Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2012 and Driscoll’s Tasting Event

Ryan and I unplugged yesterday and drove to Orlando in the early afternoon for a day at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2012

Temperatures peaked right around 80 degrees, so the weather was absolutely perfect for a day at Disney!

Epcot Food and Wine

We were invited to the park to attend an evening event sponsored by Driscoll’s, the family-owned berry company based in California, but arrived several hours early so we could have a little day date at Epcot!

Chip and Dale Hat (2)

(Was anyone else a fan of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers as a child? I saw this hat and immediately started singing, “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip and Dale! Rescue Rangers!”)

Ryan and I have been to the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot one time before (when I had my major freak-out on Mission Space and discovered I’m claustrophobic), so we were ready to dive into the festival again and try food and drinks from various countries. 

Before making our way around the park, we made a beeline for Soarin’, the IMAX projection ride that simulates hang gliding over California. During the ride, as we soared over Yosemite and Napa Valley, the smell of pine trees and orange groves hit our noses. I swear, Disney thinks of everything!

We did a couple other smaller rides in the same area before exploring the countries in Epcot. For those of you who have never been to Epcot before, it is home to the World Showcase, a collection of international pavilions that feature shops, attractions and restaurants that represent the culture and cuisine of 11 different countries.

Say hello to the United Kingdom!

UK Epcot

To my wonderful United Kingdom readers, does this look like home!? Winking smile 

We spent time in all of the countries, including China and Italy featured below.

China Epcot

Italty Epcot

We bought food and drinks from the little booths set up around the park and our favorite dishes of the day came from South Korea and France.


The lettuce wraps we purchased from South Korea were topped with roast pork and kimchi slaw and tasted incredible.

lettuce wrap south korea epcot

In France, we bought the Coq au Vin sur Gratin de Macaroni.

france epcot food and wine

coq au vin france epcot

It doesn’t look like much on the plate, but the macaroni gratin underneath the braised chicken was very rich and cheesy. My favorite dish of the day!

France Epcot

Ryan Epcot

Ryan liked it, too!

At around 4:45 p.m., we met up with a bunch of other Orlando-area bloggers and writers at the Festival Center for the Driscoll’s event.

Driscoll's Event Epcot

Driscoll's berries

Driscoll's Event at Epcot

To kick off the event, everyone was served a glass of FroZin, a dessert wine from Meeker Vineyards, featuring fresh Zinfandel aromas and flavors.

Meeker Wine FroZin

As someone who generally loves sweet dessert wines, I liked it immediately!

The wine was paired with three different dishes created by celebrity chef Jon Ashton who was absolutely bursting with personality.

Jon Ashton Recipes

The first dish we sampled was a brie and blackberry wonton that featured roasted Driscoll’s blackberries.


I’ve never roasted berries before and I couldn’t believe how much the flavor of the blackberries developed in the oven. They were warm and sweet and paired perfectly with the salty, creamy brie.

brie and blackberry wonton wrapper

Up next was the strawberry bruschetta that took the cake for me! The combination of sweet strawberries, balsamic and ricotta had quite a few of us promising to make this recipe as soon as possible!

The third recipe from Chef Jon was a turkey meatball served with a savory blueberry jam that I may have to make again for dinner this evening! I have permission to share these recipes with you guys, so if any of them interest you, please let me know and I’ll be sure to type them up for you.

During the tasting, after Chef Jon explained each of the dishes, Dr. Wendy Bazilian chimed in to explain the health benefits of the berries featured in each recipe. She highlighted the fiber and vitamin C content of the berries, as well as the antioxidant benefits and more. I ended up talking with Dr. Wendy in depth at dinner and she is a wealth of knowledge concerning food and nutrition.

Following the presentation at Epcot, our group met up at Wolfgang Puck’s in Downtown Disney for dinner.

wolfgang puck's downtown disney

Our meal began with spring rolls!

spring rolls

We each had one and the spring rolls set the tone for the delicious meal ahead.

The salad course featured a mixed green salad with a goat cheese crostini and I cleared my plate with no trouble. Despite snacking away in the park all day, I was hungry!

goat cheese salad

For my entrée, I selected the salmon that came in a lobster butter sauce.

The sauce made the dish! It was so indulgent! 

wolfgang puck's salmon

Dessert included chocolate cheesecake served with fresh Driscoll’s berries.


I was pretty full by this point and ended up eating my berries and about 2/3 of my cheesecake before throwing in the towel.

Dinner was a lot of fun and I loved meeting some of the Driscoll’s team and chatting with Dr. Wendy and my friend and fellow blogger, Ricky.

ricky wendy julie

Ryan and I didn’t arrive back in Ocala until close to midnight, so I’m moving a little slow this morning.

