Newsy Nuggets: Epcot Food & Wine; Icon Sip and Savor; home based food operations; and Broadway on the Rocks

Written By Scott Joseph On April 19, 2023

Epcot Food and Wine

Walt Disney World culinears have have announced the dates for the 2023 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and while for the past several years the fest has been getting longer, this year it will be shorter.

Mind you, it will still run a pretty long while, from July 27 through November 18. Last year it started on July 14 and ended Nov. 19, but not everything opened right away; certain marketplaces – the food stands set up throughout the theme park – didn’t open until mid August.

Still waiting on word about whether the festival will return to its prepandemic schedule of events. Last year we were still missing winemaker-hosted tastings, special luncheons and wine dinners, and the splashy Party for the Senses, which had previously run most Saturday nights during the event’s run.

Southeast 9 23 Bosch

Icon Park, the International Drive attraction that features the big Ferris wheel and always sends me an email after I write about it asking why I don’t put the name in all caps (answer each time: because Icon is not an acronym), will host its annual Sip & Savor event on April 30 from noon to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $39.99 for adults – be sure to ask for change from your two $20 bills – and $9.99 for kids age 3-12. That gets you samples of beer, wine, hard seltzers and moonshine, as well as food from 11 of the Icon Park restaurants, including Tapa Toro, Shake Shack and Gordon Ramsay’s @$%&! Fish & Chips. Seems odd that attendees aged 13-20 have to pay full price even though they can’t have alcohol. But I’ve seen teenagers eat, so it probably all works out. You can purchase your tickets here. A portion of the proceeds go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a food business out of your home but don’t know how to get started, you need to attend “Start Your Home Based Food Business: Understanding Florida’s Cottage Food Guidelines,” on Thursday, April 20, at noon, sponsored by East End Market. This is a webinar presented on Zoom, because, you know, it’s home based.

The session will feature Jennifer Hagen, billed as an expert in the field of cottage food regulation, which goes beyond cottage cheese and cottage fries. She’ll tell you about Florida laws for home-based food operations, licensing and permits, how to label your product and where you can sell it. EEM owner John Rife will also be online to answer questions. Reserve your seat for the one-hour session here, and remember, that seat will be in your house so make it a comfy one.

I just got back from New York, which has lots of terrific places to catch cabaret performances. Now, Orlando has a new venue for occasional cabaret entertainers at Rocks Lounge at Hyatt Regency Orlando. This Saturday’s performance will feature Megan Reinking, who is not related to Ann Reinking (or Bob Fosse, as far as I know) but has been on Broadway in “Hair” and “Lestat.”

Tickets are $25-$55 and can be purchased here. Premium tickets include a menu of light bites (not the Lestat kind, one hopes), a welcome drink and gratuity. Doors open at 6:30 and show is at 7:30 p.m.

There, no reason to go to New York ever again.

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