Impressions and Pictures, mostly Food & Wine (Oct 23-30, 2011) - UPDATED Feb 6, 2012

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ehagerty, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Jens & me

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    I try to pick a lead picture that represents - for me - something of an "icon" of my vacation. There were SO many good pictures - and they will be posted in due time. This slightly overexposed, somewhat fuzzy shot (I had the ISO pumped up for fireworks the night before and forgot to reset before handing over, for you camera people) captures the spirit of the F&W - ever gracious, always accessible, very friendly, talented, Disney staff who go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. In this case, Jens Dahlmann (formerly of Flying Fish and CaliGrill, now an executive chef at Epcot) was walking through Epcot with a colleague. Stopped, chatted, remembered by name (my LAST name, I was really surprised) and that was a nice moment. Thanks.

    Table of Links (updated through time with links, as posts are added)

    Epcot F&W Festival


    - Demos
    -- Culinary Demo (Mon Oct 24 5 pm)
    -- Culinary Demo (Tue Oct 25 1 pm)
    -- Mixology (Mon Oct 24 6 pm)

    Kiosks

    - Lunches

    -- Food & Wine Pairing - Marrakesh (Tue Oct 25 3:30 pm)

    -- Food & Wine Pairing - Tutto Italia (Wed Oct 26 2 pm)
    ---- Tutto Italia Lunch

    -- Tequila Lunch (Sat Oct 29 1 pm)
    ---- Tequila Lunch

    -- French Regional Lunch - Alsace (Fri Oct 28 12 pm)
    ---- Introduction
    ---- Food, plus

    - Dinners

    -- Victoria & Alberts (Sun Oct 23)
    ---- Reception
    ---- Sitting down for Dinner
    ---- Amuse-Bouche
    ---- Bison
    ---- Egg
    ---- Cioppino
    ---- Scallop, and Wine Talk
    ---- Elk
    ---- Veal
    ---- Pear
    ---- Apple
    ---- Truffle Tree
    ---- Afterthoughts

    -- California Grill (Thu Oct 27)
    ---- Reception
    ---- Dinner Part 1
    ---- Dinner Part 2
    ---- Fireworks
    ---- Dessert

    Epcot - Out and About - Food Kiosks, Sites & Entertainment
    - British Revolution, Off Kilter and Unibroue
    - Ireland, France and Belgium

    Animal Kingdom - Wild Africa Trek
    -- Animal Pictures
    -- Getting Started
    -- Getting Outfitted
    -- Crocs, Giraffes, Elephants
    -- Lunch
    -- Wrap-up
     
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  3. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!
     
  4. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for checking in!
     
  5. BridgetR3

    BridgetR3 Dreaming of Home

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    I'm joining in to hang out! Can't wait to hear more!! :thumbsup2
     
  6. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Sign me up coach! Anytime someone reviews V&A, I'm there. Throw in a tequilla lunch and it's a no brainer!! :rotfl2:
     
  7. NMW

    NMW DIS Veteran

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  8. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    [​IMG]




    Menu

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    Opening the first wine pairing

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    Wine Guy / Speaker - Bernard Sparr

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    First Tasting = Cremant d'Alsace Rose, Peirre Sparr, Brut

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    ... with the Amuse-Bouche (no description listed in menu - tasted like high end cream of asparagus)

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    ... to be continued.....


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  9. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Pied de porc a l'Alsacienne
    Alsacienne style pig trotter
    Alsace One, Pierre Sparr, 2008

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    Chef Eric Weistroffer providing commentary on the course and pairing

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    ... close up of the plate

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    Choucroute au trios poissons
    Sauerkraut with salmon, monkfish & smoked haddock
    Pinot Gris, Pierre Sparr, 2009

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    Sidebar - I had to laugh as plates were being removed from the table. I had completely consumed the smoked haddock and sauerkraut - while the gentleman across the table had consumed all the fish and left the sauerkraut. He, of course ate what he likes / valued, as did I. The salmon and monkfish were outstanding, but I was running out of room at this point and having to make tough choices....