Time to play catch up today!

November Book Club Winner

With 64.5 percent of the vote, the winning book for the November PBF Book Club is The Happiness Project!

the happiness project

We’ll discuss this book on the blog on December 4!


  1. says

    I went to the wolfgangs down there in February – I’m not sure if they were overly busy that night but we had horrible service and food that was just meh. Glad you had a better experience – What a fun day date – especially for a Monday!


  2. Tori says

    You just made me nostalgic for Disney. We went last November. We also ate at Wolfgang’s in downtown Disney for lunch one day and it was very good! We are considering a Mardi Gras trip (I’m in Baton Rouge, LA and the kids are out of school for the week – so there is typically a huge Louisiana population there at that time!) This made me want to go more! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Epcot and Soarin’! What a fantastic way to spend a Monday!


  3. says

    80 degrees, sunny, and chillin’ at Epcot. Pretty much can’t even describe how jealous I am! Looks like such a fun day. And yay! I’ve been wanting to read The Happiness Project forever, now this is the perfect excuse! I’m in!


  4. Tori says

    Oh yeah – just finished The Happiness Project…you will not be disappointed!!! I need to go buy her her follow up – Happiness at Home. Just have not made it to the bookstore (still old fashioned and prefer a real book to reading on my iPad!)!


  5. says

    What a great recap! My boyfriend just gave me the Food & Wine Festival cookbook as a gift (he was in Disney recently, too) and I’m excited to page through it. 🙂 I’d definitely be interested in those recipes you mention, especially the turkey meatball and the strawberry bruschetta.

    P.S. I was all about the Chip ‘n’ Dale–plus Duck Tales (woo woo)!


  6. says

    I did the Soarin ride at Universal in California and loved it! I thought it was so cool and loved you could smell the pine tress and fresh oranges! This even sounds like a blast and makes me want to go back to Epcot, I have been once and I was in 3rd grade!


  7. Rachel says

    Julie, I might have missed your answer. If so, I apoligize. What type of syrup do you use on your pancakes?

    You like myself seem to love syrup since you put a good amount on, but it’s so high calorie and full of sugar. I know they make “sugar free versions” but I’m not sure if those are bad for you to have the artificial products. I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!


  8. says

    I love the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!! We go every year with my parents {unfortunately, we didn’t make it this year, but we’ll be in Disney in two weeks for Thanksgiving, so I’m pumped!} Whenever we’re at Disney, my husband and I take one day together to do “beers around the world” in Epcot, and it’s a blast! *Good thing Disney provides transportation 😉


  9. says

    All the food looks delicious! I LOVE Disney but since we live in Utah we tend to go to Disneyland since it’s closer. 🙂 I’m excited about The Happiness Project. It looks like a good book.


  10. Teresa says

    My family always laugh when we visit the UK in Epcot, it’s nothing like England – not a red phone box in sight! We love to visit the sweet shop to see how expensive our imported Candy is and The Rose and Crown to hear the Queen’s english! Can’t wait to visit next June!


  11. says

    Ummm that looks absolutely amazing and I’m now ready for lunch…although mine is not going to be nearly as good as what you got to taste yesterday 🙂 Can you send me the recipe for those turkey meatballs with savory blueberry jam when you have the chance? I’d love to try and make that!


  12. Heather says

    We just left Dsney last week! The Hawaiin booth had an amazing pork slider 🙂 we love Epcot but this was our first trip with our little girl who just turned 10 months old, she found it pretty boring and slept as we traveled around the world 😉


  13. Annie says

    How cool! Living in France I had never heard of such a park but it looks awesome! I love the idea of having a place for different countries and the fact that they serve their food too definitely has me sold 😀


  14. says

    Dr Wendy was at FitBloggin as well! She gave an awesome presentation at McCormick for all of us hungry bloggers 😉 The blackberry & brie + strawberry bruschetta? gimme!


  15. Jennifer says

    I am glad you stopped by the South Korea vendor! I traveled there this summer and loved the food. Everything was so fresh and flavorful. You would love it! Kimchi is definitely an acquired taste that I do not have, but everything else was great!


  16. Marci says

    I am heading to Orlando on Thursday to go to the Food and Wine Festival and to run the Food and Wine half marathon! This just got more even more excited.. Its my 1st 1/2 so i am hoping the thought of good food at the end will be enough to keep me running!


  17. says

    I would love to go back to Epcot. I’ve only been to Disney World once 11.5 years ago, and though I really enjoyed the World Showcase at the time, I think I’d appreciate it even more now that I’m twice as old as I was the first time I went 😉 Looks like you guys had a fabulous time!


