Guest Review: Italy Dessert & Wine Event at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Join us in welcoming guest author Michelle Buchecker with a review of the Italy Dessert and Wine tasting event at last year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival. While we’re not sure yet if this event will be repeated at the 2012 Festival, it’s likely that it will!

Tutto Italia and Gusto Wine Cellar

We attended the Italy Dessert and Wine event that was new to the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. First and foremost, do not make the mistake we did by booking this event on the same day as your Biergarten lunch!

We had lunch at noon, and the event was at 2 pm. Not nearly enough time to digest. (Editor’s Note: I can second that!)


The event was held in the back room of Tutto Italia. The check-in process went very smoothly, and we were escorted to a table that the 2 of us shared with 6 other people. There were about 50 guests in total and all chairs were taken.

The main presenter, Gabriele, was charming and humorous. He was obviously native Italian, and he took the time to introduce each course. The wine rep from Batasiolo, Jerry, mentioned that he was told to keep his comments short so we could eat and drink more. But at the beginning of each course, he did introduce each wine and described it.

Jerry warned us that all wines at the tasting were frizzante, which means they are lightly bubbly and have low alcohol content to keep it sweet.


Now on to the courses!

Dessert and Wine Menu

The first course was a Tiramisu paired with the Batasiolo Asti. I found the contents of the Tiramisu pretty basic: repeat layers of soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone topped with a cocoa dusting and chocolate curl.

The presentation was nice as this was all in a Martini glass. The Asti was sweet and crisp.


The second course was Cannoli. This was huge!! While we were served utensils with it, Gabriele commented that he had to give us the knife and fork but encouraged us to eat it with our [Read more…]

News! Flying Fish Cafe Epcot Food and Wine Festival Events and July Wine Dinner

The Flying Fish Café Team at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort has scheduled a July Wine Dinner!

Also, Winery Series events that will take place during the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival have been announced (including a brand new dessert-focused event)!

July Wine Dinner

This Winery Event will take place July 26, 2012. Special Guests Ronald and Marianne Lachini –- Founders/Owners of Lachini Vineyards in Newberg, Oregon — will be on hand to greet guests.

Time and Cost
6:00 pm Reception; 6:30pm Dinner
$149.00 per person, (inclusive of gratuity) plus tax

Flying Fish Cafe Tables and Murals

Lachini Vineyards Bio - click image for larger version.

Call 407-939-5102 at your earliest convenience to [Read more…]

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival News: Menu Items, Events, and Chefs

Once again this year I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Chef Marianne Hunnel, a long-time Disney Chef who has been in charge of development for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival for the past 7 years!

For a bit of background on Chef Hunnel as well as some info about how the Epcot Food & Wine Festival comes together each year, be sure to read our 2011 interview of Chef Hunnel!

She’s truly one of the most joyful and delightful people I’ve ever spoken with — you can tell this woman is passionate about the Festival and about making sure that Disney guests are pleased with their experience, and that she has a blast doing her job.

Chef Marianne Hunnel

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Taste Your Way Around the World

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival theme this year is: Taste Your Way Around the World, and it will take place from September 28th through November 12th — a whole 46 days!

As always, you should keep an eye on our 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page for details throughout the summer. We’re updating all the time over there so that you have the latest news and information.

And, luckily, Chef Hunnel was able to tell us some interesting details that we get to share exclusively with you today! Here are a few fun secrets and tips to keep in mind if you’re headed to Epcot this Fall!

New and Returning Items at the World Showcase Booths

While many of the fan favorite menu items will be returning (yep — the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup is back!), some booths will feature past menu items with a “twist,” says Hunnel.

For example, the steamed mussels at the Belgium booth will be slightly different than guests remember.

And it sounds like the Australian lamb chop will return with a mint pesto sauce this year (subject to change, of course).

Belgian mussels with garlic and cream

Germany will introduce a twist on the ham and cheese spaetzel with a new schinken noodle gratin dish.

Also, New Zealand has traded in the lamb slider for a lamb meatball with tomato chutney.

