Food & Wine ’13 “Scouting Report”!

Good morning, my friends!  So, what do we know about this year’s installment of the “king of all food festivals”?

Well, right from the earliest reports, we were told that Hawaii’s delicious Kalua Pork Sliders would make their triumphant return.

Pork Sliders

The “champ” is in da’ house!

On the other hand, we were left to wonder – until just last week – whether or not we would be able to dine on Le Cellier’s signature filet mignon.

Le Cellier Filet

Oh, so delicious!

As it turns out, both Hawaii and Canada are bringing their “A” games!  Hey, assigning the ‘Top 2’ spots in this year’s “Much Too Preliminary” Pre-Festival Top 25 is going to be VERY easy!

Let’s take a quick step back to review.  The best place to start any journey is to study a “road map”, eh?  Crowned by the aforementioned examples of culinary delight, here is a summary recap of the  All in WDW 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Final Top 25!

“Highly Recommended” and “Recommended” speak for themselves.

“Just OK” is worth a try.  Hey, who knows?  If it’s back in 2013, you might like it much better than I did.

“Nope!” means that this item is ‘outa here’!  It won’t make the All in WDW 2013 Pre-Festival list, Chef, so don’t bother bringing it back!

Finally, “How did these get on the ‘Top 25’ list” are the ‘bottom-feeders’.  We snuck in three extra tastings last year, and these were the three items that weren’t good enough to crack the Final Top 25.

Highly Recommended

  • 1 – Pork Slider (Hawaii)
  • 2 – “Le Cellier” Filet Mignon (Canada)
  • 3- Ravioli (Italy)
  • 4 – Chicken Chipotle Sausage (Canada)
  • 5 – Shrimp Taco (Mexico)
  • 6 – Mongolian Beef (China)

Recommended

  • 7 – Coq au Vin (France)
  • 8 – Seared Mahi Mahi (Singapore)
  • 9 – Ropa Vieja (Caribbean)
  • 10 – Lamb Meatball (New Zealand)
  • 11 – Lamb Chop (Australia)

Just OK

  • 12 – Chicken Satay (China)
  • 13 – Sweet Sausage (Italy)
  • 14 – Seared Sea Scallop (New Zealand)
  • 15 – Seared Filet of Beef (South Africa)
  • 16 – Taco de Filete (Mexico)
  • 17 – Griddled Greek Cheese (Greece)
  • 18 – Pierogies (Poland)
  • 19 – Chicken Souvlaki (Greece)
  • 20 – Merguez Sausage (Morocco)

Nope!

  • 21 – Schinken Nudel (Germany)
  • 22 – White Corn Arepa (Florida)
  • 23 – Sukiyaki Beef Pan (Japan)
  • 24 – Roast Bratwurst (Germany)
  • 25 – Pork Pot Stickers (China)

How did these get on the “Top 25” list?

  • 26 – Chicken Drumstick (Caribbean)
  • 27 – Kefta Pocket (Morocco)
  • 28 – Taste of Scandinavia (Scandinavia)

Needless to say, it is a fact that this year’s pre-festival list will start with the pork sliders at #1 and the filet at #2.  I am a firm believer in “you have to beat the champ in order to be the champ”, and, in All in WDW’s view, Hawaii’s Kalua Pork Sliders are Food & Wine’s two-time champ!  It was an “oh so close” and excruciatingly tough decision last year, but if Canada’s outstanding filet couldn’t knock the crown off those tasty meat-filled buns, I don’t know that anything can.

Having said this, where does Scotland’s salmon fit in?  After all, it’s a brand new ‘party-crasher’.

In 2011, Canada’s Glazed Salmon finished at #8 on my final list.  Brazil’s Seared Mahi-Mahi finished at #4.  In 2012, Singapore’s Seared Mahi-Mahi also finished at #8.

I’m going to have to tentatively slot Scotland’s “yet-to-be-tasted” offering in at about the same place – somewhere around #8.  Of course, it is ridiculous to assign a slot at this point.  We haven’t even seen the whole menu yet!  Suffice it to say, however, that the salmon will, at best, be set at #3 – behind those yummy sliders and that succulent filet.

Tomorrow?  We know that Brazil is ba-a-a-ack!  What new morsels do our friends from South America, as well as Florida Local, have to offer us this year?  Where will they fit into 2013’s Pre-Festival Top 25?  Stop back on Monday to see!

