Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Fourth Annual Food & Wine Classic

Food & Classic Signature Shot 2

This past Friday and Saturday, October 18-19, 2013, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hosted their Fourth Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. The festival showcases top food, wine and beer at over 40 food and beverage stations, highlighting selections from the hotels’ restaurants, encompassing the causeway between the two hotels. Guests can take part in one of nine seminars which are conducted at 4:30 p.m. each day. The festivities officially kick off at 5:30 p.m. and go strong until 9:00 p.m. with fantastic food, beverages, and live entertainment.


While we’ve heard of Food & Wine Classic since its first year, we had yet to stray from Epcot and make our way over to the Classic to see what it was all about. Upon reading more information from the official website, our anticipation grew as we looked at the food items that would be available from the Swan and Dolphin’s fantastic restaurants.


Each evening features a different menu, so if you visit on both nights, you’ll enjoy a completely new experience. I was only able to attend Saturday night, and now we both wish we could have been there Friday as well! While we couldn’t sample Friday night’s offerings, we do have pictures to share so you can become even hungrier. 😉

Beef & More

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-shulas-carved-prime-ribCarved Prime Rib, Roasted Garlic mashed Potatoes,
Horseradish Creme Fraiche, Watercress

Presented by Shula’s Steak House on Friday, October 18 &
Saturday, October 19

This dish was enjoyed by both Matt and me. The prime rib was tender, and the garlic mashed potatoes were wonderfully creamy. We’ve dined at Shula’s before and know they prepare wonderful steak. Creating these dishes on a large scale was no exception.

Thai Chicken SaladThai Chicken Salad, Organic greens, Green Papaya,
Tamarind-Ginger Dressing

Presented by Fresh Mediterranean Market on Friday, October 18

Chicken YakitoriBelle & Evans Chicken Yakitori, Edamame Relish, Lemongrass Foam
Presented by Cabana Bar & Beach Club on Friday, October 18

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-the-fountain-Lamb-Gyro-Braised-Lamb-Toasted-Pita-Tzatziki-SauceLamb Gyro – Braised Lamb, Toasted Pita, Tzatziki Sauce
Presented by The Fountain on Saturday, October 19

I’ve ordered the Gyro at The Fountain before, and it was good but fairly standard. This version with braised lamb was a nice twist on the classic dish, with crisp, fresh vegetables, tart tzatziki, and salty feta.

Short Rib Oscar

“Short Rib Oscar”: Braised Beef Short Rib, Maryland Blue Crab, Asparagus, ISI Hollandaise
Presented by Todd English’s bluezoo on Friday, October 18


2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-picabu-Taqueria-toppingsTaqueria – Corn Tortilla Barbacoa of Beef, Braised Pork,
Organic Vegetables, Cheddar Cheese, Lime Wedge, Lettuce, Onion, Shaved Radish, Pico de Gallo, Assorted Hot Sauces

Presented by Picabu on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19

Matt and I were torn on the tacos. I felt the beef and pork could have used a bit more seasoning, and Matt used the vegetables as a topping for the beef taco. We both felt the tortillas themselves were a bit thick, but otherwise the flavor was pretty good. We appreciated the toppings and hot sauces available to doctor up the tacos.

texas brisketTexas Style Beef Brisket, Brioche Puree, Rhubarb Pudding,
Garlic Chips

Presented by Cib’s Smokehouse on Friday, October 18



2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-cibs-smokehouse-Cibs-Bacon-2Handcrafted Bacon, Black Eyed Pea, Pea Puree, Maple Fluid Gel
Presented by Cib’s Smokehouse on Saturday, October 19

This was our first bite of the Classic, and it was fantastic. The bacon had a nice amount of smoke to it and the fat was rendered beautifully and it melted away. The purĂŠe added a nice earthiness that didn’t compete with the bacon. I would gladly order this as an appetizer.

Presented by Il Mulino New York Trattoria

Garganelli PastaHand Cut Garganelli, Veal Cheek Ragu, Organic Vegetables,
Micro Chives

on Friday, October 18

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-il-mulino-Yukon-Gold-Potato-RavioliYukon Gold Potato Ravioli, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Truffle,
Charred Onions

on Saturday, October 19

This ravioli was one of my favorite bites of the evening. It reminded me of light potato pierogies with onions, which are very much a comfort food for me. I’ve only stopped by Il Mulino for cocktails before, but this dish had me sold on getting back as soon as possible for dinner.