There will be around 12 dishes that will be completely new to the World Showcase Marketplace Booths this year! Here are just a few…: [Read more…]

Tips For Visiting the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is coming up soon, and we’re already covering the latest news about the event.

Shrimp Tacos, Rib Eye Tacos, Flan and Strawberry Lime Margarita from the Mexico Booth

You can “follow the festival” on our Food and Wine Festival page here, and start making plans to attend September 28-November 12, 2012.

This annual event showcases food, wine, and other beverages from around the globe at marketplaces set up around Epcot’s World Showcase. You can also take advantage of some of the great seminars, demos, and events going on throughout the festival!

So, to kick off our coverage appropriately, let’s take a look at our…

Fun Tips for Visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Here are a few of our favorite dining tips when it comes to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! I hope they’re helpful, and that you’ll share some of your great tips, too!

1. Make It A Meal

The World Showcase Booths around the Lagoon offer some great eats in small, appetizer sizes! Save one or two (or three!) meals for “eating around the World” Showcase.

Some of the perennial favorites include: Canada’s Cheddar Cheese Soup; Australia’s Shrimp on the Barbie; Italy’s Baked Cheese Ravioli; Argentina’s Grilled Beef Skewer; Poland’s Pierogies; and Germany’s sausage. We’re hoping that griddled cheese is [Read more…]

Top 6 Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit Values for 2012

As always, we want to make sure all of us are getting the best value with our Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a way for guests to pre-pay for their dining when visiting Disney World. “Snack credits” are used by guest to purchase items like popcorn, candy, ice cream, and other low-cost treats.

I’ll list my top six choices, then you tell me your experiences. Let’s work together on finding the best snack credit deals!

Note that snack credits are usually accepted for items that are a single serving, and cost $4.50 or less (though some cost as much as $4.99 out of pocket).

1. Bakeries

A Disney Food Blog staff and reader favorite — bakeries! Not only can you use your snack credit for some incredible treats, but you can also get a pastry for your morning meal. Hey, it’s vacation!

Don’t forget to check out our Disney World Bakery Throw Down to see some of the very best spots to spend those credits.

Disney World Cinnamon Roll at Main Street Bakery

Consider some of these options at bakeries around Disney World: cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, caramel cupcakes, white chocolate elephant cupcake, crepes, school bread…and so much more!

These are all great deals for one single snack credit.

2. Ice Cream Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with what kinds of sundaes you can get for a snack credit in Disney World! Easily costing $4.50 or more out of pocket, these sundaes are awesome deals!

Stop by Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom to snag a Cookie Fudge Sundae that you can easily split between two! Other options at Storybook Treats include a Brownie Sundae and a yummy Strawberry Shortcake Sundae!

Hot Fudge and Caramel Cookie Sundae at Storybook Treats

Another ice creamy treat that’s not-to-be-missed is the homemade ice cream cookie sandwich. You can get these at all four parks, and while the snack credit payment option [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 6, 2012

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

Cheers to the new Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar (cheese) and updated Tutto Italia Ristorante (cheese) in Epcot’s Italy pavilion! We got the chance for a sneak peek at the Grand Opening, and it was (cheese) awesome!

Be sure to check out our photo tours and pics of the new menu items! (Did I mention there’s cheese?)

Disney Food News

We’ve got more food news (including Four Special Dining Options on Mother’s Day Sunday May 13 at Disneyland) on our Disney Food News Pin Board, where Disney Food News is updated on a regular basis!

Facebook E-Book Sale Starts Tomorrow!

To thank you for following us over on Facebook, we’re throwing our first ever Facebook e-Book Sale this week!

Starting tomorrow — Monday, May 7th, 2012 — we’ll begin the new e-Book sale on the Disney Food Blog Facebook Page.

Follow us over there for details on the sale AND for a link to our brand new Disney Food Blog Store website!

On To The Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups visits the Tea Caddy in Epcot’s United Kingdom.

Little Lion Baked Goods makes Avengers Cake Pops. enjoys poolside dining at the Maji Bar while staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village.

Running at Disney shares a post-race meal at Epcot’s Rose & Crown.

Main Street Gazette suggests a child-size breakfast option at Sunshine Seasons.

