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Old 06-06-2010, 12:20 PM   #136
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Alison, I've enjoyed this report. We were at many of the 2009 events that you were at. I'm especially interested in a report of Taste 2010. We debated staying 2 1/2 weeks in Ca. to go to the Reidel glass seminar and to Taste, but reality struck and we only stayed for 12 days this year.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:45 AM   #137
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The Reality of Popularity Sets In!

OK, I know it's been a while since you've heard from me, but I am determined to finish this up! With so much going on in the last 2 weeks of F&W, I had to get back on track with life before I could finish updating the report!

So where were we? Oh yeah my last Wine Maker Dinner with Groth Winery. We decided that since we were already going to be at DLR for dinner, why not go early and try to get in the queue for Robert Irvine's 3:30 demo? Boy did we have a big surprise waiting for us. It was Friday, and last year the Saturday line for Cat Cora started at 11:00AM and you could still get in at 1:00 or 1:30. So we come waltzing into the park around noon to find that Robert Irvine is completely filled and the standby line looks pretty bleak as well. I was pissed off, disappointed, and who knows what else I was feeling, but not a happy camper!

After throwing a bit of a tantrum (not one that anyone else but DP could see) she convinced me that we could at least watch the show if I could "deal" with not getting a sample of the food. So I decided that was probably the way to go. We "parked" in a good spot for watching and got out our books and began "the wait". Kerry Simon went on at 2:00, later a lot of people told me they thought he was deadpan and lackluster, but actually seeing him live improved my opinion of him and the way he talked about his restaurant in LA, with all comfort food, might be a fun place to go sometime, if we actually get that kind of go out and eat leisure time!



Anyways, we watched his demo and thought he was somewhat interesting, a lot more than as a commentator on Iron Chef and we didn’t catch his competition on the show but enjoyed his explanation of how the show worked, it explained a lot! Basically what he said is “if they give you ‘this’ as your featured ingredient what will you want in your pantry? It was funny because for each of the possible theme ingredients he said he had a pantry ingredient that he hoped would “clue him in” on what they had chosen as the theme ingredient, but he said they had the chefs so busy from the moment they arrived on set until the competition began there was no way to know which of the various ingredients they had chosen.

After Kerry Simon finished his demo which we didn’t get to sample the food, which was a tuna tartare of some sort, I forget the details…



Inbetween the demos we had a churro, which was nummy.



And I got my picture taken with Kerry Simon since no one was really lining up for him



Shortly thereafter Robert Irvine came out and he seemed to know that us folks that were not getting into the demo would not get picture and autograph options with him like we did last year, so he really worked the crowd.





He was so much fun on the stage!





He also told us that he would be starring with Anne Burrell on the next season of Worst Cooks in America which became quite humorous with Anne the next weekend!

We found out from a friend of ours that was in the first five that she arrived at 8:30AM to get in line, and if that’s what had to be done then that is what I would do because I had not yet had a taste from a celebrity chef’s plate, so next Friday was Anne Burrell and I was motivated to get to at least one celebrity chef demo this F&W Festival!
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:29 AM   #138
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So after we finished watching Robert Irvine, we decided to head over to our final Wine Maker Dinner. This time it was with Groth Vineyards, all throughout the Festival people had been telling me that this was a GREAT winery and we would be impressed with the wine. The Menu looked great.



The amuse bouche was a piece of toast/bread with smoked salmon and a caviar goat cheese.



Our first course was chicken two ways. The breast was roasted and the wing was southern fried. Both were served over a Machego White Polenta and an English Pea Nage. I know Chef Jason had a very specific reason for choosing both these preparation methods, but now I don’t remember! They were both awesome! It was served with a 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay.



The second course was called Stroganoff, but it was more of a deconstructed stroganoff. Served with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Napa Valley 2007.



The meat was cooked perfectly!



We were enjoying our dinner!



