Epcot Festival of the Arts: Colorful, culinary creativity is a feast for the senses

Epcot Festival of the Arts, Vanilla, Rose Water and Pistachio Panna Cotta, photo by Cristine Struble
Epcot Festival of the Arts, Vanilla, Rose Water and Pistachio Panna Cotta, photo by Cristine Struble /

As the new year begins, Epcot Festival of the Arts inspires guests with colorful, culinary creativity. The feast for all the senses will inspire foodies to visit over and over.

Epcot themed festivals celebrate different aspects of the magical Disney experience. At Epcot Festival of the Arts, art is shown in its many forms. Art is more than just visual experience or performances, the culinary arts are full of colorful and dramatic creativity. This year’s food offerings definitely an artistic expression on the plate.

While many foodies are familiar with the popular Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Epcot Festival of the Arts offers a more experimental foodie experience. The marketplaces throughout the theme park ask guests to put aside the notion of some traditional dishes and embrace food as an experience and artistic expression.

As seen in the names of some of the marketplaces, these food festival dishes are far from the traditional small plate of delicious Disney food. The dishes are intended to spark a conservation, make people think and, most importantly, impress with amazing flavors.

During a recent media preview, Disney Parks showcased some dishes from this year’s Epcot Festival of the Arts. As seen on the table, it was hard to determine if the dish inspired a painting or the painting inspired the dish. In either way, these dishes definitely captured the idea of food as art.

Probably one of this year’s most visually impressive, Instagram worthy dishes will be the Rose Water, Vanilla Panna Cotta with Pistachio Crumble. Taking visual cues from the rose water flavor, the dessert looks like a perfect pink rose.

While the outside visual is stunning, the flavors of the dessert are equally impressive. After cracking open the pink, chocolate shell, the tartness from the jam balances the sweetness of the panna cotta. The texture from the pistachio crumble makes for a perfect bite.

Where the rose dessert offers the delicate visual, the deconstructed ruben will make any foodie rethink that classic dish. By breaking each flavor component into something totally different, it is both the perfect bite and an exploration of flavor.

Although some deconstructed dishes are like a choose your own culinary adventure, this dish begs you to make the perfectly composed bite. The most unusual part of the plate is the purposefully broken sauce. While a broken sauce might get the ire of Gordon Ramsay, this dish shows that a broken sauce can be purposeful and perfection.

This year, color draws together many of the dishes across the various marketplaces. The re-imagined chicken roulade is a wonderful example how ingredients can bring bright, bold colors to the plate.

While the chicken roulade is the star of the plate, the colored sauces are a feast for the eyes. The vibrant colors come from spinach and turmeric. This dish serves as a lovely reminder that smart use of ingredients can spark visual creativity on a plate.

Since beverages are just as important as the whimsical dishes, Epcot Festival of the Arts has created a playful ode to the iconic Figment. Available at Deconstructed Dish, Rainboba might be the talk of the festival.

The non-alcoholic drink has boba, sparkling water and a whipped foam cloud. It will be interesting to see how this colorful beverage sparkles in the sunshine. On a sunny day, it will be the ultimate refresher.

These dishes are just a small sample of the many options that will be served at the various marketplaces throughout Epcot Festival of the Arts. In total, there are numerous festival market places throughout the theme park.

Epcot Festival of the Arts runs January 17 through February 24, 2020. In addition to the festival marketplaces, there will be Disney on Broadway performances, art installations, Disney art seminars and many other activities.

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Have you been to Epcot Festival of the Arts? What dishes are you most excited to taste?