Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila

Tequila Variations ©Disney

Tequila Variations ©Disney

It’s finally open! I’m so thrilled that the Cava is ready to serve (and even more thrilled that I get to share with you all the info about my tequila tasting at the Food and Wine Festival later this Fall!). This will be a welcome addition to the beautiful Mexico pavilion — especially for us foodies. Be sure to pick up your sombrero on the way out.

To peruse the Epcot Tequila bar menu, click on the link!

Here’s Disney’s official press release about La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico. Enjoy!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Tasty tequilas and mouthwatering margaritas are on tap at La Cava del Tequila, a new offering for Epcot guests to explore the heritage and tradition of tequila-making in Mexico.

Cava del Tequila munchies ©Disney

Cava del Tequila munchies ©Disney

Tucked away in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot, La Cava del Tequila beckons guests with more than 70 types of authentic tequila, ranging from the simplest to the rarest of them all, aged to perfection and made from the finest distilled spirits from the agave plant. Tequilas range in price from $8 to $50 for a specialty tequila.

Amid warm décor, art work and original artifacts all celebrating the Mexican heritage, a “Tequila Ambassador” is on hand to educate Walt Disney World guests on the history of tequila-making.

Also on the drink menu: Exotic and uniquely blended margaritas, introducing a variety of flavored salts, spices and tropical fresh fruits masterfully prepared by experienced mixologists.

Drinks de Tequila ©Disney

Drinks de Tequila ©Disney

A variety of quick tastes, tapas style, will be available, including freshly made guacamole and ceviche as well as mahi mahi tostadas with diced mango and avocado and blue crab tostados with chipotle mayo and Valentina sauce.

The 30-seat La Cava del Tequila is open from noon until Epcot park closing time. It is connected to the famous San Angel Inn as part of the Mexico pavilion, a popular stop for Walt Disney World guests.

Wishes Dessert Party Extended Dates Through End of October!

Wishes Dessert Party Buffet

Wishes Dessert Party Buffet

9/18 Update: Wishes Dessert Party has been extended through January 2nd, 2010!

Just spoke with Disney Dining and had it confirmed that the Wishes Dessert Party has been extended through the end of October! Call WDW-DINE to book (it’s news to a lot of the booking agents, so just be persistent! I was on the phone with guest services supervisors for quite a while confirming this…).

Call soon! There are some dates in September that are already sold out!

FYI: 24-hour cancellation, cost for two adults was $46. Also, it looks like the party might not be offered on Sundays in September.

You can see past posts on the Wishes Dessert Party here:
Wishes Dessert Party Announced (includes details of the evening)
Wishes Dessert Party Photos!!

Photo Credit: Zapperz @ MyDisneyMania.blogspot.com

Latest Disney World Food News and Rumors

Head over to the Diamond Horseshoe for some grum...at least for now

Head over to the Diamond Horseshoe for some grub...at least for now

Too much happening to do individual posts on each! Just wanted to give you a run-down!

News and Reminders:

1. The Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe in the Magic Kingdom is open (and available for online booking) August 16, 23 and 30; and September 6, 13, 20 and 27. Click the link to book online and see sample menu items.

2. DVC members, Annual Passholders, and Tables in Wonderland members can now register in advance and at a discounted rate for 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival seminars and culinary demonstrations.

3. Epcot’s Mexico is scheduled to open its Cava del Tequila on August 28th (Friday!).

4. You can book the Magic Kingdom’s Diamond Horseshoe (temporary table-service location) from now through October 3rd. Click the link to book online.

5. 8/27 Update: The Wishes Dessert Party has been extended through November 1st, 2009!

Rumors:

1. I was on the phone with a Tables in Wonderland cast member who mentioned that the discounted Food and Wine Festival seminar registration rates would become available to the general public on Friday, August 28th. Rumor only, folks, but this would be great, as those of us who want to experience several of the seminars can save a bunch of cash!

Interview: Celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon of Raglan Road

Chef Kevin Dundon

Chef Kevin Dundon

Huge thanks to Chef Kevin Dundon, TV celebrity chef, restaurateur, and Master Chef of Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road, for taking the time to answer a few questions from the DisneyFoodBlog (especially the one about his 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival appearance this October)!

Be sure to stick around post-interview for an information collage about Chef Dundon’s varied career (he’s a young guy, but he’s had some serious culinary adventures!) along with some fantastic recipes from Raglan Road and his award-winning hotel and restaurant, Dunbrody House.

DisneyFoodBlog: What was your culinary vision for Raglan Road (as an authentic Irish pub); has it changed over the 4 years of the restaurant’s existence?
Chef Dundon: I love Raglan Road, because I take Irish dishes and give them a face lift. I can be very creative there; the menu is always changing, which keeps us up-to-date with fresh and interesting new products and procedures.

