When it comes to pairing fairy tales and food, leave it to Disney World Dining to create a masterpiece not only for your eyes but also for your tastebuds. Our Florida expert and Gnational Gnomad Kelly Stilwell was invited to experience the ultimate in Disney dining at the first Storytelling with Food themed dinner of 2019. Foodies take note: you might want to consider planning your next Walt Disney World vacation around one of these Storytelling with Food events!
The chefs who conjure up the most incredible events for Disney World Dining have done it again with Storytelling with Food themed dinners. Taking hints from the Disney fairy tales we all know and love, the Disney World culinary team has created monthly dinners held at Markham’s, a private restaurant in the Golden Oak community in Orlando.
Walt Disney World Dining: Storytelling with Food
So what exactly is Storytelling with Food? Let’s use the first event of 2019 celebrating the 60th anniversary of Sleeping Beauty as an example. Take a moment to think about the story’s origins. Originally written by Charles Perrault, Sleeping Beauty is considered a French fairy tale. Many English versions of the fairy tale have been translated as The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. Disney World Dining chefs used this information to create French-inspired dishes with an emphasis on nature.
Executive Chef Dominique Filoni of Citrocos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa brought Sleeping Beauty to life by creating a menu perfectly showcasing the beloved film. The evening began with Gooseberry cocktails created just for the event.
Disney World Dining Created Appetizers
With the film playing on the screen in the lounge, guests were served appetizers of venison tartare with a root vegetable crisp, edible flower petals, and wild mushrooms. To complement the venison, small plates held baby carrots with dipping sauces.
Each table in the dining room held a hand-painted solid white chocolate replica of Sleeping Beauty’s castle with roses and vines, a fitting tribute to a sweet ending story.
Storytelling with Food Five-Course Menu
Chef Filoni created a five-course culinary feast with each dish expertly paired with wine by Cítricos Sommelier Stig Jacobsen. Guests were served Egg Custard with citrus créme, fingerling potatoes, and red salmon roe. Paired with Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut, Tours-sur-Marne NV, it was heavenly.
Even the bread was inspired. Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer told me the Thorns and Briar Roses rolls were based on Aurora’s time spent in the forest. The fairies named her Briar Rose, so the dark seven-grain bread represented thorns on a vine, and the brioche was baked in a rose shape.
The next dish, “Fighting King” Hake, was influenced by a scene in Sleeping Beauty. The two kings had a heated discussion before a banquet. One of the kings grabbed a fish and pretended to use it as a sword to fight off any adversary that would interfere. Chef Filoni made a savory crown to tie the story with the two kings and added a sauce Aurora to reference the princess in the dish. Paired with Domaine Les Caillox André Brunel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, this was my favorite dish of the evening.
For true Disney fans, the Storytelling with Food themed dinner is an over-the-top experience. I haven’t seen anything like this in Disney World. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s comparable to dining at Club 33 in Disneyland, also an evening you’ll never forget.
Storytelling with Food Special Dessert Celebrating Sleeping Beauty
The evening ended with a special creation from Pastry Chef Farmer. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather’s Birthday Surprise completed the meal with buttercream-wrapped layers of deliciously light and airy vanilla sponge cake and strawberry mousse, paired with Château Climens Sauternes.
Chef Farmer said when Aurora turned 16 years old the three fairies wanted to make her a cake. They tried to create it without using their powers, but it was a disaster. They eventually gave in and used magic, but then argued about whether the color should be pink or blue. Chef Farmer created a four-tiered blue mini birthday cake with strawberry mousse inside, trimmed with white chocolate candles and a gold flame. It was spectacular, with the fairies being etched onto each dish.
Guests of the January event were also surprised with a special guest, Disney Archives lead Becky Cline. Guest speakers, as well as menus, are kept top secret right up until guests arrive. And as if the evening hadn’t been magical enough, each guest took home an ink and opaque watercolor giclée reproduction of Sleeping Beauty’s final page.
The February event was led by Chef Timothy Majoris from The Flying Fish and was themed to the 55th anniversary of A Small World. To help you plan your Disney vacation, we’ve listed all the dates we know of at this time below. As you can see, an extra date has been added for each event so more guests are able to experience the dinners. Though these events are open to the public, they sell out almost immediately after being announced.
Upcoming Dates for Storytelling with Food Events
- On March 25, Michael Rodriguez from the Yachtsman Steakhouse will present DUMBO, a Fantasy Culinary Adventure.
- April 29 & 30 will showcase the Sherman Brothers with culinary creations based on their movie and theme park scores featuring Culinary Director John Clark.
- May 20 & 21 is themed A Whole New World … of Flavor: A Tribute to Aladdin featuring Chef Christian Rumpler.
- June 24 & 25 celebrates the 25th anniversary of The Lion King with a culinary journey to the African Savannah
featuring Chef de Cuisine Frank Brough.
- July 29th & 30 is a culinary tribute to and selection of inspired creations from each of the Epcot Festivals
featuring Culinary Director Albert Youngman.
To learn more, call 407-939-5773 between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Again, these dinners are extremely limited, so reserve your favorites right away as they will sell out quickly.
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Kelly Stilwell of Food, Fun & Faraway Places is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.
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