Party for the Senses – Nov. 1, 2014

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Once we checked in for the Party we were directed to one of two roped off lines. The other line was for guests who had reserved a table in the Wine View Lounge. At $299/person plus tax, this was the most expensive category for the PFTS. But we were in the line for the regular reserved seating, which was $189/person plus tax. The third and least expensive option ($145/person plus tax) was general admission, which is what I had done on the previous Saturday. You may recall that general admission guests are placed in the “holding pen” to wait to be admitted at 7:30 (the official start time of the party) and do not have a reserved table of any kind. For these people, it’s strictly first come, first serve for the remaining tables that were placed to the right and left of the reserved center section of the large room.

We were second in the Reserved line so once the Wine View Lounge line was admitted (which was shortly after 7:00) and seated, it was our turn. My husband and I were led to a table for two which had my name on it. We also each received a glass of sparkling wine. We had a quick toast and then we were off in different directions.

I started to our right at the International Cheese & Butter Station hosted by Kerrygold of Ireland…

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Here were my selections from this station…

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While the fruit and other cheeses were quite tasty, my favorite thing(s) on this plate were the blue cheese, eaten along with the honey comb. Yum!

There were then about 25 other food stations, including 4 dessert stations, another which served assorted chocolates, and an additional cheese station (this one hosted by Gourmet Foods International). Between the two of us, we visited at least two-thirds of these plus several of the 25 beverage stations. Once we had filled our trays with food, we met back at our table and covered it with plates…

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On your mark, get set, let the eating begin!! :woohoo:

From Kirk Avondoglio of Perona Farms, Andover, NJ…

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Scallop poached in Basil Butter with fresh Corn Salad and Crispy Leeks

From Alex Seidel of Fruition Restaurant/Fruition Farms, Denver, CO…

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Veal Sweetbread Saltimbocca with Cauliflower Veloute & LaQuercia Proscuitto

From Michael Viola & Jeff Moore of ‘Ohana, Polynesian Resort…

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Chinese Barbecue Pork Belly with a Cabbage and Seaweed Salad

From Jamey Fader of Lola, Denver, CO…

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Achiote Braised Quail with Sweet Potato Tamale, Smoked Almond Mole Verde and Summer Corn Pico de Gallo

Now for my favorites. :thumbsup2

From Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca/Coda del Pesce, Daniel Island, SC…

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Spiney Lobster Bolognese

From Russell Palmer and Manny Perez of Artist Point, Wilderness Lodge…

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Smoked Beef Short Rib with Tamarind Glaze, Citrus Vegetable Slaw, Wasabi Cream, and Crispy Lotus Root

I couldn’t decide which photo of this I liked better so I’ll show you both… ;)

 

[IMG]From Vincent Panisset of Coral Reef Restaurant, Epcot…

 


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Alaskan Halibut with Belgian Endives, Black Trumpets and Crab Brown Butter
From Mark Norberg of Be Our Guest Restaurant, Magic Kingdom…

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Seared Lamb Loin with a Huckleberry Gastrique and a Wild Mushroom Pancake

From Faithy Harris-Dowdell of Yak & Yeti Restaurant, Animal Kingdom…

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Shrimp and Scallops in XO sauce over Udon Noodles

From Jerome Brown of Rome’s, Jersey City, NJ…

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Smoked Salmon Chips with Tomatillo Salsa

From Piero Premoli of Pricci, Atlanta, GA…

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Porcini Mushroom Crusted Veal Medallion with Fontina Polenta

And then for the desserts, from Elizabeth Falkner of Brooklyn, NY…

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Thorned Forest: A dessert of Black Fruits Pudding, Spiced Dark Cocoa Forest, and a Spell of Smoked White Chocolate

From Julian Rose of Moonstruck Chocolates, Portland, OR…

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Tanzania Pure Origin Chocolate Tart with Red Currant and Cointreau Raspberries

And my favorite dessert, from Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey of D Bar Restaurants, Denver, CO and San Diego, CA…

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Banana Cream Profiterole with Dulcey Cremeux and Banana Passion Sorbet

Oh, but then there was a table full of assorted Moonstruck Chocolates.

There were Huckleberry Truffles…

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…and Strawberry Truffles.

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Also, these cute Extra Bittersweet Spider Web Truffles.

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And my favorite, the Raspberry Truffles…

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At about 8:15 the performers from La Nouba Cirque du Soleil took the stage …

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This was good but short…I’d say only about 15 minutes from start to finish. I can’t remember now for sure, but I think they later performed a second time. In between their performances there was other great entertainment on the stage. The Wine View Lounge guests had front row seats for all of this entertainment, since WVL area was right next to the stage. Then there was a aisle for people to walk through to allow them to go from one side of the room to the other. However, this aisle was monitored closely during the show, and people were not allowed to linger and block the view of those of us seated in the regular Reserved area. :thumbsup2

Overall, I enjoyed this experience. I much preferred having the reserved table and not having to worry about finding a place to sit my food and drinks down to eat, drink, and of course…photograph for my review. ;) It was also nice to be given about a 15 minute head start at the food/drinks before the general admission guests were allowed in. Was it worth the extra $45 or so for these privileges? For me it was. However, I’m not sure that this party in general is worth its hefty price, which last year was at least $145. Though I might consider doing this again sometime, it would not be a priority if I do end up going to the Food & Wine Festival again this year.

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