WW GOES TO WDW at Yesterland.com Culinary Demos
 
The 17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
September 28 - November 12, 2012
2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

There were a lot of things to do during the Food & Wine Festival, but that’s the subject of a different article. For foodies, the Culinary Demos were opportunities to learn from master chefs.

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 21 of them with my camera and my appetite.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, November 16, 2012


Here’s what happened at each Culinary Demo:

  • Up to 100 ticketed guests sat at tables with views of a kitchen stage and flat-screen video monitors;
  • Pam Smith (or John Ekin on Pam’s days off) expertly hosted the 45-minute sessions;
  • Guests were served a 3-ounce glass of wine, while a winery owner, winemaker, or wine representative talked about it 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. Approximately 20 tickets for each Demo were held back for same-day purchase at the Festival Center. Most Culinary Demos were priced at $11.00 (same price as 2011). Demos by celebrity chefs were $14.00 ($1.00 more than in 2011). For Culinary Demos scheduled Monday through Thursday, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Tables in Wonderland cardholders could save $2.00.

2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

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

2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

John Ekin, Tuesday and Wednesday host of the Culinary Demos

2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Guests being served samples of what the chef is demonstrating

Sunday, October 28, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Piero Premoli, Buckhead Restaurant Group, Atlanta, GA

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Pasta Rose all’Argosta, Maine Lobster Pasta Rosettes with Pickled Chanterelles

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Parke Ulrich, Water Bar, San Francisco, California

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Seared Sea Scallops with Coconut Infused Chia, Baby Roots and Black Sesame

paired with
Heitz Wine Cellars Chardonnay (Napa Valley, California)

Monday, October 29, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Glenn O’Brien, Boma - Flavors of Africa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Spiced Duck Breast with Dried Fruit Couscous and Orange Glaze

paired with
Arancio Hedonis (Stemmari, Sicily, Italy)

Monday, October 29, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Mark Boor, Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Crab and Boston Bibb Salad

paired with
Samuel Adams Octoberfest (Boston Massachusetts)

Monday, October 29, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Michael Toussaint-Gunn, Rose and Crown Pub, United Kingdom Pavilion, Epcot

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Pork Roast with Colcannon and Mustard Sauce

paired with
Chalk Hill Chardonnay (Sonoma, California)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Bill Clark, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa,

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Craisins Raspberry Linzer Tart

paired with
Chalk Hill Estate Red (Sonoma, California)

Thursday, November 1, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Rock Harper, Chef Rock, Inc., Woodbridge, Virginia

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Shrimp and White Grits with Tomato, Onion and Fennel Chutney

paired with
Sebastiani Chardonnay (Sonoma, California)

Thursday, November 1, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Renzo Barcatta and Vincenzo Vaccaro, Tutto Italia, Italy Pavilion, Epcot

The plan was to demonstrate and serve Parmigiana de Melanzane and Limoncello Panna Cotta with Amaretti. However, the chefs had to deal with an unexpected situation at Tutto Italia and were unable to prepare for their Culinary Demo.

The wine was served as usual, but the winery representative was given 30 minutes (instead of the usual 15 minutes) to speak about the winery. The audience didn’t get a cooking demonstration, only alternate food and alternate dessert from Tutto Italia. Guests received a full refund from Disney. It was an unusual situation, and it was handled well by everyone involved.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Arancini (rice ball)

paired with
Jucuzzi Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Sonoma, California)

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Torta di Polenta alla Nocciola (Polenta Cake, Hazelnut)

Friday, November 2, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Andrew Omo, Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine, Freeport, Maine

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Maine Lobster and Chanterelle Mushroom Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce

paired with
Markham Vineyards Chardonnay (Napa, California)

Friday, November 2, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Peng S. Looi, Asiatique and August Moon Chinese Bistro, Louisville, Kentucky

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Cumin Duck and Eggplant Purée

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

Friday, November 2, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Ronald Viloria, Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‘i

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Espresso Macarons

paired with
Cline Cellars Sonoma Zinfandel (Sonoma, California)

Saturday, November 3, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

David Guas, Bayou Bakery, McLean, Virginia

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Bayou’s Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy

paired with
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling (Washington)

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

“Dat-O” (a house-made cookie similar to an Oreo, but much larger)

Saturday, November 3, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Geraldine Randlesome, Creative Cutters, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookie

Fonseca Bin 27 Porto (Portugal)

Sunday, November 4, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Daniel Joly, Mirabelle Restaurant, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Mountain Herb Gnocchetti with Lamb Bacon and Goat Cheese Cream

paired with
Stella Artois (Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium)

Sunday, November 4, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Shanna Horner O’Hea and Brian O’Hea, Acadame at The Kennebunk Inn, Kennebunk, Maine

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Chicken “Scallop” with Perfect Guacamole and Mango Coulis

paired with
Sartori Pinot Grigio (Verona, Italy)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Jon Ashton and Dr. Wendy Bazilian (presented by Driscoll’s)

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Brie and Blackberry Wonton, Strawberry Bruschetta, Thai Turkey Meatball

paired with
Acacia Vineyards Pinot Noir (Carneros, California)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

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

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Carlo’s Bakery Cupcake

paired with
Bloomfield Vineyards Pinot Noir (Contra Costa County, California)

Thursday, November 8, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Cristobal Lopez, Portobello, Downtown Disney

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Braised pork Belly with Warm Lentil Salad

paired with
Schweiger Vineyards Merlot (Saint Helena, California)

Thursday, November 8, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Erin McKenna, BabyCakes, New York, NY

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Brownie Bites

paired with
Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington)

Friday, November 9, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Mike Dillard, Convention Services at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Cider Brined Pork with Low Country BBQ Sauce and Savannah Style Red Rice

paired with
Iron Horse Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir (Green Valley of Russian River Valley, California)

Saturday, November 10, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Pam Smith, Festival Host, Culinary Nutritionist and Author

Culinary demo, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, 2012

Lobster and Fresh Corn Risotto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

paired with
Schweiger Vineyards Chardonnay (Saint Helena, California)
 


And the winner for the best Culinary Demo that I attended in 2012 is... Chef Rock Harper on November 1 at 1:00 p.m.

Rock Harper is best known as the winner of Season 3 of Gordon Ramsay’s reality show Hell’s Kitchen on Fox. Although that program is all about culinary skills, Harper also has great presentation skills—with just the right balance of education, humor, and personality.

Harper’s demo was originally billed as vegetarian—simply White Grits with Tomato, Onion and Fennel Chutney. That was still the focus of the demo, and any guest who wanted a vegetarian sample could get it. For the rest of us, the two perfectly cooked shrimp on our samples were a last-minute enhancement that made what would already have been a delicious (though small) sample into one of the best of the 21 samples that I had.


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© 2012-2013 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated March 8, 2013.

All photos in this article: Werner Weiss, 2012.