2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Culinary Demonstration with Michael Gonsalves from Golden Oak’s Summerhouse

Artisanal Hand Made Charcuterie and Cheese Board

Duck Pastrami, Bison Sausage, and Cow Girl Creamery Cheese with Artisanal Mustard and Craisin® Preserves

paired with

Iron Horse Estate Pinot Noir

David Munksgard & Pam Smith

David Munksgard & Pam Smith

It’s David from Iron Horse Vineyards (to avoid being redundant, here’s a link to a previous culinary demonstration where he showcased the Iron Horse Chardonnay) and Pam Smith. This was the last culinary demonstration of the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Pam asked us to keep two sips of our wine – 1 to go with the food and 2 for a toast to the end of a successful Food & Wine Festival.  She has more wine in her glass that we got! It isn’t going to be easy to ration it out. She called this wine “celebration in a glass”.

Iron Horse Estate Pinot Noir

Iron Horse Estate Pinot Noir

During her introduction of Chef Michael, she talked about his passion for preserving foods using older methods. David said “I’m a preserver of grape juice.” So how was David’s preserved grape juice? I liked the nose of it, it smelled like a nice balanced Pinot Noir and we both thought that the taste without food was good (not great, but quite good). The flavors were loads of berries and other fruits with a warming feeling in your mouth.

Michael Gonsalves does Sausage Culinary Demonstration - 2013 Epcot Food Wine Festival - 2

there was quite a long question and answer session before Chef came out

Iron Horse Vineyards grow two grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their land is part of an old inland sea and as such, they have great sandy loam soil, cool foggy nights, and warm days, conditions that Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes like. Other grapes, not so much. The barrels that are used to create this Pinot Noir are slightly smoked thus creating the back notes of smokiness in the wine.

there was a basket of rather plain lavosh on the tables, we weren't told to wait to eat it (sigh)

there was a basket of rather plain lavosh on the tables, we weren’t told to wait to eat it (sigh), it was supposed to be eaten with the charcuterie (oh well)

According to David and Pam, the Charcuterie Board that we’re going to have with the wine is very emblematic of Sonoma Valley. In a side conversation, they talked about John Stewart & his wife Duskie Estes (Black Pig Meat Co), they were named the King and Queen of Porc in 2011 (she’s also competing on Iron Chef).

Michael Gonsalves does Sausage Culinary Demonstration - 2013 Epcot Food Wine Festival - 3

he was friendly and informative again this year, probably the most natural of any of the Disney Chefs we’ve seen over the years

We had chosen to see Michael Gonsalves again this year even though he’s a Disney World chef – two reasons… 1) He did well last year and we both enjoyed the presentation and food and 2) He’s moved over to Golden Oak and we thought his appearance might indicate that there is a new place for us to eat.

Michael Gonsalves does Sausage Culinary Demonstration - 2013 Epcot Food Wine Festival - 5

as you can see, he smiles a LOT

Unfortunately, as the event went on, we found out during the question and answer session for the Chef (again, it was longer than usual) that you have to be a resident of Golden Oaks to eat at Summerhouse. We wonder how long that will last, at present 25% of lots have houses (about 100 homes) and most people are buying them for vacation homes, not for primary residences (however, if I win the lottery, that may change! ha ha ha! We’d be full-time residents). Living at Golden Oaks is like living in a high end resort, you want X for dinner, they make X and bring it to you…. as long as it’s in season and they have it (well, he said they cook what’s in season from their own kitchen garden and from The Land at Epcot).

Culinary Demo Michael Gonsalves charcuterie Nov 11 2013 - 03

from upper left: bison sausage, homemade pickles, mustard, cow girl creamery red hawk, craisin preserves, and duck pastrami

We have quite a few food photos, so I’m going to use them to let you know what we thought…

Bison Sausage - nick liked the pairing of the Pinot Noir with the Bison Sausage

Bison Sausage – nick liked the pairing of the Pinot Noir with the Bison Sausage – he preferred the craisin preserves with the sausage over the mustard

I thought that the pickles were good, I expected sweet bread & butter pickles, but these weren't overly sweet

I thought that the pickles were good, I expected sweet bread & butter pickles, but these weren’t overly sweet – I preferred the mustard on the sausage

Duck Pastrami, Craisin Preserves, Red Hawk Cheese

Duck Pastrami, Craisin Preserves, Red Hawk Cheese

Cow Girl Creamery Red Hawk Cheese - this is a young cheese, the center is still a bit creamy. Nick really liked the cheese with the wine, I though it was okay.

Cow Girl Creamery Red Hawk Cheese – this is a young cheese, the center is still a bit creamy. Nick really liked the cheese with the wine, I though it was okay. The craisin preserves were good, not spectacular (went well with the sausage)

I managed to get a couple pieces of lavosh for Nick to have with his charcuterie (our table was overrun with women, and we weren't waiting to start on the bread)

I managed to get a couple pieces of lavosh for Nick to have with his charcuterie (our table was overrun with women, and we weren’t waiting to start on the bread) – this wasn’t the best lavosh ever, it was a bit bland and the dusting of flour made it seem more bland

I thought that the pastrami made the Pinot Noir taste a bit of anise. Nick preferred the mustard on the duck - he had a point, it was a better flavor profile.

I thought that the pastrami made the Pinot Noir taste a bit of anise. Nick preferred the mustard on the duck – he had a point, it was a better flavor profile.

It was nice to end the Festival with a pairing that worked and with a food sample that could be presented as intended. After all, everything is preserved and ready to be plated… can’t go wrong there (well, I guess you could, but it didn’t)…

Oh Pam’s Toast at the end…

Here’s to our friends who see life as a glass half empty,

Here’s to our friends who see life as a glass half full, and

Here’s to our friends who see life as a glass that needs topping off.

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