Raglan Road

Raglan Road

DFB: What factors did you take into consideration when creating a menu for a theme park audience? How did this menu construction differ from those you’ve created for other restaurants and projects?
CD: I had to bear in mind that we would be catering for much larger numbers in Raglan Road. And also we, because of our location, get a large number of families. (Because of this, we have been voted in the top 50 in Open Table Family Dining.) Creating a meal experience for the entire family is our main goal, and the emphasis of our food is on fresh, additive-free food.

DFB: What do YOU order when you go to Raglan Road?
CD: I love the gourmet shepard’s pie; or I sometimes think you just can’t beat the fish and chips. Because everything is so good, it is very hard to select a favorite.

Wildforest Mushroom Chowder

Wildforest Mushroom Chowder

DFB: Raglan Road, Orlando, was your second US restaurant. Since then, you’ve launched a third (with more on the way?). What do you enjoy about working and spending time in the US culinary arena?
CD: Yes — we are hoping to open a new restaurant within the next year! I love spreading the word on great food that originates from Ireland and Dunbrody House. I like to educate people of the great fun and sense of enjoyment that can be achieved through food.

DFB: You’ll be the host chef AND celebrity chef for the Culinary Adventure in Signature Dining at Raglan Road at the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival this Fall. Any chance you could share a couple of the dishes the audience will get to taste at that event?
CD: Well, a lot of this is still under wraps at the minute, but I will give you a sneak preview by saying that we will be doing pan-seared Boston scallops and a suckling pig…can’t wait!

Battered Sausages with Mustard Mayonnaise

Battered Sausages with Mustard Mayonnaise

DFB: Is there a particular person or a memory that inspired your path in the “food business?”
CD: Yes. A chef called Dario Oterello. He was a Spanish chef, and he really gave me insight into flavoring food appropriately whilst letting the individual flavors stand for themselves.

DFB: Do you think your interest in architecture affects your recipe development and cooking?
CD: Yes; food is all about design, creativity, and putting the right “blocks” together.

DFB: Does your family like to spend time together in the kitchen?
CD: We would cook everyday together! I love to get my kids involved in cooking; it gives a very keen interest in food, which is my passion.

Dunbrody Kiss

Dunbrody Kiss

DFB: What’s next up in the queue for you? Any projects coming up that you’re particularly excited about?
CD: Yes, I’m always busy! At the moment, I’m finishing the final stages of preparation on the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival plans. I’m also starting work on my next (third) cookery book to follow on from “Great Family Food.” I’m also looking forward to beginning my own television show.

Chef Dundon’s Accomplishments Reel
Celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon has cooked for many well-known celebrities during his career, including Her Majesty, the Queen; President Bush; and Bono. He has spent time in kitchens all over the world, from Switzerland, to Canada, to the US, and back to Ireland, where he served as the Executive Head Chef of the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, widely recognized as one of the most prestigious Chef appointments in the country.

Dunbrody House

Dunbrody House

Today, Chef Dundon is the Chef/Proprietor of Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant, located in South East Ireland and established in 1997 by Chef Dundon and his wife Catherine. Considered one of Ireland’s Premier Hotels & Restaurants, it has earned many awards, including Andrew Harper’s Grand Award for best Hideaway in the World, Restaurant of the Year, and several Michelin Guide awards.

In addition to his work with Dunbrody House and other projects globally, Chef Dundon continues to film television appearances and documentaries for national and international networks (including The Food Network, ESPN, the Travel Channel, and NBC), write for several culinary magazines and newspaper columns, produce cookbooks (including Full On Irish: Creative Contemporary Cooking, and Great Family Food), and serve as Signature/Master Chef for two other US restaurants in addition to Disney World’s Raglan Road, The Nine Fine Irishmen in Las Vegas, and Raglan Road’s sister restaurant in Kansas City.

Dunbrody Cookery School

Dunbrody Cookery School

When he’s NOT working, Chef Dundon spends time with Catherine and their three kids. The family just put the finishing touches on a brand new home in Ireland (which Chef Dundon’s love of architecture and design keenly inspired).

For more information on how YOU can take master cooking classes with Chef Kevin Dundon, check out the Dunbrody Cookery School.

Also, don’t forget to book NOW (407-WDW-FEST) to attend Chef Dundon’s signature dining experience at the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: October 13, 2009, 6:15 p.m., Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. Cost: $115

You can follow Chef Dundon on twitter at @ChefDundon.

Just to finish up, here are a few of Chef Dundon’s original recipes from Dunbrody House and Raglan Road! (You can see photos of these scattered throughout the post.)

