The Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure is absolutely delightful. There is still time to enjoy this annual event as it runs until April 16th. Celebrity Chefs like Guy Fieri and Cat Cora will be on hand to provide guests with food demonstrations of tasty dishes as well as autographs. Pastry chefs like Keegan Gerhard and Emily Ellyn will fill the “Sweet Sundays” with treats fit for the Food Network. Wine and beer tastings will make any sipper feel that much smarter with samplings from great locales like Solvang, Temecula, and Yountville (near Napa). If you want to take your experience to the next level, special wine and beer-pairing dinners are available. Expect four courses and fine drinks from places like Flora Springs Winery, Fess Parker Winery, and Karl Strauss Brewing Company.
If you are like me and want to explore without set times or events, take a stroll around the 15 marketplace food kiosks offering fantastic bites such as fried artichokes and sustainable seafood. Check out “I Heart Artichokes”, “LA Style”, and “Wineology” for some of my favorite nibbles and sips so far. Lifestyle seminars like the one I stumbled upon with UCCE Master Gardener, Kris Bonner, was actually pretty informative. Kris explained the nuances of growing the best tomatoes. The world’s largest grower is China, the most salad-friendly tomato is the Sweet 100, and if you want the best flavor, pick them early in the morning and never refrigerate.
The Paradise Garden Grill now includes a beer menu (beer-braised pork tacos!) and beer garden featuring Anaheim Breweries. The Annual Passholder corner is next to the grill and offers a free photo-op as well as limited edition buttons. Passholders also have the option to purchase the Sip & Savor which includes 8 coupons for $45, but be advised it does not include alcohol. Kiddos can join in on the Jr. Chef experience with Goofy where they mix ingredients and get a pre-made cookie at the end.
If somehow you aren’t into food (?) or you aren’t into wine (??), then there is still plenty to satiate you. At every corner there seemed to be a band setting up, a band playing, or a fun food parade coming down the corridor. We happened upon the Jammin’ Chefs who were drumming it up with Chip and Dale. We also caught Streetlight Cadence at the Paradise Garden Bandstand.
Wine and beer tasting seminars start at $15 per person. Celebrity Chef experiences start at $79 per person, but general culinary demonstrations without a big name chef start at $10 per person. Special tasting dinners start at $150 per person. Lifestyle seminars are free (how I like to roll) as are all the musical performances. Marketplace kiosks vary starting around $6 for small bites. Be sure to make your reservations for the specialty events at 714-781-DINE.
There is honestly so much more I want to see and do at this flavorful festival. I am hoping to squeeze in a couple of more visits so I can let my tastebuds go wild. Because I am walking and eating at the same time the calories don’t count, right?! Bon Appetit!