Disney's CA F&W Fest - Final wrap up for 2010 see you next year!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by franandaj, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    So I finally finished up my (what was) live Dining Review from WDW, and I need something to keep me occupied until Food & Wine starts in California on April 16, 2010. I thought that if I started my review now, it might make it come faster! :rotfl2: So for those of you die-hard Epcot F&W Festival people who don't know it, yes, Disney's California Adventure also has a F&W Festival sponsored by Vanity Fair and it takes place in the opposite time of year so it is possible to hit both in one year. I did in 2009! :woohoo:

    The Festival is in it's 5th year now, and I have been attending events since before it became a full fledged Festival. In year two when it was still "Food & Wine Weekends", I attended a Winemaker Dinner at Steakhouse 55 with Beaulieu Vineyards for my birthday present. They have been one of my favorite wineries for years...but back to the Festival.

    In the third year I started attending the Napa Rose Cooking School. This is one hell of a pricey Event, but I wouldn't miss it for the world! Each year we make a four course meal (well we get to watch how the desserts are made). That we get to eat, complete with wine pairings. Everyone gets a chef's coat and we also get the cookbook which has all the previous years recipies in it too. The cooking school is limited to sixteen participants, and takes place on a Saturdays during the Festival. It sells out every year. In fact one of the dates sold out in three hours!

    What I prefer about the CA Festival vs Florida is that I live closer and can attend any events that I want! :lmao: But not only that, the signature events appeal to me a lot more than what I've seen in the Florida Festival. I'll be attending all sorts of events, and reviewing them here. Three weekends, I'll be using our DVC points to stay over at the GCV and the other three I will be driving in for the Winemaker Dinners. Until the Festival starts I'll recap past Festival happenings.

    First off here is the game plan:

    April 16-19 - Stay in a Studio at the GCV. Friday night Dinner at Steakhouse 55, Saturday Cooking School, Sat & Sun, check out the tasting plates at the "Taste of California" Marketplace, and Sunday night Wine Maker Dinner at Club 33 with the Lasseter Family Winery, and John & Nancy Lasseter will be there!

    April 23 - Winemaker Dinner @ Steakhouse 55 - Buena Vista Carneros

    May 1-2 - Stay in a Studio at the GCV, Dinner at the Chef's Table at Napa Rose, It's my birthday!), May 2 Lunch at Club 33

    May 7 - Brewmaster Dinner @ Steakhouse 55 - Karl Strauss Brewery, now sold out!

    May 21 - Winemaker Dinner @ Steakhouse 55 - Groth Vineyards & Winery, now sold out

    May 29 - Stay in a 1 Bedroom at the GCV, Taste (Equivalent of Party of the Senses) Saturday

    So here it goes!
     
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  3. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    My first year at the Napa Rose Cooking School, I had no idea what to expect.

    Everyone showed up pretty early for the 10AM Class and upon check-in we were handed our Chef's Coats. They had us take a seat in the lounge and pretty soon and tray of lovely pastries and tasty coffee was set out for us to enjoy while we waited.

    Pretty soon Andrew Sutton came out and told us a little bit of what was in store for us. We put on our coats and went straight to the kitchen sink to wash our hands before starting. We were taken to our "stations" and given a knife and some celery to practice cutting. I don't know when it happened, but one lady cut her finger pretty badly. Disney security came in, the legal department. I'm pretty sure that was the last time the knives came out for a cooking class, EVER.

    We split into two groups, I was in the "prep your risotto" group. We learned how to prepare the risotto so that it was five minutes away from being completed. That way if you served this meal at a dinner party, you could have everything prepped and ready to go, and not take time away from your guests.

    After prepping the risotto, the groups traded and we got to make our first course. Grilled Caesar Salad. Boy is this tasty and simple to make, it's quite impressive. You grill the half head of romaine for about a minute, just enough to get char marks on it. The lettuce is warm and slightly wilted, but still has most of it's crispy texture. I've made it several times on the BBQ for friends and it's always a hit. I took a few bites before realizing I needed to take a picture!

