Joined: Feb 21, 2006 Posts: 4136 Location: Valdosta, Ga Winnersville USA & Titletown USA
Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:14 am Post subject: Chef Cat Cora to open new restaurant at WDW
Spoodles out, Cat Cora in with new restaurant in 2009
Walt Disney World is playing cat and mouse games at Disney's BoardWalk. Iron Chef Cat Cora is teaming with Mickey to develop a Greek Mediterranean restaurant called Kouzzina by Cat Cora. The restaurant will be owned and operated by Disney.
The new eatery will replace Spoodles, which was also Mediterranean and had delicious food but never seemed to be able to earn a reputation among Disney diners. As of now, there is no set closing date for Spoodles, but the new restaurant is scheduled to open in Fall 2009. Hmmm, I smell an Epcot International Food & Wine Festival tie-in!
Here's the press release from the World:
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 17, 2009) -- Chef Cat Cora and Disney are joining together to open an exciting new family dining restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort. Kouzzina by Cat Cora will feature a menu of Mediterranean-style cuisine that pays tribute to the chef’s Greek roots.
The restaurant, to be owned and operated by Disney, is scheduled to open by fall 2009 in the space currently occupied by Spoodles.
“I am pleased to welcome Cat Cora and her engaging new concept for Kouzzina to the Walt Disney World Resort,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This collaboration between Cat and Disney represents a significant step in our ongoing commitment to offer unique culinary experiences and choices for our guests.”
As a Mississippi native born to a family of Greek restaurateurs, Cora grew up immersed in two different and flavorful cultures , and has taken from that unique background the kitchen “know-how” handed down through generations. The cuisine at Kouzzina (Greek for “kitchen” and pronounced “koo-zee-nah”) will showcase Mediterranean cuisine and Chef Cora’s philosophy to create simple yet sensational meals.
Cora said that the new restaurant will feature “time-honored recipes passed down from my ancestors, as well as my favorite Greek and Mediterranean dishes that my family loves.”
She began working with Disney in 2008 by creating a Disney Video on Demand series to showcase ways to help families develop more healthy eating habits. “I’m extremely excited about this latest extension of my relationship with Disney,” she said. “Together, we’re going to develop a truly amazing contemporary Mediterranean restaurant.”
The first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network's hit show “Iron Chef America,” Cora is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She also is Executive Chef for Bon Appétit magazine. In addition to hosting the instructional cooking demonstrations for Disney Video on Demand, Cora has been a featured chef at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and at Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival at Disneyland Resort.
It sounds interesting, the real question is whether Chef Cora's star power will be enough to bring people to this location. You do have to admit, the BoardWalk area is loaded down with restaurants and eateries already (which is one of the factors why Spoodles never took off)...
I wonder if DTD would have been a better spot... _________________ Up or Down North, South, East, or West An Adventurer's Life is Best!
I knew she appeared at some of the wine and food demos. Did not know Disney nor her had done work on a family eating well program. I will admit the name spoodles never did much to make me think "food". Kouzzina seems more food related a name to me.
I would agree that putting (or keeping) a restaurant where there are already so many would seem a poor decision, unless those other restaurants have long wait times....
You can't please everyone's palates, especially at a restaurant with a menu incorporating such regional flavors as Kouzzina. Some people just don't like certain foods. I wouldn't take someone that hates seafood to Morimoto, or someone who doesn't like southwestern food and chiles to Mesa, both owned by Iron Chefs. Believe it or not, there are also people that would rather have one of Disney’s hockey puck burgers or quick serve personal pizzas over a meal at California Grill *shudder*.
That being said, I went to Kouzzina for breakfast back in June and ordered the "Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Scrambled Eggs served with Breakfast Potatoes with choice of Bacon or Chicken Sausage". Overall, I thought it was decent. I love feta cheese, but the eggs were a little bit saltier than I had anticipated. I’m not sure if the feta itself was causing this, or if the eggs or incorporated vegetables were overseasoned. I also had the Sunrise Sparkling Sangria, which was delicious. I’d like to go back for dinner sometime.
Personally, you can only refer to reviews so much. The most important thing is to read the menu, and if something stands out to you, then try it.
On our last trip in January, we ate both breakfast and dinner at Kouzzina in the same day. I enjoyed both meals very much. I had the Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash and a Bloody Mary (my girlfriend ordered the sangria with her meal, and it definitely was delicious), and I thought it was fantastic. I'm not even a big sweet potato fan, but the flavors went together so well and it was so well-prepared and expertly seasoned that I couldn't imagine it being prepared any other way. the poached eggs were perfect, too, and that's a big sticking point with me. I find improperly cooked eggs to be unforgivable. If I can do it, so can a professionally trained chef.
For dinner, I had the whole fish entree. The fish selection that day was some sort of snapper I had never heard of and the name of which I can't remember. In any case, it was excellent. I opted to pick it apart on my own, but they will de-bone it table side if you so wish. It was very lemony, maybe a bit too lemony in parts (specifically the escarole bed on top of which the fish was placed, but I'm not sure that part was meant to be eaten; I couldn't help myself, since I love escarole), but the fish itself couldn't have been any more perfect, from seasoning to doneness. It was one of the better meals I've had in the parks.
Matt had the Bloody Mary the morning we went as he’s always comparing them at restaurants to his own. I likely would have ordered one for myself if I hadn’t seen the sangria!
I’m glad to hear you had two good experiences there at different meal times. Regarding the fish you ordered being very lemony, it simply goes back to the fact that lemon is one of the prominent flavors that are used in Mediterranean cooking.
Joined: Jun 28, 2006 Posts: 342 Location: Orlando, FL
Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:48 pm Post subject:
Yup, I got the Bloody Mary and it was very good. Disney could use more spots that offer those in the morning. After all, most of the resort bars open around dinner time (not including the pool bars). _________________ <img src="modules/Forums/images/smiles/pirateflag.gif" alt="Pirate Flag" border="0" />
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