“This year’s artwork is based on artwork created by Walt Disney Imagineering that you will see throughout the event,” explaines Randy. “The art has a humorous point of view, which is different from the imagery found in the previous year’s events. For this whimsical image, I used pastel colors to create a softer look for the overall image. If you look carefully, you will spot Remy from Disney•Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’ in the top of the chef’s hat.”
The bumbling, yet-unnamed chef inspired a new item for the festival this year – a seven-inch bobble figurine of the chef. The figurine was sculpted by artist Robert King and looks awesome (especially the details on Spaceship Earth!). Look for this chef artwork on additional items like a reusable tote bag and more.
While the chef is a new character for this year’s event, we are also introducing a small art program featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as chefs. The character artwork was created by Disney Design Group artist Brian Blackmore, with digital rendering done by artist Dan Salgo. You may recall similar artwork introduced last year in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot.
Another character returning this year is a 12-inch Duffy the Disney Bear dressed in a new chef outfit. He joins other new items like a Mouse ear headband with a chef’s hat, a new cranberry bog pin featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, and a new three-inch Vinylmation figure designed by Disney artist Thomas Scott. The limited edition Vinylmation figure features Gusteau from ‘Ratatouille’ and will be packaged in a mystery box. The more common figure (edition size 2,250) will be in full color, while the monochromatic variant figure (edition size 250) will be rarer to find.
Stay tuned for additional updates as we get closer to the start of the festival.
I can’t get enough of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I believe I have been around the world at least five different times this year! My favorite foods kiosks are Hawai’i, Australia and South Korea (hello, lettuce wrap!). A great place to start is at the Festival Center located in Future World next to Mission: SPACE. This themed area is home to food demonstrations, special activities, and an extensive merchandise location. If you enjoy fine art, there is a section within the Festival Center called “The Art of Food and Wine.” This store-within-a-store showcases artwork from several talented artists including Noah, Heather French, Patryk Poslednik, Liné Tutwiler, William Silvers and others.
Artwork from Disney Design Group character artist Brian Blackmore recently joined this section at the Festival Center. You may recall my conversation with Brian back in early September about his artwork found at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. We recently introduced some canvas wrapped giclées based on that art. Brian also created one-of-a-kind original paintings based on his four designs. Each of these original works will measure 2-feet by 4-feet, and will be introduced starting October 26.
If you are headed to the Festival in the coming weeks, please stop by the Festival Center to meet Brian during these dates and times:
Pasta is one dish often served in my home as it’s easy to make and there are many options (gnocchi and angel hair pasta are two favorites). I want to visit Italy someday, as I heard the food there is amazing! The closest I get these days is the Italy Pavilion at Epcot (which coincidentally also has great food and desserts – hello, tiramisu and espresso from Tutto Italia!). I recently saw some new merchandise at the pavilion that captures the essence of Italian travel posters of the 1950s and 60s. This awesome artwork was created by long time Disney Design Group artist Brian Blackmore. I spoke with Roger Dressen, product developer for World Showcase, about the items.
“This past year, we have been finding ways to incorporate Disney characters enjoying iconic things from each World Showcase pavilion,” said Roger. “Brian did a great job combining a romantic travel poster style with something many people can relate – food.”
I’ve known Brian for many years. I still have a drawing he made of Donald Duck on one of my Disney Ambassador business cards from 11 years ago. That is probably the reason why I’m drawn to his image of Donald looking to enjoy some delicious treats. Brian explained how he created the artwork.
“I made a few pencil sketches first,” continued Brian. “I then worked with an artist named Dan Salgo to have the images rendered digitally. The rendered art is what was used on the merchandise. The images were so popular with the development team that I was asked to make a few original paintings using the art. They will be a nice size when I’m finished, measuring about four-feet by two-feet. Look for them coming to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this year.”
The digital artwork was applied to a variety of items including spoon rests, petite prints, coffee mugs, aprons, magnets and more. Roger told me that the most popular item is a beverage coaster set which contains all four images.
In Italy, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria is under construction with opening planned for fall 2010 in time for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Operated by Patina Restaurant Group, the same restaurateurs who run the pavilion’s Tutto Italia Ristorante, the 300-seat pizzeria is inspired by Naples 45, another Patina Restaurant Group pizzeria on East 45th Street in New York City.
The casual pizzeria will feature wood-burning ovens – and will import water from a source that most resembles the water in Naples, Italy, home of some of the world’s best pizza dough. The menu also will feature pastas, salads, sandwiches and Italian wines.
The 14,000-square-foot space will include indoor and outdoor dining.
At Mexico, the popular Cantina de San Angel restaurant is expanding, and will feature 400 seats with al fresco seating for lunch and a perfect place for viewing “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” the nightly Epcot fireworks spectacular.
The restaurant will feature south-of-the border creations from the culinary team at San Angel Inn LLC, who have run both the outside eatery and the pavilion’s San Angel Inn for more than 25 years. Opening also is set for fall 2010.