DFB Exclusive! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Sweet Corn Cheesecake from the Mexico Marketplace

AAAAAH!! I am so excited to share this DFB exclusive!

We may have closed the books on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but we’re still reliving the memories of one of the best Festivals we remember from recent years! And, NO JOKE, I get emails, tweets, facebook messages, what-have-you EVERY SINGLE DAY from readers asking me for the recipe for the Sweet Corn Cheesecake, the dessert item featured at this year’s Mexico Marketplace Booth.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

The sweet, rich, creamy dessert was the perfect marriage of the familiar and the unexpected for our readers, and everyone’s all about figuring out how to make it at home.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake -- Cross Section

Sweet Corn Cheesecake — Cross Section

Well, the wait is over! Thanks to the super generous and ever accommodating Chef Gerardo Gonzalez (a.k.a. Chef Jerry), who oversees all of the restaurants in the Mexico Pavilion (and who I may have bugged a little incessantly about giving me this recipe…and the one for the amazing Crema de Elote at La Hacienda de San Angel…still waiting on that one, Chef Jerry…), for sharing it with us and allowing us to print it for you lot!

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Mexico Marketplace Booth

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

[Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Food for Thought with Chef Rick Bayless

With a full week plus a weekend, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, going on right now at Walt Disney World!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Today, I’m back to tell you about one of the Food and Wine Festival Special Events I had the opportunity to attend recently.

While I love spending time strolling the Promenade around World Showcase and taking in all of the fantastic food and drink, there’s so much more to the Festival than the International Marketplace Booths.

Each year, I also enjoy attending a sampling of the Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars as well as Festival Special Events. And one of the biggest highlights is enjoying time with chefs whom we’ve admired in an up close and personal way!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to attend Food For Thought, a Festival Special Event that’s new for 2014. Replacing the Kitchen Memories series from past years, Food For Thought events allow guests to hear the story of a favorite chef before he or she walks the audience through a demonstration of dishes.

Food For Though at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

Food For Though at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

I was so excited when I learned that one of my favorites, Chef Rick Bayless, would be rejoining the Festival line up after an absence of several years! Bayless is the Chef and Owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, in addition to a collection of quick casual dining spots.

In addition, he’s about to begin the tenth season of his critically acclaimed PBS cooking show Mexico — One Plate at a Time. You can also find his line of Frontera Food Products throughout the country.

At My Place Setting

My Place Setting

Join me as we listen into his conversation with Disney’s Pam Smith, and watch as he puts his apron on and provides us with a dose of kitchen wisdom via authentic Mexican flavors.

Food For Thought with Chef Rick Bayless

My husband and I have followed the career of Rick Bayless for a while. We were first inspired to explore authentic Mexican cuisine by cooking our way through his books. Having the opportunity to hear more about his journey in such an intimate setting was a great way to spend the morning.

Food For Thought with Chef Rick Bayless and Disney's Pam Smith

Food For Thought with Chef Rick Bayless and Disney’s Pam Smith

If you’ve watched his PBS series Mexico — One Plate at a Time, then you know that Chef Rick excels at telling a good story and conveying the excitement of an experience. That combination, along with his wry sense of humor, made for an interesting chat session. Having grown up working in his family’s restaurant, his passion for Mexican cuisine was born out of his study of and love for that country’s rich culture.

Chatting with Chef Rick Bayless

Chatting with Chef Rick Bayless

Soon, however, it was time to turn our attention to the food! At that point, Chef Rick and Pam made their way to the exhibition kitchen for a demonstration of the food and drink we’d be sampling.

Cooking Demonstration

While a big draw of Food for Thought is getting to hear the backstory of a culinary notable, the event also makes for a delicious morning, as the featured chef shares a few of his recipes.

Menu

Menu

It’s always fun to see what the suggested pairings are for courses during an event. Typically, guests enjoy a few different wines with tasting portions of dishes, but on this occasion, we had the chance to enjoy a beer pairing instead. A glass of Negra Modelo stood at each place setting.

Negra Modelo Beer

Negra Modelo Beer

Normally, servings are tasting portions, but we enjoyed a full glass of beer as we’d be pairing it with each of the three courses. In addition, we learned how we might use the beer to create a delicious Fall-themed [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms

We are back with another delicious taste of the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

A big draw of the Festival is the variety of fantastic dishes you can taste from all over the world at Marketplace Booths. And this year, we’ve enjoyed some really great options.

