Artful Epcot: Culinary arts shine at Epcot Festival of the Arts


The old saying, we eat with our eyes, comes true at Epcot Festival of the Arts. The artful Epcot experience will satisfy the theme park foodie.

Over the years, Epcot has become the Disney food and drink destination. While Disney Springs may have more food diversity, Epcot draws theme park fans with the opportunity to eat and drink their way around the world. Returning for the second year, Epcot Festival of the Arts celebrates artful Epcot. Culinary arts have a significant part in this celebration.

While it doesn’t have the depth of the annual Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Epcot Festival of the Arts showcases food in a different way. From deconstructed dishes to artfully plated tastings, these food choices are both delicious and visually stunning. The dishes need to be appreciated for the attention to detail as well as flavors.

Artful Epcot: Culinary arts shine at Epcot Festival of the Arts, Saumon en Croute Facon Paul Bocuse with frose photo by Cristine Struble

Since the first year of the Festival of the Arts was well received, Epcot expanded the food marketplaces throughout the festival. While some food choices are repeats from last year, they still taste yummy. Even if you had the deconstructed BLT or savory croissant doughnuts before, you can be tempted to try them again.

On opening day, the three favorite dishes that I tried were a combination of new and old. Maybe it was the cool, overcast January day that found the savory, robust flavors so appealing.

Saumon en Croute Facon Paul Bocuse

Part of the new French marketplace, L’Art de la cuisine Francaise, the salmon in puff pastry was absolutely delightful. Covered in puff pastry, the salmon was tender and flavorful. As expected, the puff pastry was flaky and absolutely perfect. A Buerre blanc sauce on half of the plate was a luscious yet light.

With a nod to the pretty, the puff pastry is shaped like a fish. The detail on the pastry and plate is eye catching. With the buerre blanc sauce, the “fish” looks as it is floating on water. Definitely an Instagram picture to impress friends.

The reference to Paul Bocuse was a nice touch. While non-foodies might miss the reference, Paul Bocuse is considered one of the originators of nouvelle cuisine. Also, he is the founder of the world-renowned food competition, Bocuse D’Or. The annual competition brings together highly acclaimed chefs in the ultimate cooking competition.

Artful Epcot: Culinary arts shine at Epcot Festival of the Arts, sous vide chicken photo by Cristine Struble

Sous vide poulet rouge chicken roulade

Located in the Pop Eats marketplace, this chicken dish is a great introduction to many cooking techniques. The dish features a slowly cooked chicken roulade (sous vide) that is finished on a grill, beet and apple chips, and some blueberry/beet gel and foams. The various textures provide a satisfying bite. The beet and apple chips could be a little crispier, though. Also, the dish goes a little sweet. A touch of acid or a stronger bite from the microgreens would be nice. Try a bite with all the plate’s components for the best bite.

This dish, like other Pop Eats dishes, takes time to plate. It is a long process. Visitors will have to wait for this marketplace. Granted, everyone can watch the chef plate the intricate dish. Still, they will need patience. This experience isn’t a grab and go scenario. Remember the whole experience, plating to eating, is part of artful Epcot.

Artful Epcot: Culinary arts shine at Epcot Festival of the Arts, braised beef short ribs, photo by Cristine Struble

Red wine braised beef short ribs

Available in the Cuisine Classique marketplace in Germany, the red wine braised beef short ribs are a full meal on a plate. The hearty short ribs are perfectly tender. Paired with broccolini and parsnip puree, the dish could even be shared with a friend.

The parsnip puree is very smooth, yet provides a balance to the rich red wine braised short ribs. This dish isn’t grandma’s steak and potatoes. Although it brings a bit of the familiar, the dish shows how to elevate the classic flavors.
Food marketplaces are located in both the World Showcase and Showcase Plaza. There are many choices that it can be almost impossible to eat one dish at every marketplace. Still, many people will try.

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  • The new marketplaces for 2018 are located in France, China, Italy, Japan and Morocco. Some of the other marketplaces offer the same food as last year. For example, if you enjoyed Popping Bubbles or the pan seared scallop, those favorite dishes are back again.

    In addition to the food marketplaces, Epcot Festival of the Arts features visual arts displays throughout the park. Guests can even participate in the creation of a large scale mural. Several artists have pieces available for sale.

    Also, theatric performances will happen throughout the festival’s run. Several Broadway stars will take the stage for performances. A complete listing of performance dates can be found on the Disney website.

    Let your eyes feast on the artful Epcot culinary delights at Epcot Festival of the Arts. Your stomach will eagerly anticipate the visual delicacies.