'08 EPCOT Food & Wine
We're going over there in a few weeks. Has anyone been there yet? Any recommendations?
I went last year but ended up not buying anything from the food stalls (lines were too long) and eating at Les Chef de France instead (my favorite restaurant at Epcot and thank God for my 50% cast member holiday discount!) Here is a link to the festival menu... http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides...
I was at the right place at the right time last year because I ended up meeting a really nice guy whose date to "A Party for the Senses" flaked out on him and he offered me her ticket. I went and it was so much fun and I was served Soba Noodles with Scallops by Iron Chef Cat Cora. If you can afford it, it's a really cool thing to do.
Here's a blurb on it...
A PARTY FOR THE SENSES - 2008
Hosted by Vanity Fair
This popular venue takes place each Saturday during the Food and Wine Festival at the World ShowPlace located between Canada and United Kingdom Pavilions. You’ll begin this memorable evening with reserved seating at the 5:45pm performance of the Eat to the Beat Concert. $135 per person plus tax, gratuity included.
From 6:30 to 9:00pm, you’ll be sampling the culinary creations of 25 renowned chefs and over 25 wineries and breweries. Each tasting station will be a new sensation for the senses.
Have fun! :o)
I have not heard good things from friends who have gone. The wine is cheap and is the worst in years. My friends complained that it used to be about the best wines from around the world and not so much anymore. The current Issue of Robert Parker did the best value wines from around the world and Italy had over 600, which is more than France, Spain and the U.S.A. combined. But they are offering the wines from Banfi in the Italy area. This should tell you something.
Finally, Almost all the events are considerably more expensive than they were last year and they are showing off vintages instead of the better ones.
The event seems to be about the cheapest possible wines instead of the best wines from each country.
To be honest, we're always underwhelmed by the food at the booths. I like the concept, but I think that it's too often a case of the "lowest common denominator" instead of a chance to try something interesting and unique from each country. Ah, well.
We did go to the Bocuse d'Or event this year, which was rocking! I am still overwhelmed by the level of talent that was present - when was the last time someone like me got a chance to be in the same room as Paul Bocuse, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Thomas Keller, and so on? I put a recap here, as well as the full review with photos on our food blog: http://hpandaw.wordpress.com
I'm surprised you haven't liked the foods at the booths. I am always surprised at how good they are. I haven't done an official sweep-through yet but during my shoot sampled the escargot at Lyon, France, which was amazing, a crisp sausage with sauerkraut on a pretzel roll (Munich, Germany) that I loved, and the chilled tomato and garlic soup at the Barcelona, Spain, marketplace, and that was good too.
As many of you know, despite my embarrasing username I am the dining editor of Orlando Magazine. I also host an on-demand cable TV show called On the Town that features Central Florida restaurants. I spent this past Saturday taping the foods and beverages at all 27 international marketplaces at the festival. For many, chefs joined me to explain the foods in detail. A sommelier spoke about several of the wines. To see what's on offer, go to Bright House Digital Cable channel 300, then press Food and Wine, then any marketplace and PLAY. Sixteen are up now, and the rest of the marketplace features should be up within a day or two. It's fun to know the background before you show up to taste.--Rona
There are many events during the day that are free -- which means included in the regular admission to the park. Wine tastings are complimentary, as are culinary demonstrations that usually offer a sip or a sample.
And indeed many of the events that do require an additional fee have been sold out for months. Still plenty to do and experience -- make your own fun.