WW GOES TO WDW at Yesterland.com Culinary Demos
 
The 18th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
September 27 - November 11, 2013
2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

For Epcot Food & Wine Festival guests, Culinary Demos are opportunities to hear from master chefs and to taste what they demonstrate. Whether your goal is to make the items yourself when you get home or just to learn about food and gain an appreciation for how chefs work their magic, a Culinary Demo can be great way to spend 45 minutes.

This year, there were 131 Culinary Demos—three most days (1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.) but only two each Sunday (1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.). I managed to get to 15 of them with my camera and my appetite—six fewer than last year.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, November 1, 2013


Here’s what happened at each Culinary Demo:

  • Up to 120 ticketed guests (an increase from 100 last year) sat at tables with views of a kitchen stage and flat-screen video monitors;
  • Pam Smith (or John Ekin on Tuesday and Wednesday, Pam’s days off) expertly hosted the 45-minute sessions;
  • Guests were served a 3-ounce glass of wine, while a winery owner or representative talked about the wine and winery for 10-15 minutes (sometimes there was a different beverage);
  • A Disney chef or outside chef (sometimes a celebrity chef) presented a 30-35 minute demonstration, while guests followed along (and often took notes) on a printed copy of the recipe;
  • An audio-visual team with video cameras made sure that guests could see what was happening on stage, including views onto the cutting board and cooktop;
  • And—best of all—guests were served samples of what the chef was demonstrating, prepared by a culinary team backstage and served by friendly cast members.

Tickets for Culinary Demos were available in advance. Unsold tickets and approximately 20 tickets held back for same-day purchase could be bought at the Festival Center on the day of the demo. This year, all Culinary Demos were priced at $14—a $3 increase over last year’s $11 (last year, only the demos by celebrity chefs were $14). For Culinary Demos scheduled Monday through Thursday, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, Tables in Wonderland cardholders, and Golden Oaks owners could save $2 on advance tickets.

2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Pam Smith, Thursday-through-Monday host of the Culinary Demos

2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

John Ekin, Tuesday and Wednesday host of the Culinary Demos

2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Guests being served samples of what the chef is demonstrating

Saturday, October 5, 2013, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Kenny Gilbert, Cook Like the Big Dogs LLC, Jacksonville, Florida

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Jerk Spiced Salmon with Pickled Bread Fruit, Cucumber,
Coconut Water and Scotch Bonet Pepper Salad

paired with
Casillero Del Diablo Coastal Wine (Concha y Toro, Santiago, Chile)

Saturday, October 5, 2013, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Jerome Brown, Hot Grits LLC, Knightdale, North Carolina

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Bison Crusted Bison Tenderloin and Jicama Slaw

paired with
Clayhouse Adobe Red (Middleton Family Wines, Paso Robles, California)

Saturday, October 5, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Alisa Malavenda, POSH Salt™, Cliffside, New Jersey

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Himalayan Salt Seared Diver Scallop with Citrus Glaze,
Himalayan Salt Roasted Beets, Avocado Salad with Petite Greens,
Orange Thyme Vinaigrette and Pistachio Dust

paired with
De Martino Estate Organic Sauvignon Blanc (Vina De Martino, Isla de Maipo, Chile)

Monday, October 7, 2013, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Dr. Wendy Bazilian, RD and Pam Smith, RD,
Presented by Driscoll’s Only the Finest Berries

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Blueberry, Corn, Avocado and Kale Chopped Salad
and Citrus Spice Seared Scallops

paired with
Once Upon a Vine The Fairest Chardonnay (Once Upon a Vine, California)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Michael Gonsalves, Golden Oak Club, Walt Disney World® Resort, Florida

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Frutos Do Mar

paired with
Marqués de Cáceres Albariño (Marqués de Cáceres, Rioja, Spain)

Thursday, October 10, 2013, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Terry Letson, fume Bistro and Bar, Napa, California

