4th Annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic – A Recap!

4th Annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic – A Recap!

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The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World hosted its 4th Annual Food and Wine Classic last weekend October 18-19, 2013 featuring a diverse selection of innovative cuisine by award-winning chefs.

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Returning for its fourth year, the Food and Wine Classic features resort chefs’ dishes and drinks from around the world.

Signature restaurants that participated include Shula’s Steak House, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Todd English’s bluezoo – all located on the premises of the Swan and Dolphin hotel.

There is a certain magic about the Food and Wine Classic that leaves me in complete awe. From the educational seminars to exploring culinary innovation, my mind and taste buds were deeply satisfied.

I had the opportunity to join the festivities on Friday evening and the view of the sunset glistening over the water with talented musicians performing in the background made this evening perfect.

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Tony Porcellini has been with the Swan and Dolphin for 26 years and oversees 17 restaurants on the property. He is noted for his groundbreaking concepts and venues, such as Shula’s Steakhouse and Bluezoo.

The most valuable part of my evening was attending the Wine Blending Seminar with Tony Porcellini, Certified Sommelier and Director of Food and Beverage.

Tony explores the origin, flavor, and characteristics of the five classic Bordeaux red varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

It was truly a delight to create my own red wine blends while pairing it with delicious samples of cheese and jelly – what fun!

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From the art of pasta making, champagne, sake, beer, to white and red wines, there were plenty of seminars to choose from of which I wish I had the time to learn from them all.

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Experimenting with a plastic measuring pipette to fill different percentages of the component wines
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The beginning of my bordeaux blend creation – 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Petit Verdot

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Shula’s Steak House: Carved Prime Rib, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Horseradish, Creme Fraiche, Watercress
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Cabana Bar & Beach Club: Belle & Evans Farm Chicken Yakitori, Edamame Relish, Lemongrass Foam
Todd English’s Bluezoo featuring the freshest seafood
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Todd English’s Bluezoo: Oyster Shooter, Huckleberry Champagne Vinegar, Huckleberry Foam
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Bluezoo team uses liquid nitrogen to prepare one of the components in the tuna tartare
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Bluezoo’s Molecular Gastronomy – miso is cooked and frozen in liquid nitrogen to create cracklins for the tuna tartare
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Todd English’s Bluezoo: Tuna Tartare, Sexy Scallions, Nitro Aioli Miso Crackling
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Todd English’s Bluezoo: Rock Shrimp Tacos, Creamy Jalapeno Slaw, Pickled Onion Micro Cilantro
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Il Mulino New York Trattoria: Preparing hand cut garganelli with veal cheek ragu
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The Fountain: Falafel with Chick Pea Fritter, Tahini, and Traditional Garnish
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Fresh Mediterranean Market: Thai Chicken Salad, Organic Greens, Green Papaya, Tamarind with Ginger Dressing
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Garden Grove: Open Face Tomato & Handcrafted Mozzarella Sandwich, Sweet Basil, Locatelli
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Todd English’s Bluezoo: “Short Rib Oscar”: Braised Beef Short Rib, Maryland Blue Crab, Asparaus, ISI Hollandaise
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Todd English’s Bluezoo: “Short Rib Oscar”: Braised Beef Short Rib, Maryland Blue Crab, Asparaus, ISI Hollandaise
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Picabu: Taqueria-Corn Tortilla Barbacoa of Beef, Braised Pork, Organic Vegetables, Cheddar Cheese, Lime Wedge, Lettuce, Onion, Shaved Radish, Pico de Gallo with a hint of hot sauce
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Picabu Barbacoa of Beef and Braised Pork Tacos
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Kimonos: Crispy Shrimp, Tuna, Salmon, Avocado Sushi
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Cib’s Smokehouse: Texas Style Beef Brisket, Brioche Puree, Rhubarb Pudding
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“O Saint O” Orange Cream Filled Puff, Milk Chocolate Covered Orange Cookie and Vanilla Whipped Cream
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“Tropic” (Shot Glass) Passion Fruit Cream, Mango Papaya Pineapple Compote, Coconut Cake, Mango Vanilla Sauce
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“Intense” Flourless Chocolate Sponge and Arriba 72% Chocolate Mousse
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Plate of Delectable Pastry and Desserts! My mouth is watering just remembering the taste of all this..

The event is so vibrant that you can enjoy it with a group of friends or your significant other for a fun date.

With over 40 food and beverage stations, there was never a moment wasted as you can imagine the endless myriad of dishes and wines. And the experience would not have been complete without the wine blending seminar.

Some of my favorites included Shula’s Carved Prime Rib, Todd English’s Short Rib Oscar and Oyster Champagne Shooters.

Each dish was prepared fresh to order and fast on-site to accommodate the large number of attendees while still maintaining the flavors and quality. I really appreciate the amount of effort it took to plan a beautiful evening and the friendly representation at every booth. Well done to the entire team at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin for the Food and Wine Classic! Can’t wait till next year’s selections – only 12 months away…

KRYSTLE NGUYEN is a food enthusiast and many of her childhood memories were created in the restaurants that her parents owned while she was growing up - trying new dishes and interacting with customers. You can catch her on the weekends exploring Orlando or helping her parents manage the family's restaurant, Saigon Noodle and Grill. Krystle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida and took a job at Florida Hospital following her graduation. She's currently attending Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business to pursue a master's degree in Business Administration. Her passion is to support the Central Florida community, currently serving as a board member for the City of Orlando's Nominating Board. Photos taken by Krystle Nguyen with the Nikon D5000 DSLR and Olympus OM-D E-M10.

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