African Inspired Meals in Walt Disney World — Tusker House

Jambo! Join me in welcoming Disney guru Mary Jo Collins and Disney World Moms Panelist Bernie Edwards back to the blog! In this article they’ll share with us various locations to enjoy an African Inspired Meal at Walt Disney World. We also get a close-up look at the Tusker House restaurant. Twende! Let’s go!

Theming Outside Animal Kingdom's Tusker House

Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort has become synonymous with the enjoyment of great dining at restaurants both inside and outside the theme parks. For many of us, these meals lend us the opportunity to experience exotic foods from exotic places.

African Food in Disney World
Fortunately for guests of Walt Disney World, African cuisine is showcased in a variety of table service restaurants offering a peek at the food that has been influenced by the marinade of cultures, colonies, trade routes and history of this land. To describe or categorize what African food is in a few words would be impossible.

The cuisine is as varied in Africa as the cuisine of any large continent. The continent’s regions each have significant differences in their own distinctive dishes and preparation techniques. However, in Africa the various cuisines traditionally combine [Read more…]

2011 United Way Chef’s Gala To Be Held in Epcot on May 21st

Benefiting Heart of Florida, The United Way’s Chef’s Gala will be held in Epcot’s World Showplace on Saturday May 21, 2011. The 19th annual Chef’s Gala touts the event as “A Tasteful Way to Make a Difference” which raised almost $170,000 last year! Walt Disney World has hosted the Chef’s Gala since its inception with over a million raised in that time!

Chef's Gala

Specs
The festivities begin at 6:45 pm. with a cocktail attire dress code.

6:45 – 8:15 pm Champagne Served and Martini Bar Opens
7:30 – 10:00 pm Chefs Begin Serving

Guests will enjoy a silent auction and wine reception. This tasteful event continues with a scrumptious tasting featuring over 20 top chefs (and restaurants) from Central Florida. There will also be paired fine wines, desserts and specialty coffees. For questions about wine and wine pairings, Sommeliers will be on hand.

Participating restaurants include: Artist Point, Kouzzina by Cat Cora, La Luce by Donna Scala, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, Sanaa, Todd English’s bluezoo, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Tusker House Restaurant, The Wave…of American Flavors, Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery, Epcot Bakery, Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company.

Ticket Info: [Read more…]

Disney Food Trend: Trios

Obviously Disney’s keen on the fact that most of us can’t make up our minds about what we want to try in their restaurants! They’ve slowly, but surely, started introducing ways for us to sample a little bit of everything — even when we’re not at a buffet.

Trios of dishes — small portions of three menu items served together as one dish — are popping up everywhere, from casual to signature dining. And while these used to be relegated to the dessert menu, we’re now seeing trios pop up in the appetizer and entree sections of the menu. Here are a few examples…

Appetizer Trios
Epcot’s Le Cellier put a trio of appetizers front and center on its menu a while ago, giving guests an opportunity to sample three of their most beloved apps: Cheddar Cheese Soup, Lump Crab, and the Tomato Stack.

Le Cellier Lunch Menu Appetizer Trio

Sanaa, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, has followed suit with trios of salads and appetizers. The one below includes [Read more…]

DIY Disney: Chai Cream from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today, Chef Big Fat Panda’s DIY Disney Recipes column brings us a sweet treat from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa! Thanks to Chef Bob Getchell for sending along the recipe. Take it away, Panda!

Chef Mickey with Ingredients

Hello Disney Foodies! Boy, do I have a treat for you!

I want to be honest and tell you that I procrastinated about this recipe a bit. It is totally out of my comfort zone because I fell into the same trap that I warn against time after time. If you have ever read my articles, you know that I advise you not to “fear the ingredients” — that you can often make a recipe work with a substitution. Well, I feared the ingredients (you’ll see why). We then decided to approach this fantastic dessert from a different perspective. We thought — Let’s try to be as true to the recipe as possible, while finding alternatives that are readily available to most people. With that freedom, here it goes… and after the result, I am glad I stopped being scared of Sanaa’s Chai Cream!

