Review: Chef Gale Gand’s Culinary Salted Caramel Brownies Demo at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Epcot Food and Wine Festival fans always anticipate the announcement of the Culinary Demonstrations: low-cost events where guests can enjoy presentations by a Disney or celebrity chef.

Food and Wine Festival demonstration kitchen

Food and Wine Festival demonstration kitchen

This year, I took the opportunity to purchase a $15 ticket to see Chef Gale Gand: pastry chef, author of cookbooks, 8-year host of the Food Network’s “Sweet Dreams,” as well as a founding partner of the restaurant Tru in Chicago (among a bajillion other accomplishments!).

I chose Chef Gand’s session because I love to bake. But I still consider myself a novice with just a few trusty recipes under my belt, and I don’t tend to stray from those. So, I was interested to find out upon arrival that Chef Gand would be sharing her recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies with those of us in the audience.

Before Chef Gand came to the stage, we enjoyed a presentation by a Master Sommelier who spoke about the choice of wine that we would enjoy with Chef Gand’s creation.

Master Sommelier

Master Sommelier

It really was interesting to hear him speak about the incredibly intense learning and examination process that it takes to become a Master Sommelier. But even with his depth of knowledge and expertise, I was happy to hear him share his favorite piece of advice when it comes to wine selection: “Drink what you like, when you like, with whom you like.” Works for me!

Viognier from Cambria Winery

Viognier from Cambria Winery

In this case, what we were drinking was the Tepusquet Vineyard Viognier from the Cambria Winery. Our Master Sommelier led us through the process of picking up the tropical, fruity notes in the aroma, and the floral notes in the flavor. I can’t claim to have picked up on all that on my own ;). As someone who prefers white wines over red, I can just say I enjoyed the glass.

When Chef Gale Gand arrived on stage, she greeted the audience with a smile and immediately continued in the personable, light-hearted tone set by the Sommelier.

Chef Gale Gand

Chef Gale Gand

She also greeted us with a surprise: today, she would be demonstrating two recipes. Even though this was a pastry demonstration, Chef Gand started with [Read more…]

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminar Details

We’re thrilled to finally share the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations details!

The wait is over (and just in time!) as the details on the low-cost seminars and demos that showcase the delicious and educational options of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival are available.

Click through to our Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations page to see links to the Culinary, Beverage, and Mixology events.

Seminars and demos are priced between $14-15 this year, and feature chefs and beverage companies that are at the top of their game. Check the details to find your favorites, like Warren Brown, Robert Irvine, and more!

Booking

Booking will be available for most events on [Read more…]

Guest Review: Culinary Demos at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

It’s time to start getting excited about the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Today, we’re whetting your whistle as guest reviewer @MealTrip joins us with mini-reviews from four culinary demos presented at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Read on and learn what to expect this year at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival culinary demos.

The Culinary Demonstrations held at the Festival Welcome Center (the old Wonders of Life Pavilion), provide a great gateway for those looking into any of the extra “pay to attend” events at the Food and Wine Festival. At $12 to $15 per person, per seminar, they really are one of the best values at the festival.

Festival Center - Outside View

A representative from the winery, a chef, and an interviewer are present during the experience to talk about the wine you’re sampling, and actually prepare a version of the dish in an on-stage kitchen. In most cases, there’s also time to get a few questions from the audience answered. (Okay, again for the realists out there, there’s a much larger kitchen behind the kitchen on stage, where your food is being prepared at the same time.)

While it is recommended that you reserve a spot early (booking begins on August 13th for everyone; August 9th for Tables in Wonderland and DVC members, Golden Oak Residents, and Annual Passholders), you can also check in at the Festival Center when the park opens to see what’s still available for the day.

Demo and Seminar Check In

On to the fun stuff, a recap of a few events from the first week of the 2012 festival…

Celebrity Chef Cat Cora Culinary Demonstration

Details: Chef Cat Cora from Kouzzina – Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. Dish: Seared Shrimp with Spiced Hummus and Peppedew Relish. Wine: Brampton UnWooded Chardonnay.

We’ll start our little recap with the Iron Chef herself, Cat Cora.

Chef Cat Cora.

Chef Cora’s dish was [Read more…]

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demos and Beverage Seminar Details

We’re excited to finally share the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations details!

Buddy Valastro at a 2011 Culinary Demonstration

After a long wait (and just in time!), the details on the low-cost seminars and demos that make up the meat of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival are available.

Click through to our Culinary and Beverage Seminars and Demonstrations page to see links to the Culinary, Beverage, and Mixology events.

Seminars and demos are priced between $9-14 this year, and feature chefs and beverage companies that are at the top of their game. Check the details to find your favorites, like Warren Brown, Robert Irvine, Cat Cora, and more!

Booking

Booking will be available for most events on August 14th, 2012, at 7am EST. Guests will be able to book the events online at as well as by phone at 407-WDW-FEST.

Booking for Tables in Wonderland Members, Annual Passholders, and DVC Members will begin August 10th at 8am EST for seminars, demos, and Mixology events only.

Discounted pricing is available Tables in Wonderland members, Annual Passholders, and DVC members at $12/$9. This applies only to [Read more…]

Review: Catching Up With Disney Chefs in Chicago

I absolutely love when we get to publish posts like this. Disney chefs are often incredible stars in the culinary world, and it’s always fun to see where they’ve been and where they’re going! You don’t always expect the chefs behind a theme park kitchen to be trend-setters, but Disney hires only the best… . Welcome Werner Weiss from Yesterland with an interesting review of a recent cooking event in Chicago highlighting two folks with connections to Disney!

I had the pleasure of attending all five of the F.I.T. City Cooking Demos at the “Good Health is Always in Fashion!” event on August 26, 2011, at Macy’s on State in Chicago.

Macy's on State retains numerous references to when it was the flagship store Marshall Field's

The five featured Chefs — Ryan Hutmacher of the Centered Chef; Tom Douglas, who has ten restaurants in Seattle; Meg Colleran Sahs of Terzo Piano at the The Art Institute of Chicago; Randy Zweiban of Province in Chicago; and John State of Seasons 52 in Schaumburg, Illinois — all did a great job. The demos were all interesting and entertaining — and smelled good. Macy’s employees served samples of each Chef’s dish to the audience. The demos and samples were free.

You may wonder why this event should be of interest to readers of the Disney Food Blog. It’s because two of the participants have strong ties to Walt Disney [Read more…]

2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Culinary and Beverage Demo Info FINALLY Available

Check out the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival culinary demos here, and the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival wine and beverage seminars here.

The 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Mixology seminars are listed here.

Start planning! :-)

For comprehensive information on the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, see our fully-updated index page!