Guest Review: Chef Robert Irvine Culinary Demo at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Join us in welcoming 14-year-old guest author Katie Smith with a review of the culinary demonstration given by super popular Chef Robert Irvine at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! I love hearing about the Food and Wine Festival from the perspective of one of our  younger readers! Thanks,  Katie!

On Thursday October 25, 2012, my family and I got to see Robert Irvine’s culinary demonstration at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Atmosphere

We had been to Cat Cora’s culinary demonstration earlier that month and thought we knew what to expect. Turns out, we had no idea. I am a huge fan of Robert Irvine, so I was really excited to watch him cook and eat his food!

To start out, there was a representative from Hannah Winery & Vineyards from Sonoma County, California. The wine was a Hanna Chardonnay.

All about Hannah Winery & Vineyards

Then Robert was introduced and proceeded to tell everyone to stand up, put their cameras down, their hands in the air and to go wild. It was a good way to warm up the crowd.

Then, he started cooking the dish, which was a Seared Scallop, Polenta, and Demi-glace. He was very big on audience participation and had an audience helper on stage almost the whole time.

Cooking Polenta with Robert Irvine

Eats

The scallop was cooked perfectly, the polenta was creamy and delicious, and the [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cheese Seminar

Everyone knows my deep and passionate love for all things cheese, right?

I’ve met very few varieties that I didn’t love…from classic plastic cheese all the way to the fanciest cheese plates available at Disney World.

Cheese Tasting Plate and Table Decor at Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cheese Seminar

This fact made taking part in a Cheese Seminar during the opening weekend of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival even more ideal for me! (Can you believe I’d never done a Cheese Seminar before?!?)

So on the first Saturday of the Festival, I hightailed it over to the Festival Center to take part in this seminar that I’ve been wanting to experience for a while. Today, I’m excited to have you join me!

Atmosphere

Doing a Cheese Seminar in Disney World might mean drinking two glasses of wine at 10:30, so just be prepared for that! ;-) (Ah…the [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: Tequila Pairing Lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel

While at Disney World for the opening weekend of the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a Tequila Pairing Lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel.

A Food and Wine Festival special event, the lunch takes place most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the Food and Wine Festival from 12 noon until 1:30pm.

While I’d been to the very first Tequila Tasting Seminar held in Epcot’s Mexico during the 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, I hadn’t yet been to one of the lunches, which began at last year’s festival and have been highly acclaimed.

Armed with a love of tequila and an appreciation for Mexican food, I headed into La Hacienda de San Angel to see what awaited me.

Atmosphere

Shazam! For a great beginning, I was welcomed with my first sample of tequila of the day — a beautiful Rose Margarita.

Rose Margarita, The Opening Cocktail

Made with premium white tequila and rose water, this is a lovely — and authentically Mexican — way to begin our journey. I sipped as I strolled to my seat.

As I entered the dining room, I passed by this display table holding various tequilas and other elements of our seminar. This table gives you a view-at-a-glance of everything we would discuss and experience during the lunch. This was clearly going to be fun!

Display Table at Entry of Luncheon

Since I was alone, I found myself sharing a table with three other women and we chatted a bit before the presentation began. We were seated in the main dining room of La Hacienda for the sold-out event.

Seating and Table Settings for Luncheon

Once we were all [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Italy and New Zealand

Yay! We’re headed back to Epcot for another great World Showcase booth review at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Our stops today include guest favorites Italy and New Zealand.

If you’re looking for your other favorite booths, be sure to check out ALL the info and brand new photos on our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages.

Click on any booth or country name, to see detailed information, menus, and prices, and you’ll also see our all-new photos from each booth!

Italy

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival Italy Booth has been a mainstay of the Food and Wine Festival since the very beginning, way back in 1996.

Italy Marketplace Booth

This year, we said goodbye to a few dishes, but enthusiastically welcomed some awesome additions to the menu!

2012 Italy Marketplace Booth Menu -- Click to Enlarge

New to the Italy Booth this year is the Salsiccia e “Papacelli” Napoletani — a sweet sausage with peppers, served with ciabatta bread.

I really enjoyed this miniature take on an Italian classic, sweet sausage and peppers. And I love that there’s a new sausage kid on the block to join Germany’s Bratwurst and Canada’s Chicken Chipotle Sausage!

Salsiccia e “Papacelli” Napoletani (Sweet Sausage, Red Pepper, Ciabatta Bread)

A fan favorite — the Ravioli di Formaggio all-Emiliana — returns, and is just as delicious as ever! The large cheese ravioli is smothered in a meaty, creamy, tomato-laced sauce, and is then topped with [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Australia and China Booths

We’re back with another 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth review today with pictures from two more Marketplace hot spots: Australia and China!

Looking for your other favorites? Check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages.

To see detailed information, menus, photos, and prices, just click on any booth or country name, and you’ll see our all-new photos from the booth!

China

The China Marketplace Booth has been known for large portion sizes and fun cocktails at the Festival since 1996. It’s a very popular booth this year!

China Marketplace Booth

This year’s menu got a relatively big renovation, although a few of the items remained (or were tweaked and renamed.)

