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Dinner at Chefs De France in Epcot’s France Pavilion! Walt Disney World Video!

 

On my recent Walt Disney World Vacation my family and I dined at Chefs De France, one of the restaurants in the France Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase. It had been years since I last dined at this table-service restaurant so I was very excited to experience it again! We choose to make this dining reservation at the last minute, we were in Epcot with a free agenda and wanted to dine somewhere exciting! We were thrilled to see the Chefs De France reservation pop up as available for that evening on the My Disney Experience app!

 

 

We headed to the France Pavilion and were soon escorted to our table. We were so happy to get seated in the front dining room facing the World Showcase Lagoon, as Epcot’s nighttime spectacular IllmiNations – Reflection of Earth was about to begin! Tall panoramic glass windows stretch around the entire perimeter of the restaurant, offering incredible views of the France Pavilion as well as Epcot’s World Showcase. Our location in the restaurant made for the perfect spot to watch the fireworks and lasers of IllmiNations! Due to this first-floor restaurant being slightly elevated we actually had one of the best views of the show I had ever seen! We could see all the fireworks including the lower ones right on the water!

 

 

In addition to the breathtaking views, the restaurants overall ambiance is also gorgeous! The classic French design and décor creates an elegant and romantic atmosphere! This is a very good date night restaurant! You will feel truly immersed in the French culture making this meal a true experience!

 

 

Now let’s talk about the food! The menu offers traditional French Fare while still being approachable. Everyone in your party is sure to find something they will enjoy, from the pickiest eater to the most adventure food connoisseur! There is something for everyone!

 

 

Chefs De France’s menu offers a wide selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts that can all be ordered a la carte. Additionally, the restaurant also offers a prix fixe menu which allows you to choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert all for one fixed price of $39.99. My party and I all choose to do the prix fixe option as we found this to be an incredible value for everything you got!

 

For my appetizer, I went with a French classic, the Soupe à Poignon Gratinée. A.K.A French Onion Soup! This soup was topped with delicious gruyère cheese. It was a winner and a very large portion size for being an appetizer!

 

For my entrée, I went for the Poulet fermier à la Layonnaise, pomme purée – which was Lyon style roasted chicken served with tomatoes and vinegar sauce, mashed potatoes. The chicken was so tender! It melted it my mouth! Very delicious and once again, a very generous portion size!

 

Now for everyone’s favorite part… dessert! I chose the gateau au chocolat –a Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Sauce, and Mint Chocolate Ice Cream! This was SPECTACULAR! The chocolate cake was rich and decadent! The mint flavor from the mint chocolate ice cream enhanced the dish without being too overpowering. I loved everything about this dessert and would order it again in a heartbeat!

 

 

After our meal, Epcot was actually closed for the night so we got to experience an empty park as we made our way out and back to the monorail. We got to enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in the sights of the World Showcase pavilions and Future World all with no crowds! This allowed us to really take in all the details and beauty that Epcot has to offer! This is also the perfect time to take some amazing photos with no one else in the background!

 

 

I filmed my experience dining at Chefs De France. You can watch it on our YouTube Channel:

 

I look forward to my next dining experience at Chefs De France and trying other items from their delicious menu! Be sure to check this restaurant out on your next Walt Disney World Vacation! As always, our knowledgeable team at Kingdom Magic Vacation is ready to help you plan the trip you are dreaming of!

Behind the Scenes: Inside the Bakery at Epcot’s France Pavilion

You smell it before you see it – that unmistakable aroma of freshly baked bread hot from the oven. As you enter Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion at Epcot, all five senses are awakened when you smell the bread, see the beautiful pastries, hear the lilting sound of French, touch, then taste your favorite. Maybe a crisp baguette or buttery croissant. Or a Napoleon or macaron or éclair … maybe a jambon beurre sandwich or quiche Lorraine. So many choices, so little time.

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Every single item in the bakery case is made by hand – in the on-stage bread ovens or in the bustling upstairs bakery where the crew arrives before daybreak to make buttery croissants, dense quiche Florentine and parfaits almost too pretty to eat. You’ll be hungry just looking at these delicious photos by Disney photographer Matt Stroshane.

Disney Parks Blog shared a special behind-the-scenes peek at the expansive upstairs bakery that’s as big as Les Halles below, with cooks busy making crème brûlèe, slicing fresh Napoleon, piping éclairs and putting the finishing touches on chocolate mousse and strawberry tarts. A tray of freshly baguettes with ham and cheese with Dijon mustard butter, a classic Parisian sandwich, was readied for the first guests of the day. Freshly made macarons in jewel tones, light as a feather, were gently placed in little boxes.

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Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie opens at 9 a.m., ahead of World Showcase, and is a wonderful little hideaway for breakfast. The pastry team of 30, under the direction of Pastry Chef Olivier Saintemarie, starts their day at 5 a.m. and rotates throughout the day until 11 p.m. to make sure guests have the freshest taste of France.