  18. says

    Hi Julie,
    This looks so fun! I’m glad you got to go enjoy yourself with Ryan. Your outfit looks amazing and I would’ve never thought to put that color combination together. I’m also curious on the roasted berries and brie recipe please? We eat brie like there’s no tomorrow down here and love it so it would be fun to have another brie recipe to pull out next time we reach for the cheese.


  19. says

    Oh wow that looks like such an amazing day! I’m from the UK, and yes, the pic looks vaguely like home, although everything looks a bit too ‘new’!The food looks amazing, lucky you!


  20. Krista says

    Oh no Ryan isn’t doing that Movember mustache thing is he? Surely guys can come up with better ways to raise $$ than grow nasty facial hair!


  21. Christie says

    I LOVE all things Disney, EPCOT included! My family and I make the thousand mile trip (we’re in south east Pennsylvania) and drive down every year. I’ve never been to the Food & Wine Festival, but I’ve read and heard great things about it! I’ve also seen a website that has a lot of the recipes from past festivals! Yummy 🙂


  22. Nicole G says

    Looks like you had an amazing time! It’s awesome that Ryan got to share the experience with you. I would be very interested in the recipes you had a chance to try out at the Driscoll’s experience! They looked really good!


  23. says

    As a fellow Disney lover, I LOVE Epcot 🙂 I am always a fan of the Morrocan food…can’t get enough of that falafel! The blackberry wonton and the strawberry brushcetta sound like great Thanksgiving appetizers. I would love if you shared the recipes!


  24. says

    Can I please have the recipe for all three of the dishes you tried at the Driscll event? My mom lives in Fort Myers. I know she would love the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. Will definitely have to tell her about it! Thanks


  25. says

    Ohh this looks like such a fun event!! I went to Epcot (aka Disney World for us non-Florida based folks haha) a few years ago and had a great time- I loved the little cities! And please share the recipes- they all sound fantastic!


  26. says

    I would love the turkey meatball and berry sauce recipe for sure. I would love the others as well.

    What a fun day you had!

    My husband and I just spent the weekend at Disneyland (without the kids) and ate at the Storytellers Cafe in the Grand California resort. So delicious!


  27. Lisa says

    I’ve never been to the Food & Wine Festival. Need to put that on my bucket list. Did they give out recipes? The coq au vin looks amazing. I ordered the Food & Wine Festival book from the Disney Store, but I don’t think they had the recipe in it. Will have to look again.


  28. says

    #1 on my fitness to do list is the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon which takes place at night. And during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. I love Epcot Center and this post was a pleasant reminder of my goal. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you had an awesome day! 🙂


  29. Ann Wilson says

    Hi Julie! I would love the turkey meatball with savory blueberry jam recipe. Sounds delicious! Thank you so much :). By the way, I absolutely love following your blog. Let me know next time you’re in Denver… though we are planning on moving to Florida sometime next year. I actually am starting a Paleo food blog. Take care!


  30. says

    Ohmygosh all of that food looks so so so delicious! Lucky girl. Disney + food = best possible combination ever. Also, you’ll probably love the Happiness Project! I used to avidly follow the Happiness Project blog and found it so interesting! Really makes you think about how to make the best life and habits for yourself and how important happiness is and why it must be prioritized.


  31. says

    Ahh how exciting! I love the different countries at Disney. Oh and the food you ate is pretty impressive too 😉 Thanks for sharing. Ps. I noticed some things look different on the blog today- formatting, buttons etc. Nice job!


  32. says

    First of all, it’s great to know that we’re not the only ones still in shorts! 😉 I’ve only been to Epcot once and now I really want to go back! So excited to see that you picked a Korean meal as one of your favorites! The magic is in the kimchi..goes with everything! What a wonderful day to spend the day!


  33. says

    Hi Julie, so good to meet you on Monday! Glad to hear you had fun in the park and got to taste some of the dishes around the world – the coq au vin is one of my favorites as well. (P.S. I sent you an email.)


  34. Malory says

    So glad the book club decided on “The Happiness Project.” Looking forward to
    reviewing it as well. Oh, and amazing trip Epcot Food & Wine Festival. You captured
    all the great moments, I’m sure! Happy Wednesday 🙂


  35. Stacey says

    We were just there last week and thought everything was fantastic also. South Korea was a fav of ours too! We also loved the pot stickers from china. The filet w mushroom risotto from Canada. The Italian margarita from Italy! The California rolls from Japan. Te orange chicken from china was a great place for a predinner snack! The beef tacos we yummy in Mexico. The skinny margarita was great too! Lol! I really wanted to try the waffle but I was outta room! I ended the day with teppen Edo for dinner. Of course we took small bites all day. It’s fun that way! Dessert was a chocolate Carmel cookie from Germany!



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