider from the Hawaii Booth is a Family Favorite

Additionally, it has been announced that the Party for the Senses will be returning to the Festival every Saturday in October!

Party For the Senses

Party For the Senses

Not only that… aspiring [Read more…]

Review: Caramel and Pecan Treats at Karamell-Küche in Epcot’s Germany

What’s a walk around World Showcase these days without stopping in Germany’s Karamell-Küche?

After all, it’s the one place where every single item is built around the same awesome ingredient: caramel. Werther’s Caramel, to be specific.

In fact, you can even take a moment or two to check out the wall to your left upon entering the Caramel Kitchen (once you’re past the window, that is). It’s a mural depicting the timeline of the company, which had its start in the German village of Werther. It’s quite the history lesson.

Of course, you probably won’t.

Because if you’re anything like me, you’re going to be entirely distracted by all the choices held inside the bakery case (not to mention the buttery fragrance of caramel wafting through the air)!

Karamell-Kuche bakery case

Karamell-Kuche bakery case

That bakery case full of caramel goodness is one reason I don’t mind the typically long lines here. It gives me more time to peek over shoulders and heads in front of me to decide what I want. It takes some time! But having sampled just about everything in that case (and some more than a few times — I’m lookin’ at you, Chewy Caramel Shortbread Bar), I decided to go with something I hadn’t tried before.

Or two things, because… well, do you really need a reason why here ;)?

Anyway, one item I hadn’t chosen previously was the Caramel Cluster Milk Chocolate Pecan; which, I’m guessing, should probably be called the Milk Chocolate Pecan Caramel Cluster…but that’s just splitting hairs.

Caramel Cluster Milk Chocolate Pecans

Caramel Cluster Milk Chocolate Pecan

At first glance, you think you have it pretty much figured out: a dollop of hardened milk chocolate over a layer of caramel covering the pecans. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing…

Caramel Cluster Milk Chocolate Pecan

Caramel Cluster Milk Chocolate Pecan

And just so can have one more look at [Read more…]

Review: Beignet at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Bonjour! We are popping into Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion today to take a closer look at a new-to-us pastry!

You may remember last year around Mardi Gras time when we shared with you the Beignets commemorating that time of year. They were really interesting — unlike what we normally think of as beignets. (You know, those fluffy fried pillows of deliciousness. Rectangular or Mickey-shaped — we’re good either way.)

But on a recent visit to Les Halles we were intrigued to read that the Beignets seemed to be different, since they were described as Chocolate Hazelnut-filled.

Wait. What?!

Yeah…that’s all it took to get us there.

Le Beignet at Les Halles

The previous beignets at Les Halles were Bugnes Lyonnaise, diamond-shaped with a hole in the middle, and were rolled in granulated sugar. So when I was handed this treat, it was clear that we were dealing with something completely different.

Enjoying a Beignet in a Quiet Spot

Enjoying a Beignet in a Quiet Spot

We took the snack to my favorite secret hide-y place in the France Pavilion. (Nope, not tellin’ ya where…OK, behind the perfume shops. But don’t tell.) It’s a wonderfully quiet and shady spot — a perfect place to dig into Les Halles loot!

As you can see, it looks like a traditional filled doughnut. Actually, it reminded me a lot of the Berliner featured at the Germany Booth during last year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Les Halles Beignet -- Up Close

Les Halles Beignet — Up Close

Time to cut into it! I went for it, expecting to see a snug little pocket of chocolate Hazelnut filling. But this is what greeted me on the cross section.

Beignet -- Cross Section

Beignet — Cross Section

Well, I knew there was filling in there. It was too heavy for there not to be! And so I [Read more…]

News! 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Schedule!

It’s finally here! We have more information to share with you from the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which runs September 25-November 16, 2015.

eat-to-the-beat-logo

The Eat to the Beat Concert line-up is in the books! There are lots of exciting returning acts like Hanson, Wilson Phillips, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And as always, a few new acts freshen up the mix a bit. We look forward to seeing Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest, and Chaka Khan this year!

Here’s the full list. Don’t forget to check out our 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page for all the latest details on the festival!

