Guest Review: Culinary Arts At The Epcot International Festival Of The Arts

I had the chance to check out the new Epcot International Festival of the Arts its first weekend. This is a new festival that is running Fridays-Mondays, January 13 until February 20, 2017. Events take place around the World Showcase from park open until park close. Valid admission to Epcot is required to attend.

Epcot International Festival Of The ArtsEpcot International Festival Of The Arts

This festival focuses on the arts including the Culinary Arts. Booths are set up around World Showcase like at the Food & Wine and Flower & Garden Festivals. Some of the permanent stands have offerings for the festival as well, we skipped these in favor of the festival booths. Since we only had one day, I made a short list of dishes to try. I wanted to make sure we tried at least one thing from each booth. This is easy to do if you have someone to share with!

There are only eight food booths set up for this event:

  • The Painter's Palate
  • Decadent Delights
  • E=AT^2
  • Pop Eats!
  • El Artista Hambriento
  • Cuisine Classique
  • The Artist's Table
  • Masterpiece Kitchen

They offer not just food but works of art, each plate was being prepared when ordered unlike at the other festivals, while this did lead to the lines moving a little slower than at other, we never waited too long.

Inside The Festival Of The Arts GuideInside The Festival Of The Arts Guide

We had a couple of dishes that were real stand outs to us.

1) Huarache at El Arsta Hambriento/The Hungry Artist near Mexico

Flank Steak Guarache served with Black Beans, Salsa de Chile de Arbol, Frisee Lettuce, Queso Fresco, Red Cabbage, Shredded Carrots and Chipotle Mayo. This is all served on grilled corn dough which held up well with all the toppings! Each flavor is prominent in this dish. Nothing stands out more than the other and all combines creating a flavorful dish. This one is more than big enough to share.

Huarache El Arsta Hambriento in MexicoHuarache El Arsta Hambriento in Mexico

2) Wild Mushroom Risotto, Aged Parmesan, Truffle Shavings and Zinfandel Reduction at the Masterpiece Kitchen in Canada.

If you go, this must be on your list!! Of all the festivals and all the food, this is by far my favorite of them all. The risotto is perfectly cooked. Creamy and cheesy, the addition of the wild mushrooms gives a nice texture. It is then topped with truffle shavings, parmesan and micro parsley. A zinfandel reduction is then added to the top of the dish. It also pairs nicely with the Meeker Vineyard Winemakers Handprint Merlot offered at the booth. I would not share this one. Keep it all to yourself and then go back for seconds.

Wild Mushroom Risotto at the Masterpiece Kitchen in CanadaWild Mushroom Risotto at the Masterpiece Kitchen in Canada

A few things to keep in mind:

Epcot has two other large festivals during the year, I would think they would have things close to perfect, but some things were a bit off.

The making of the dishes as ordered I mentioned above. This is an arts festival. The dishes are more intricate and beautiful than at the other festivals. You can see the work that goes into each dish as they are made in front of you. This does take up a bit of time. Even the Artists Palette cookies were having the "paint" icing pipped on as they were ordered. These could have been made in advance to save a little time.

A couple of the booths we visited were running out of food. We could not get the triple chocolate mousse on Friday because the chef was gone to get more cake. They were out of salmon on Sunday. Guest were being served half portions and still charged the full amount of the mini savory croissants. I'm not sure if is because they underestimated crowds.

There were not enough tables set up where you can eat. A lot of people were utilizing trashcan tops and the walls around World Showcase Lagoon to set their food on to eat.

More Festival Of The Arts FoodMore Festival Of The Arts Food

Hopefully as the event moves on into February, they will get a good hold of things. None of it would keep me from returning this weekend if I could! I was told by a cast member that this is a trial run. It is not a "for sure" for next year as of this past weekend, they are feeling the waters on this one. I hope they do great, I would love to see this return. As I told the cast member, "It is an Epcot festival involving food, people will come.

Read about more great Festival Of The Arts foods over at the Disney Food Blog.

What do you think of the things you've seen coming out of the Festival of the Arts this year? Are you hoping it will become an annual event? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

A big thanks goes out to Guest Author JMed for sharing her experience with this new service. If you'd like to read more about her Disney Adventures, you can find her sharing on our member forum.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 14:44:

Kristen K.'s picture

Another great article JMed! I really hope that they continue this festival and expand the arts program, I think I would really enjoy it.

JMed wrote on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 17:46:

JMed's picture

Thanks Kristen! Even with the little hiccups, I think they will find their groove and it will flow smoothly. I am sure they were feeling the pressure of "the first day".

All in all we loved it. Wish I could get back ONE MORE WEEKEND to have some more risotto!

alicemouse wrote on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 22:07:

alicemouse's picture

Thanks, JMed! Looking forward to checking it out on Monday!

JoAnn C wrote on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 22:08:

JoAnn C's picture

Great job Jmed. I am looking forward to it next month.

JMed wrote on Sun, 01/29/2017 - 17:23:

JMed's picture

Thank you ladies! I really loved this festival! I hope it sticks around! Y'all enjoy. :)

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