What’s Up, Food & Wine?!

It’s hard to believe that Food & Wine “season” is about to kick-off.

I mean, it feels like just yesterday that we were pre-ranking dishes, rushing off to Orlando, tasting Disney’s masterpieces, filming videos for Rick Howard …

You get the picture.

A few weeks back, Pam Brandon of the Disney Parks Blog spilled some of the first details we’ve seen about this year’s dance.  I covered it here, but it amounted to this … a WAY TOO premature pre-ranking of:

  1. Tilapia
  2. Roasted Verlasso Salmon
  3. Crispy Pork Belly
  4. “Yard Bird”
  5. “Bacon and Eggs”
  6. Sauerkraut Pierogi
  7. Pork Goulash
  8. Brazilian Cheese Bread

If you want to see descriptions of these delights, go back to my previous post.

Afterwards, dine on this …

You’ve undoubtedly seen the announcement.  Well, if you’re not a Tables in Wonderland cardholder, you’ve at least seen the news reports.

Tickets for the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview “Taste Your Way Around The World” event went on sale yesterday.  If last year was any indication, I’m sure they sold out in mere minutes!

At a handsome price of $143.78 per plate, this year’s “kick-off” party will be held a little bit earlier than in 2013 on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 6:30 PM.  Oh, I so wish I could go.

That’s right.  I have passed on this year’s event.  I have family priorities that are much more important to me in July.  But, that’s OK.  Rick Howard will cover the dinner for “us”.  Follow him at: @TravelwithRick!

In the meantime, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy one aspect of the festivities.  How?  Well, the invitation spilled more of those proverbial beans I mentioned above.  Here’s this year’s “preview” – and, thereby, glimpse at the festival – menu!

At a buffet (pre-dinner) reception, this year’s Tables in Wonderland guests will enjoy:

  • Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms from South Africa

Hmm. Have I mentioned my lack of love for mushrooms?  I’m not a turkey’s biggest fan either.

  • Sea Scallop with Spinach Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon from Scotland

I guess this answers my question as to whether or not Scotland will be returning to Food & Wine in 2014!  As to the scallop?  Love scallops.  Love cheddar gratin.  Love bacon.  Bullseye!

Bacon?  I can tell you right now.  Scotland is going to knock Brazil's 2013 effort (pictured) out of the park!

Bacon? I can tell you right now. Scotland is going to knock Brazil’s 2013 effort (pictured above) out of the park!

  • Crispy Fried Potato Balls stuffed with Pork and Beef

Courtesy of Puerto Rico, who returns to the festival this year, these are called “Papa Rellena”.  Uh, fried potato?  Pork and beef?  Do you need to ask me twice?  No, you do not!

Finally, from Terra …

  • Blackened Chick’n Breast, Farr, Spicy Gumbo Sauce featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast.

Farr.  Everyone has reported the description as mentioning “Farr”.  What is that?  I Googled and Googled.  Could it be farro?  Is there an unnecessary comma in the description?  Is it “Farr Spicy Gumbo Sauce”?  Is it really “Farr” and I’m in need of a basic culinary education?  I guess we’ll have to rely on Rick for answers!

Not a Terra fan, or fond of “Farr”(?), I’ll most-likely pass.

The Plated Dinner will begin with a Patagonian Course of Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimi Churri.  We talked about this one last time.  I’m really looking forward to trying this piece of fish.

Next up will be a Farm Fresh Course of Griddled “Yard Bird” with Braised Greens and House Made Habanero Sauce.  Uh, you had me at habanero!  You didn’t mention that little detail earlier, Pam!

Finally, Puerto Rico will be presenting “Carne Guisada con Arroz Blanco”.  In other words, preview guests will get to sample a Slow Braised Beef with Puerto Rican Grown Rice. Mmm.  I love braised beef.  Bring it on!

The night will, of course, end with a trifecta of desserts.

Hops and Barley: Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing
Refreshment Port: Croissant Doughnut
Bean to the Bar: Warm Drinking Chocolate

We’re not big ones for desserts, but that carrot cake does catch our attention.

So.  Where do I slot the new items into my “way too premature” menu?  Here goes …

  1. Tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice
  2. Sea Scallop with spinach cheddar gratin and crispy bacon
  3. Roasted Verlasso Salmon with quinoa salad and arugula chimi churri
  4. Griddled “Yard Bird” with braised greens and house-made habanero sauce
  5. Slow Braised Beef with Puerto Rican-Grown rice
  6. Crispy Pork Belly with black beans, onions, avocado, and cilantro
  7. Crispy Fried Potato Balls stuffed with pork and beef
  8. “Bacon and Eggs” – applewood-smoked, pepper-coated bacon, sweet corn, potatoes, Hollandaise, and pickled jalapeños
  9. Pork Goulash
  10. Sauerkraut Pierogi
  11. Brazilian Cheese Bread
  12. Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms
  13. Blackened Chick’n Breast with spicy gumbo sauce

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