The meeting, convention and event industry is constantly evolving as new and exciting trends emerge. Whether these are related to décor, food and beverage, or technology, event planners are always looking for new ways to “wow” their attendees with cutting-edge experiences. Here at Disney destinations, we have the same goal in mind, as we’re always looking to push the envelope and stay ahead of the trends. After all, innovation and creativity have been the cornerstones of the legendary experiences we’ve been delivering to our theme park and resort guests for more than 60 years.
Last year, our award-winning culinary team looked for the opportunity to infuse catered events with a touch of magic, and present food in a unique and innovative way. This intriguing option uses something you might not expect to find at a catered event—liquid nitrogen—and combines it with an action-station concept to give attendees an unexpected experience.
“One of our favorite catering experiences for private events incorporates the use of liquid nitrogen to create an action station called ”˜Dragon’s Breathe,’” said Chef Leonard Thomson, Chef de Cuisine for Disney Park Event Catering.
“We take caramel popcorn and deep fry it in liquid nitrogen right in front of the guests, which super freezes it to below 300 degrees. Then, we top it with a little sea salt to give it the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and serve it in small paper cone so that guests can enjoy it as they are walking around, mingling at the event. As they eat the popcorn, the guest exhales the cold vapors from the liquid nitrogen, making it look like he/she is breathing smoke. It’s a real wow factor and everyone loves it,” Thomson added.
And, while caramel popcorn is certainly a popular choice, it’s just one of the many food items that the Disney team has experimented with. Other recent options have included a liquid-nitrogen ice cream bomb, and in the ”˜believe-it-or-not’ department, they’ve even created a freezing-cold cereal station as part of a breakfast buffet!
According to Chef Thomson, Disney’s catering team continues to push the envelope and find new and exciting ways to impress guests at private events. By taking traditional cooking concepts and infusing them with a bit of science, it creates an immersive experience that is both fun and unique for attendees.
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