We’ve been fans of the Bobotie served at Tusker House and Boma for quite a while. The South African dish is reminiscent of a quiche with its egg base, but interesting ingredients, like raisins and traditional spices, give it a flavor that’s completely unique.

This year, the Africa Marketplace Booth offers up a version made with Turkey and Mushrooms.

South African Bobotie

South African Bobotie

Although Bobotie normally contains bread, this is a gluten-free version that’s prepared without it. The recipe utilizes mushrooms to provide hearty flavor, and their addition allows you to use less meat. You could even omit the turkey altogether and increase the mushrooms for a meatless version.

South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms

Africa Marketplace Booth

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

[Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Warm Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Ah. We knew the day would come…the day that we started craving some of those wonderful dishes that we’ve had a chance to enjoy at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

And we figure if it’s happening to us, it’s probably happening for you, too. ;-)

While we’ve enjoyed some truly delicious flavors at this year’s festival, we had our favorites from the very beginning!

And one of the sweets we don’t think you should miss is the Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing.

Served at the Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth, this is one of the best entries into the Disney Carrot Cake Arena we’ve ever sampled!

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing from the Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth

Warm and moist, the cake itself is chock-full of goodies. Dried cranberries give the mix an unexpected tang.

And the Icing. You know that amazing Warm Cream Cheese Icing you sometimes find on cinnamon rolls?

Yeah. That.

Cross section of carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing — Cross Section

Given our love around here for Carrot Cake, we were on the fence about whether this one would be mention-worthy or a total snoozefest. I’m happy to say, it’s amazing.

So here’s the recipe to make those Carrot Cake fantasies a reality.

Warm Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth

Yield: 12 Mini Cakes

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Pictures and Review: Farm Fresh and Hops & Barley Marketplace Booths

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is well underway, and we’re hearing from lots of you that you’re really enjoying this year’s offerings!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Today, we’re taking a closer look at those little outposts of deliciousness, the Marketplace Booths found throughout World Showcase. Up to this point, we’ve focused on international flair, but this time out, let’s visit two uniquely American spots — Farm Fresh and Hops & Barley.

These two spots include some of our most beloved festival offerings this year.

(Get the bacon hash. Get. It.)

The Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth

The Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth is sort of something old and something new at the same time. The marketplace actually debuted as Florida Local in 2012.

2014 Farm Fresh marketplace booth

Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth

This year, Festival chefs wanted to expand the scope of the food served here. Rather than source ingredients from Florida only, they looked to showcase regional flavors. But the emphasis is still farm-to-market-fresh.

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu

You get the sense that they’re taking a back-to-basics approach. Dishes are homespun, but are executed with attention to detail and bold flavors.

For example — the Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash. This thing is just off the charts. I seriously ate it in, like, 30 seconds while I stood there like an idiot taking up space. It includes Nueske’s Bacon, plus lots of fresh ingredients like Sweet Corn, Potatoes, and Pickled Jalapeños. But the best part? The Hash is topped with creamy Hollandaise. Shazam.

Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with sweet corn, potatoes, hollandaise and pickled jalapeño

Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and Pickled Jalapeño

The Griddled “Yard Bird” is another fun dish. It’s pretty straightforward, actually. Chicken Thighs are seasoned and then [Read more…]

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic: Highlights

More food and bev fun at Walt Disney World! The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns with seminars, tastings, sweets, and beverages for another year.

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Thumbnail Logo

The Fifth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will be held Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014, from 5:30 – 9:00PM at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts in Walt Disney World. The resorts are just a short walk from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, making this event a convenient add-on to your 2014 Epcot Food and Wine visit.

Let’s take a closer look at all the event has to offer!

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Causeway

Immerse yourself in this culinary festival during an evening stroll of the Crescent Lake Causeway. Food, wine, and beer lovers will find delicious options while listening to live music.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, the Swan and Dolphin resorts have a nationally-recognized culinary team that will be showing off their talents! We’ve attended the event every year since it began, and it’s a delicious way to spend the evening.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Mulitple food and beverage stations will showcase food and drink from Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria, and Todd English’s bluezoo, among other great Swan and Dolphin restaurants.

Sip the night away with all of your favorites. And if you love wine, enjoy selections from around the world! Sommeliers will be on hand to answer all of your questions and help you to discover new favorites.

Enjoying an evening on the Causeway as I sample appetizer portions of dishes from some of my favorite restaurants is always a fun time! The Shula’s tasting station is always a popular one, and this year’s Beef Tenderloin promises to draw a crowd.

