When You’re a Foodie at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

I’m a Walt Disney World local and a certified Annual Passholder, but I don’t visit the parks to ride thrill rides or take in shows. I (as a foodie) go there to eat. My favorite park to eat (and drink) at is Epcot.

Where else can you grab wine and stuffed grape leaves in Morocco and be sipping tequila in Mexico in on the same day?

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

 

The event that I look forward to most each year is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which takes place in late Summer and early Fall. But the Walt Disney World Resort is upping the ante for foodies like me in late Winter and early Spring during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

How are they doing that you ask? Why with the addition of the Outdoor Kitchens around the World Showcase promenade.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The festival is currently in full swing, but I was invited in for a special preview of what’s in store for my fellow Disney foodies in 2016.

Our preview event took place in the World Showplace pavilion nestled in between Canada and the UK.

Epcot World Showplace

THE FOOD

Upon arrival to the pavilion were offered a sweet little sample of the most tart and photogenic lemonade. Once you’ve made it to the festival you can find it at the Pineapple Promenade.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Desert Violet Lemonade

If you can’t make it this year, I actually have the recipe for you!

DESERT VIOLET LEMONADE

7 oz Lemonade
1 tbs Desert Pear Syrup
2 tsp Violet Syrup

Mix ingredients together and serve over ice garnish with edible flowers. For a frozen beverage, mix ingredients and place in a blender. Serves One.

Another favorite beverage of mine that day was this little number…

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Watermelon Cucumber Slush with Hendricks Gin

Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen
Watermelon Cucumber Slush with Hendricks Gin

The Bloody Mary has made a come back this year.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Bloody Mary

Urban Farm EATS
Urban Mary made with Smirnoff Vodka

A craft beer I was SO glad to see return as well was the Maple Bacon Stout and let me tell you…it pairs perfectly with the Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash! (sorry for the photo quality…lighting was spastic in the venue)

Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen - Burnt Ends hash and Maple Bacon Stout

The Smokehouse
Maple Bacon Stout
Shipyard Brewing Company

The Smokehouse
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends hash with White Cheddar Fondue & Pickled Jalapenos

Another CLASSIC I was glad to see and taste again!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Salmon Biscuit

Cider House
House Made Potato & Cheddar Cheese Biscuit | Smoked Salmon Tartare

Something new this year that I love, love, loved was this cheese and charcuterie board!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Florida Fresh
Florida Larder Board
Orlando Made Ricotta Cheese | Cahaba Farms Micro Onions | Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Balsamic | Country Pate | House made Pickles

Here’s another new item that I was too full to try but snapped a photo for you.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Beef Teriyaki Udon

Hanami
Beef Teriyaki Udon
Thin Sliced Beef | Onions | Noodles | Tossed on the Grill with Soy and Ginger

I found the chips on this particular dish to be a tad bit too salty for me and that’s saying a lot coming from a Dirty Martini Girl.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Currywurst

Bauernmarket: Farmer’s Market
Currywurst with Paprika Chips

If you’re into a little heat try this dish.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Jerk Spiced Chicken with Mango

La Isla Fresca
Jerk Spice Chicken | Mango Salsa | Chayote & Green Papaya Slaw | Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Here’s a dish I could take or leave…though it was beautifully presented.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Seared Pork Tenderloin

Urban Farm EATS
Seared Pork Tenderloin | Mushroom Ragout | Spring Vegetables | Marble Potatoes

I kind of turn my nose down at salads but this one was AH-maze-ing!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Salad with Stilton Cheese

Cider House
Land Harvested Field Greens | Apples | Dried Blueberries | Stilton Cheese | Apple Cider Vinaigrette

I also tend to skip over Italy when grazing the promenade but you must try this pasta dish there.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Mezze Lune Primavera Egg Pasta stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach in a Creamy Sauce with Spring Vegetables and Pecorino Cheese

Primavera Kitchen
Mezze Lune Primavera Egg Pasta stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach | Creamy Sauce | Spring Vegetables | Pecorino Cheese

Let’s Talk Desserts Shall We

Another home run from Italy.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Pistachio Cream with Strawberries

Primavera Kitchen
Pistachio Cream | Strawberries | Mascarpone Cream

I can not pass up anything with phyllo dough in it. Especially baklava. The sweet and crispy taste and texture combination is heaven.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Baklava

Taste of Marakesh
Honey Baklava

This was by far the most popular dessert at the preview and the only thing that was completely gone by the end of the afternoon.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - French Macaron

Fleur De Lys
Macaron Chocolat Framboise
Large Raspberry Macaron | Chocolate Fudge | Raspberry Jam

Of course I can’t write a post about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival without showing some of the unique topiaries that Disney horticulturists have been working on all year long.

This year Epcot has teamed up with the National Park Service to celebrate their 100th anniversary. You can find an homage to our national parks in the area between Spaceship Earth and the World Showcase Lagoon.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Park Ranger Mickey at your service…

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs through May 30, 2016. This year it expands from 75 days to 90 days. In addition to the eats provided at the Outdoor Kitchens be sure to take in a concert at one of the Garden Rocks performances. More details can be found at EpcotInSpring.com.

Special thanks goes out to the Walt Disney World Resort for hosting me at this preview event. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.