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 18, 2010

Lamb From Australia Booth is Back This Year

Whew! What a WEEK! It was Food and Wine Festival-icous! You’ll have to forgive my one track mind this week, all, but here are the latest news items:

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Hopefully you got a chance to check out my blog post over at Touring Plans all about the NEW additions to the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Also, give a listen to the recent WDW Today Podcast, where we chatted about some of the upcoming festival attractions! Thanks, Touring Plans and WDW Today!

I came across a Progress City USA post from 2009 that shows us what dining was like at early WDW. Anyone remember the Pueblo Room?

DisZine reports that the Disney World Swan and Dolphin are announcing a Personal Pantry feature.

Touring Plans blogger Kristen H. writes about her favorite counter service restaurants at WDW.

Heatherw25 has created some more amazing Disney food scrapbooking layouts!

Kerrygold Cheeses at Ireland Food and Wine Booth

Main Street Gazette compares a favorite Disney World counter-service dish at Sunshine Seasons to one of his local favorites.

A Taste of Disney shows us how to make California Grill’s delicious Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli.

The Daily Disney reports on a new Meatball Sliders and Beer menu at WDW Downtown Disney’s Portobello Restaurant.

Designing Disney looks at inspiration for the Market House Deli in Disneyland Paris.

Chip and Co wonders what makes Aloha Isle so popular.

Pee Dee Foodie reviews Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Disney Parks Blog announces that the Kona Island Sushi Bar is a permanent fixture at the Polynesian Resort in WDW!

DisUnplugged reviews breakfast at Disneyland’s Steakhouse 55.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 16th, 2010

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival Discoveries

Welcome to the round-up this week! Some pretty cool news popped up this week — Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports is selling tickets to the Wine & Dine Half Marathon’s After-Party! Let me know if you’ll be there!

And we’re still adding posts to our coverage of Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival — check it out!

Finally, be sure to check out our Guide to WDW Table Service Restaurants! It includes detailed information about every table-service restaurant as well as an index of Disney Food Blog mentions of each restaurant! Very useful if you’re planning where to dine in Disney World. Now — on to the round-up!

Progress City USA has a pretty “juicy picture” from 80’s Disneyland…

Cakewrecks has a series of “Mickey wrecks.”

Touring Plans heads to Jiko in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

etckt has more great photography in his review of Italy’s Tutto Italia.

The Disney Blog has news of progressive kids’ cooking classes in Downtown Disney on June 12th.

Main Street Gazette showcases one of our favorite menus in Disney World.

Meet the World has an awesome series on Club 33 in Disneyland: Part I: Before Arriving, Part II: Arriving and Exploring, Part III: the Food.

Theme Park Insider visits Disneyland’s Troubadour Tavern.

Only WDWorld shares a tour of Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — this is a tour anyone can take, so feel free to visit yourself!

Chip and Co shares some favorite counter service meals in WDW.

Disney Food Post Round-Up: May 2, 2010

Our Goodies at the Wishes Dessert Party

We’re nearing the end of our whirlwind Disney World and Disneyland back-to-back trips, and there’s lots of news and info to share! Here are a few of the main items:

And now, on to the round-up! The first batch of links are from some colleagues of mine who attended the recent “From 5 Stars to Mickey Bars!” Disney World dining event with me.

What Now?!?!?, a fun blog written by Disney World Moms Panelist, Kathie F., showcases some shots from our Disney dinner at Flying Fish Cafe. Be sure to scroll through her other posts from our WDW weekend, too!

About.com: Theme Parks shares a photo gallery and review of Walt Disney World’s Sanaa Restaurant.

Chef Druck Musings has an awesome article covering some great counter-service finds in Epcot’s World Showcase.

Haute Travels reviews Todd English’s bluezoo.

Live and Learn has a fun break-down of what happened during our culinary weekend, as well as a hat tip to some great blogs and publications.