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula's Steakhouse

Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sauce Bordelaise From Shula’s Steakhouse

Thirsty? There’s no shortage of beverage options, which include Wine, Beer, and Sake. Tasting stations will offer sips from all popular U.S. wine regions as well as celebrated wines from around the world.

Chefs and Beverage experts staff every station and are happy to answer all of your questions.

You’ll also have the chance to meet executive chefs from the Swan and Dolphin Culinary Team. And bluezoo’s Celebrity Chef Todd English will once more be on hand to greet guests and chat about the dishes he’s serving!

Seminars

If you’re interested in a more hands-on learning experience, consider booking

[Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Pictures and Review: France and Mexico Marketplace Booths

We’re back today with another delicious look at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

It’s always exciting to see what new Marketplaces and other experiences pop up each year at the Festival, but I’m always eager to indulge in my tried and true favorites as well!

Today, let’s take a peek at some always-busy booths — France and Mexico — to take a closer look at both classics and brand new flavors.

The France Marketplace Booth

When you visit the France Marketplace, you’re participating in Food and Wine Festival Heritage! That’s right — it’s one of the original spots from the very first event, which was held in 1996.

And though the menu has changed a bit from year to year, it’s always a favorite stop for guests.

France Marketplace Booth

France Marketplace Booth

You’ll notice that the France booth has a very robust menu. With three different savory items, plus dessert, you could easily make a meal out of the offerings here. Add to that wines and cocktails, and you would definitely want to visit the Marketplace more than once to try everything.

2014 France Menu

2014 France Menu

The big news at the France booth this year was a change to the classic Escargot offering. In the past, guests have enjoyed Escargots en Persillade in the perfect stroll-and-eat version; the escargots were nestled in rounds of Brioche.

But in 2014, escargot became an ingredient in a savory tart. The Tartelette aux Escargots combined the Snails with Spinach, Garlic, Bacon, and Parmesan, presented in a deep, rectangular savory tart.

Tartelette aux Escargot

Tartelette aux Escargots

This one has probably been one of the biggest controversies of the festival this year! We’ve heard from guests who love it, and from guests who hate it.

Me? While I’m not a huge fan of spinach or snails on their own, the combo of flavors is an absolute win here. But really, is there a way to go wrong when Bacon and Garlic are involved??

Cross section of Tartlette aux Escargot

Cross section of Tartlette aux Escargots

Also joining the line up this year is Gratin de Crozets de Savoie. The savory combination of Gruyere and Mushrooms makes this rich vegetarian dish a hit.

Gratin de Crozet de Savoie

Gratin de Crozets de Savoie

The pasta used in the dish, Crozet, comes to us from Savoie. It’s a uniquely French version of pasta, customarily a whole wheat variety.

Gratin de Crozet de Savoie -- Inside

Gratin de Crozets de Savoie — Inside

Also on the menu is another popular option from years past:  [Read more…]

Review: Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package, and Food and Wine Festival Late Nights LIVE! Event

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is underway, and this year marks the debut of several new options for Festival guests. We’re going to cover two of the most popular — and most expensive — today!

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package is available exclusively to Disney Resort guests (as well as guests at Swan & Dolphin and Golden Oak), and the Food and Wine Festival — Late Nights LIVE! after hours party, which is available for purchase to all guests.

Premium Package credential, gift card, and themed MagicBand

Premium Package credential, gift card, and themed MagicBand

Today we’re breaking down the components into a few sections beginning with the Food & Wine Premium Package. At the end of the post, we’ll go over our thoughts regarding value for the price of these options.

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Package

There are three main components to the Food & Wine Premium Festival Package available for Disney Resort guests: In-Room Amenities, dedicated Food & Wine Festival Premium Package Areas at Epcot, and entrance into the Epcot Food & Wine Late Nights Live! party. The package costs $199/person.

In-room Amenities

I was definitely curious to see the in-room amenities included in the package, though I had some idea from the official description from Disney: “a select bottle of wine (for Guests over 21 years of age), a festival wine glass and delicious chocolate truffles.”

I arrived to my resort a few hours early, hoping for the possibility of an early check-in. I was kindly accommodated, but since I arrived early, I actually picked up my gift bag at Concierge Services at the front desk. So, if you are participating in this package and are also an early check-in hopeful (before 3:00PM), that’s just something to keep in mind. With that said, I received everything in a thermal Food & Wine tote.

