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

The amazing Ms. Sarah Holodick is back to share some insights and pics of her recent encounters with two of TV’s most famous foodies — Robert Irvine, from Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible, and Andrew Zimmern, from Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods! Don’tcha just wish you coulda been there? You can find the review of Andrew Zimmern’s demo here. Below is Sarah’s review of Robert Irvine’s demo!

Robert Irvine Demo: Sunday, October 24th, 2010

On Sunday, October 24th, Matt and I headed back over to the Festival Center to see Robert Irvine’s Culinary Demonstration. Let’s just say it’s not quite what I anticipated!

It started out much like Andrew Zimmern’s demo on the previous day, with a representative from Purple Wine Co. telling us about the Avalon Cabernet that had been paired with the dish we would be served.

Talking Wine

Robert then came in and took a look at everything around him.

Robert's Intro

And told us that he stole the hat from Gale Gand, who shortly after [Read more…]

Chef Robert Irvine Meets Up With Fans in Disney World!

Star of Food Network’s Dinner:Impossible and owner of Eat! Restaurant in Hilton Head, Chef Robert Irvine agreed to meet with a few of his fans in a low-key gathering at the Crew’s Cup Lounge at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Friday night. Chef is in town for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and the gathering was organized by a few of his facebook fan page fans! Our fearless columnist, Chef BigFatPanda, had a front-row seat for the shenanigans of the evening. Take it away, Chef!

Chef BigFatPanda and Chef Irvine

The Anticipation Part
A few Food Network fans on Facebook heard that Chef Robert Irvine was going to be in Walt Disney World this weekend. They thought it would be great to have an informal intimate gathering of less than 20 people to just sit down and enjoy a drink with the Chef — but this sounded impossible. Surely, Chef Irvine would be very busy and not really have time to casually meet up with a few select fans.

Au contraire!

I met up with a few friends at the Crew’s Cup Lounge for the scheduled 6 o’clock meeting (I was surprised word had not leaked out on Facebook resulting in hundreds showing up). We were asked not to [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 21, 2010

Eat hereIt’s been a busy week, everyone! Just in case you missed them, here are a couple of headlines from the Disney Food Blog in the past few days: highlights from the Dinner:Impossible visit to Walt Disney World last week, and the options for foodies at the upcoming Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

Also, check out Touring Plans for an analysis I did on whether Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ restaurants are a good value.

Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide reports that the preliminary list for the James Beard Award in the Best Chef Category includes Victoria and Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel.

Orlando United shares some photos of WDW’s Crystal Palace with the refurb walls down.

DLRP Today reports that Disneyland Resort Paris’ Pizza Planet will become a Buzz Lightyear Buffet.

The Disney Chick takes you through the creation of one of my favorite Disney World desserts, Liberty Tree Tavern’s Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake.

DisneyShawn gives a peek into the imagineering of Mrs. Potts’ Cupboard and the Friar’s Nook in WDW’s Magic Kingdom.

Disney Parks Blog shares a dessert recipe from the Saratoga Springs’ Turf Club Restaurant.

AllEarsNet has a gorgeous photo-blog from Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot’s China.

Main Street Gazette writes about the Yakitori House in Epcot’s Japan.

DisUnplugged brings us to the Troubadour Tavern in Disneyland.

The Daily Disney from Orlando Sentinel shares a Coconut Curried Chicken Stew recipe from Boma at WDW’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Have a great week!

Dinner:Impossible Meal at Walt Disney World!

Dinner:Impossible Production Sign

Dinner:Impossible Production Sign

After walking out of the Disney “Give A Day, Get A Disney Day” announcement event on Thursday, I saw none other than Chef Robert Irvine running through World Showcase with a team of volunteers behind him! I quickly realized that he was taping Dinner:Impossible! for the Food Network…and that I was going to be attending that dinner!

Scroll to the bottom of the page to read more about the “Give A Day” program and how you can be a part of it; in the meantime, let’s get on to the food…

Chef Irvine Plots With His Volunteers

Chef Irvine Plots With His Volunteers

Dinner Prep
Chef Irvine and his volunteers were preceded around the the World Showcase by an advance team who were tasked with finding the next individual the Chef would be speaking with, and setting up the shot. For instance, in Epcot’s Germany pavilion, the advance team set up a shot where Chef Irvine learned from Snow White what one of his main ingredients would be!

From there, the Chef and his volunteers took off running again — after all, he only had a few hours to cook dinner for hundreds.

Dinner:Impossible Advance Team

Dinner:Impossible Advance Team

Chef Irvine and Team Run to the Next Shot

Chef Irvine and Team Run to the Next Shot

For the hours of cooking Chef Irvine and his trusted sous chefs were about to endure, Disney had set up a show kitchen in front of World Showcase. Guests to the Epcot theme park were welcomed to watch as the show taping started heating up! I hung around for a good chunk of the day, snapping photos and trying to figure out what my meal was going to include. All I could figure out was that we were going to be eating a lot of apples…

One interesting thing I noticed is that the proceedings in the kitchen were pretty quiet. Lots of chopping, and seasoning, and sauteing in a giant wok being heated over a…garbage can, but no yelling. No angry Chef Irvine shouting in frustration that there are only 3 dishes done with only 20 minutes left. Maybe there was another kitchen somewhere where those things were happening. It’s not a Dinner:Impossible! show without them! My fingers are crossed that somebody got angry somewhere, or it might not be worth watching. ;)

Dinner Impossible Waiver

Dinner Impossible Waiver

Chef Irvine Instructs a Sous Chef in the Show Kitchen

Chef Irvine Instructs a Sous Chef in the Show Kitchen

The Dinner
After much running around by Chef Irvine and his sous chefs, it was finally time for those at the event to start digging in! Now, here’s the saddest part of my story — I’m pretty sure I didn’t get to eat Chef Irvine’s cooking. Word is that his handiwork was served only to the Give a Day Get a Day volunteers, who’d won trips to Disney World to celebrate their donations.

Alas, I’m still going to tell you all about the dinner WE, as members of the media, were served, because it was still delicious — thanks, Disney!

The event was held outside — on the bridge between the Fountain of Nations in Future World and the World Showcase Lagoon, and there were several stations set up where guests could collect appetizer-sized portions of the dishes.

Servers were also circulating with many of the dishes — primarily desserts — in case you couldn’t break away from a conversation to get over to the main serving areas. There were quite a few tables set up within the event space, along with cocktail tables bearing [Read more…]