The Third Course was a Marin Sun Farms Flat Iron Steak with Roasted Garlic and Old Amsterdam Potato Puree, Sauteed Summer Vegetables, Grilled Vidalia Onions. This was served with a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Napa Valley 2006



Again cooked perfectly



The dessert was a Wine Country White Peach Croustade and Golden Raspberry Sorbet served with a Sweet Genevieve, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2005



We were given some lovely finishing truffles for the evening



I was really sad that the last Wine Maker dinner of the season was over, these are so tasty and so much fun, but next weekend is Taste! That is one heck of an event!
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:46 AM   #139
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The meat was cooked perfectly!

Drool...

I must say, Robert Irvine really seems like a nice guy. Out of all the pictures at either F&W, he's the only one I've seen that really comes into the crowd and stops for pictures. Plus, he's done a number of shows with Disney that satisfy my obsession. Gotta give him props for that
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:21 PM   #140
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Sooo...Robert Irvine....he does seem like a nice guy- I'm going to Disney's HHI Resort next month, and it looks like he occasionally teaches a cooking class at DHHIR! Every week, either he does it or another chef (he lives on the island). Hope I have the pleasure of his class in a month!

Thanks for the great updates- I want to go to Disneyland F&W sooooo badly!!!
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:36 AM   #141
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So last weekend I learned that if you want to get into a Celebrity Chef demo, you evidently have to be there at the park opening, get in line and just wait it out. I had four demos that I wanted to see this year. The first, Guy Fieri, we didn’t even leave Long Beach before his demo started, and arrived well after it was over. The second Sunny Anderson, she cancelled. The Third, Robert Irvine was closed at 11:00AM and we didn’t get there until 12:30, so with lessons learned from now on if I want to go to a Celebrity Chef Demo, get there at park opening and camp it out and wait.

This week the chef was Anne Burrell, and I was determined to be in her demo and taste her food since I had not been in any other demo this year. I arrived at the parks by just after 8AM, when I arrived at the Chef’s stage they line hadn’t started. I went and did a little shopping and by the time I got back at about 9:15 a line had started, so I figured it was time to get in line. The first ten of us in line were all ladies and as I chatted up the other ladies in the line I found that most of them had waited in other lines together throughout the Festival, they affectionately referred to each other as their “Food & Wine Family”. One group was a mother / daughter team who the mother was retired and the daughter was unfortunately unemployed, so while she was looking for a job, she took her days without interviews to use the AP they had purchased last year to come out and enjoy the F&W demos.

I met a couple of other ladies all of whom were Disney fanatics and foodies, who were all AP holders and just liked the idea that they could use their days off, or even take vacation days to do something that really didn’t cost “extra” as they already had the APs. I decided that next year, I was going to join this fun family of crazy foodies for those chefs that I really was interested in seeing.

While waiting in line, there was CM assigned to us to make sure that anyone in line stayed here (for the most part) and monitored us when we wanted to go out for lunch or bathroom breaks. I took the opportunity to go to the Farmer’s Market and try the Buffalo Chicken Wrap which was one of the special F&W offerings. It was Chicken Tenders with Blue Cheese, Buffalo Sauce, and Chopped Celery.

It wasn’t as good as it sounded, while everything sounded really good, I think the fact that it was cold and the chicken wasn’t hot and crispy made a big difference in the flavor. I think if they had been cooked to order with hot chicken it would have been more successful.



It’s kind of funny in the picture in the container you can’t tell that it is in a spinach tortilla!



So after waiting 4 or so hours we are let into the demo area. I was seventh in line and that put me right front and center. Notice all the utensils and things on the counter in front of the chef.



Anne Burrell was hilarious! She had us all laughing and kept us completely entertained while offering a great presentation on how to cook some great food.



Notice how by this point, she has cleaned off the counter so that we could see her better, it was quite humorous how she did this, but it was one of those, “you had to be there” sort of moments.



She was animated and so entertaining we all had a great time at her demo.



