Epcot's 2006
International Food & Wine Festival

Party for the Senses


by Kathy Curley

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of this event. We had never attended and I thought the raise in price was going to be a bit prohibitive, but we threw caution to the wind, and I must say it was worth every cent! My only dissatisfaction is the "preliminary" before the event. We skipped the reserved seating for David Sanborn as we were not that interested in his music (apologies to his fans) and we went early to stand in line.

We were at the entrance around 5:30 p.m. and it quickly filled up. At one point, it was extremely crowded and a bit anxious, but at 6 p.m. they opened the doors to approach the main entrance. At 6:30 p.m. the main entrance itself was opened and people literally ran to tables. We were able to find a table for our party of four and invited a couple to join us that couldn't find a seat. I believe for this type of event there should be more seating and hopefully Disney will consider changing that part... but enough of that. Onto the great part -- the food!

Upon entering you notice the pavilion is color-coded. Once you have the program you can determine where you want to "hit" -- or you can do what some of our party did and try and sample each one! There was food, wine, beer, water, desserts, fine chocolates, cheeses and Irish butter... it doesn't get any better than that! Performers from Cirque du Soleil entertained in a center location and also visited table to table. Truly all of your senses were stimulated and it was exciting to take it all in.

After attending my initial party I can only say if you have the opportunity to attend, by all means jump at it! I know I'll do my best to get there again next year!

The menu changes weekly so I haven't listed it in total, but below are some of my personal favorites:

Main selections
Wade Camerer from the Concourse Steak House with Kobe Beef Tenderloin with Shiitake Mushroom Flan and Serrano Ham dressed with Fig Balsamic and Lobster Oil

Randy Koehler from The Crystal Palace with Wild Autumn Mushroom Polenta with Onion Jam and Sweet Corn Fondue

Anthony DeLuca from the Flying Fish, Disney's Boardwalk with Pan Seared Hudson Valley Duck Breast with Savory Cranberry Cheesecake, Micro Chard and a Cranberry-Orange reduction

Keegan Gerhard from the Food Network with Chocolate3 (I believe I sampled this 3 or 4 times! This alone was worth the price of the event for ME!)

Vincenzo Vaccaro from the L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante, Italy Pavilion with Lemoncella Ravioli over Chocolate Marscapone Cream with Orange Raspberry Sauce

The other members of my party sampled many of the wines and were most pleased with the pairings that were presented. My personal favorite was the Inniskillin winery samples -- Icewine is now in my repertoire!

Jacob's Creek
Handley Cellars
Miner Family Winery
Antinori Salentein Wines
Nobilo Rudd Winery
Remy Martin Cognac
Kim Crawford Wines
Clos Du Bois
Gekkeikan Sake
Stag's Leap Winery
Old Bridge Cellars
Champagne Pommery
Kavaklidere Jewel Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyards
Treana Winery
The Meeker Vineyard
Inniskillin Winery
Alexander Mountain Estate

Inbev USA
Samuel Adams