2012 China Marketplace Booth Menu -- Click to Enlarge

First up — making its debut in 2012 is the Mongolian Beef with Chinese Steamed Bun. The stir-fried beef had excellent flavor from the traditional vegetables, and I really loved the creamy sauce.

Mongolian Beef with Chinese Steamed Bun

Pork Pot Stickers were an item that stuck around from the past few years. I imagine there [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Ganache from Ireland

The 2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is well underway, and one of the winners of this year’s festival (yet again!) is the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Ganache from the Ireland Marketplace!

2012 Ireland Marketplace Booth

Long a favorite stop on the Food and Wine Festival Booth crawl, Ireland is a fan favorite this year as always.

And with this incredible dish, as well as the rich and delicious Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie, is it any wonder why there is always a line at this booth?

Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache

Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache - Cross Section

Don’t forget to read our review of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Ireland Booth here! But in the meantime, let’s get cooking!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Ganache

Serves 6
INGREDIENTS:
For Chocolate Lava Cake:
8 1-ounce semisweet chocolate squares, chopped, or 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 sticks butter
5 egg yolks
4 whole [Read more…]

Hurry!! Epcot Food and Wine Festival Merchandise Available Online For One Week Only!

We have great news, but you’ve gotta hurry! If you forgot to pick up an item at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, need a gift for a Disney food-loving friend, or weren’t able to get to the Festival but want a piece of it anyhow, it’s time to shop online now!

DisneyStore.com is offering Food and Wine Festival Merchandise online until October 14th!

Let’s take a look at some of the fun finds you can pick up this week ONLY!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cookbook

Inspired by favorite current and past Epcot Food and Wine Festival menu items, this 2012 Food and Wine Festival Cookbook will allow you to “taste your way around the world” from your at-home kitchen. The handy softcover guide (with 60 pages!) is in an easy-to-use spiral format for finding new cocktails, appetizers, pairings, and more!

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Cookbook

Epcot Food and Wine Festival T-Shirt

In a fitted silhouette, this Epcot Food and Wine Festival shirt is a fun addition to your wardrobe. Wear this comfy tee while hanging out and reminiscing about your trip around the World at this year’s Festival!

Ladies Festival Shirt

Epcot Food and Wine Festival “Mission Around the World” T-shirt

The 2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival screen art logo is on the front of the shirt. On the back, “Mission Around the World” screen art is featured. This Epcot Food and Wine Festival T-Shirt was a major favorite at the festival, and it’s [Read more…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Japan and Hops & Barley Booths

It’s time to head back to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival for some more booth reviews!

Today, we visit two very different stops on our 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival mission to eat our way around the World: Japan and Hops & Barley!

Be sure to check out full coverage of each booth on our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages! Click on any booth or country name for detailed information, menus, photos, and prices.

Japan

The very popular Japan Booth almost always has a line — and with good reason: every year, this fan favorite offers terrific sushi options!

Japan Booth

2012 Japan Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

This year’s menu has several new items to sample. Anything featuring tuna is always a hit, and I predict that the Spicy Hand Roll with Tuna and Salmon this year will continue that tradition.

Spicy Hand Roll (Tuna & Salmon with Chili Pepper, Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil Topped with Kazan Volcano Sauce)

For folks who like the idea of sushi, but not so much the idea of raw fish, there’s a brand new roll featuring chicken: Crispy Chicken Breast with Sushi Rice and Spicy Mayonnaise. The chicken is cooked in a tempura fashion, and I’ll admit that mine was [Read more…]

New! Gluten Free Menu for the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Finally!! Guests visiting the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival now have access to an official map with the location of menu items that are gluten-free!

See photos of ALL gluten-free items on our 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Gluten Free Page!!

Gluten Free Map for the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Here are your Disney-approved options for gluten-free eats at this year’s Festival:

Argentina
Grilled Beef Skewer – Order without the Chimichurri Sauce!

Australia
Shrimp on the Barbie
Grilled Lamb Chop

Caribbean Islands
Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick

Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney

Canada
Beef Filet Mignon

Cheese
Cheese offerings are gluten-free – skip the bread!

Florida Local
White Corn [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Pictures and Review: Florida Local Booth

Time to visit another brand new Epcot Food and Wine Festival booth — Florida Local!

This new booth debuted this year, featuring farm-to-market ingredients local to Florida.

If you’d like to see full coverage of each Marketplace available at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages! Just click on any booth or country name here and you’ll see detailed information, menus, photos, and prices.

Florida Local

Eating locally raised foods is a high priority for many consumers right now, and to celebrate this hot food trend, the Florida Local Marketplace offers fresh local fare with fun twists!

2012 Florida Local Marketplace Booth

2012 Florida Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

First up — the Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Vegetables, Fried Plantains, and Cilantro. This is a fan favorite already (I keep overhearing people say “where’s that ceviche?” when I’m wandering the festival)!

While the festival had ceviche a couple of years ago at a different booth, this option seems like a fresher take on the dish. I loved the addition of fried plantains!

Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Vegetables, Fried Plantains and Cilantro

Next, the White Corn Arepa with Mangalitsa Pork Rilette and Zellwood Sweet Corn Salad is an interesting dish. I didn’t love the texture of the

[Read more…]