She made a rustic Monkfish stew with clams that was excellent and seemed pretty simple. I can’t wait to try it at home, it was delicious!





During the demo she mentioned that black pepper had no place in her kitchen Afterwards at the autograph session I told her that it was very possible that I could fall in love with her, but she didn’t like pepper and I carry a pepper grinder in my purse so it would never work between the two of us and she echoed that sentiment!


Next up, Taste and an extra special surprise!
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:06 AM   #142
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So I saw Anne Burrell on Friday afternoon, and Saturday evening we were booked for Taste. Unlike all the other Chef’s Anne was only doing a demo on Friday and Sunday which was odd because most other Chefs did all three days. We are DVC members and one of the reasons for buying into the VGC DVC was to stay for F&W, so we checked into our room right at 4PM. We got settled into the room and began to assemble our “Tastemobiles”.

For those who are not familiar with “Grand Tastings”, basically that means you walk around a room eating food, drinking wine and there is no place for you to sit. You are supposed to chat with people as you stroll around and meet new friends. This presents a problem if you have a disability that keeps you from being able to stand for long periods of time or if you walk with multiple canes so last year, Fran came up with the “Tastemobile”.





Essentially we built the tray table shown below from basic materials you can find at Home Depot and then attached them to our scooters with zip ties.



Last year we learned that if we each took a dish from each station that we wouldn’t get a taste of everything, so this year our plan of attack was that we would each take something from each station, split it, and once we had tried everything we would come back for what we wanted seconds of. So our first pass I’m not really commenting on, “ooooh this one was sooo good” because I’m not sure there was anything I ate that didn’t deserve that, everything was awesome and I just wish I had a bigger stomach, everything was awesome and all the wines were great. I didn’t record those, only that they were very tasty and went wonderfully with the food. I’m just glad that we can do this event every year and go back to our villa afterwards!

This is a grilled salmon cone from Andrew Sutton at the Napa Rose Restaurant, they also had a vegetarian version which I took because I don’t care for salmon. I didn’t get a pic of the veg version and I’m sorry this one is so blurry!



This is a Piquillo Pepper with Goat Cheese from Nick Weber at the Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar. Fran went back for a few of these once we went through the whole circuit!



This is Beef Bracole & Chicory Fava Bean Puree from Marth Sigala of Café Orleans.



From Darren Finkel at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen this is a Cajun Boudin Stuffed Quail.



This is a Gazpacho with Avocado and Spicy Rock Shrimp from Greg Stillman at Naples Ristorante.



The surprise is that we realized why Anne Burrell was not doing a demo on Saturday, she had booth at Taste Saturday night, next update more Taste offerings and our meet with Anne! Good night for tonight!
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:34 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onelilspark View Post
Drool...

I must say, Robert Irvine really seems like a nice guy. Out of all the pictures at either F&W, he's the only one I've seen that really comes into the crowd and stops for pictures. Plus, he's done a number of shows with Disney that satisfy my obsession. Gotta give him props for that
He is such a sweet man! When the audience asked him which were his favorite episodes, he said that he liked all of them and it was fun to help people out, but the ones he liked best were the ones where he served our troops. Being a service man himself he really liked to give back to the young men and women who were risking their lives for our freedom. It brought a tear to my eyes and still does as I think about it. What a great guy!

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Sooo...Robert Irvine....he does seem like a nice guy- I'm going to Disney's HHI Resort next month, and it looks like he occasionally teaches a cooking class at DHHIR! Every week, either he does it or another chef (he lives on the island). Hope I have the pleasure of his class in a month!

Thanks for the great updates- I want to go to Disneyland F&W sooooo badly!!!
That sounds really neat, who lives on HHI? Robert Irvine or the other chef who gives the classes? I've never heard of that before, now it makes me want to try out HHI even more!
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:52 AM   #144
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Final Update, Thanks for Following!

So moving along in this report…..

