Busch Gardens, World Food Championships release more details on food events

World Food Championships move, while duck confit and more make Busch Gardens food fest menu.

click to enlarge Guests will taste dozens of offerings at Busch Gardens' new food and wine fest. - Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
Guests will taste dozens of offerings at Busch Gardens' new food and wine fest.


Two food and drink events, one new and another recently relocated, have some cool news.

Earlier this week, Tampa's Busch Gardens theme park revealed the menu for its inaugural food and wine festival that runs Saturday, March 7, through Sunday, April 26.

Spread out among nine "food cabins," the grub lineup will include griddled cheese cake sandwiches, passion fruit flan, roasted pork belly, habanero shrimp salad, jerk chicken sliders and mango eclairs. More than 50 wines, 50 craft beers and cocktails will be featured.

Entry to the fest, happening noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, is included with regular park admission, but food and drink samples will cost extra. Guests will also be able to sample their spreads while watching musicians like Kool & the Gang (March 14) and Kenny Rogers (March 21) perform.

And if foodies haven't heard, the World Food Championships, held in Las Vegas the past three years, will relocate its seven-day culinary wizardry tournament and festival to the home of Mickey and Minnie: Kissimmee.

"We saw an opportunity to move our competition to a destination that affords us a chance to realize our vision of expanding and evolving our overall food experience," said Mike McCloud, World Food Championships president and CEO, in a media conference.

Throughout the week — Tuesday, Nov. 3, to Tuesday, Nov. 10 — more than 500 cooking gurus will compete in a nine-category, tournament-based showdown. The winner of each category (dessert, barbecue, pasta and more) will face-off at the Final Table, judged by notable industry figures, for the champion title and a $100,000 check.

Chefs may qualify to participate, according to the World Food Championships' website, in several ways. The dishes they craft in the contest will be scored on presentation, execution and taste.

While the cook-off is the annual gathering's main event, food demonstrations and tastings will be showcased, too. Some are ticketed, and others, such as the competition's primary rounds, are free.

There aren't any tickets on sale yet, but they'll be posted alongside the event schedule as the competition gets closer.

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