Chef Baker Matthieu Cabon from Brittany, France, who, with his team of six, turns out 700 to 800 baguettes every single day, along with specialty breads such as brioche and croissants, started baking at age 15, and studied only bread making for four years – “I mastered bread the old-school way … no shortcuts,” he says. It was the aroma that determined his career, he says, as well as the quiet of early-morning hours when bakers do their best work.

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“Bread is limitless, it just takes imagination,” says Matthieu.

And, really, it’s just four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt and water, but you must add “know how,” says the chef. Everything at Les Halles is made from scratch, and it takes two days, start to finish, to produce a perfect baguette. His bakers make all the breads for Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, Chefs de France, Monsieur Paul and brioche for the pavilion’s ice-cream shop.

“For baguettes, day one is slow fermentation, then the dough sits overnight in a cooler to coax out the flavor,” says Matthieu. “Day two we divide it, shape it and bake. That’s it.”

But it’s the artisan touch that makes a perfect baguette. “Bread is all about feeling, but the real boss is the dough, which can be temperamental with temperature, weather and humidity,” he says. “Dough follows nature, and a good baker knows just by touching whether it’s right.”

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For a perfectly flaky croissant, the chef explains that the folding process is a science. “It takes six hours to shape, then it’s baked the next day,” he explains.

And for tartines, which Americans call “open-faced sandwiches,” the bakery makes a rustic loaf with blistered, rugged crust and tangy soft inside – Chef Matthieu knocks on the crust and knows by the sound if it’s perfect.

All told, they turn out eight different kinds of bread: baguettes, croissants, tartines, whole-grain loaves, pain de mie (a type of sliced bread), brioche, focaccia and walnut-raisin bread.

He and his team also make exquisite, smaller breads for Monsieur Paul: whole-grain loaves, rustic baguettes, poppy seed “epis” (a type of artisan French bread) and a mushroom, bacon and cheese bread that’s a guest favorite.

Matthieu deftly inserts a shovel-like peel into the hot oven and slides out a dozen or so crackly loaves. From the hint of a smile on his face, you know it’s a good morning.


It’s National French Bread Day! And a Great Time to Grab a Baguette at the France Pavilion at Epcot

It’s official: March 21 is National French Bread Day, a perfect excuse for you to head to Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie at the France Pavilion at Epcot.

It’s official: March 21 is National French Bread Day, a perfect excuse for us to head to Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie at the France Pavilion at Epcot.

We’ll start with the iconic baguette, baked fresh daily – it’s fun to watch bakers at work in the onstage kitchen. The long, thin loaves have that perfect, golden crust that cracks when you tear off a bite, with a soft, chewy inside. Because baguettes are just wheat flour, water, yeast and salt and take more than 48 hours to make from start to finish, they’re baked fresh every single day, all day long.

You can also find that fresh baked bread at the adjacent Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul.

Major Makeover for the France Pavilion at Epcot

It’s all happening behind the scenes, but by early December, Bistro de Paris in the France Pavilion at Epcot will have a whole new look plus a new name, and by mid-December, a new bakery will be open. Guests may not even notice the construction, as the downstairs Les Chefs de France remains open, as well as the Boulangerie Patisserie bakery and pastry shop.

We talked with Jerome Bocuse, president and owner of the company that runs all three – and son of world-famous Chef Paul Bocuse – about the upcoming changes:

What’s the biggest change guests will see in the new upstairs restaurant?

Jerome Bocuse: It’s all new – new name, new dining room, new costumes for the servers, new menu. We’re still aiming for haute cuisine, but with a less formal atmosphere. Guests are in the park with their families, so we want to create an elegant, nice ambience, but not stuffy. Our guests want to experience true French cuisine.

Tell us a little about the new décor.

JB: Servers will be in less formal attire – no more tuxedoes – and the room colors will be fresh and bright. The theme is our family history, as we’ve been in the culinary business for two centuries. We have a long tradition of French chefs in the Bocuse family.

And cuisine?

JB: We want to offer a taste of the true cuisine of France – classical, but with an approachable, affordable twist. We brought a chef over about a year ago from a Michelin 3-Star restaurant in France, so he’s ready to go.

Bistro de Paris has lots of fans, why change the restaurant now?

JB: We’ve never changed the restaurant since it opened more than 25 years ago, and it’s time for a new look and new theming based on our family’s history.

How about the Chefs de France downstairs, any changes?

JB: It is a classic brasserie, and will stay the same.

Tell us about the new bakery.

JB: We have a new building under construction at the back of the pavilion [the theater exit area]. We’ll have a bread oven, and do baking for all three restaurants there in a show bakery.

Are you changing the Boulangerie Patisserie menu?

JB: We are expanding the menu to add salads and sandwiches so our guests can have a meal in the bakery, with about 90 seats.

And what happens to the old pastry shop?

JB: It’s our new Glacier ice cream parlor!

Stay tuned for more details.

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