It’s time to head back to one of my most favorite spots in all of Epcot’s World Showcase — Les Chefs de France!
Chefs de France
When this new event was announced for this year’s festival, I jumped at the chance to add it to my busy opening weekend schedule! It’s one of the lower-priced special events available, and I’m always looking for a value.
As a special bonus, the event took place before most of World Showcase was fully opened. I always love it when I can have any part of the park (mostly) all to myself. 🙂
The Parisian atmosphere of Les Chefs shines through at this new breakfast special event.
After all, if you look at the pic below, it even kind of feels like you’re in Paris, eh??
I was seated at a table looking out onto the World Showcase promenade. This event (along with most other special events at the festival these days) had assigned seating.
This is relatively new for festival events, so be prepared if you’re hoping to sit with a friend who booked separately from you!
Luckily, I got to sit with an awesome group of Disney food fans and we chatted the morning away! It was a great time!
Now, as beautiful as the morning surroundings are, I know you’re anxious to see the spread! Let’s take a look.
I was impressed to find a Mimosa already waiting at my seat when I arrived. As we entered the dining room, waitstaff were busy preparing the beverages for guests.
Mimosas were readily refilled throughout the breakfast, so if you’re a champagne fan you’ll definitely want to consider this event.
But in addition to mimosas, servers offered small, steaming cups of French-style Hot Chocolate — Chocolat Chaud!
OK, so back in my travelin’ days, my Paris visits were pretty much when I was a young, broke college student. I was usually sleeping in hostels and campsites (yes, it IS a good idea to bring a padlock for your backpack) and eating bread and cheese all day (I know; sounds great, doesn’t it! :-D).
Anyway, in Paris, my breakfast usually consisted of a baguette (fresh, of course!) and a big ol’ bowl of hot chocolate for dipping!! Ah, heaven. Seriously, I could probably go to Paris today and spend a bunch-a-money on a fancy breakfast and find it inferior to my baguette and chocolate deliciousness. I may be a simpleton when it comes to French food, but man that hot chocolate is good. I’m told the secret is high quality, grated chocolate. Must get me some of that… . Any suggestions?
Long story long, I was super excited to see the hot chocolate here. Kudos, France pavilion. Kudos.
Once I found my seat and we were welcomed to the event, it was time to check out the offerings. A selection of breads, pastries, and accompaniments were presented in a buffet-style setting.
There were four separate serving areas, but each offered the same items, keeping lines to a minimum.
A French cast member assisted guests by slicing fresh Baguettes, which were offered with Butter and Bonne Maman Confiture. Made fresh multiple times daily in Les Halles boulangerie next door, the baguettes are well worth trying.
Slices of crusty Brioche, a bread rich with eggs and butter, as well as sliced White Bread, were also ready to sample.
You can see how rich the brioche is, with it’s slightly yellow appearance, from this photo. This makes the best French toast ever, by the way.
Beautiful, golden Croissants were piled high, ready to consume with the wonderful jams.
Other pastries available included Apple Turnovers and Frangipane Triangles. I love apples and all things apple-y, so that was a given for me.
But I was truly surprised by how incredible the Frangipane pastries were! I’m not a huge marzipan fan, but whatever was inside these things was nothing like standard marzipan. It was a truly delicious vanilla-y almond paste. I totally wasn’t budgeting for the calories on this one since I knew I didn’t love almond stuff very much, so my quota for the day was way busted when I tasted these and ended up eating the whole thing!
Saving the best for last — one thing is for sure: you can’t offer a Parisian Breakfast without Pain Chocolat, or chocolate croissants. Remember my starving student breakfast of baguettes and chocolat chaud? It gets even better if you mix in a Pain Chocolat!!! If you haven’t had one before, it’s basically a whole bunch of buttery pastry layers interspersed with big chunks of the richest chocolate ever. Gorgeousness.
Next, we turned our attention to a few savory options.
One feature that I love about a French breakfast spread are the meats and cheeses that are normally available. To approximate this, there were Jambon Beurre Sandwiches, made with butter, ham, and Gruyere cheese. Yum! You guys already know I love these, so it was a must-do.
Another savory option was a brand new offering at Les Halles — pinwheels that marry puff pastry, cheese, and bacon — which meant they were pretty much irresistible.
And just when I didn’t think it could possibly get anymore authentically better, Aurelien showed up with a platter of beautiful French Cheese! Yay!!
The selections here mirrored what you find in cheese plates at Les Chefs de France — a combination of Gruyere, Brie, Bleu, and Goat. So pretty.
I couldn’t resist trying a little bit of everything. And my plate certainly reflects that! It’s like a pile-o-bread-and-cheese!!!!! YAY!!!
I especially love digging into those rich cheeses alongside the sweet pastries. That’s one of my very favorite flavor combinations. (And don’t be afraid to mix the sweet pastries with the savory cheeses!! Pain Chocolat with brie? Yes please! To paraphrase Joey Tribbiani: “Pain Chocolat? Good! Brie? Good!” ;-D)
Inside the apple turnover, you can see the layers of flaky pastry and the sweet apple filling. The outside of the pastry offers a thin sugary glaze to add to the sweetness.
And here’s the inside of that must-have frangipane pastry!! I got another one of these at Les Halles later in my trip and continued to love it!
Every bite and sip that I enjoyed was pure authentic France — much of it reminded me of when I’d skip the border into France from Switzerland when I lived over there! This was one of my favorite events of the 2013 calendar.
I’m always looking for the next great value when it comes to Epcot Food and Wine Festival special events, and this is it. At $37 per person, the ever-flowing mimosas, fabulous all-you-can-eat pastries, and decadent cheeses offer a great deal compared to other Food and Wine Festival events. The only thing I was missing was a spread of fresh fruit!
The food was fresh and authentic, the staff was friendly and attentive, and the surroundings were beautiful. I can’t say enough how fresh and authentic the pastries were. I was amazed, and I can honestly say I’ve never had pastries so good this side of the Atlantic. I will absolutely be signing up for this one again next year.
If you can get on board with this event during the 2013 Food and Wine Festival, I heartily recommend that you do it! And if not, fingers crossed that this one returns next year!
Thank you to Epcot’s France Pavilion for the invitation to review this event. I was not in any way required to attend or to review the breakfast here on the blog…but I am SO glad I did! You can read more about our disclosure policy here.