Fish and Seafood


2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-bluezoo-Pan-Seared-Shrimp-n-Grits--Pickled-Okra-Organic-Tomatoes-2Pan Seared Shrimp “n” Grits, Pickled Okra, Organic Tomatoes
Presented by Todd English’s bluezoo on Saturday, October 19

Our one visit we’ve made to bluezoo was fantastic, so I was looking forward to the Shrimp “n” Grits. The shrimp was nicely cooked and I loved the grits, but the pickled okra’s vinegary bite and slight heat really stood out to me.



2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-garden-grove-Fish-n-Chips-3Fish ’n’ Chips:  Beer Battered Sustainable Bass, Tartar Foam,
Vinegar “Chips”

Presented by Garden Grove on Saturday, October 19

I liked the Fish ‘n’ Chips from Garden Grove. While I’m typically not a fan of fish in general, I do like fish and chips. The bass was a touch on the “fishy” side for me, but otherwise was light and flaky. The vinegar chips were thin and crispy, and while I prefer a thicker cut chip, these were expertly fried and touched with a hint of tart vinegar. Matt kept sneaking them from my plate.




2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-fresh-Blackened-Fish-Sandwich-Butter-Lettuce-Tomato-Caramelized-Onion-Old-Bay-Remoulade-Sesame-Seed-Roll2Blackened Fish Sandwich, Butter Lettuce, Tomato,
Caramelized Onion, Old Bay Remoulade, Sesame Seed Roll

Presented by Fresh Mediterranean Market on Saturday, October 19

You know how I just said I don’t typically care for fish? This sandwich definitely surprised me. I jumped right in and took a big bite, and everything came together wonderfully. Some crunch from the lettuce, sweetness from the onion, and saltiness from the remoulade all balanced perfectly making this dish a surprising win in my book.

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-shrimp-tacoShrimp Taco
on Saturday, October 19

I liked this taco a bit more than the vegetable, beef and pork tacos I sampled earlier in the evening. While the tortilla was still a bit thick, the heartiness of the fried shrimp stood up to it a bit better than the soft veggies and meat.

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-todd-english-displayDisplay at Todd English


2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-todd-english-tuna-tartareTuna Tartare, Sexy Scallions, Nitro Aioli, Miso Crackling
Presented by Todd English on Saturday, October 19

The Tuna Tartare was one of the dishes Matt went for twice. The tuna was a wonderful bite paired with the crunchy crackling. It was an unexpected textural concept we both enjoyed.

Presented by Kimonos

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-kimonos-crispy-shrimpCrispy Shrimp, Tuna, Avocado
on Friday, October 18



2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-kimonos-Spicy-Yellow-Fin-Tuna-nori-seasoned-riceSpicy Yellow Fin Tuna, Nori, Seasoned Rice
on Saturday, October 19

The Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna sushi was Matt’s second top pick for the Classic. We both liked the spiciness of the tuna and the rice’s seasoning added a touch of acidity. It paired well with the TY KU sake we were drinking alongside of it.


BruschettaOpen Face Tomato & Handcrafted Mozzarella Sandwich,
Sweet Basil, Locatelli

Presented by Garden Grove on Friday, October 18

2013 swan dolphin food wine classic the fountain falafelFalafel – Chick Pea Fritter, Tahini, Traditional Garnish
Presented by The Fountain on Friday, October 18


2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-cabana-Yu-Chens-Vegetarian-Bao-2Yu Chen’s Vegetarian Bao
Presented by Cabana Bar & Beach Club on Saturday, October 19

The Bao was pillowy soft and the vegetable filling was in a rich gravy-like broth. I’ve had a few varieties of Bao before, but none quite like this. I enjoyed the twist of the savory vegetables.

Pastry and Desserts
Presented by Laurent Branlard


Laurent Branlard is the executive pastry chef for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. A native of France, Branlard is a highly accomplished pastry chef who holds the distinction as the only two-time winner of the World Pastry Team Championship.

Orange Cream Filled PuffO Saint O: orange cream filled puff, milk chocolate covered
orange cookie and vanilla whipped cream

on Friday, October 18

Passion Fruit Cream with Mango Pineapple CompoteTropic (shot glass): Passion fruit cream, mango papaya
pineapple compote, coconut cake, mango vanilla sauce

on Friday, October 18

Flourless Chocolate Sponge CakeIntense: flourless chocolate sponge and Arriba 72% chocolate mousse
on Friday, October 18

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-Laurent-milk-chocolate-mousseDome: milk chocolate mousse and caramel cream center,
hazelnut dacquoise sponge, milk chocolate glaze

on Saturday, October 19

This decadent bite was the perfect bite for chocolate fans. While I prefer dark chocolate, I had no problem enjoying this sweet dessert.