Amenities Bag

Amenities Bag

Let’s check off the list, starting with the wine, which was a bottle of “Sogno d’ Italia (Dream of Italy)” Chianti. It was one of the bottles “made exclusively for Disney Parks.”

Dream of Italy Chianti

Dream of Italy Chianti

Sogno d'Italia label

Sogno d’Italia label

Guests can find this wine sold in the Italy Pavilion (we’ll have a “math breakdown” later on to discuss more of the value).

A Food and Wine Festival souvenir stemless wine glass is part of the package as well.

Souvenir wine glass

Souvenir wine glass

Four truffles came in an edible box made of dark chocolate, topped with a white chocolate themed decoration.

Truffle box made of chocolate

Truffle box made of chocolate

Flavors included salted caramel, cherry, ganache, and white chocolate.

Truffles

Truffles

The in-room amenities are fun, and it did feel a little like a holiday, opening gifts upon arrival.

Gifts inside the amenities bag

Gifts inside the amenities bag

But it may be the next three items that are of the most interest: a Food & Wine themed MagicBand, a $50 Disney gift card, and the Premium Package “credential” lanyard, which grants guests access to exclusive Premium Package Areas within the Festival.

Premium Package credential, gift card, and themed MagicBand

Premium Package credential, gift card, and themed MagicBand

The credential is a lanyard to wear around the Festival, and while we’ll explore its design and function more in the next section, it’s worth noting that one side is printed with the dates the guest can access the Premium Package areas.

The MagicBand is decorated with the current signature artwork for the Food and Wine Festival.

Themed MagicBand

Themed MagicBand

Themed MagicBand

Themed MagicBand

Finally, there is a $50 Disney gift card. It’s the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: September 24, 2014

Food is always the star of the show for Disney Food Fans, but there’s no time of year when food steals the spotlight quite like this… with a little something called the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

But that’s not all the food news in these parts! We’ve spotted more fall treats and new Resort eats as we’ve been looking around Disney World to see What’s New

EPCOT

So, right off the bat, we know this isn’t exactly what you would call a “surprise” ;) , but since it’s Epcot’s time to shine, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the recent opening of this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Food and Wine Festival!

Be sure to check out the Must-Eats among the dishes making their debut this year!

Bacon Hash at the Farm Fresh Booth

Bacon Hash at the Farm Fresh Booth

Coconut Candy at the Brazil Booth

Coconut Candy at the Brazil Booth

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing at the Hops & Barley booth

In other EPCOT food news (yep, there’s still more!), the ice cream experts at L’Artisan des Glaces are helping everyone get into the Fall spirit with their release of the Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich

You can enjoy this pumpkin deliciousness in a [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Prices and Photos of ALL Food Menu Items Now Available (And More of Our Favorites!)

We’re having a blast reporting to you LIVE from the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

It’s super hot, sweaty, humid, rainy, (insert crappy weather term here) at the Fest so far this year, but that would never stop us from #EatingAllTheFood at every one of the Marketplace Booths at this year’s festival.

New Food and Wine Festival Passports

New Food and Wine Festival Passports

Today, I just wanted to remind you and yours (who I know are planning a Festival visit or eight this year) that we’ve got photos of EVERY food menu item (and most of the bevvies as well…except for the $32 Dom flute…I’m totally not buying that) and ALL menus/pricing at the Festival.

Pics and prices are all up on our booth pages, which you can find here!

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

2014 Farm Fresh Marketplace Booth Menu – Click for larger image

Now, we shared with you on Friday our must-eat favorites from the Festival so far, but mentioned that we had about 17 new menu items that we really loved this year and had to narrow down for the post.

New Brazil Marketplace

New Brazil Marketplace

At the request of several readers, here are a few more of our “you. must. eat. this.” choices at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival…

Pao de Queijo — Brazil
This cheese bread is simple and delicious. Imagine a savory bun…filled with sharp cheese…an you’re there. If you get a good batch, it should be soft, moist, and veeeeeery cheesy!

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Cheese Bread Cross Section

Cheese Bread Cross Section

Mango Green Tea with Popping Bubbles — China
What we loved about this was that the “bubbles” weren’t chewy tapioca — they were little bursts of strong mango flavor/juice!

Mango green tea with popping bubbles

Mango green tea with popping bubbles

Crème brûlée caramel fleur de sel — France
A new twist on an old classic, the [Read more…]