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The 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Awards

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival ended a few weeks ago but, that doesn’t mean we can’t reminiscent on it right? Of course, we can! This year’s festival, lasting a record 75 days, brought some old favorites together with some new favorites. Today we are bestowing the WDW Opinion 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Awards! It’s just like the Oscars only much more important!

Best Booth Award

The best booth this year in our book goes to Flavors from the Fire. Returning for its sophomore year at the festival, this booth brought both great theming and incredible flavors. Located near Club Cool in Future World West, the design of the booth is one you couldn’t miss.

Flavors from Fire

You really couldn’t go wrong with any of the dishes here. Our personal favorite was the Smoked Corn Beef though. Served over warm crispy potatoes with pickled onions, and blonde ale beer fondue, this dish was like a unique twist on nachos with an incredible flavor profile. (To be honest I’m not exactly sure what “flavor profile” means but I know they say it a lot on Top Chef so I’m going for it.)

Smoked Corn Beef
Smoked Corn Beef

Another unique dish here was the Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak. The steak was served on a smoked corn cake with pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aioli and paired nicely with the Orlando Brewery Smokin’ Blackwater Porter. Coming in at $6.75 this dish packed a lot of flavor with a solid amount of food.

Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak
Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak

And of course, we would be remised if we didn’t mention the oh so tasty Piggy Wings! These pork lolipops, as I like to refer to them, will always be a hit. Served with Korean BBQ sauce and sesame seeds, the tasty morsels were a perfect snack size but, we wouldn’t have complained if we got three instead of two.

Piggy Wings
Piggy Wings

Best Desserts Award

I’m loving these single ingredient themed booths. They put the focus on one flavor and pull in other elements to create some really unique dishes. The chocolate studio gave two solid choices on this front. The Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart with whipped cream was rich but, not overpowering. Which is definitely important as you don’t want to get bogged down while you make your way around the festival.

Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart

The award for the most unique dish at this year’s festival, for me, goes to the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel. This was a very cool dish to try but, after a few bites, I got the gist of it. The liquid nitrogen did give it a cool texture and definitely worth getting.

Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel
Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel

Sleeper Pick of the Festival Award

My sleeper pick for this year’s festival is the Butternut Squash Ravioli from the Wine & Dine Studio! Served with brown butter vinaigrette, parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds, this dish incorporated some of Fall’s favorite ingredients. As a supreme lover of pasta, I can tell you, this was a winner.

Butternut Squash Ravioli
Butternut Squash Ravioli

Plus this booth had a pretty cool vibe to it. Plenty of space to dine with a much appreciated semi-covered area to beat the Florida sun.

Wine & Dine Studio
Wine & Dine Studio

Best Bargain of the Festival

Now, this bargain might seem weird because at $8 it is one of the most expensive things at the Food & Wine Festival but, it is still a great deal. The Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce is an excellent portion of a really good cut of meat. With Le Cellier being one of the most popular restaurants in Disney World, getting a taste of one of their signature dishes without completely breaking the bank is an awesome deal. The size is great and the flavors are fantastic. Definitely worth it.

Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon
Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon

The “That Was Interesting But I Never Need to Get it Again” Award

The Pão de Queijo or Brazilian Cheese Bread seems straightforward enough. It’s like a gourmet mozzarella stick, what’s not to like? On the first few bites, you get hit with a whole lot of tasty cheese and chewy, almost sweet bread. On the next several bites the flavors begin to wear off and it gets a little weird. I can’t believe I am saying this but there was too much cheese in it. The amount of cheese gave it a very weird texture. By the end, it was pretty unappealing to me. I think this would be the perfect dish to split with a few people though. Everyone gets a bite, you get the idea of it and then you move along.

Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread
Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread

The Decadent But Oh-So Good Award

Everyone that I know who tried the New England Lobster Roll at the Hops and Barley booth in the American Adventure Pavilion, said it was the winning dish of the festival. You really can’t go wrong with warm Lobster, Fresh Herb Mayonnaise all served on a Griddled Roll. The closest thing to 10 out of 10 that we experienced.

New England Lobster Roll
New England Lobster Roll

The “We’re Glad You Came Back” Award

One of the more unique and oh so delicious dishes comes from the Morocco booth. The Hummus Fries are little deep-fried sticks of chickpea goodness. Served with cucumber, tomato, onions and Tzatziki Sauce, these clever “fries” bring a new way to eat a classic dip. They’ve been around for a little while now but, we are always happy to see them return.

Hummus Fries
Hummus Fries

And thus concludes this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival Awards. I’d like to thank the academy (that’s what I call my stomach) for the hard work it put in this year. But these awards are just one blogger’s opinion. What was your favorite dish at this year’s festival? Let us know on social media!

 


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