If the food booths around World Showcase are the stomach of Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, the Culinary Demonstrations are the heart and soul of the annual event. Held each year in a building known as the Festival Center, local and world renowned chefs take the stage three times a day during the festival to share information about their career and the dish that they are preparing on-stage.
Guests receive a sample of the dish that the chef is cooking along with a pairing-sized sample of wine (and sometimes beer) to go along with the dish. (Non-alcoholic beverages are also available as a substitute.) Guests also receive a printed recipe sheet so that you can try to recreate the dish at home.
Putting on a food and wine festival at any level takes an enormous effort by many people. Hosting over 150 culinary demonstrations that take place day after day, over a two month period… is that "next level" that only Disney can do, and it's something that's not duplicated (to the best of my knowledge) at any other festival on the planet. You may be here for just a week, but three culinary demos, three beverage demos, and one mixology demo, happen every single day… for two months, non-stop.
The Culinary, Beverage, and Mixology Demos are among the least expensive "add-ons" or special ticketed events that are offered during the festival. Even if you are not into cooking food... having a place to sit in an air-conditioned building, with a small glass of wine, and a tapas-sized plate of food to sample… isn't a bad way to spend 45 minutes.
Some of the more famous culinary personalities are booked for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday demos and those tend to become "sold out" very soon after booking opens (usually months before the festival begins). The Monday through Thursday demos feature regional chefs that are lesser known, but are equally as talented.
Occasionally tickets can be purchased on the day of the demo at the Festival Ticket kiosk located in the Festival Center, but we would definitely recommend taking a look at the schedule of chefs before your trip, and reserving a seat. For more details about the culinary demos (price, times, and chefs), click here to visit our Food and Wine Festival page, where we have links to the most recent information directly to the Disney site (or information from last year's festival, if the details about the next festival have not yet been released).
(*) Price ranges listed are the average cost for one main entree and one soft beverage item, unless otherwise stated. There are many combinations of appetizers, deserts and drinks that will add to your final total. Many parks also use seasonal pricing systems which result in food and beverage costs increasing at peak times. Please check with the location that you are interested in for specific pricing information.