Review: Cake Boss Buddy Valastro’s Culinary Demo at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

While I was in Epcot last month, I had the chance to attend an Epcot Food and Wine Festival culinary demonstration featuring Buddy Valastro (who considers himself a “baker” rather than a pastry chef)!

You might know him from TLC’s The Cake Boss, a show centered on his family’s “Carlo’s Bakery” in Hoboken, NJ.

Cake Boss Ticket

Atmosphere

Arriving at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Center (the former Wonders of Life pavilion in Future World), I picked up my ticket at the will call booth and headed over to the culinary demonstration area. This spot has been significantly upgraded from last year, with a classy “vineyard” style and upscale show kitchen.

Culinary Demo Set-Up

I grabbed a seat up front and took a look at the recipe for the creation the Chef was going to share with us: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival’s Party for the Senses

Please welcome guest author Melissa Sorrells Galley with a review of the October 15th, 2011, Party for the Senses at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Thanks to Melissa for TONS of awesome and useful PftS tips!!

Party for the Senses is a truly magical dining event offered on Saturday nights throughout the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Bringing food and beverage specialists from around the world in one giant, colorful pavilion, the Party takes place in the World Showplace, located between the United Kingdom and Canada pavilions on the west side of the World Showcase Lagoon.

Signage outside World Showplace

Atmosphere

Parties this year last from 7:30-10pm. Cost is $145 per person, and $260 for the Wine View Lounge (not including park admission, which is required). In addition to the wonderful food and drink, the ticket price includes performances by the artists and entertainers of Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba during the Party as well as reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat Concert prior to the Party.

Check In
When you arrive, there will be a huge throng of people gathering outside the gates of the World Showplace Pavilion. Resist the urge to join them! Check in for Party for the Senses is located near the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Pizza and Beer Pairing Event at Via Napoli

Join me in welcoming back Werner Weiss from Yesterland with his take on the Pizza and Beer Pairing at Via Napoli that he attended on October 11th! Interestingly, his menu was different from our menu, so it will be fun to get a comparison!

One of the new premium events for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the Italy Food & Beer Pairing at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, the restaurant that opened at the back of Epcot’s Italy pavilion in August 2010.

The event is held each Tuesday for the six weeks of the Festival form 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The cost is $50 per person, which includes the gratuity, plus sales tax. Theme park admission is required.

Display in the center of the room.

Here’s how Disney’s official Food & Wine Festival website describes the event: “A representative discusses the pairing of pizza with regional Italian beers.” Based on the official description, I assumed that there would be several types of fancy pizza, each served with an Italian beer and a short lecture. Instead, it turned out to be [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Food Pictures: Japan and China Booths

It’s time for more 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth food pictures! Today, we’re headed to Asia and will be visiting Japan and China!

As always, if you want to see full coverage of each booth, check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages! Click on any booth or country name for detailed information, menus, photos, and prices.

Japan

Japan introduced a couple of new items to the menu this year, including Pork Kakuni and the Tokyo Sunset — both can be seen below. The pork serving was massive and very good. The Tokyo Sunset, a mix of pineapple juice, banana liqueur, peach schnapps, and coconut rum, was delicious.

Pork Kakuni -– $4.95 and Tokyo Sunset –- $8.00

The Spicy Tuna Roll, California Roll, and Tuna Sensation (with salmon added in this year) are all back at the [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Food Pictures: South Korea and South Africa Booths

It’s time for more 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth food pictures! Today, we’ve got a little “Southern Exposure” as we visit South Korea and South Africa!

As always, if you want to see full coverage of each booth, check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages! Click on any booth or country name for detailed information, menus, photos, and prices.

South Africa

South Africa is back in the World Showcase with it’s well-known filet of beef! This year, it’s accompanied by some delicious smashed sweet potatoes and a Braai sauce that’s excellent. I thought this dish was a winner!

Seared Filet of Beef with Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Braai Sauce -- $5.00

New this year is South Africa’s “Bunny Chow,” a veggie curry served in a bread bowl of sorts. This was tops on my list, but it was a fun addition to the booth!

Bunny Chow (Vegetable Curry served in a Bread Loaf) -- $3.25

You can see more pictures, the full menu, and prices on our South Africa Booth Page!

South Korea

South Korea returns to the festival for its second year, bringing back elements of popular dishes from [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Food Pictures: Desserts & Champagne and Cheese Booths

It’s time for more 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth food pictures! Today we’re headed to two of what I consider to be the “most improved” booths at the festival this year!

As always, if you want to see full coverage of each booth, check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages! Click on any booth or country name for detailed information, menus, photos, and prices.

