Next up in Epcot’s revolving door of jamborees is the Festival of the Arts, opening Friday, January 18. You’ll have 39 days to experience culture a la Disney before it ends Feb 25 to make way for the next festival.
When most people thing of artistic endeavors they think painting, sculptures or maybe even performing arts, all of which you’ll find at the FotA. But Epcot gives equal time to the culinary arts, perhaps because the organizers know that more people are likely to shell out some money for something to eat than for something to hang on a wall.
At a media preview event Wednesday morning, I got to sample some of the foods that will be available throughout the park at the various kiosks, called Food Studios for this particular festival.
My favorite was the Smoked Salmon and Cream Gateau (photo above courtesy of Shelly Caran). It’s a multi-layered affair with thinly sliced fish alternating with crepes plus egg yolk cream and paddlefish caviar that gave it a nice salty note. You’ll find it at Painter’s Palate (as opposed to palette).
I also like the Trio of Hors d’Oeuvres, which included a deviled egg with a stab of candied bacon; a risotto ball tinged with truffle essence; and chilled shrimp with cucumber cream cheese on a crostini.
A dish of Pan-seared Scallop was meant to resemble the painting Woman with a Hat by Matisse. I don’t know about the resemblance; maybe if you squint. But it tasted good and was definitely an artistic endeavor with a parmesan crisp standing in as the hat with a micro flower fascinator.
Perhaps representing the Minimalism Movement, a vegetarian Wild Mushroom Risotto had aged parmesan and truffle shavings and a zinfandel reduction.
For the classicists, there’s Beef Wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables.
A Panna Cotta with vanilla, rosewater and crushed pistachios was my favorite among the desserts.
But you’ll want to try to catch a demonstration of the making of Dragon Beard Candy, which tastes a little like peanut butter.
Instead of Eat to the Beat, the nightly concerts featured during the International Food and Wine Festival, the Festival of the Arts has the Disney on Broadway Concert Series, with performers from the various musicals produced by Disney. Can you ever get enough of Beauty and the Beast? That was a rhetorical question.
The 2019 (and third annual) Epcot International Festival of the Arts runs from Jan. 18 through Feb. 25. Admission to the park is required and all food and drinks are purchased separately.
Attendees of the media preview were presented with park passes and complimentary food and beverage samples.