The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs September 19 – November 10, 2014, and I can’t wait!
We were able to attend a sneak peek at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at the VIP area of the Living Seas, and this year looks like it stacking up to be absolutely amazing!
Chef Jens Dahlmann spoke on the changes that are coming to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and here are some of the highlights of what you can expect at this year’s marketplaces.
- This year there will be 25 ‘Marketplaces’ at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
- There are several returning favorite marketplaces, however some of the marketplaces have broadened, for example last year’s Florida Fresh is now Farm Fresh, allowing Chef Dahlmann to be more playful with the menu and ingredients.
- The Hops & Barley menu has received a lot of attention, and as a result the items featured at the marketplace will be more sophisticated while still having a twist of fun.
- With more cooking going on inside of each Marketplace, this year several booths will feature fried items for the first time.
- Favorites from the France Marketplace have received a HUGE facelift!
- The escargot will now be presented on a tart with creamed spinach, bacon, and parmesean cheese. The brioche presentation was a fan favorite, but this new set-up sounds delicious.
- Creme brulee caramel fluer de sel: sea salt caramel crème brulee with caramalized sugar has arrived, and it is quite possibly one of the most delicious things I was able to sample. Again with the new marketplaces focusing on preparing items on-site, the sugar will be caramalized inside the kiosk.
So enough yammering, let’s get to the food!
2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Media Preview
Ensalada de Carrucho which is a Caribbean Conch Salad with Onion, Tomato, and Cilantro from Puerto Rico.
This was my first time trying Conch Salad, and it did not disappoint! Prepared in a more traditional way the Ensalada de Carrucho is extremely refeshing with a unique texture.
Grilled ‘Yard Bird’ with Braised Greens and House-Made Habanero Sauce from Farm Fresh.
The grilled ‘Yard Bird’ aka chicken in this dish had a really great flavor and crispy skin, however the star fro me was the braised greens that were cooked to salty yet still firm perfection. My only wish for the dish was that there was more of the house-made habanero sauce, because it added some moisture, sweetness, and kick to a very savory plate.
Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider with Pimento Cheese from Hops & Barley paired with MmmHops Pale Ale from Fife and Drum.
If I could only eat one thing for the entire Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, this would be my choice! The Florida grass fed beef in the slider had a great flavor that served as a wonderful anchor for the heat in the pimento cheese, crunch from the sweet raw onions, and sweetness from the bun. As a gal with South Carolina roots, the pimento cheese is beyond delicious!
The MmmHops Pale Ale from Fife and Drum, yes this is the Hanson Beer, pairs well with the slider’s heat with a crisp bite that helps cool things down from the spicy pimento cheese.
Baked Lobster Alfredo from Hops & Barley.
While I am an absolute sucker for lobster, the baked lobster alfredo seems like a great choice towards the end of the festival on a night that is a little chillier. The dish is extremely rich with generous chunks of lobster. Talk about comfort food!
Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash from Poland.
I grew up eating a lot of potato and cheese pierogies, so when I saw a sauerkraut pierogi on the Poland menu I was really excited because it was two of my favorite things in one dish! I found that the sauerkraut pierogi had a interesting, but tasty texture that was a great contrast to the spicy sauce of the pork goulash.
Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri from Patagonia.
Usually salmon isn’t really my thing, but the roasted Verlasso salmon had an amazing taste that was taken to the next level with the arugula chimichurri!
Crème Brulee Caramel Fluer de Sel: Sea Salt Caramel Crème Brulee with Caramalized Sugar from France paired with Nicolas Feuillatte Rosè from Desserts & Champagne.
Every year one of my favorite desserts at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival items is the Crème Brulee from France, and the Crème Brulee Caramel Fluer de Sel: Sea Salt Caramel Crème Brulee with Caramalized Sugar has taken my devotion to the next level. The predominant coffee and caramel flavors play so well off the savory hints of sea salt. The caramelization of the sugar topping completed on-site in the marketplace, really makes this dish special and definite must-do for your visit to the festival.
The Nicolas Feuillatte Rosè from Desserts & Champagne paired so well with the Crème Brulee Caramel Fluer de Sel, because the berry notes really added a lovely sweetness to the slightly savory crème brulee.
Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins and Cream Cheese Icing from Hops & Barley.
When you will eat this fresh baked carrot cake at Hops & Barley at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, you are going to feel like you just stole a treat from your Grandmother before dinner! The carrots, walnuts, and craisins are all on the larger scale inside the cake to give it a very homemade feel and familiar taste. What makes this carrot cake so special, is that it is served warm and iced inside the Hops & Barley marketplace for an interesting combination of temperatures and textures. If you like carrot cake, you definitely have to give this a go!
I really had a great time at the Media Preview for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and I left with a new spring in my step about this year’s marketplaces!Share this article:
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