Epcot Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview, Part Three: the Preview Presentation

September 25, 2011

Considering it’s now less than a week until the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicks off, it’s high time we wind up our review of the preview dinner we attended earlier this year… in Part One of of the Sneak Preview we covered the appetizers served, and in Part Two, we had the main course, now we go on to the actual presentation…

As we finished dessert, our host Pam Smith came back up and started into the Powerpoint presentation highlighting the upcoming festival.

She introduced the Food & Wine Festival Team who were on hand: first up was Michael Jenner, the “King of all things Food & Wine” according to Pam – Michael then covered the inspiration of this year’s theme of the festival.

Next up was David Buckley of WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) who is the creative director for this year’s festival…

David Buckley and Pam Smith

David gave an overview of the creative process that went into designing the luggage tag inspired logos and how that theme will be carried throughout the graphic elements used in the festival.

The same graphic theme will be carried on in the display at the main Epcot entrance…

as well as in other planter and topiary displays throughout the park.

Pam then brought Chef Gregg Hannon back up to cover the new marketplaces for this year’s festival.

He briefly went over the offerings at the new kiosks, several of which we had sampled earlier that evening: the Caribbean, Scandinavia, Portugal and Hawaii.

Next up was Marianne Hunnel, who is the “Queen of all things Food and Wine”… she is in charge of all the guest chefs who appear at the festival, as well as all the beverages to be presented… a woman to know for sure!

Marianne Hunnel and Pam Smith

Marianne also discussed the new kiosks, and the beverages that will be served, including some drinks that will make their US debut at the Food & Wine Festival.

The Scandinavian booth will feature Xante, a unique spirit that is a combo of pears and cognac.

The Caribbean kiosk will, not shockingly, feature a couple of rum-based drinks.

Marianne then noted that this year would also have a version of the passport as had been introduced last year. This booklet lists all the items served at the kiosks and has places to get stamped at each of the locations. This simple idea was a big hit last year and made a great keepsake of the event.

From there on Pam along with Michael and Marianne went on to cover the many special events, celebrity chefs and musical acts to be featured at Food & Wine.

There was also a quick mention of the merchandise as well as the Wine & Dine race (which was constantly referred to as a “marathon”, but is in fact, a half-marathon – not that 13.1 miles is anything to sneeze at…).

Pam quickly reviewed the new events/items for this year…

and then thanked us for attending the event.

Afterwards all the key participants stayed and spent time speaking with the attendees – they were all very gracious and generous with their time and seemed truly glad to be there and meet all of us.

Pam Smith, Miss Bonnie and myself

So there you have it, the last part of our “Preview Review”… the Food & Wine Festival is just now days away…

For a detailed listing of the events you can go to the official Disney pages or visit our good friends at the Disney Food Blog.

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