Desserts & Champagne Booth

The Desserts and Champagne booth was moved from it’s former “booth” location to one of the World Showcase Promenade food kiosks this year, giving it a larger space and a fun new facade!

Desserts and Champagne?

Don’t forget to check out hidden Mickey in the giant champagne glass…

Hidden Mickey

We tasted all three desserts available here at the booth, and they were fabulous! While serving sizes weren’t huge, I enjoyed having three different tastes that made up a good sized “dessert.”

The Lemon Chiffon and Tres Leches Verrine were both very good, but the White Chocolate Macadamia Mousse stole the show here! LOVED it.

Lemon Chiffon, Tres Leches Verrine and White Chocolate Macadamia Mousse with Dark Chocolate Pearls -- $1.50 each

You can see more pictures, the full menu, and prices on our Desserts & Champagne Booth Page!

Cheese Booth

Last year’s Cheese booth was [Read more…]

Epcot’s Germany Train Town Celebrates the Food and Wine Festival!

The 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival features more than just eats and sips!

We always love when the Germany miniature train town gets into the spirit of the Festival! This year, the miniature Food and Wine Festival Booths are back in action! See mini versions of the World Showcase Australia, Hops and Barley, Greece, Ireland, and Mexico booths!

Overall View of Train Town

The German train town residents are getting into the swing of things with some pitchers of beer and glasses of wine!

Enjoying Ireland and Mexico Booths

And it wouldn’t be the 2011 Food and Wine Festival without an Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog!

Greece Booth and Cranberry Bog

Over by the Australia booth, folks have gathered for [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Food Pictures: Argentina and Morocco Booths

It’s time for more 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth food pictures! Today we’re headed to two of my favorite booths: Argentina and Morocco!

As always, if you want to see full coverage of each booth, check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages! Click on any booth or country name for detailed information, menus, photos, and prices.

Argentina

Argentina introduced a new empanada this year, which has pleased many a Food and Wine Festival guest, including me! Last year’s cheese empanada was delicious — and vegetarian — but I really did enjoy this one as well. Highly recommended!

Beef Empanada -- $3.75

Beef Empanada -- $3.75

And as good as the empanada was, that grilled beef skewer with Chimichurri sauce and boniato puree is back again…and stealing the show!! I’ve heard many many guests corroborate my feelings about this dish — deeelicious! Tender meat, flavorful boniato puree, and the chimichurri sauce is wonderful. A must-try.

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée -- $5.00

You can see more pictures, the full menu, and prices on our Argentina Booth Page!

Morocco

Over in Morocco, there’s a new dish on the menu — the Harissa Chicken Roll! I loved this [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Mexico Tequila Lunch

Welcome to guest author Catherine as she treats us to a guest review of the brand new Tequila Tasting and Lunch held at La Hacienda de San Angel as part of the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

On October 2, I attended the Mexico Tequila Lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel, the newest restaurant in the Mexico pavilion. This is a new event for the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Atmosphere

When I arrived, there was a check-in desk outside La Hacienda where cast members cross guests’ names off of a master list when they arrive. Guests are then sent inside to the restaurant’s foyer. Servers were waiting there to hand out the “welcome” margarita!

The Rosa margarita is made with premium silver tequila, and one of the ingredients is “rose extract,” which gives it a little bit of a flowery note, but not too much. The rim was decorated with red hibiscus salt.

Rosa Margarita

There are no assigned tables here, you’ll seat yourself. I sat at a [Read more…]

Mid-Festival Sale on the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book!

The 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival has reached its midpoint and we’re celebrating with a sale for this week only!

The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book is our helpful guide that gives you the tools you’ll need to navigate the flavors, feasts and fun offered at this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival! See an Orlando Sentinel review of the e-Book here!

And this week you’ll be able to purchase the book at 20% off — our deepest discount yet! Just use code MIDPOINT at the check-out screen. :-)

Plan Your Visit With Our Full Daily Schedule of Events

The first step in planning is to know what’s happening at the Festival during YOUR visit. We’ve organized the full schedule of events — for every single day of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival — in this new Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide.

Use our full event schedule to review only the information you need to make your Food & Wine Festival visit as magical as possible.

Here’s a screen shot of the daily event schedule!

Click for larger image

With photos of World Showcase Booths and food, and menus for each booth, you’ll get to map out your touring strategy before you arrive!

Food and Wine Festival Customized Touring Strategies and Food Crawls

We have touring strategies to make the most out of your visit – whether you’ll be there for a day or a week! These include: [Read more…]