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-Laurent-blueberry-compote-lemon-creme-fraiche-panacotta-almond-pound-cakeBLA (shot glass): blueberry compote, lemon crème fraiche panacotta, almond pound cake
on Saturday, October 19

I liked this fruity dessert, particular the blueberry compote. It was a refreshing pairing with the lemon panacotta. It reminded me of the 2012 Epcot Food & Wine Festival’s Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote from Desserts & Champagne, but with a much more developed flavor and upscale presentation.

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-Laurent-raspberry-smoreRaspberry s’more: raspberry marshmallow, raspberry compote and white chocolate cream on cinnamon sable dough
on Saturday, October 19

I loved the raspberry marshmallow in particular for this dessert, and the cinnamon sable dough offered some crunch. Matt gave me his marshmallow, as they’re not his thing, so I was happy.

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-Laurent-Branlard-ice-cream-sandwich Ice Cream Sandwich
on Saturday, October 19

This ice cream sandwich was filled with jam and chocolate ice cream and pressed until the bread became warmed through. The ice cream stayed fairly cold but has a slight melt around the edges that absorbed into the bread.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is an amazing event for wine lovers as well, with scores of wine stations serving up reds, whites and roses from around the world.



Chataeau St. Michelle Mimi Chardonnay
Seven Falls Merlot


Argyle Chardonnay
Argyle Pinot Noir



Francis Coppola Diamond Sauvignon Blanc
Francis Coppola Diamond Claret
Estancia Cabernet Sauvignon
Wild Horse Merlot
Beaulieu Vineyards Beauroge
Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Treana White Blend
Troublemaker Red Blend
Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay
Belle Glos “Meiomi” Pinot Noir
Lincourt Unoaked Chardonnay
Lincourt Pinot Noir
St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc
St. Supery Moscato
Justin Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Justin Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Sip Moscato
Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon
Benziger Sauvignon Blanc
St Francis Merlot
La Crema Pinot Noir
La Crema Pinot Gris
MacMurray Pinot Noir
MacMurray Chardonnay
Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon
Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel


Wanderlust Chardonnay
Copa Cabana Red Blend
Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Charonnay
Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Cabernet


Catena Chardonnay
Catena Malbec


Puerta Vieja Crianza
Penamonte Verdejo


Perrin Reserve CĂ´tes du RhĂ´ne Reserve Rose
Perrin Reserve CĂ´tes du RhĂ´ne Rouge
Joseph Drouhin Laforet Pinot Noir
Joseph Drouhin LaForet Chardonnay
Marc Bredif Vouvray
Marc Bredif Chinon


Barone Fini Pinot Grigio
Barone Fini Merlot
Rotari Brut Rose Talento
Luigi Righetti Campolieti Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore
Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico
Il Molino di Grace “ill Valano” Super Tuscan
Il Prosecco
Il Moscato
Il Spriz
La Scolca Gavi di Gavi White Label
Zardetto Prosecco
Allegrini Palazzo della Torre

New Zealand

Matua Valley Pinot Noir
Matua Valley sauvignon Blanc



William Hardy Chardonnay
William Hardy Shiraz

Drink Pink


The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Fourth Annual Food and Wine Classic is proud to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both Friday and Saturday night we invite you to join us on the Crescent Terrace as we ‘light it up pink’ in honor of those affected by breast cancer. Sample pink wines from Chateau d’Esclans, including their famous ‘Whispering Angel’ RosĂŠ and explore our pink merchandise, a portion of which will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Our Swan Dolphin Cast members are proud to honor these special guests and will be making a donation to the American Cancer Society at the conclusion of this year’s festival.

