Food for Thought

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is now in its 20th year of wining and dining guests. The annual culinary event kicked off on September 25 and has since brought culture and cuisine to the park like never before. This year’s event includes more than 30 marketplaces full of mouthwatering dishes and drinks as well as seminars, concerts and celebrity chefs. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect at this year’s anniversary event:

What’s new?

Like with anything Walt Disney World does, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has made a few upgrades to this year’s event, including new booths and marketplaces like:

•    The Artistry of Wine & Cheese – Already a popular getaway from the crowds, this is where the Cheese Studio and Wine Studio are located. Here you can get a pairing served as an “artist’s palette.”

•    The Chew – In celebration of its 20th year, the festival has brought on the ABC hit show, “The Chew.” By doing so two new booths by the chefs have been added – Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab. Both booths are serving up mouthwatering new menu items created by the famous chefs.

•    New Wines for the anniversary event – You can’t celebrate an anniversary without a good bottle of wine that’s why the festival created two new wines - a Napa Valley Festival chardonnay and a Paso Robles Festival cabernet sauvignon.

•    The Dominican Republic booth has returned – It’s been eight years since the Dominican Republic has been at the foodie festival and now that it’s back we get to indulge in such dishes as Pescado con Coco, yucca soufflé topped with griddled cheese and more.

Eat to the Beat Concerts

Pair your cuisine with one of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival’s rockin’ concerts. Every evening a new band or solo artist hits the stage, serving up a sizzling performance. This year’s concerts include several returning artists along with newbies to the event. Rick Springfield, Sugar Ray, SOS Band, Air Supply, Fuel, Tiffany, Dennis DeYoung, Jo Dee Messina, Everclear, Boyz II Men and Sister Hazel are just a few of the artists you’ll be able to sing and dance along with. The Eat to the Beat Concerts take place at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m.

Celebrity Chefs

From appearances by “The Chew” chefs to demos by some of the most famous kitchens, restaurants and cooking shows, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has brought in the best chefs to this year’s event. Be on the lookout for such culinary masterminds as Allen Susser, Buddy Valastro, Cat Cora, Andrew Zimmern, David Guas and many more.

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs now through November 16.