    Comte, semi-hard cow's cheese
    Riesling, Pierer Sparr, 2008

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    .... close up of cheese plate

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    Applauding the kitchen staff

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    Wine line-up

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    Dessert
    Flan aux myrtilles
    Blueberries flan
    Gewurztraminer reserve, Pierre Sparr, 2008
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    The complete picture (as arranged by / for the professional photographer, who encouraged people to take pictures of it)

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    Rapid-fire commentary
    (as opposed to my preferred, relaxed, well-considered commentary):
    - I do enjoy attending some of these events solo - you are usually assigned a table with other people whom you get to know quickly (at least as fast as they pour the wine!)
    - At this event, was a local, woman who had also attended the Italian lunch at my table. You start to look forward to seeing your new acquaintances-with-common-interests!
    - Also at table, a local gentleman who looked very familiar - we figured out in about 15 seconds (ok, maybe 30) that we sat next to each other at a Tables-in-Wonderland dinner a at the Wave year and a half ago. This was his fourth FRUNCH this festival and he was very complimentary about the series. He had not signed up for the 5th, as he did not care for champagne, but in his quiet way, he was very convincing that the FRUNCH series was probably the best F&W offering, and probably the best value-for-the-dollar.

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    p.s. "FRUNCH" is freely given (that is, "officially not-trade-marked; your welcome, Disney"), creative abbreviation of the French Regional lUNCH, which was coined by the ever-clever Brenda MenG of food thread renown... geesh - now I have to go and add it my disboard "dictionary"! (next year, Webster's..)

    p.p.s. from the archives - Eric Weistroffer at the Bocuse d'Or USA Finals at Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in NY, Feb 2010 - at the time, I had never seen him before, but I was so excited to see something Disney/Epcot, that I took his picture. I was surprised (but not shocked) to recognize him at the FRUNCH - just one of those things!!!

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  10. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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    Signing on!:goodvibes
     
  11. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Gary (Restaurant Guest Services Manager) & DS, before heading into cocktail area

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  12. Tink rules

    Tink rules <font color=teal>The kids in my family sometimes t

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    I'm in!!! :banana::banana:
     
  13. cbg1027

    cbg1027 Florida Girl

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    Hi Ellen! Lovely photos...I'm subscribing!
     
  14. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    One of the "things" I have learned to like about staying at SSR, is that you can consider DTD your transportation hub, especially if you request Congress Park. Throughout the week, I mostly walked to DTD to get buses to resorts (for resort events). In this case, we bussed to MK, then walked to CR for CG dinner. Allowing for bus schedule, we arrived a little early, providing a chance to relax enjoy the sunset in the lounge.

    I had no real intention of imbibing before dinner, as I cannot usually finish the pairings that come with the meal. DS23 has no such problem - he likes to try stuff, and learn from the bartenders.

    In this instance, DS was very pleased with Ray, the bartender. Ray recommended this drink, a Rum on the rocks (receipt says @amount gay xo) $8.25, which DS deemed "better than Dewars White, or Johnny Black; on par with 12-15 your old scotch - smoke and oak, with none of the peat). DS is big on "value for the dollar" and he was pleased with both the beverage and Ray. Kudos.


    Reception

    Beringer Blanc, Knights Valley 2009

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    Sidebar - (Nov 19th, additional commentary) - I was preparing my favorite braised chicken dish this morning (... as mentioned on my other threads - I consider Molly Steven's "All About Braising" cookbook essential - and she just published a new cookbook about roasting this week - which I immediately ordered on amazon - before I knew she would be in town and signing books tomorrow, as it turns out she is a native of my home town, Buffalo, NY) - I went to the basement - uh, I mean, my "wine cellar" and grabbed a bottle of white from the "Premier" (as in "Premier Liquors" in Kenmore NY) whites. Popped the cork (for cooking) and tasted a "Beringer, Knights Valley" Alluvium Blanc 2006. Noticed from the label that the NAME had much in common with the wines represented at this dinner. Noticed from the TASTE that this was pretty darn good - and probably would compete for my attentions with Merry Edwards. Was surprised. Why, you might ask, would I be surprised by a bottle of wine that I chose to buy? Well, at Premier, they have this section called "What's new in the 90's" - meaning this section contains all bottles that scored above 90 on any commonly accepted, published rating scale. I scan the offerings for bottles under $20 and sample (hardly the methodology for a serious wine aficionado). This one was outstanding.



