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Disney Resorts Get in on Food and Wine Festival Frenzy

Written By Scott Joseph On October 5, 2011

swan and dolphin food classic

Note: Due to inclement weather (that means it’s raining like hell) Saturday’s Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic has been moved indoors to the Swan Ballroom.

The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels will once again offer its Food & Wine Classic weekend to take advantage of all the foodies and winies attending the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival next door. And this year, Waldorf Astoria Orlando is hoping to get some of the festival overflow with its inaugural Food & Wine Weekends.

The second annual Swan & Dolphin event will take place mainly on the causeway between the two hotels Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8, with indoor beverage seminars from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and tasting stations featuring samples from the hotels’ numerous restaurants from 5:30 to 9.

Celebrity chef Todd English is scheduled to put in a rare appearance both evenings previewing his new cookbook, “Cooking In Everyday English: The A, B, Cs of Great Flavor At Home,” which does not go on sale to the general public until Oct. 11. The book will be available for sale ($29.95) and English will autograph copies both evenings from 5:30-8:30.

(Although the resort is home to Todd English’s bluezoo, English only visits a couple of times each year. Like all the restaurants on the two properties, bluezoo is owned and operated by the hotels, which essentially license the use of English’s name. In all fairness, Don Shula isn’t much of a regular at Shula’s Steak House, either.)

During the 4:30-5:30 hour, guests can choose from an array of beverage classes, some hands-on, all with tastings attached. Topics include: All Things Sake; Beer, Please; Modern Mixology; Spanish Wines; and Riesling Rendezvous. There will also be a wine blending seminar in which attendees can try their hand at making a perfect blend.

The downside is that you can choose just one seminar to attend (or come back both days and do two). They all sound good.

Cost for the causeway event is $65 and includes unlimited tastings of food and wine. Seminars are $35 each. The resort is also offering one- and two-night packages that include tickets to the causeway. For more information and to purchase advance tickets, visit the Food & Wine Classic website.

waldorffoodwineOrlando’s two-year-old Waldorf Astoria is jumping on the food and wine bandwagon with weekend events throughout the month. Highlights include:

— “Grand Pairings” Wine Dinners (Friday evening)
— Bull & Bear Prix-Fixe Chef’s Tasting Menu (Saturday evening)
— Ashton Cigars “Grand Pairings” Wine & Cigar Dinner (Friday. October 21)
— Trick or Treating for Adults (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
— Up Late at Sir Harry’s – A Food & Wine Culinary After-Glow (Friday and Saturday late evenings)
— Steak and Eggs Breakfast at Bull & Bear® (Sunday morning)
— Waldorf Astoria Chocolate Shop (Friday and Saturday)
— Friday Night Flights Wine Tasting Experiences
— Live Entertainment (nightly)
— Astoria After Dark kids program (nightly)

Grand Pairings Wine Dinners are priced at $199 per person inclusive. The steak & eggs on Sunday mornings (10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at Bull & Bear are $49 and feature certified angus prime beef. And that includes a drink from the bloody mary station. That all sounds pretty yummy to me.

For more details, visit the Food & Wine Weekends website, which someone thought would be fun to design with a black background and white and pink lettering.


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