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    Once we finished eating our salads, everyone returned to the kitchen to start working on the sauce for our main course. The sauce that we made was full of yummy things like garlic, fennel and shallots, but the star of the dish was yellow tomatoes. Each of us made a small amount in our little pots and then we poured them all into a large pot to simmer. Later they pureed and strained everything. Next we went back to the kitchen to finish up the risotto.

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    We added english peas, mushroom, red peppers, and lots of Parmesan Cheese. This was so yummy, but I couldn't finish the whole bowl!

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    Our main dish was halibut with yellow tomato sauce. Each chef in training seared their own piece of fish and one of the chefs from the kitchen helped each of us so that we got it to the correct doneness. Then they helped us plate the food over a bed of roasted vegetables, and poured the sauce around the plate. I've made all these dishes several times at home and they are delightful!

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    For each course the chefs sit down with a glass of wine and enjoy the meal.

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    Then we were treated to a Heavenly dessert, Scharfenberger Chocolate Souffle and Tuxedo Strawberry. The top two Disneyland pastry chefs showed us all the steps in creating this wonderful dessert, but I have yet to try this at home. They made painting the strawberry look so easy, but somehow, I don't think mine would come out like this!

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    So those few hours had such a profound impact on my life, later in the year I started an herb garden in my small patio, and even grew my own tomatoes last year (which you will see came in handy for the 2009 cooking school installment).
     
  4. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    This year I went into the Napa Rose Cooking School knowing what to expect, and Chef Sutton did not disapoint! We were again treated to the lovely pastries and coffee, and this time we got right into cooking.

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    In preparation the chef had roasted some veal bones. We made a base with onions, fennel, celery, they came around and added a bone and red wine to each of our pots and we let that reduce, then and some veal stock and we let that reduce, and we just put the pots on the back burner and let them reduce for a couple hours.

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    He showed us how to make these incredible Blue Cheese Croutons that go with an heirloom tomato salad and the recipe for the dressing. Then we went back to the kitchen to make Snapper Veracruz. We sauteed our choice of vegetables from the mix they provided. I don't like olives, but I thought I would try putting them in, ick. Every so often I try something I don't like again just to see if my palate has changed, nope, still hate olives!

    We seared the fish first, then sauteed the veggies, then they scooped a ladle of some sauce in there and we put the fish back to heat up. I don't know what the sauce was (it was tomato based and very good) and that is probably why I haven't attempted to make this dish at home yet. Could be the olives too!

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    After we enjoyed our Snapper Veracruz, they served us the Heirloom Tomato Salad that was demonstrated earlier. This is one simple and VERY tasty recipe that I have made numerous times. Remember I told you I planted my own tomatoes? All summer long I would get a yellow heirloom tomato at the store and mix that with my Beefsteak tomatoes to make a tasty salad. It's hard to see the croutons in here, but they're there. Chef said make twice as many as you need because you'll be eating them the whole time you're cooking and he was right!

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    Next up New York Steak with that yummy brown sauce. By this point our class that was from 10-1 was not even close to finishing. It was only 12:30, I knew this from last year as was perfectly patient to go through the rest of the class. Back to the kitchen we went, our veal bone sauces had been simmering for over two hours and it was time to finish them up.

    We seared the NY Steak, and then added some Portabello Mushrooms, the strained sauce and a big dollop of butter, (BTW the butter they serve here is absolutely divine, I think he said it costs $90 for a tube about the size of those Pilsbury cut & bake cookies).

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    Here is what it looked like on the plate. I poured a little too much of my sauce on there, but I didn't want it to go to waste.

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    Next up they showed us hot to make Chocolate Pate. Basically you make these loaves of Fudge, cut them into triangles and then they used power tools to spray them with a chocolate coating.

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    They also let us make one of the little Hazelnuts coated with sugar that you see on top of this dessert. DP had been lurking throughout the entire class on her scooter reading a book or taking pictures while we were in the kitchen, and when we ate I would pass the plate to her sitting behind me she would finish what I couldn't eat. When the class ran so long over, the man sitting across from me couldn't stay and had to leave so the server offered her his dessert!

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    Another year of great recipies and techniques! :yay:
     
  5. aspen37

    aspen37 Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes.

