Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by Driscoll’s at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. They hosted a dozen bloggers from around Central Florida. Driscoll’s commitment to delicious, healthy eating was demonstrated in multiple live culinary demos by Chef Jon Ashton and Dietician Wendy Bazillian. Together they prepared three courses that added flavor, flair, and fabulous health benefits to mealtime.
The culinary demo that I attended started promptly at 5pm at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Center. I’m embarrassed to say, but in the years I’ve been to the Food & Wine fest I’ve never been in the festival center! Now, that I know it exist I’ll be going in their each year.
We started the culinary demo with a glass of FroZin, a dessert wine from Meeker Vineyards. The Meeker Vineyard is a family-owned winery in Sonoma County, California. I’m not a fan of white Zinfandel. Although, this was not like any Zinfandel I’ve ever tasted. This dessert wine delivers incredibly fresh Zinfandel aromas and flavors. From the first sip you taste the berry aromas.
Disney hostess, Pam Smith introduced Co-Winemaker Lucas Meeker took the stage to talk about the history of The Meeker Vineyard and all about the 2005 FroZin that we were drinking (retails for $24). His passion for wine making shines through as well as his knowledge! It was so hard for me to slowly sip this wine. It was so good. I could have easily guzzled a bottle down during the demo. But I knew that wasn’t really lady like or proper. Nor were they handing out multiple glasses of wine to drink!
Next up, it was time for Chef Jon Ashton and Dietician Wendy Bazillian to take the stage. Chef Jon Ashton was so animated and started the demo off by doing a toast to the crowd!
Servers began passing out our three course tasting. Pictured above (bottom) Brie & Blackberry Wonton, (middle) Strawberry Bruschetta, (top) Thai Turkey Meatball. All three were spectacular. Chef Jon Ashton started with the Brie & Blackberry Wonton and built up from there. It made sense as the flavors began to intensify throughout each course!
As Chef Jon Ashton talked about the recipes he also walked around the audience. Giving me the chance to capture this photo! As you can tell from the photo–he is very animated! One thing that Chef Jon Ashton said really resinated with me; “Relatable recipes you can make in your kitchen“. I strive to do this all the time, so I enjoyed the fact that he has similar beliefs as I do!
Oh and don’t worry, I’ll be posting the recipes in the next month. I plan to make all three for upcoming get togethers because I know everyone will thoroughly enjoy them!
Dr. Wendy Bazillian gave insightful berry facts throughout the demo. Did you know “one serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than one medium orange“? Who knew! I didn’t!
Dr. Wendy Bazillian also spoke about storing your berries:
- Keep them in the container
- Store in the coolest place of the refrigerator
- Clean before eating
I was excited to try the sit down restaurant since I have only eaten at the quick service restaurant attached. The food was delicious. We started with vegetable spring rolls, followed by mixed green salad. Almost our entire group of 20 chose the spicy beef goulash and spaetzle for dinner. For dessert everyone was served a slice of cheesecake with fresh berries!
Unfortunately, Chef Jon Ashton wasn’t able to have dinner with us, but Dr. Wendy Bazillian was! I sat across from her and enjoyed talking with her. She has published multiple books and makes frequent appearances on national morning shows such as The Today Show. I asked her what her tips were for doing short cooking segments since I’ve recently done two. I always want to learn and improve so it was great hearing her talk about what to expect and what to never expect from a morning show!
Disclaimer: I received the culinary demo and dinner for free. I was not compensated to post about this event. All opinions are my own.