The G stands for garden and what better way to get others excited about this Festival, than to add food from the garden! Seems like a natural fit-right? It wasn’t always so, the food I mean.
Through the years, there had been talk, brainstorms, talk, more brainstorms and more talk. But in late 2012, the Epcot Leadership took a chance and pushed the concept of outside ‘kitchen gardens’ through. When the 2013 F&G Festival opened, there were eleven outdoor kitchens preparing food for guests to purchase, similar to the fall Food & Wine event. That has now reached eighteen outdoor kitchens and a dedicated year-around Culinary Team dreaming up magical culinary dishes for us to try.
Enough history, let’s get to the food!
How many people have a ‘cool’ location to work, like I do? Lunch is a walk in the park……………….figuratively and literally. We can take our time enjoying the Festival, leisurely stopping at a few outdoor kitchens and walk again the next day (or next week) to try a few more tasty tidbits. Here are a few of my favorite highlights from this year’s F&G Festival.
One of our first treats from the Pineapple Promenade was the violet lemonade and spicy hot dog with ‘goop’. Okay, using the word ‘goop’ would probably give the culinary team a heart attack, but this was a messy dish to eat. Be prepared. LOVE the edible pansy flower blooms in the lemonade and really, who can resist sipping on a lavender colored drink.
Across the promenade is The Citrus Blossom kitchen. While we have tasted all three of the savory dishes, I only captured photos of the of the tuna and chicken. And to tell the whole truth……..we’ve been back to have the tuna and chicken. 🙂 With this photo, I noticed the citrus shortcake on the menu – hmmmm, may have to make a return trip and try that.
Trowel & Trellis, come on, what a cute name. While many guests purchase the corn on the cob which is cooked behind the outdoor kitchen, right on-stage, we chose the other two offerings. Notice that little ‘V’ at the end of the Farmhouse Meatball description, this item is all vegetarian – no thank you. It was served like a taco to keep all of the ingredients together. The sweet item is very imaginative. Not really one of my favorite items to taste and after a few spoonfuls, gave it to my eating partners.
An inside location called Arbor at the Gardeners Terrace, provides a chance to get away from the heat – uncommonly warm on the day we were eating. We ordered all of three of the food options. I really enjoyed the fried green tomatoes, but didn’t feel they were anything extra special. A friend got the salmon and loved it. I tried a bit of it and while it was tasty, it’s not something I would order again, personally.
The dessert however, keeps growing on me. Yes, this is another place that has already warranted a second visit. I really, really like the sorbet that topped the crumb cake.
I’m finishing with a tried and true culinary stop – The Smokehouse. I have photos of the top item and the bottom item listed below. On-stage is a smoker that only enhances the smoky flavor of the meat as the smoke permeates the on-stage eating area.
This is one of my absolute favorite desserts from this festival: warm chocolate cake, warm caramel sauce, topped with pecans – yum, just yum.
And how can you top that – you can’t.