Studios Central tells us why NOT to book the Fantasmic Dinner Package.

GrubGrade shares the latest about Burger King’s Whiplash Whopper, created to commemorate Disney’s Iron Man 2.

Babes in Disneyland has some fun facts about Disneyland dining.

Passport To Dreams Old and New shares a piece about Ben Franklin, a mysterious Disney World portrait, the Hall of Presidents, and Liberty Tree Tavern.

Chip and Co has a fun look at creme brulee in Disney World.

Scott Joseph Orlando brings us to Victoria and Albert’s Queen Victoria Room.

Sanaa Wine List Suggestions

Thanks again to Amanda Tinney for the fantastic Sanaa Review yesterday! To accompany that piece, we’re thrilled that our friends at Cork’d.com have put together a list of highly-recommended wine list suggestions, and have even explained specifically why these wines will complement the unique menu of Indian and African cuisine at Sanaa.

Sanaa Wine Recommendations
The Sanaa wine list has a rich focus on South African wines, but also highlights some great options from around the world, including offerings from Italy, California, and New Zealand.

Sanaa Wine List -- Subject to Change -- Copyright Disney -- Click for Larger Version

Sanaa Wine List -- Subject to Change -- Copyright Disney -- Click for Larger Version

2008 Martin Codax Albarino: A crisp, refreshing, and highly acidic grape varietal, Albarino is most often found in the Northwest of Spain’s *Rias Baixas* region. Because these wines are so aromatic and flavor filled, they pair really well with the intensely flavored, aromatic cuisines, such as Indian. Martin Codax is one of the most recognized wineries in Rias Baixas, producing consistent and well-received Albarino year after year.

2008 Boutari Moschofilero: Moschofilero isn’t your everyday Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. This grape has made a name [Read more…]

Sanaa Restaurant Guest Review

Sanaa is almost a year old (!!), and it’s settling in nicely with a couple of new menu items and one of Disney World’s most incredible views. Amanda Tinney from DisneyEveryDay.com dined at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s newest restaurant recently and was kind enough to share this rockin’ report. Take it away, Amanda!

Sanaa

Sanaa means “Work of Art” in Swahili, which is fitting because the food artists at Disney’s Kidani Village are crafting unique dishes for Disney Guests in their flagship restaurant… Sanaa. As the menu professes, Sanaa is “The Art of African Cooking with Indian Flavors.”

I had the privilege of dining here last week during a lunch meeting. I consider myself an adventurous eater, but I had my doubts once seated and presented with the menu. Luckily, I was dining with friends who had experienced Sanaa previously, and I let them take the lead when ordering appetizers.

We started with the Indian Style Bread Service ($8.99), which gave us a choice of three breads and three accompaniments. For the bread, we selected Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha. [Read more…]

LIVE Food News and Photos: Disney World Media Event

UPDATE: Read about the Opening Date for Be Our Guest Restaurant and Reservations Info!

I’m reporting this week from the Walt Disney World Media Event showcasing the new Give a Day, Get a Disney Day volunteer program! Last night was the kick-off event, and we heard some fun dining news and got to taste some great eats over at the ESPN Wide World of Sports! (Psst — if you just want to see pics from the kick-off party, scroll down.)

Disney Food News
Unfortunately, I didn’t hear any BRAND new Disney food news, but recently opened restaurants Kouzzina and Sanaa were mentioned, along with the upcoming Be Our Guest restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern, to be found in the new-and-improved Fantasyland in 2012.

Other fun mentions that some of you might not have heard about are the two new, “interactive” restaurants on board the brand new Disney Cruise Line cruise ship, The Disney Dream. These include the Enchanted Garden, which magically transforms your surroundings from early morning to a night sky while you dine, and the Skyline Lounge, which has walls that change to reflect a new city scape each day!

Skyline Lounge

Skyline Lounge

Enchanted Garden

Enchanted Garden

Media Event Treats and Eats
The event kick-off was held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports on Walt Disney World property. The first part of the evening was a [Read more…]