From the display kitchen of Italy to the pretzel bakery in Germany and favorites like Trapper’s Smokehouse and Grogan’s Grill, Busch Gardens puts a focus on food that guests have enjoyed for years. This year, the Williamsburg theme park is inviting guests to take an even tastier tour of Europe with their first-ever Food and Wine Festival.
Designed to showcase the culinary creations of each themed country in the park, as well as a few bonuses, Busch Gardens' Food and Wine Festival will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays May 31-June 23, 2013.
Guests can expect to enjoy a wide variety of sample-sized portions of authentic food not normally offered at the park. Wine and beer pairings will also be available to complement each dish.
A prepaid wrist band or card system will be available so that guests don’t have to continually dig into their wallets and handbags every time they wish to try a new dish.
Busch Gardens' Food and Wine Festival is shaping up to be similar in spirit to Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. Anybody that has ever attended knows that it is nothing less than a world-class culinary event. While the Food and Wine Festival will probably appeal more to adults than kids, it is still a very family-friendly event and would be a great opportunity to introduce different foods and customs to growing gourmets (minus the wine, of course) while enjoying all of the thrill rides, attractions, animal encounters and kid-friendly rides the park has to offer.
All of Busch Gardens’ regular restaurants and dining locations will be open during the Food and Wine Festival, serving their usual fare of delicious choices, including many allergen-friendly dining options.
Food and Wine Festival Sneak Peek
I recently had the opportunity to catch a sneak peek of some of the goodies planned for the Food and Wine Festival. Chef Justin of Busch Gardens has created a collection of food and beverage selections representative of each European country at the park - England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany and France - as well as countries such as Spain, Canada and Greece that are not currently in the park.
The tasting included several hors d’oeuvres items associated with Spain, including marcona almonds toasted with smoked paprika, chevra (goat cheese), quince (a pear-like fruit with a yummy citrus taste), rosemary toasted almonds, brie, a swiss variety of cheese with a honey and red wine reduction and marinated olives, as well as a blackberry relish that was too amazing to describe. Make sure you try that one.
Take a minute to watch the video, provided by Naoma Doriguzzi of AskNaoma.com, of Chef Justin’s presentation on some of the Food & Wine Festival offerings.
Following are just a few of the menu selections planned for Busch Gardens’ Food and Wine Festival. The park plans to have a brochure available that will list all of the countries along with their food, wine and beer choices.
- Pumpkin caramel mousse
- Cheddar and lager chowder
- Griess pudding with blackberry compote
- Knockwurst with curry ketchup
- Schinkennudel (German pasta)
- Souvlaki tzalziki
- Shepherd's pie
- Scottish toffee
- Cream-filled krumkake
- Swedish meatballs in cream sauce with lingonberry jam
- Pork schnitzel slider with lemon and capers
- Sweet paprika chicken stew
Please visit www.buschgardens.com for a complete list of Food and Wine Festival menus, kiosk locations and recipes such as Austrian chicken paprikash, Canadian corn porridge and German currywurst.
Interactive classes and seminars, at an additional fee, are also being planned for the Food and Wine Festival. While a complete schedule has not yet been carved in stone, a few fun events could include cooking demonstrations, grape stomping, cake decorating and many more. I know my pint-sized baker will be the first in line for the chance to learn about the baking and decorating of pastries and other sweet treats. And how fun does grape stomping sound? Wine and beer sampling and pairing demonstrations are also in the works.
Busch Gardens opens for the 2013 season on March 17. With the speed of Verbolten, the beauty of the gardens, the sounds of live shows and the excitement of thrill rides, animal encounters, Sesame Street characters and the all-new Food and Wine Festival, there is no better place to be this season. See you at the Gardens.