    Tataki Seared Toro Tuna with Sesame Cracker and Micro Wasabi

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    Spicy Local Pork Empanadas, Espelette Aioli

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    Arancini di Riso with Manchego

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    Wagyu Beef Tartare with Whole Grain Mustard and Truffle Brioche

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    Views from the reception room

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    Poster License - I almost did not post this last picture. It contains many flaws, photographically speaking. But the more I look at it (try not to think of Mr Bean at the gallery on this one), the more personal attachment I have to it. The wine is perfectly exposed. Bay Lake Tower (BLT) is in the background (one of my DVC "real estate interests). The wine bottle is fashionably shadowed. I think I really like this shot.
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  15. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Our table

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    Introducing the team

    Brian Koziel (left, Wine Guy, with credentials!), Chef Brian Piasecki, Bridget Sherren (General Manager)

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    Gary Lee (Guest Services Manager)

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    Brian has an extensive biography in the back of the menu including the fact that he is Master Sommelier, and was formerly the Area Manager at VnA (before Israel)

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    Maine Lobster Duo:
    Classic Maine Lobster Bisque with Aged Sherry, accompanied by Tempure Lobster Salad, Crisp Greens, Seared Organic Mushrooms and Saffron Emulsion

    Etude Estate Chardonnay, Carneros, 2009

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    Crispy Glazed Berkshire Pork Belly with Spitzenburg Apple and Parsnip Lacquer, Toasted Coriander Grits
    Chateau St. Jean "Robert Young" Chardonnay, Alexander Valley 2008

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    Brian, making the rounds, between courses

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  16. redzinner

    redzinner Me Wants the Medianoche!

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    Lovely, lovely photos of the food Ellen! Much too gorgeous to be called food porn!

    I do not know Chef Jens Dahlmann personally, only by sight since we have seen him at many functions and around Epcot during the festival. I was impressed by a small thing he did but it spoke volumes, to me at least, about his character. Early on in the festival he was out making the rounds to check on the kiosks. In our path there was some trash on the ground. Chef Jens stooped down and picked it up. I know he is a Disney employee but how many others at his position level would do such a trivial thing!

    Loved the Pierre Sparr Cremant d'Alsace Rose Brut and the asparagus mousse served at the Alsace Frunch.

    You had me with your DS pre-dinner drink photo at California Grill. I'll check back for updates!
     
  17. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Local Seely's Ark Farm Rabbit Coq Au vin
    with Braised Autumn Aromatic Vegetables

    Etude Estate "Deer Camp" Pinot Noir, Carneros 2008

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    Heirloom Apple Granita with Dried Northwest Cherries and Balsamic

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    Cast Iron Seared Venison Back Strap Filet with Horseradish-Potato Croquette, Red Juri Puree, Olive Oil Confit Heirloom Beets, Juniper-Veal Emulsion
    Chateau St. Jean "Cinq Cepages" Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2002

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    Brian on his rounds

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    A study in Grass Fed Cow Selections
    Sbragia Family Vineyards "mote Rosso" Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley 2007

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  18. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Time out for watching HalloWishes from the Balcony

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    Since I only took one shot this time, I am including vintage / archival pictures from prior trips, for those who like to download such things and add them to their screen saver collection. There are many more / better ones in other threads of mine...

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  19. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    Valrhona Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Caramel Crunch and Madagascar Vanilla Creme Anglaise
    Bering Cabernet Sauvignon Port, Knights Valley 2004

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    Friandise

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    Chef Brian, introducing and thanking his staff


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  20. ehagerty

    ehagerty DIS Veteran

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    .....a chance to see some of the animals in ways not generally available.... or, if you are like me, a chance to take pictures of animals in ways that are definitely not available to general public....



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    .....all the details, coming up next!
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  21. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

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    Amazing reviews Ellen!
     

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