Chateau d’Esclans “Whispering Angel” Rose
Chateau d’Esclans Rose
M.V. Veuve du Vernay Brut Rose
Clarendelle Rose, Bordeaux
Roquesante Cotes-de-Provence, Provence
Falesco Vitiano Rose, Umbria

Base to Bubbles

Chandon Brut
Chandon Pinot Noir
Chandon chardonnay
Chandon Pinot Meunier



Samuel Adams – Presented on Friday, October 18
Brooklyn – Presented on Friday, October 18
Cigar City – Presented on Friday, October 18
Highland Brewing Company – Presented on Friday, October 18




2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-swamphead-brewery-stumpknocker-wild-nightStump Knocker on the left, Wild Night on the right
Swamp Head Brewery
Presented on Saturday, October 19

Since we’re more into beer than wine, we found some favorites in the offerings from Swamp Head. I kept going back for the Stump Knocker, while Matt enjoyed the Wild Night.



2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-breckenridge-brewery-agave-wheatBreckenridge Brewery
Presented on Saturday, October 19

New Belgium – Presented on Saturday, October 19
Oskar Blues – Presented on Saturday, October 19


2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-tyku-blackTY KU Black

Matt was a fan of the TY KU Black. Its flavor was incredibly dry and smooth – almost like water. Dangerous!

2013-swan-dolphin-food-wine-classic-tyku-silverTY KU Silver

While I liked the Black, I preferred the slight sweetness of the Silver. Both would equally be welcome in our home, though!


Seminars ore offered each evening at 4:30 p.m. and last about an hour. Cost is $45 with the exception of the Pasta Making seminar as noted below.

Pasta Making with Chef Robert Ciborowski
Cost: $60 (inclusive) per person when purchased on its own OR get this class for $45 (inclusive) per person when purchased as part of a room package.
Wine Blending Seminar
Riesling, So Sweet and So Dry
Spanish Wines
It’s Better to “Wine” in Italian!
Base to Bubbles
Modern Mixology
All Things Sake
Beer, Please!


The Current
The Jersey Boys
The Dance Current

While it’s free to stroll around the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, there are two ways to experience the food and wine booths. The first is to purchase a wristband, which costs $80.04 (including service fee) per person, per evening. The second is to purchase tickets a la carte, where ticket booklets containing 25 tickets are available at a cost of $50. Offerings range from two to six tickets per item.

For us, the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is not to be missed. The food is high quality, which is what we’ve come to expect from the restaurants at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Lines could become long, but moved along swiftly as chefs prepared and beautifully plated dishes in a streamlined fashion. The Classic made for a wonderful evening on property, and I wish it hadn’t taken us to this long to experience it. The Classic is definitely on our calendars for next year, and we can’t wait to see what the chefs will have in store for us. I highly recommend anyone who loves food and wine to take time to experience the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic next year.

Did you visit the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic this year? Let us know what your favorite samples were in the comments!

Disclosure: I was invited by the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin to attend this event. Photos that are not Š eatingwdw.com are property of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. The views expressed in this post are my own.


4 responses to “Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Fourth Annual Food & Wine Classic

  1. The food looks amazing. If I were a local, I think I’d be more inclined to check this event out, but since I’m not I’ve never lucked out and been down there the right weekend for it. Perhaps one day. As a side note, you mentioned that you and Matt enjoy Shula’s. How would you compare this to other steak restaurants at WDW, most notable the Yachtsman over at the Yacht Club? On our upcoming February trip, we will not have a car which is very odd for us. We usually either drive or rent a car, but we’re not doing that this trip. Since we’re staying at the Boardwalk, we’re really trying to focus our dining options on restaurants that are close to the Boardwalk. Is Shula’s worth the walk over? Does it take Tables in Wonderland? What say you, our WDW dining expert? 🙂

  2. While it’s been a while, Shula’s was fantastic from service to food. It’s atmosphere was much more sophisticated and I don’t think there were any kids there, except for maybe older ones. The last time we ate Yachtsman’s food was in the adjacent Crew’s Cup lounge, and service and food was incredibly disappointing. I haven’t reviewed Yachtsman here, though I’ve dined there twice: once was Matt and I alone later in the evening, and the second time we were with three other adults and a younger kid closer to opening. Both of those experiences were very good, but I think Shula’s is definitely worth a look. According to the website, Tables in Wonderland is currently accepted at Shula’s.

  3. It sounds like this May be the place for us then. What kind of dress code is there?

  4. No true dress code, per se. There were people in essentially park attire, but there was a strong showing of resort casual (think Tommy Bahama) and business casual (khakis/polos). Because of the timing of the event, guests seemed to treat it as an actual event – evening, so cooler temps, only a few hours to experience it (like a long dinner), high quality items from fantastic restaurants being represented…