Duncanon Seafood Chowder

Wild Mushroom Chowder (Eatin’ and Drinkin’)


Beer Battered Cocktail Sausages with Mustard Mayonnaise (Dalkey Duo)

Loin of Ham/Bacon with an Irish Mist Glaze (Kevin’s Heavenly Ham)

Dunbrody Kiss

Bread and Butter Pudding (Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding)

Tables in Wonderland/DVC/Annual Passholder: 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Discounts

dining
Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival offers Tables in Wonderland, Disney Vacation Club, and Annual Passholder Member discounts:
Members have a special opportunity to purchase discounted advance tickets to the culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars at the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, taking place September 25 – November 8, 2009.

Beginning Wednesday, August 26, a limited number of discounted tickets will be available for Members to purchase online in advance of the general public. The discounted rate is $5 a person (regularly $8 a person) while they last. (Events are expected to sell out.) Please note that the discount won’t be available at the event, so advance purchase is required to get the discounted rate. Discounted tickets, if available, may be purchased until 24 hours before the start of any individual session.

The culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars, which last about 45 minutes, let participants learn from featured chefs and wine presenters, pick up a few tips and taste the featured items. Everyone must have a ticket to attend, and attendees must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

To register for the culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars at the discounted rate, visit http://www.register123.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKwebID=0x173908616f

Thanks to Pinvestigator Cody at the Global Disney Pinvestigation Blog for this info (DisneyFoodBlog has to renew its Tables in Wonderland, apparently!).

Food Post Weekly Round-Up: August 23rd

Animal Kingdom eat hereBefore we get started with the round-up, I wanted to remind everyone that Chef Cat Cora’s signature restaurant, Kouzzina, “soft” opened this week at Disney World’s Boardwalk Resort! The restaurant, replacing Spoodles, serves breakfast and dinner dishes reminiscent of Cora’s Greek heritage. Check out all of our Kouzzina coverage, including menus and food photos!

The round-up this week includes some great Disney World Food stories, including some serious cheescake-making, mini-donut eating, dairy-loving deliciousness! Here we go!

Main Street Gazette sheds light on dining at the Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France: MSG does it again! They have captured a little piece of Disney World that I’ve never experienced…and desperately hope to! Please, click on the link. You will see muenster cheese like you’ve never seen muenster cheese before. It’s breathtaking.

Mousesteps captures preparations for the Food and Wine Festival: Some fantastic photos of prep work for the Festival, including landscaping and building! So excited!

A newer blog, Disney Every Day, composed a video dedicated to Typhoon Lagoon’s Mini-Donuts: I have never seen these at Typhoon Lagoon, but you can bet on where I’m heading next time I go!

A disney-loving blogger couple, Techy Dad and The Angel Forever, try their hand at the Pop Century Resort Tie-Dye Cheesecake Recipe: That link is to their second try (I really love the step by step photos!). Click over from Techy Dad to see The Angel Forever’s blog post about their first shot at the recipe, too!

Finally, ever wonder what it looks like when someone tries Beverly at Epcot’s Club Cool for the first time?: Thanks to @teruterubouzu for this link!

Thanks for all the great, and really interesting!, round-up articles this week! By the way, Disney fans — if you come across any Disney food posts in your readings online, let me know so that I can get them into the round-up! You can contact me via email, facebook, or twitter!

For more of the latest on Disney foodstuffs, check out our Disney Food News!

D23 Expo Foodie-centric Auction Lots

The D23 Expo Live Auction lots were announced yesterday, and there are a couple that I think you foodies will enjoy! Looking forward to hearing feedback from all of you Expo-ers!

Napa Rose Chef Andrew Sutton

Napa Rose Chef Andrew Sutton

LOT 13: Private Cooking Lesson & Dining Experience with Chef Andrew Sutton
(Bidder, plus eleven (11) guests)

“La piece de resistance! Join Executive Chef Andrew Sutton of the award-winning Napa Rose as he leads a hands-on cooking and learning experience in the show kitchen of the beautiful Napa Rose restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa. Then enjoy a quintessential dining experience recounting your
day’s cooking accomplishments.

Also included in this auction lot will be six (6) bottles of wine provided and signed by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios and Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering. John and his wife Nancy purchased an historic Sonoma Valley winery and vineyard property back in 2002; since then they and their family have lovingly transformed the property into a state-of-the-art, ecofriendly, family-run winery.

(Experience must be completed by February 28, 2010, and must take place on a Saturday morning. Participants must be at least 18 years of age. For your safety, closed-toe shoes and long pants are required.)

