Oct 15

Culinary Demonstrations at the Festival Center


©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

A couple of weeks ago while taking in all the goodness of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, my husband and I joined in on one of the Culinary Demonstrations at the Festival Center, and boy are we happy we did.

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My husband and I are tremendous foodies and love to cook together.  We often say that some of the best times we have together are spent cooking in our kitchen.  We pour a little wine (okay, a lot of wine), gather our ingredients and have a little fun!  There’s something romantic about cooking with your man and sharing a dish you create together.  So, naturally, booking a culinary demonstrations was at the top of our list of must-sees while at Epcot.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

Every day at the Festival Center during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a celebrated chef prepares a dish before the guests offering culinary tips and a sampling of their dish in a 45-minute session.  For our demonstration, we were lucky enough to see celebrity Chef Huda, winner of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and the Owner of Pretty and Delicious Culinary Co. in Washington, D.C.

Celebrity Chef, Food & Entertainment Writer and Healthy Food Enthusiast, Chef Huda is bubbly, energetic and a master of her craft.  She lives by the motto, “Food should be ‘Pretty and Delicious’ at all times,” and the Scallop Chowder she prepared at the Festival Center Culinary Demonstration was just that…pretty AND delicious.  Paired with a wonderful Festival Center Chardonnay, Napa Valley CA, Chef Huda’s Scallop Chowder was light, healthy and bursting with flavor.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

Looks wonderful, doesn’t it?  It was.  So delicious that once my husband and I returned home, we recreated her dish in our own kitchen and added a little touch of Disney to it!  Let me say that it is an easy dish to prepare and one that my husband and I enjoyed cooking together.  Since we were provided with the actual recipe, we thought we would share it with you.

Chef Huda’s Scallop Chowder

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-6 oz. diced turkey kiebasa or Andouille sausage
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 pound red bliss potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth or clam juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup of sweet yellow corn kernels (roasted, optional)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, touch chopped
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©Mad About the Mouse

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add oil and sauté sausage for 3-5 minutes until cooked.  As Chef Huda told us, it is best to keep your sausage as a whole in order for it to retain its juices and not overcook it.  Remove from the pan, leaving sausage oil and drippings in the pan.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

Clean sea scallops and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add sea scallops to the pan, cooking for about 2 minutes on both sides until golden brown.  You do not want to flip your scallops too often.  Let it sear fully on one side before your flip it.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

Add additional oil as needed to the pan and add onions, red pepper, carrots and celery to the same pan, sautéing for about 7-10 minutes until tender.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

Add in potatoes, wine, broth to deglaze the pan.  Add cream and stir.  Bring to a boil, stir and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

Add sea scallops and corn to the mixture and simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

To serve, place sea scallops in a bowl and spoon vegetable mixture and sauce on top.  Garnish with cooked sausage, parsley and fresh pepper.  Chef Huda diced her kielbasa sausage for our presentation.  We chose to do large slices as we are big fans of a good kielbasa.  For a little added spice, you can use Andouille sausage.

©Mad About the Mouse

©Mad About the Mouse

We enjoyed a wonderful crusty bread with our Scallop Chowder and a beautiful Vouvray.  The marriage of flavors was perfect and the scallops were cooked to perfection – Chef Huda’s tips on patting your scallops dry first helped.  Our recreation may not have been as pretty as Chef Huda’s, but it certainly was delicious!

Many thanks to Chef Huda for the demonstration and the wonderful sampling.  My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it and this wonderful recipe will become one I will prepare often for family and friends.

Stay tuned next month because we are going back to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for another Culinary Demonstration.  Next time, Disney Parks Food Writer, Editor of my own book, Capturing the Magic, and friend, Pam Brandon will join Walt Disney World Resort Executive Chef, Greg Hannon for a delectable salmon dish.

If you are interested in taking part in any of the Culinary Demonstrations at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, advance reservations are highly recommended and are going on through November 16th.

Culinary Demonstrations

  • Festival Welcome Center, Chef’s Showcase
  • Daily at 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM
  • $15 per Guest

Admission to Epcot is required and not included in the price of event admission. Tax is included. Alcohol will only be served to Guests 21 and older.

For more information and recipes from the lovely Chef Huda, visit her website at www.chefhuda.com and don’t forget to follow her on all of social media avenues.

Holly Wiencek
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Holly Wiencek

Holly Wiencek is the author of Capturing the Magic: A Photographic Journey Through the Walt Disney World Parks. A Florida native and lifelong Disney enthusiast, Holly has been visiting Disney Parks since she was a toddler. With countless visits to both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, she has spent a lifetime exploring and learning about the history and legacy Walt Disney left behind and the details created by Disney Imagineering. She spends her spare time making Disney magic in her everyday life and enjoys sharing that magic with her husband and her daughter, Abby.

Visit www.capturing-the-magic.com for a preview of the stunning coffee table book, Capturing the Magic and purchase your copy today.
Holly Wiencek
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