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    Wow the Napa Rose cooking school looks amazing. I can't wait to read your reviews.
    I will be at DCA F&W during the first weekend. I have been to Epcot's F&W and F&W in Aspen. I am very excited because I have heard great things about F&W at DCA.
     
  6. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Hey! I was replying to your PTR while you were reading mine! How funny is that?:rotfl2:
     
  7. aspen37

    aspen37 Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes.

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    Great minds think alike! ;)
    I asked this on my thread but thought I would ask over here too. Do you plan on going to Sweet Sunday's on the 18th? By the way your pictures are great of the Napa Rose Cooking School, they made me very HUNGRY!
     
  8. Kewz1

    Kewz1 DIS Veteran

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    I have nothing to say but YUM!

    We will be at DL the end of May and I was thrilled to find out we'd be there during F&W.

    Love all your pictures!

    Kristen
     
  9. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Thanks! I'll try to clue you in on what's there, so you can try!
     
  10. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    For most who go to the Epcot F&W Festival, most of the appeal is the tasting plates that you can get at the various countries around the world. Hopefully this year DCA has figured that all out with the Taste of California Marketplace.

    In 2009 the CS restaurants at DCA all had some sort of special festival offering. This was an attempt at doing what they have in Florida, but each item was almost $10 and a lot of food. I tried all but three of them. I did not care to try the Garlic and Red Bell Pepper Hummus with Tabbouleh Salad, and did not get to the Chicken Tamales or the Dulce de Leche Empanada. I did try the Riviera Lobster Salad in Brioche Baguette with Chips, but didn't remember to take a picture of it.

    Here are those that I did capture on film:

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  11. aspen37

    aspen37 Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes.

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    Wow everything looks great! I do hope the price and portion size is smaller this year. I would like try as many items as possible but with only one full day it might be hard. Seeing your pictures is getting really excited about F&W in DCA.
     
  12. anthonut

    anthonut Mouseketeer

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    DLR Food and Wine looks great. I really like the idea of having a cooking class to learn some new techniques. The food marketplace offerings look incredible as well. Very different from the offerings at Epcot.
     
  13. PinkPrincessZ

    PinkPrincessZ Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much for posting info and pics on the DL F&W Festival! We are going for the first time this year - we'll actually be there the last weekend of the festival. We are talking about getting tickets to Taste - would you recommend it?

    Great report! :thumbsup2
     
  14. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    I'm hoping with the new "Taste of California" Marketplace that the "tapas size offerings" will be a little bit more like the kiosks in Epcot. And I do love my cooking school!

    TOTALLY! :woohoo: I'll post my pictures from last year. The only thing is there is very limited seating so if you want a seat at a table people started lining up four hours in advance. There are plenty of counters where you can stand and eat. The idea is to mingle around at the different restaurants represented there. We ate some very yummy things and got to try lots of different wines too!
     
  15. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Friday nights during the F&W Festival, Steakhouse 55 and Chef Jason Martin put on some fabulous Winemakers Dinners with a great variety of dishes and superb wines. On May 1, 2009 Kate MacMurray from MacMurray Ranch presented a variety of great wines, and Chef Jason put together some fabulous dishes to go along with the wines.

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    We were given an Amuse Bouche, I think it was a stuffed mushroom. I believe we had a glass of champagne with it as well.

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    Our first course was Gravlax and Calamari accompanied by Mixed Baby Greens with a Peach & Yogurt Dressing. The wine was a Pino Gris, Sonoma Coast, 2007.

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    Second course was a Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin with Russian Fingerling Potatoes, Baby Beets, and Spring Cippolini Shoots. This was paired with a Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2007. This was very good and I must say that the thinly sliced apple was perfect with the pork.

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    Next up Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin with Portabello Mushroom En Croute, Barley Risotto and Bloomsdale Spinach served with Winemakers Block Selection Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2005. This was mighty tasty, I love a good steak and it was cooked to perfection! I’ll have to remember at my upcoming F&W dinners to take a picture after I’ve cut into the meat to show it’s beautiful warm red center.