House of Blues LogoLOT 28: Progressive Dinner – Hotels of the Disneyland® Resort and Downtown Disney® District
(Bidder, plus five (5) Guests)

“Start off the night with cocktails and delicious appetizers at the famous House of Blues® Restaurant. Then let Catal’s executive chef and events team create a signature soup and salad duo plate featuring the freshest ingredients to please your palette.

catal logoHungry for more? Choose from a menu of flavorful offerings at our renowned Steakhouse 55 restaurant at the Disneyland® Hotel. Their succulent menu will leave your mouth watering!

steakhouse55 LogoThen take your taste buds on vacation…Jazz on over to Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, a savvy representation of New Orleans’ dual legacies – food and music – served up in a whimsical setting depicting the charm, ambiance and hospitality of historic and contemporary New Orleans. Enjoy the view from our Jazz Balcony as our chef prepares an assortment of petit desserts artfully displayed for your indulgence. Sip on a Jazz Kitchen coffee or enjoy from our selection of after dinner drinks as our staff roll out our signature dessert, prepared table side just for you and your guests.Jazz Kitchen Logo

(Experience must be completed by February 28, 2010. Experience is not valid on the following dates: 9/19/09, 10/1/09, 10/2/09, 10/31/09, 11/26/09, 12/4/09 – 1/3/10. Participants must be 21 years of age in order to consume alcoholic beverages. Package can only be redeemed with Disney’s package and cannot be used separately.)

About The Auction…
Event Date: Saturday, September 12, 2009
Event Time: 7:00 PM
Event Location: Anaheim Convention Center – Anaheim, CA
Event Summary: Disney enthusiasts will have the opportunity to bid on unique Walt Disney Studio and Theme Park experiences, tours, artwork, props and more.

Ticket Sale Information:
Admission to the D23 Expo Live Auction is included in all D23 Expo tickets. There will be an additional “Auctioneers Package” fee required for guests who wish to participate (i.e. bid on items) in the auction. Tickets for the D23 Auctioneers Package are $40 each. With this pacakge, you will receive preferred floor seating, ONE (1) D23 Expo Live Auction Commemorative Catalog, ONE (1) D23 Expo Live Auction Paddle, and ONE (1) D23 Expo Live Auction Limited Edition Pin.

It does not look like this auction will benefit any charitable organization.

For more information on the auction and a link to other available auction lots at the D23 Expo, visit the D23 Auction 2009 web page.

2009 Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages

Candlelight Processional (copyright Disney)

Candlelight Processional (copyright Disney)

Please Note: According to MousePlanet, Disneyland’s Candlelight Spectacular will be a hard ticket event for D23 Charter Members only, with an additional price tag of $275. The following information is rumored for Disney World ONLY.

Stitch Kingdom is reporting that this year’s Candlelight Processional Dinner Package at Disney World includes access to a reserved area to watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth! This added benefit might just make it that much more worth it to book a Dinner Package!

The site also lists all of the specifics regarding the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package, including costs and times for the different tiers of restaurants:
Tier I: Biergarten and Garden Grill
Tier II: Nine Dragons, Restaurant Marrakesh, Rose and Crown, and San Angel Inn
Tier III: Chefs De France, Coral Reef, Le Cellier, Teppen Edo, Tokyo Dining, Tutto Italia

Word on the street (e.g. the message boards) is that booking this year will be on the regular 90-day schedule, and that Processional Dinner Packages will not be available via the online booking system.

As of right now, the Candlelight Processional will be offered November 27 – December 30, 2009, at 5:00, 6:45, and 8:15 pm.

2009 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Pins Posted

I saw over on the Global Disney Pinvestigator blog that the 2009 F&W Festival pins have been displayed! They’ll be available for purchase on September 21st, 2009.

Here are just a few of my favorites… Be sure to check the Pinvestigator blog post for the full set!

14th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Logo Pin

14th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Logo Pin

14th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Mickey and Japan Pin

14th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Mickey and Japan Pin

14th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival City Pins

14th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival City Pins

Kouzzina Food Photos!

Thanks to @GoofyBeast, here are a few great photos — including food shots! — of Kouzzina on Disney’s Boardwalk:

Kouzzina Lobby

Kouzzina Lobby

Kouzzina Dining Room

Kouzzina Dining Room

Kouzzina Sampler: Prawns and Chicken on Skewers, Olives, Spiced Cashews, Dolmades, Tzatziki, Hummus and Pita

Kouzzina Sampler: Prawns and Chicken on Skewers, Olives, Spiced Cashews, Dolmades, Tzatziki, Hummus and Pita

Spanakopita

Spanakopita

Fisherman's Stew

Fisherman's Stew

Red Snapper

Red Snapper