World Class Vacations Blog

Cook Around The World 2019: Thank You

Posted by Takwan Hargrove on Apr 30, 2019 7:44:00 PM

Thank you for joining us at the Walt Disney World® Resort for the seventh annual Cook Around The World event! It was a pleasure meeting school administrators, teachers, chaperones, and students. It was a fantastic experience for our staff and hope it was for you.


Hospitality Experience

Cook Around The World 2019 started off with an optional hospitality tour at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. Students and their chaperones experienced a walking tour through the resort by Disney's Youth Education Series. The tour-goers learned about the different operations of the resort and learned about Polynesian culture and customs.


Culinary Improv Competition

Saturday began with the Hands-On Culinary Improv. During the culinary improv, each student received a chef coat and wasintroduced to our judges from the University of Central Florida - Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Valencia College, and Auguste Escoffier School Of Culinary Arts. Last but certainly not least, our head Celebrity Chef was the one and only Chef Damaris Phillips! Chef Damaris competed and won season 9 of Food Network Star. Since her big win, she has hosted Southern at Heart on Food Network for five seasons. After, Phillips co-hosted The Bobby and Damaris Show on Food Network with her former Food Network Star co-judge, Bobby Flay. She then began co-hosting Southern and Hungry with Rutledge Wood on the Cooking Channel.

At the culinary improv, students were given 90 minutes to work with their teammates to create their own recipes for side dishes and signature dishes. Each team was also required to decorate one dozen cupcakes that complemented their region and team. Each team presented one side dish, one signature dish, and one cupcake to be judged. Students then had the opportunity to walk around and sample what other teams created.


Awards Ceremony and International Gala Dinner

Sunday morning began with the Behind the Seeds tours for our groups at the Land in Epcot®. Later that evening each group joined us for the International Gala Dinner and Career Forum. During the International Gala Dinner and Career Forum, Damaris Phillips delivered her keynote speech followed by a Q&A. Students were so inspired by what she had to say about her journey of becoming a celebrity chef and her career today. Each group had the opportunity to take group pictures with Chef Damaris Phillips!

Students and chaperones were also able to chat with representatives from the University of Central Florida – Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Valencia College, Johnson & Wales University, Auguste Escoffier School Of Culinary Arts, and Disney leadership regarding the Disney College Program. Valuable career path information was provided to students interested in hospitality and culinary careers. Following the Gala dinner, the night ended with group photos with Chef Mickey Mouse and a private viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks. What a perfect way to celebrate the conclusion of Cook Around The World! 

Topics: Cook Around The World, Walt Disney World, Damaris Phillips