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…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Festival Center and Chase VIP Lounge Photo Tour

Greetings from the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! For those of you coming to Walt Disney World over the next month and a half for the festival, here’s a quick tour of the Food and Wine Festival Center!

Festival Center - Outside View

Located in Future World (within the old Wonders of Life Pavilion – go left at MouseGear), this is where you’ll head for many of the culinary demonstrations and seminars.

You’ll also find HGTV events here, as well as some terrific Festival merchandise.

Let’s take a little tour, shall we?

Festival Center Sign

Festival Center Attractions

When you come down the ramps to enter the building, you’ll find helpful Cast Members at the Information Booth ready to answer all of your questions and steer you in the right direction.

This is also where you’ll find your Food and Wine Festival Passports – great for gathering stamps to commemorate your mission to eat and drink your way around the World!


The info booth is also where you’ll go to get wristbands for celebrity chef meet-and-greets and book signings. 2 signings per wristband this year!

The check-in area is where you’ll go when you’re ready to check in for any seminars or demonstrations that you’ve signed up to attend. TIP: Head to the check-in area if you don’t have a reservation for an event, but you’d like to attend. They just might have some openings!

Demo and Seminar Check In

This interactive [Read more…]