Sweet Sundays – May 3, 2009
Pastry Chefs: Elaine Ardizzone & Donna Cellere – Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., San Diego
Hostess: Chef Jamie Gwen
Assortment of Breakfast Pastries
Seasonal Fresh Fruit
Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche
Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Banana Cake PB&G
Rich’s Comments: After two nights of fun, food, and wine, we had a hard time getting going for Sweet Sundays at 10:30 a.m. But it was a lovely morning, so we headed over to the Lower Patio of the Golden Vine Winery where we had attended the Festival Wine Reception the night before.
The area was now set with long tables with a demonstration table at the far end. We were led to our seats by a CM. Our seats were in the middle of the table nearest the park. Not too bad, although we could not see a lot of what they doing at the demonstration table.
Rich’s Comments: The buffet was set up very poorly. Instead of a couple of long lines, there were several stations where you had to stand in line for each item. When we reached the front of the quiche line, they were out and we had to wait several minutes until more was delivered. Consequently, the rest of our food got cold. Bad, bad, bad. The food was okay otherwise, but not as good as at the two Sweet Sundays we attended at WDW.
Then, when we finally returned to our seats, our wine glasses were just sitting there empty. What had all those CMs that were wandering around with wine bottles been doing? They certainly hadn’t been pouring wine at our table. We had to flag someone down and convince them that most of the people at our table didn’t have any wine. Aggravating!!!
Rich’s Comments: This was the best dessert of the day. It was a pound cake with a caramelized almond topping. The serving size was a little large, but it was pretty tasty.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Rich’s Comments: These muffins (sometimes they called them cupcakes) were dry and uninteresting. I did eat the whole thing, but only because I needed something to cut the powerful sweetness of the frosting.
Banana Cake PB&G
Rich’s Comments: Way over the top dessert: Banana cake with ganache, peanut butter, and honey. This was way too sweet. I scraped off the layer of honey and peanut butter and ate a couple bites of the ganache and cake. I stopped for fear this goo would make me sick.
Rich’s Comments: Well, what can I say? Unfortunately, this was a not-so-good event.
The venue was odd with most of the seats far from the demonstration area making it hard to see what was happening.
The hostess, Jamie Gwen, was an annoying, over-the-top Hollywood chef who dominated the presentation, leaving the pastry chefs to try to get a word in edgewise.
The service was terrible. The food lines were poorly set up and they ran out of food, leaving us with a cold breakfast. And the wine service wasn’t any better.
And then there are the chefs themselves. How can I say this nicely? They were … less than skilled at expressing themselves publicly. That’s as nice as I can be, although many other descriptions come to mind. And I only liked the first dessert. The others were ho-hum at best.
After having attended two Sweet Sundays at WDW, I was looking forward to a good experience here. But instead it was a disappointment, and certainly the weakest experience of the weekend. I would do a Sweet Sundays again, but it would be at WDW where the venue, food, service, chefs, and hostess are much better.
Kathy’s Comments: I agree with Rich – this event was done much better at Disney World, although this is the first time this event was held at Disneyland so maybe it’ll improve, especially after they tally the comments from the comment cards handed out.
Note: Laura of Allears and her husband were in line in front of us and we chatted a bit. She reported a similar experience on the AllEars Blog. She also has pics of the event.
The atmosphere this morning was much different than at the two previous events – maybe the wine wasn’t flowing as much – but that depended on where you were seated. Laura reported that she had plenty, but we were seated on the opposite side of the event and the CMs around us seemed reluctant to pour both wines at once, although everyone around us were served both. Maybe they thought we’d had enough wine this weekend.
It also seemed to attract a different crowd, although the guy wearing his Tiki Bird shirt looked interesting and we wished we could have sat closer to him so we could chat – he looked like a lot of fun. I’m thinking that a guy wearing a shirt like that must have a Disney web site or blog somewhere.
The only dessert I enjoyed was the first one – the other two were way too sweet and, after a taste, I chose not to eat any more of them – even the kids seated across the table from us were scraping off the frosting.
We recognized one of the CMs from last night’s event, and she was great. We thanked her and hugged her on our way out.
Next: Final stroll through the food booths, demos, and other food and wine activities.