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    Dessert was Spring Cherry and Vanilla Cocktail with Warm Cherry Cobbler served with a Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2005. Normally I’m not a fan of Cherry, but this was so good and it really made me want another serving! I must say that after tasting all these different MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noirs, any time I see a Pinot Noir from there I usually order a glass of it!

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    Next up Kenwood Winemaker Dinner!
     
  16. PinkPrincessZ

    PinkPrincessZ Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like so much fun! Is it pretty casual or are people dressed up?

    I'm loving your report - keep it coming! :goodvibes
     
  17. pdxJolene

    pdxJolene Mouseketeer

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    This is awesome, thanks! I'm going to be there during the festival this year (didn't plan it that way, but now I'm pretty excited for it!) My only question though, I'm not 21 but the girl I'm going with will be. Are there areas restricted to minors? Thanks again! :)
     
  18. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Most everything is casual. The evening events people dress nicely, probably because the Winemaker Dinners take place at Steakhouse 55, and that's a nice restaurant. A lot of men wear jackets without ties, or collared button front shirts. The women tend to wear smart pant suits or a dress (blouse/skirt). People don't generally wear T-shirts to the evening events, but it's certainly not a Tuxedo & Ball Gown event!

    Any events that alcohol is the focus is restricted to minors, such as the wine, beer & spirits tastings. The signature events as well. However, you can go to the Complimentary Culinary Demonstrations, purchase tasting plates at the Taste of California Marketplace, and you could probably order food in the Lounge upstairs at the Golden Vine Winery.

    Keep in mind, if you want to see any Celebrity Chef demonstrations, I had to get in line at 10:30AM for Cat Cora's 2:00PM demonstration, and I was like #30 in line. I have no idea how early they lined up for Guy Fieri. Both of them are scheduled to be back this year, plus some others.
     
  19. kabuki

    kabuki <font color=green>It's free if you pass out in the

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    Can't wait to see your pictures from Taste last year! We did it the 1st year and haven't been back. Not that it was bad but unfortunately we compare it and the price to PFTS and it didn't live up to it then. We are doing the Riedel class this year and maybe Taste!

    I hope they have smaller Epcot sized tapas this year also .. though the Tuna salad you pictured was so good last year! :love:
     
  20. Disney owl

    Disney owl DIS Veteran

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    great report & photos
     
  21. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Several weeks after the Dinner with MacMurray Ranch we had a Dinner with Kenwood Winery. Again Chef Jason prepared another excellent meal and the wines were also superb.

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    Our first course was a Seared Dayboat Scallop with Cheesy Corn Grits and Mango Beurre Blanc, and was served with a Reserve Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2007. This was so good! With each bite I ate some of each component, greens, scallop, grits and sauce. Everything paired so nicely

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    Our second course was a Grilled Prime Rib Cap with Wild Forest Mushroom Gnocchi and the wine was a Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2006. This was a really amazing dish, I mean how often do you eat just the cap of a Prime Rib, and how often is the cap meat medium rare? Chef Jason told a story about how difficult it was to get only the caps, since it was such a tender cut of meat. Evidently another customer was trying to outbid him on these.

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    The next course was Broiled Buffalo Tenderloin with Vidalia Lyonnaise Potatoes and Braised Pork Belly (Pork & Beans) served with a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, 2005. This was just incredible, if you haven’t had Buffalo before it is the most amazing meat, it’s lean and flavorful. This was so good and those fancy potatoes with the down home pork & beans made a great pair.

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    We didn’t get an amuse bouche with this dinner, but before dessert, we received this bonus cheese course. I don’t remember anything about it other than I enjoyed it.

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    Dessert was a Scharfen Berger Chocolate Souffle with Bing Cherry Ice Cream and it was served with a Lake Sonoma Winery Zinfandel Port, Dry Creek Valley, 2005. This was more of a molten chocolate cake, but regardless it was REALLY good, and the cherry ice cream went with the chocolate so well and the Zinfandel Port, Mmmmmm it was so yummy.

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    I can’t wait until the Winemaker dinners start again this year. Even more interesting will be the Brewmaster Dinner (a first for the Festival), we’ll have to see how they turn out, I can’t wait!
     

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