Tips for Enjoying
2003 International
Food & Wine Festival

Compiled by All Ears® Writers
Deb Wills, Debra Martin Koma, Dotti and the Czarina


In General

1. Relax and enjoy. The Food and Wine Festival is not for commandos; you will only get indigestion. Take breaks, drink water and go on Maelstrom and the Mexican boat ride.

2. Spend $4.95 on the Recipes book available at the Welcome Center on the walk from the fountain to World Showcase. It has every dish found in all the booths, and is well worth the investment.

3. Attend the Food and Wine Festival Monday through Thursday afternoons for the lowest crowds.

4. The wines at the Food Booths are generally available; however, those at the Wine Seminars and Special Events may not be. At those events, be sure and ask the winemaker/distributor about the availability in your area!


For the Food Booths

1. DON'T try to eat there during peak dinner hours (noon-1; 5-6 p.m.). Lines are Huuuuuge!

2. DO split your tastings with your dining partners -- that way everyone gets a sample, but no one overeats.

3. DON'T forget to hydrate! If you're walking around in the hot sun, drinking wine or beer, don't forget to gulp down a glass of plain old water now and then.

4. If you like wine, this may be a good time to do some comparison tasting; for example, you might spend one day on reds and another on whites, or one day on cabernets from different countries, or all Australian wines.

5. When eating around the world at the various booths, don't feel you have to clean your plate at every stop. This is a tasting event; pace yourself.

6. On no account miss the Feuillete de Chevre (cheese and tomato tart) at the French booth. It was the Czarina's favorite of the whole event.

7. If one booth has a long line, circle back later - chances are it will be shorter.

8. Try new things! If you're not from a big city, this may be the one chance to taste some of these delicious foods without visiting the country from which they originated. Do you really want to stand in that long line for a slice of pizza? Be adventurous!

9. If you're sampling new wines around the World, bring a notebook! After tasting a few, it will become harder to remember what you really liked and had planned to purchase when you returned home. Unless you have a phenomal memory, or names like J.L. Wolf Wachenheimer Riesling or Concha y Toro Terrunyo Carmenere flow easily off your tongue, write it down!

10. Be sure to have the camera out as you go from booth to can get some great photos of yourselves as you enjoy the Festival!


For the Culinary Demos and the Wine Seminars

1. DO be sure to sign up if you want to attend the chocolate cooking seminar at the Italy pavilion. The Piemonte booth is located to the right of the front of the pavilion.

2. DO go EARLY to any event you want to try at the Terrace or the Odyssey. Seating is limited and goes fast, especially for the celebrity chef appearances.


For the Special Dinner Events

1. Think before you book a Food and Wine Pairing event or a Lunch and Learn as well as an evening event like the Party for the Senses or a Signature Dinner. This may well be too much in one day.

2. DO take a notebook and pen. You may want to jot down your thoughts about what you're trying. Or maybe a chef will drop a helpful tip that you can use at home.

3. DON'T be afraid to ask questions, especially at the Lunch & Learn program or the Party for the Senses. The chefs are happy to chat with you about their creations.

4. DON'T skip a food because you've never liked it before. The way these premier chefs prepare food, you just may find a new favorite food!

5. DO advise the staff of any food allergies or special dietary restrictions you may have. You can do this at the time you make your reservation, but will probably have to mention it again at the start of the event. Don't worry -- the chefs will try to accommodate you.

6. Party for the Senses -- It's a good idea to make this your one big splurge if your budget allows it. It's one event which is truly worth the cash; yes, it's a "yuppie pigfest" but what a great variety of chefs, winemakers, food, photo ops, music and entertainment! Read the booklet before you head for the food and wine stands, and especially decide which wines you would like to taste; there's no way can you do them all and still walk out of there on your two feet.