Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival is absolutely, without a doubt one of my must-do's at Walt Disney World. If you were to ask me, 'say Felicia, I'm thinking about going to Disney, when should I go?', I would say AUTUMN because FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL. My family has been going to the Food and Wine Festival since 2011, and in 2015 my boyfriend joined in on our yearly tradition. Each year, we pick up a complimentary Food and Wine Passport to record what we've tried each year and our thoughts on each dish. So, I thought I would share with all of you what we tried and what we thought of everything.
[NOTE: Hello from the future! This post is quite old now & as I’ve learned more about photography/editing, I’ve learned not to over-saturate all my photos like I did in this post. But unfortunately, there’s no going back now! Sorry about that. Hope you enjoy anyway!]
Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce
Starting off with my home and native land! Every year since we started attending the Food and Wine Festival, we’ve had this steak dish. It used to be one of my favourite dishes of the event, but the past couple years, it’s been meh. My boyfriend and I shared a filet this time and though I was happy it was cooked well done, we both agreed that it wasn’t as great as it has been in past years. I’m not sure if maybe this had something to do with the fact that we got there later in the day and it might have been sitting out under heat lamps, but I was unfortunately unimpressed.
Boeuf Bourguignon with Purée de Pommes de Terre
Okay, here we go. Favourite dish time. My boyfriend and I each had our own plate of the Boeuf Bourguignon because I looked at him and said, “um I’m not sharing this” lol. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon-braised beef served with mashed potatoes. Guys, this is the most tender piece of meat I have ever had in my entire life. Honestly, you don’t even need a knife to cut into this, you can easily tear it apart with a fork. Drizzled in gravy, atop mashed potatoes, this beef wins my heart year after year. Pro Tip: if you fancy trying this dish but can’t make it to Food and Wine Festival, or you’ve tried it at Food and Wine but just want to eat it again (trust me, I feel you), this dish is served with linguini at Les Chefs de France, one of the table service restaurants in Epcot’s France pavilion. Bon Appetit!
Although I didn’t try anything at the Italy kiosk this year, my boyfriend did so I thought it fit to mention it regardless. Steven tried this Absolut Penne dish, which is penne served with vodka sauce and shrimp. I’m not a fan of seafood and especially not shrimp, but my boyfriend loves it. He really enjoyed this dish and said that he would most definitely try it again if they offered it in the future. Although, he did say it was a little bit spicy so if you don’t like any spice in your meals, this probably isn’t for you.
Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour DOLE Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
We visit this stand every year and it’s always worth it. Every time we come to the Hawaii stand, I get the pork slider. I looooove it so much. It’s super odd in terms of ingredients. Like, pineapple chutney, spicy mayo, pork… It sounds like a weird combo, right? For someone as picky as I am, it’s bizarre that I ever tried it. But I promise you, these flavours come together to create something absolutely divine. The pork mixed with the pineapple chutney is very *Italian kiss*. Yum, I’m in heaven just thinking about it right now!
Grilled Lamb T-Bone with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies
The next stand we ventured over to was Australia. This is where my boyfriend tried the lamb. He found the lamb to be very tender and quite good, but said that the mint sauce was too excessive and overpowering.
Rib Eye Tacos
I had never tried anything from the Mexico pavilion before this year’s festival, but my parents decided to try the tacos so I thought I’d have a taste. I was pleasantly surprised! Although I wasn’t totally in love with it, I did think it was pretty good. It was made up of marinated rib eye, roasted chipotle sauce, and grilled scallions on a corn tortilla. I feel like it was probably the chipotle sauce that I wasn’t keen on. All in all, pretty good dish, but I’m not sure that I would have it again in the future.
Germany was another new stop for me, but it will definitely be one I visit again in the future! My boyfriend and I tried this pasta dish which is pasta gratin made with ham and cheese. My boyfriend ordered it, offered me a bit, and I was in love! The baked pasta mixed with the taste of the ham was so interesting and tasty! I can’t wait to have it again next year.
Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Nueske’s Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers and Green Onions
Our last stop was the Active Eats kiosk which is separate from the World Showcase stands. This was our last stop but it was certainly worthwhile. I won’t bother listing what’s in this dish because the name of it, although a mouthful, gets the point across! I’m a mac ‘n’ cheese fanatic. And this one checks off everything on my list. It’s so good. It even has a bit of a spice to it which makes it really interesting and different than just a plain ol’ mac ‘n’ cheese. I highly recommend this dish.
There were definitely some dishes that didn't show up this year, that were very missed by all:
The Chicken Gyro from Greece
The Ravioli alla Caprese from Italy
The Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi
RIP y’all :(
Until next time, Food and Wine!