EPCOT's Int'l Food and Wine Fest Trip report

Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 08:05 AM
  #1  
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EPCOT's Int'l Food and Wine Fest Trip report

My husband and I attended for the 6th time after stumbling on this event 10 years ago. We enjoy the venue and weather so much that we bought a place in Orange Lake to stay. Recently, the resort became part of the Holiday Inn vacation club and using the point system is much easier than the previous system

Around the park, many more food and wine kiosks have been erected. It's funny how an event becomes more popular and manages to improve. Disney magic? My favorites this year were the Fisherman's Pie from Ireland with the cheesy potatoes and large chunks of lobster, scallops, and shrimp. I had to get another the next day. New Zealand's seared scallop over spicy slaw was delicious. I loved France's Escargot in Brioche- buttery and tender. South Africa's Mealie Soup with chile oil had a kick and was excellent. My husband enjoyed the honey glazed salmon at Canada's kiosk and though I didn't eat dessert, my husband and friend claimed the chocolate lava cake with Bailey's ganache from Ireland was the best. Since I don't eat any other meat than fish, I can't personally comment on many dishes, but my husband liked the chicken soup from Thailand and the Tostada de Pollo from Mexico . Disappointing was Italy- a very dry chewy pizza and a cannolini which was tasty, but overcooked. The best wine award for us was Spain's Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial at $4.50 per tasting glass.

We also attended 3 wine seminars, Taste of Puglia Italy, MacMurray Ranch (actor Fred MacMurray's legacy) and Schweiger Vineyard in Napa. We especially enjoyed the 04 Schweiger Cabernet- so rich and complex. We bought a couple for the week! We also attended a culinary demonstration from the Hot Hot Fish house in Birmingham where they made delicious shrimp and grits- the same recipe we enjoyed the night before at the " Party for the Senses". This party has become very expensive, but it's not oversold or crowded. They had a "classical" theme this year and a 6 piece band played upbeat versions of classical pieces and other familiar music. Extremely good!

The various vendors were outstanding as always, but this year we actually splurged and made an art purchase from artist Heather French
http://www.heatherafrench.com/home.shtml
whose wine and animal paintings we especially loved. Can't wait for that package to arrive! The diet starts today, but with all the walking we did I am sure we broke even calorically. We'll be back!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 10:56 AM
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Thanks for posting this. I haven't had a chance to go this year. How were the crowds?
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 01:24 PM
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I thought it was rather crowded on the weekend, but now that they are charging a fee for the seminars, you don't have to stand in lines and are guaranteed a good spot. Also, they have the card which they swipe which can be used for food and merchandise and is SO great because you hardly have to wait at all for food. It was pretty quiet on Monday and Tuesday.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 01:32 PM
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Sounds very nice! I could definitely see ourselves or a group of friends attending this in the future.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Yes, JJ. We took our neighbors once (we have a large 2 bedroom unit) as well as my Dad and stepmom last year. This year we took my BFF and later in the week, Rick's business partner and his wife joined us. It really is a fun group event! Disney as an adult is great!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Liinda: have been waiting for your post. We are going in 2 weeks and thinking of making Monday our Epcot day. (Have a 3 day park hopper). This is exactly what I was looking for in terms of good eats and nice tastings.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 03:44 PM
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cheryl- do you know where to go to get the program schedule? There's a full list of all the seminars on the day you will be there. I definitely recommend doing at least one and you should make your reservation online to guarantee a spot. Have fun!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 04:01 PM
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Will do. Have the link. Can't wait for that Ireland shrimp/lobster/scallop thing. (how come I never tasted anything like that in Ireland??)
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Thanks Linda. I think I'll try getting a day off during the week - the crowds in some years past could get pretty heavy, but I think the new fee system will cut down on the lines. Longing to try the Mealie Soup!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 07:41 PM
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Sounds like you had a great time, Linda. I agree that Disney is a great place for adults!

We've been to the F&W Festival quite a few times over the years. It's sure changed a lot from the early days. I remember when each food booth gave away their recipes on 3x5 cards. I've got quite a collection.

We were also there a few weeks ago, enjoyed many tastings. Our favorite was also the Fisherman's Pie from Ireland. I'd never tasted anything like that before, and really enjoyed every morsel.

I was telling rncheryl on another thread that I had my first ever lobster roll. Kind of weird, I know, never to have had one, but then I live in Texas, not Maine. Not many live lobsters around here, I guess. But it was a treat for me to finally taste.

Had fun at a number of culinary demos/wine seminars. We have a TIW card, so they were only $5 pp. One was with a guy from the Food Channel - a cake guy. Can't remember his name, tho. Also had a demo from the Ohana head chef - oh my, was he a hoot!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2009, 08:58 PM
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good to hear that!
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