Our guest blogger for today is our friend Andy Senor:
I remember being a kid and visiting Epcot for the first time. Before I owned a passport, visiting the different lands at Epcot might have been one of my first introductions to foreign cultures. I was bit by the travel bug and have not stopped since. Fortunately, as a cast member of the Broadway musical RENT, I have traveled all over the world and eaten countless, delicious meals. On my recent tour, I have taken up writing a food blog called “La Vie Boh…mmm” that journals my culinary adventures. See, for me, what connects me to another culture or city, is its food.
I had the pleasure of joining Kyle and Stacey on a delicious expedition through the many countries of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The festival now in it’s 14th year features food and wine from around the world in booths set up in each country. Every “tasting size” dish is paired with a different wine at a very low price. Although none of the foods were new to me, it was very entertaining to run around using a prepaid card that made the tastings run smoothly. It was great to see people trying different kinds of foods from around the world that had a surprising authenticity to them. My favorite of the day was the “Paprika Beef Stew with Bacon Dumpling” from Austria and the “Snapper Escabeche” from Barcelona, Spain. The only drawback to the event was the heat. It made it hard to develop an appetite for some of the dishes. Fortunately, the very refreshing Bacardi Frozen Dragon Berry Colada from Puerto Rico cooled us off and set us in the right spirit to continue our hunt.
On a more extravagant note, Epcot’s “Party For The Senses” later that evening provided a gorgeous showcase of recipes for those foodies with a more refined palate. Hosted by Vanity Fair, this particular event celebrated comfort foods with a twist. For an additional $140.00 you can taste your way through beautiful arrays of food, wine, cheeses and desserts while listening to live music in an elegant, upscale atmosphere. This event truly expanded the way I thought about food and had me reflect upon my own approach to cooking. With their unique take on comfort foods, chefs were available at each station presenting their glorious dishes. One chef from my favorite station of the evening, Steve Chiappetti from Viand, Chicago, even offered to send me the recipe to his Stuffed Baked Spaghetti Bites. Absolutely Delicious! Our favorite wine of the evening was the “Chateau Frank Brut” from Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars. It seemed to compliment anything it was paired with. And it all came to an end with a grand exit as we walked into the Epcot fireworks display! Perfect!
One thing I love about writing a food blog is that people get to experience culinary adventures from around the world without having to go through customs. Similarly, I believe the magic of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is that it makes the world and its culinary treasures available to anyone. It bridges our world together in such close proximity at a very affordable price, for people of all ages, all in one days journey. Thank you Kyle, Stacey and Orlando for the invitation. My stomach has not stopped smiling!
-Andy Senor Jr.
I cant wait to come back for more Orlando food finds! Until then, I invite you to visit my blog at www.lavbm.com and see what’s cooking!
Filed under: 67 Days