This weekend, I find myself back at Walt Disney World for the final weekend of the 2007 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival. I’m taking a little break from a late afternoon swim as we prepare to attend the final Party for the Senses this evening.
Though this year’s seven-week festival is wrapping up, I encourage everyone to consider planning a visit for next year’s festival. As we all know, Naperville is a community which has a deep appreciation the gourmet food and wine experience. If you fall into this category, the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is a dream come true.
First, you have the opportunity to sample dishes and wine pairings from all over the globe. There are special wine tasting seminars as well as plenty of demonstrations by well-known chefs. I happened to be strolling through the festival center today and ran into one of the better known Food Network Chefs. Within each country, small-scale cooking demonstrations take place as well. Each week there has been something new to experience.
On Saturdays, the festival crescendos with a weekly Party for the Senses, which takes place at a special events pavillion between Canada and the United Kingdom in the World Showcase at EPCOT. The best way I can describe this experience is Iron Chef meets Cirque du Soleil meets Sideways. The event features accomplished chefs from all over the world as well as Disney’s finest. They prepare a special dish which is paired with a wine estate or champagne house. During my previous visit, at one of the parties I attended, we stumbled upon Chicago chef Rick Tramato of Tru fame. Cirque du Soleil performers take the center stage with emotive performances. Each week features a different collection of chefs and dishes.
The State of Oklahoma is being featured at tonight’s Party for the Senses and one of their chefs told me earlier that they are preparing braised short-rib tartlets for 1,600. In building upon their own special regional feast VIP event which took place earlier this week, this will be a nice finale for the Oklahoma Experience which has been featured at EPCOT in celebration of their centennial.
Fortunately, for those who acquire Party for the Senses tickets before they sell-out, everything is included for one highly reasonable price when you take into consideration what Napervillians will drop on a typical evening out in downtown.
I could not recommend more highly this experience. The good news is the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is in its 12th year and gaining steam toward the future. SM