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Line-Up

  • David Cook – September 25-27, 2015
  • Wilson Phillips – September 28-29, 2015
  • Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1, 2015
  • Starship – October 2-4, 2015
  • Smash Mouth – October 5-7, 2015
  • The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9, 2015
  • 38 Special – October 10-11, 2015
  • Rick Springfield – October 12-13, 2015
  • Sugar Ray – October 14-16, 2015
  • The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18, 2015
  • Air Supply – October 19-21, 2015
  • Fuel – October 22-23, 2015
  • Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25, 2015
  • Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28, 2015
  • Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30, 2015
  • Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1, 2015
  • Boyz II Men – November 2-4, 2015
  • Sister Hazel – November 5-6, 2015
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9, 2015
  • Hanson – November 10-12, 2015
  • Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14, 2015
  • Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16, 2015
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

Eat to the Beat concerts are free with Epcot admission throughout the festival. You can catch up to three shows per night at at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM in the America Gardens Theater, located in the America Pavilion. Check out our Eat to the Beat Concert page for details and times.

Start Your Planning Today! The DFB Guide to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available for Pre-Order!

2015 DFB F&W Guide Cover

This 200+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever. Pre-order your 2015 edition today, and download the 2014 guide for FREE — immediately!

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!

Is YOUR favorite act [Read more…]

News! 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Confirmed Booths, New Dishes, and More Details!

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015, and today, we’re starting to get an idea of what this year will include.

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Logo

We have updates on everything from food to new attractions, so let’s get to it!

NEW Booths and Dishes

While we anticipate lots and lots more announcements about new food items, we’re getting our very first glimpse of some eats that will debut in the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths!

The Scotland Booth is back and will debut a brand new drink, the Scottish Citrus Thistle!

A Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Peppers, Onions and Snap Peas will be a highlight at the Australia Booth, and the New Zealand Booth will tempt guests with a Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Kumara Dumpling.

Other new dishes will include Pepper Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese (what WHAT?!??!?) at the Farm Fresh Booth. But I super hope that amazing Hash returns in 2015!

Farm Fresh Marketplace

Farm Fresh Marketplace

Of course, we are crossing our fingers and hoping that plenty of dishes that we love return as well. We do know that the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup is returning to the Canada Booth!

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup Will Once Again Join the Festival Line Up

So we can breathe a collective sigh of relief there. :-)

New Special Events

We cannot wait to check out a brand new festival Premium Event — the French Family Meal Traditions Lunch, which will take place on Fridays and Sundays.

Parisian Breakfast

If the French Family Meal Traditions Lunch is Anything Like the Parisian Breakfast, We Can’t Wait!

A brand new premium party, the Rockin’ Burger Block Party, will also take place on select dates. More details to come about that one!

NEW Artists Debuting and Familiar Favorites Returning to Eat to the Beat Concert Series

Taking in an Eat to the Beat Concert as the sun goes down is a great way to enjoy your evening at the festival. And this year, we have some brand new acts to choose from.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Performing at Eat to the Beat

New acts Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest, and Chaka Khan will take the stage at the America Pavilion in 2015. They’ll be joined by several returning acts, including Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

To check out the FULL official line up, click over to our Eat to the Beat Concert Series Page!

Celebrity Chefs to Appear at the 2015 Food and Wine Festival

One of the most fun aspects of the festival is catching a low cost culinary demonstration with celebrity chefs. 2015 will see the return of many favorites. Look for Cat Cora, Robert Irvine, Jamie Deen, Rock Harper, Kenny Gilbert, and Buddy Valastro at Culinary Demos and Special Events.

Cake Boss, 2011 Sweet Sundays Event

Cake Boss, 2011 Sweet Sundays Event

Chef Cat Cora Book Signing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Chef Cat Cora Book Signing at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The festival will also welcome back chef and cookbook author John Ash, who appeared at the very first festival in 1996!

Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt

Also new for 2015 — everyone’s favorite rat chef Remy will be joining the party with [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 20th, 2015

Sure, we may have said “So long” to the Flower and Garden Festival for this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World! Springs moves to summer as Disney World gears up for the busy vacation season, otherwise known as the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

©Disney

©Disney

And since it’s a very special time of year for Star Wars fans in particular, why don’t we start our ‘round the World tour at Hollywood Studios to see What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars Weekends kicked off on May 15th!

Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The excitement! The pageantry!  The CUPCAKES! The Jabba the Hutt Cupcake has joined the Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes this year.

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

It can be found at counter service locations such as Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, The Trolley Car Cafe, and Tusken Fridge Raiders — the premiere Star Wars snack stop, located inside Darth’s Mall.

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

But cupcakes aren’t all that’s in store…

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Like last year, several temporary pop-up bars can be found all over the park for the weekend events.

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

However, they feature all-new drinks this year. Each bar serves two out of of four drinks: The Mustafar and The Tatooine, or The Endor and The Alderaan.

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

We’ll be taking a closer look at those beverages soon, but once again this year, it’s ALL about the souvenir glow cubes: drinks come with either a Millennium Falcon glow cube or your very own mini Death Star.

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

The Jedi Mickey Character Dinner at Hollywood and Vine and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast returned to Hollywood Studios earlier this month (on May the Fourth Be With You, naturally). But brand new to Star Wars Weekends this year is the Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge Experience, which has effectively converted half of Backlot Express into an abandoned spaceport in the Sullest system.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Blue Milk!

Blue Milk!

You can read all about this special month-long dining event featuring small plates and specialty cocktails in our full review of the Rebel Hangar!

Believe it or not, though, it’s not all Star Wars at Hollywood Studios… we’ve got some regular ol’ menu changes at some favorite Table Service restaurants to report as well. Sci-Fi Dine-In has added the Sci-Fi Popcorn Treat to the appetizer selection. It’s popcorn soup (for watching those old movies, of course!) with buffalo popcorn chicken and celery sticks, drizzled with blue cheese dressing.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In

New entrees include Grilled Marinated Salmon, while the Veggie Burger got a [Read more…]

News! Allergy Friendly Culinary Demos at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

We have breaking news today about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — and the our first news of this year’s Low Cost Culinary Demonstrations and Seminars lineup!!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

And stay tuned to the end of the post, because you could win a trip to Walt Disney World during this year’s event!

We all know that Disney is committed to serving guests with food allergies. Today, we’re learning that Mylan, the company that produces the EpiPen® (with which, if you have food allergies, you’re probably familiar), will be sponsoring the first ever culinary demonstrations at the Food and Wine Festival that are free of the top eight food allergens!

Living With Food Allergies Culinary Demonstrations at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The demos will be part of the EpiPen® On Location™ initiative, “a national call-to-action for those living with potentially life-threatening (severe) allergies and their caregivers to understand the importance of avoiding allergic triggers and having access to two epinephrine auto-injectors, such as EpiPen® (epinephrine injection) Auto-Injectors, at all times — whether at home, school, work or on vacation.”

Chef Amanda Freitag

Chef Amanda Freitag

These events are scheduled to take place at the Festival Center throughout the days of October 2-4. Chef and restaurant owner Amanda Freitag will prepare dishes free of the top eight allergens — milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Chef Freitag lives with her own food allergy, and has become an EpiPen® On Location™ Ambassador, as she shares her own experience in a professional kitchen.

In addition, Auggie Maturo, who plays Auggie Matthews on the Disney Series Girl Meets World, will be on hand with his family to offer his best advice for navigating life with severe allergies.

Auggie Maturo from Disney's "Girl Meets World"

Auggie Maturo from Disney’s “Girl Meets World”

We’ll share more information about these events soon! It’s possible that the culinary demonstrations with Chef Freitag will be part of the Low Cost Seminar and Demonstration line up that is such a popular part of the festival each year. As such, there will be a charge for these events.

Win a Trip to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

To help spread awareness about the serious issue of food allergies, Mylan will give away a three-night/four-day vacation for four to visit the 2015 Epcot Food Wine Festival! Three grand prize winners will be awarded a vacation that includes: [Read more…]