Mouse on the Mind investigates bread service options at Disney restaurants.’s Steve Barrett found a food-related Hidden Mickey.

a Mouse and a Dream dines at Disneyland’s Plaza Inn!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series Announced!

Great news! The Epcot Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series has been announced for 2012!

Interesting additions this year include:
Smash Mouth
Javier Colon
Blues Traveler
Dennis DeYoung from STYX

Check out our Eat to the Beat Concert Page for the whole line-up to see who will be performing when you’re at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year!

We’re working on gathering details and info, so stay tuned for the latest here on the Disney Food Blog!

Disney World Crème Brûlée Gallery

I’ve had numerous requests from folks asking for a round-up of where you can get Crème Brûlée in Disney World, and finally we’ve put this gallery together!

Garde Manger Caramelizes Creme Brulee

For those who haven’t indulged before, classic Crème Brûlée is a dessert created from baked and cooled custard topped with (usually) blowtorched sugar forming a candied crust.

Disney pastry chefs have bent over backwards figuring out how to put their own personal touch on this decadent recipe… Let’s take a look at some of the interesting ones!

Please note that Disney dessert menus change all the time, so some of these may no longer be available on your visit.

Be sure to let us know in the comments below about your favorite Crème Brûlée desserts in Disney restaurants!!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Check out Portobello‘s yummy version! The white chocolate shavings really made this dessert!

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Pistachio Crème Brûlée

A classic at Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom is this beloved Pistachio Crème Brûlée. And I fully agree with it’s cult favorite status — it was delicious!

pistachio creme brulee

Pistachio Creme Brulee

Key Lime and Regular Crème Brûlée Duo

Narcoossee’s serves this dessert as a duo — two for one deal!! The true winner is the Key Lime — it’s the perfect dose of tart and tangy with the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Florida Orange Groves Winery Seminar at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival

It’s time to start gearing up for the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! So please join me in welcoming Vikki Hurley-Schubert & Michelle Maskaly with a review of a past Epcot Food and Wine Festival event.

Beverage seminars were offered during the 2011 Festival, including the Florida Orange Groves activity priced at $10 per person. Now, on to the review!

I’m not a fan of wine, so when my foodie buddy, Michelle, better known as The Adirondack Chick, suggested one of the seminars at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, I wrinkled my nose, sort of whined and said “OK, you’re the guest, let’s go”.

To say we enjoyed the Florida Orange Groves Winery session would be an understatement. So would calling it a typical festival wine tasting. When we sat down, the wines were already poured to tempt and tease us with their bright and fruity aromas.

Atmosphere and Info

From the start, the winery’s owner, Vincent Shook was engaging and fun. He incorporated stories about how they got started in the business, debunked several myths about fruit wines, and incorporated practical ways to use the beverage, even telling us what dishes he and his wife like to pair their favorites with.

We were surprised to learn that Florida has more than a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Food and Wine Pairing in Epcot’s Italy

Let’s give a warm welcome to JoAnn Chiaravalle. She stops by to share a review of dining at a Food and Wine Pairing seminar, complete with great tips about how to prepare when you have a food allergy!

On August 16 at 7:00 am sharp, I called Disney to book the Italy Food and Wine Pairing set for Saturday, November 12, during the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Within twenty minutes my booking was complete!

I was so excited to get the events booked on the first day in a short amount of time that I forgot to mention I had a seafood allergy. I called back at a later date and spoke to Melissa to have my reservation modified to show the allergy. She was most helpful and answered all of my questions.

Fast forward to November 12. The event began at 2:00 and I took my seat with notebook in hand. Although I was excited to attend this event, I was crushed when I saw the menu with seafood. I told the waitress who was pouring water about my seafood allergy and she told me not to worry as it was noted in the reservation.


Along with the menu we were each provided with cards detailing each of the wines.

Wine Cards

The manager of the restaurant and the representative from Banfi Winery welcomed us, and the festivities began. The first course was Capesante e Cannellini (scallops with cannellini beans and pancetta ham) with San Angelo Pinot Grigio.

Because of my seafood allergy I was served [Read more…]