Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival 2010

This year’s Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival begins this Friday, April 16. Lee and I will be there for opening weekend, and will be blogging about this year’s Festival, including lots of pictures!

The Daily Schedule has been posted on the Food and Wine web site:
Daily Schedule PDF file

I’m excited that Lasseter Family Vineyards is going to be there opening weekend – we really enjoyed the wine we had from their vineyard last year at the Winemaker dinner. Guy Fieri is the featured celebrity chef, and will be appearing at the Chef’s Showcase Stage in Sunshine Plaza on Friday and Saturday. In upcoming weekends Cat Cora, Jeffrey Saad, Sunny Anderson, Art Smith, Jamie Gwen, Keegan Gerhard, and Robert Irvine will be appearing. If previous years are any indication, you want to arrive at least a couple of hours early if you want to get into the culinary demonstration of any of the big name chefs.

I think it will be very interesting to see how they use the new Festival Showplace area which is located at the very back of the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. The wine, beer, and spirits seminars will be there, as will the Taste of California Marketplace and the Kitchen Conversations demos. I hope it’s not so out of the way that casual park visitors (e.g. those not explicitly coming for the Food and Wine Festival) are able to find it.

The Jr. Chef program has moved from the Bountiful Valley farm area to the Hollywood Backlot, also, though I don’t know where it will be located – in/near the Hollywood Backlot Theater?

There have been some new Signature Events added since my original blog post a couple of months ago.

There are two Grand Reserve Wine Pairing Dinners on May 8 and May 22. These will be held in a private dining room at the Napa Rose restaurant, and are limited to only 24 guests. Nat Komes of Flora Springs is the featured winemaker on May 8, David Long of David Arthur Vineyards is featured on May 22. At this point there are only a couple of places left for these dinners.

That reminds me of one thing that I like about the Food and Wine web site this year – when you go to make a reservation it tells you what events are sold out, or that availability is “limited”, or even how many spots are left. Very helpful.

Another new event this year is the Reidel Glass Tasting. “Professor Claus J. Riedel was the first designer to recognize that the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of wines are affected by the shape of the glass from which they are drunk. In this fascinating class led by an expert from Riedel, discover why the glass matters.” These evening sessions will be held on Saturday, April 24 and Friday, May 28 in the Festival Showplace, for $90/person. Participants get to take home a set of four lead crystal wine tasting glasses.

A number of events are already sold out, and several others are very close. The popular Napa Rose Cooking School has only one spot left. The new Brewmaster Dinner is also sold out, as are two of the Winemaker dinners and two of the Sweet Sundays sessions (including The Art of Chocolate with Ghirardelli Master Chocolatier, which is the one we will be attending – I’m sure that comes as no great surprise to anyone who knows me.)

It looks like another great Festival – I’m looking forward to it!

Will I see any of you there?

Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

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