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Panko and Pancetta Crusted Pacific Wild Caught Salmon,
Couscous with Grilled Fennel, Roasted Corn and Basil
Heirloom Tomato Jam and Micro Rugula

paired with
Twomey Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars, Napa, California)

Thursday, October 10, 2013, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Daniel Joly (right), Mirabelle at Beaver Creek, Avon Colorado
assisted by David Baruthio (left), Baru 77, Windsor Heights, Iowa

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013
Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Cured Arctic Char Filet with Stella Artois Blinis and Belgium Beer Mousse

paired with
Stella Artois beer (AB InBev, Belgium)

Thursday, October 10, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Anthony Lamas, Seviche, A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Aji Rocoto Rubbed Shrimp with Horseradish Chimichurri

paired with
Dreaming Tree Everyday White (Dreaming Tree, Sonoma, California)

Monday, October 14, 2013, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Buddy Valastro, Carlo’s Bakery, Hoboken, New Jersey

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan

paired with
Sogno d’Italia Chianti (Sogno d’Italia, Italy)

Monday, October 14, 2013, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Daniel Crenshaw, Old Port Royale & Shutters,
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Walt Disney World

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Char Crusted Scallops and green Lentils

paired with
Robert Oatley Signature Series Chardonnay (Robert Oatley, Australia)

Monday, October 14, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Bob Waggoner, Watermark Restaurant, Nashville, Tennessee

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Pan Seared Lamb Tenderloin on a Ratatouille Mousseline
in a Lemon, Caper, Opal Basil and Pine Nut Vinaigrette

paired with
Napa Valley Cabernet (Heitz Cellars, Napa Valley, California)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

James Gilkey, Tony’s Town Square Café, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Chianti Braised Beef Short Ribs

paired with
Winemaker’s Handprint Merlot (The Meeker Vineyard, Sonoma County, California)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Jeff Henderson, Chef Jeff Catering, Las Vegas, Nevada

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Family Style Fish Fry

paired with
Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Chardonnay (Milbrandt Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington)

Saturday, October 19, 2013, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, The Hearty Boys, Chicago, Illinois

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad with Salt Crusted Beek Tenderloin,

paired with
Milbrandt Vineyards The Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (Milbrandt Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington)

Sunday, October 20, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Alex Seidel, Fruition Restaurant / Fruition Farms, Denver, Colorado

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2013

Fruition Farms Ricotta with Heirloom Tomatoes,
LaQuercia Prosciutto and Micro Arugula

paired with
Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington)


And the winner for the best Culinary Demonstration that I attended in 2013 is... Chef Anthony Lamas, Seviche, A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday, October 10, 2013, 5:00 p.m.

The perfect combination is when a chef is entertaining and informative; the sample serving is absolutely delicious; and a decent wine pairs well with food. The Culinary Demo by Chef Lamas hit all three perfectly. I’m now looking for an excuse to visit Louisville, Kentucky, so that we can dine at Seviche, A Latin Restaurant.

My three runners-up were Kenny Gilbert, Jeff Henderson, and Bob Waggoner. If the Culinary Demonstrations were always as good as these, I would pre-book far more of them.

Before 2009, the Culinary Demonstrations were free—but that could mean waiting in a long line—in the hot sun outside the Odyssey Center&mdah;and still not getting in. In 2009, Disney imposed a reasonable $8 fee (just $5 for advance tickets for those who qualified). The nominal fee was a blessing because it allowed guests to guarantee a spot.

Unfortunately, the price has rocketed up to $14. When a Demonstration is good, that’s reasonable. But for disappointing demonstrations, the $28 per couple could buy a good lunch or bottle of wine. Let’s hope the price doesn’t go up again next year.


Want to see more? Travel back to earlier years:

There’s also an article about Food & Wine Festival, 2013

 

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© 2013-2013 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated November 1, 2013.

All photos in this article: Werner Weiss, 2013.