We have more details to share about this year’s 20th anniversary EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. For the first time ever, the famous epicureal marketplaces will expand beyond the World Showcase to locations in the park’s Future World area. Also the popular Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog will return after a year off.
During the 53-day festival, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese area featuring the Cheese Studio and Wine Studio marketplaces will evoke the ambiance of Napa Valley with grape vines and welcoming pergolas along the walkway to Future World West.
- At the Cheese Studio, a cheese sample platter will be served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines.
- The Wine Studio will serve premium wines on tap and showcase palate-pleasing wine varietals organized by color in artful displays.
At the new Next Eats area near the Epcot Character Spot, Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces will be inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. The show will broadcast from Epcot during select days of the festival.
- At Sustainable Chew Marketplace, guests can taste delicious dishes inspired by “The Chew” co-hosts.
- At Chew Lab, food science meets the hottest culinary tech trends to present innovative dishes like the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.
“The Future World festival marketplace expansion gives our guests more reasons than ever to help us celebrate 20 delicious festival years,” says Jens Dahlmann, general manager of Epcot Food & Beverage. “Adding even more sizzle, our collaboration with ABC’s ‘The Chew’ brings the cachet of a major daytime network television series and its celebrity hosts.”
More on what’s new for 2015:
- One of a series of popular Party for the Senses premium events will be the first-time Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses 31, an elegant, dance-the-night-away, gourmet tasting party with Champagne, wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails paired with food. Guests will be encouraged to masquerade in chic yellow and black. Reservations will open July 30, 2015, for festival premium events also to include the Mexican Tequila Lunch, Japanese Craft Beer Tasting, French Family Meal Traditions and dozens of events including Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining.
- “The Chew” cast will host a new premium event: the Rockin’ Burger Block Party 8, with specialty burgers and sliders inspired by top names in the music industry such as Dave Matthews and his Dreaming Tree Wines and Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Tequila. Two additional Burger Block Parties are set for Sept. 25 and Nov. 6.
- The Dominican Republic Marketplace will return with fresh flair, serving new dishes including Pescado con Coco – seared grouper, pigeon peas with rice and coconut sauce. And at the Festival Center, the new Monday-through-Thursday “Spotlight on Dominican Republic” will showcase the country’s culture, crafts and culinary delights with artists and chefs at the Festival Center.
- Two 20th-year celebratory wines were created just for this fall’s festival: a Napa Valley Festival Chardonnay and a Paso Robles Festival Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests will be able to purchase tastes of both wines at the Sustainable Chew marketplace, and the Festival Center Wine Shop will carry bottles.
At the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese, each keg of premium wine on tap will hold the equivalent of 26 wine bottles, eliminating bottle, cork, cardboard and paper waste from labels. Recycling and re-purposing of glass bottles and corks from other marketplace locations will be part of the 20th-year festival story.
It’s hard to pick which of the new marketplaces I’m most excited about, although I think the Cheese booth might win out in the end.
The 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs Sept. 25-Nov. 16, 2015. Will you attending?