Food & Wine ’13 “Scouting Report”!

Hello!! I’m ba-a-a-ck!

No, I HAVE NOT fell off the face of the Earth! I HAVE, however, been on the road. Work won out and my “real job” was riding shotgun all this week. But, here I am!

First, let me digress. I owe you a trivia answer. Take the time machine back a few days and you’ll remember that Roger Rabbit was featured in a series of cartoon shorts following the popularity of the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. “The Gag Factory” was NOT one of those shorts.  Congrats to those of you who knew that.

But, back to the glorious topic at hand … I got a pleasant surprise while I was away. As a Tables in Wonderland card-holder, I get email offers to sign up for the many special events they host around The World. This week, THE offers of offers arrived – the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview “Taste Your Way Around The World” at the Odyssey Pavilion in Epcot!

Yes, I know. You’ve probably heard all about this already on one of the many web sites devoted to Disney food, but I wanted to start presenting my “special” angle. Call this ‘Part I’, if you will.

If you’ve followed me for long, you know that All in WDW started late last year with my detailed reports about Food & Wine 2012.  Click this link to read all about last year’s Top 25, but, this year, we’re going to go into the “festival of all festivals” much more prepared than ever. Stay tuned for more about that, but, in the meantime, let’s start with this …

What’s on the menu for 2013!

You heard me ‘call it’ a few weeks back on Kingdom Magic’s blog … “I’m convinced that salmon speaks loudly of Scottish cuisine, and it has to be part of this kiosk’s menu. I’m going to leave the culinary details to Chef [Jens] and his entourage, but I’m imagining some type of combination of grilled salmon and langoustine as this marketplace’s main course. Bring it on, Chef!”

Well, the langoustine is out, but, when it comes to Food & Wine’s newest marketplace, “Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress, and Malt Vinaigrette with Baby Root Vegetables” is IN! Way to go!!

Salmon and Puree

The “Taste Your Way Around The World” event is scheduled for Saturday July 27, 2013 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. We’re aiming to get our tickets, but I’m sure it’s going to be a “free-for-all”. In the meantime, the “self high-fives” around here are out of control!  Scottish salmon, baby!!

Tomorrow?  How do the newly-announced items fit into All in WDW’s “much too preliminary” Pre-Festival Top 25?  I can’t wait to find out!

WDW “Rabbit” Trivia!

Uh, oh! Roger Rabbit isn’t done with us quite yet! So, puh-puh-puh-puhlease! Answer this question!

Roger Rabbit was featured in a series of cartoon shorts following the popularity of the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. These shorts were presented in front of various Disney/Touchstone features in an attempt to revive short subject animation as a part of the movie-going experience.

Which one of these WAS NOT one of those shorts?

Oh, by the way, did you get a chance to listen to Lou Mongello’s podcast?  Do you know “Who “Ended” Roger Rabbit?”  Well, let’s just say that, when push came to shove, Disney’s CEO Michael Eisner and …

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Who “Ended” Roger Rabbit?

June 21, 1988. A day that lives in rabbit “infamy”!  Quite simply, a few days ago, the most under-appreciated rabbit in animation history turned 25 years old. Well, as far as movie releases go, that is.

Like I explained in my Iron Man post a few weeks ago, one of my fondest memories of our son’s childhood was watching the Iron Man animated show every Saturday morning. Another of my favorite memories was us watching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” together. “We” even had Roger’s game for the original Nintendo gaming system. We played that game until it wouldn’t work anymore! How could you not love Roger?

In fact, how does a rabbit who pulled in literally dozens of awards and award nominations fade into virtual invisibility? I mean, really! According to Wikipedia, “Roger” is the first (and so far, only) animated/live action film to win four Academy Awards and the first animated film to win multiple Academy Awards since Mary Poppins in 1964. Yet, Roger …

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Mulch, Sweat n’ Shears – “Live” in Concert!

Mulch, Sweat n’ Shears.  This Central Florida-based rock band has got to be one of WDW’s best-kept and hidden secrets.  Have you caught their act?  Well, if not, you can check them out daily in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Sweat!

Surprisingly, until earlier this year, Mrs. All in WDW and I had never seen them perform.  And, to be honest, we didn’t even know they existed!  It just tells you that with each trip you make to Orlando, WDW can reveal …

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