2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Culinary Demonstration with Alisa Malavenda, POSH Salt(tm)

We did the POSH Salt Culinary Demo last year and were really impressed with the products and the presenters, so much so that it was one of our top two culinary demonstrations (the other one in the top two was Kevin Dundon 2012).

POSH Salt Culinary Demonstration - 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - 1

Salina Faris (?) wine presenter and Pam Smith (Walt Disney World presenter)

Last year, we didn’t have a wine presenter – Pam presented the American Riesling in 2012. This year, we had a wine presenter, it was really difficult to understand what she was saying (almost as though her grasp of English was limited to what she had memorized, and that was it!)… The wine was Trivento from Mendoza, Chile… full name Trivento Reserve Torrontes. Regardless of what the tasting notes say or what the presenters said… I detected some floral and citrus with the nose, Nick and I agreed completely that without food this wine was SOUR, we didn’t care for it at all without food. No need to caution us to save some for the food… we wouldn’t drink this alone.

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Chef Alisa, now employeed by POSH Salt (no longer an independent chef / caterer) – bad show looking at your smartphone while someone else is presenting 🙁

Chef Alisa came out right after the wine presentation. I liked what she said…

The essentials of life… wine and salt.

She started out by talking about POSH Salt for a few minutes…

  • natural product
  • food your salt don’t salt your food (use salt vessels for your cooking)
  • water content of food dissolves the salt – thus the level of saltiness is controlled by the food itself
  • salt retains its temperature for a long time… if you heat it slowly, it will stay hot for quite a while… and if you freeze it, it will stay cold for a long time
  • the salt bowl is her favorite (you can see it on the left of the photo above) – its great for making ice cream (freeze it) and its also great for making chocolate fondue (heat it)
POSH Salt Culinary Demonstration - 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - 3

This wasn’t the worst culinary demonstration that we’ve seen over the years, but we were disappointed… the presentation was choppy and disjointed, not to mention the food…

POSH Salt p1

POSH Salt p2

Cooking scallops on stage... don't crowd food when sauteeing; crowding will steam the food and not sauté it

Cooking scallops on stage… don’t crowd food when sautéing; crowding will steam the food and not sauté it

POSH Salt Culinary Demonstration - 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - 6

My scallop had a nice looking sear to it…

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Nick’s scallop atop the salt disc with beets and avocado… doesn’t look very seared…

My scallop wasn’t overcooked but it was “over-rested”… in other words, it was beyond medium rare because the residual heat continued to cook it while it sat and waited (and waited) to be served. Nick’s scallop was even worse than mine, not quite a rubber eraser, but beyond yummy.

POSH Salt Culinary Demonstration - 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival - 7

close-up of my serving… beets undercooked (if cooked at all…)

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close-up of Nick’s serving…

Neither of us had roasted beets, they were barely past raw.

The food seemed poorly suited for the salt disc… there was a lot of moisture from the citrus glaze and the vinaigrette, it just made a lot of salty water at the bottom of the plate.

As I said earlier, this was disappointing after the presentation in 2012. Maybe things were just off. Perhaps we should try again next year and go with our thoughts two out of three 🙂

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