Next up is a Petite Lamb Chop compliments of the Chef at Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque, Sean Lane, this one was really good it was cooked properly, nice and rare and very tasty



The next thing we tried was the Blue Foot Chicken Gousere & Purslane Sabayon from Chef Marcel St. Pierre of Club 33. This was quite tasty, sorry about the blurry picture.



Next up was Anne Burrell’s Chicken Milanese and Escarole Salad, The chicken was perfectly tender and the salad had a perfect amount of dressing overall it was very good.



We didn’t find Anne at her station, she was quite enjoying the evening, but we caught up with her later in the evening for some pics….



Jason Martin – Buffalo Short Rib Cassoullet



Moises Carranz, Blue Bayou – Cast Iron Prawns



Wendie Huffman, House of Blues – Smoked Cowboy Steak Sliders, this really wasn’t a slider by any means, but it was really darned good!



Chef Jaime Gwen - Steak and Mushroom Rueben Sliders
This was like so totally to die for, it was yum from the git go!





Then there were the desserts















And the other views





















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Old 08-02-2010, 02:08 AM   #145
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Thanks for the update Alison. I've been drooling at the steaks. I wished that in my May trip someone could cook me a steak to that colour and consistency.

I want one, if not two, of those tastemobiles for my upcoming October trip...
and the only thing that would be a perfect accessory for that tastemobile? You (and Fran) in it....at the WDW F&W festival at the end of October 2010.

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Old 08-04-2010, 01:46 AM   #146
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So glad to see that you finally made it to the end! I so enjoyed every single thing about your whole report. I loved all the pictures of the food and the pictures of you both enjoying yourselves!

Thanks so much for taking the time to share with all of us. It's so good that I will go back and reread it but it makes me hungry so I won't read until I make something else delicious from your inspirational pics-yummmy.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:32 PM   #147
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ALISON!

For some reason I thought I was subscribed to your thread but I wasn't!

Anyways, thanks sooo much for those pics! I replied to you over on Bonnies thread..

I went back through my thread and did I not update on the F&W over at DCA???? Because of you, we did the beer walk and we ordered several small dishes over at the main 'tent'. .....And not sure if you know this either, but DH gets a week off in October from work...October = F&W @ Epcot!!!! I'm soooo hoping we'll be able to get over there next year...that would be soo much fun!

I MUST comment on your Club 33 review..everything looked absolutely divine, but the one thing that stuck out to me the most was...the CHOCOLATE MARTINI! Holy canoli.....that looks scrumptious!
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:50 PM   #148
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ALISON!

For some reason I thought I was subscribed to your thread but I wasn't!

Anyways, thanks sooo much for those pics! I replied to you over on Bonnies thread..

I went back through my thread and did I not update on the F&W over at DCA???? Because of you, we did the beer walk and we ordered several small dishes over at the main 'tent'. .....And not sure if you know this either, but DH gets a week off in October from work...October = F&W @ Epcot!!!! I'm soooo hoping we'll be able to get over there next year...that would be soo much fun!
I remember in your Dining Review you mentioned the beer walk and the small plates.

I couldn't remember which job it was that you DH got the week off in October, I thought it was the one he didn't get, but that's great it's the one he has. We're going next year too! We just have to figure out when, we'll also throw in a side trip to Universal to see HP.

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I MUST comment on your Club 33 review..everything looked absolutely divine, but the one thing that stuck out to me the most was...the CHOCOLATE MARTINI! Holy canoli.....that looks scrumptious!
It is! I love the chocolate drizzled in the cup, I try to mix it in the drink as much as I can, it's a VERY tasty dessert!

Oh and on another note, they announced the dates of the 2011 CA F&W Festival, April 29 - June 12. I already have my DVC stays booked for the first and last weekends so I can do the cooking school and Taste. If things work out for me and I can get more DVC points, we might stay more nights, but until then I'll have to be happy with those two weekends!
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