We head to the Yukon Holiday Kitchen for our next stop at the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, which is the Canada booth from Food & Wine, rebranded to pay homage to famed the arctic prospector of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer fame (probably). In this review, we’ll share photos of every snack and dessert item on the menu, and offer our food reviews & tasting notes.
This Holiday Kitchen would do Mr. Cornelius proud, and we won’t bury the lede: it’s the strongest booth at the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. Not only that, but it would have been among the best booths at the Food & Wine Festival, too.
In fact, I’ll go a step further: if I could order anything from Le Cellier’s menu or a full-sized portion of the salmon topped with that whisky glaze, with the tourtiere as an appetizer, and the Maple Bûche de Noël for dessert, I’d choose the latter. The items at the Yukon Holiday Kitchen are tastier and more “Signature” quality than at least half of Le Cellier’s menu…
Here’s what’s on the food menu at the Yukon (Canada) Holiday Kitchen for 2018:
Seared Salmon with Crown Maple Whisky Glaze, Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney and Hazelnut Croquant
Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere with Canadian Ketchup
Maple Bûche de Noël: Maple Mousse rolled in Gingerbread Chiffon Cake with Cranberry Sauce and Pecan Crumble (Vegetarian) (Kid-Approved)
Gold Chocolate Chip Cookie (Vegetarian)
Now our photos and reviews of each item…
Seared Salmon – There are some things that Walt Disney World’s culinary department does notoriously poorly (like bacon), and then there are things at which they excel, sometimes inexplicably so (like scallops). Salmon definitely falls into the latter group, and this dish is no exception.
All of the other accompaniments elevate this further still, particularly that crown maple whiskey glaze. It could’ve used a bit more hazelnut croquant, but that’s a minor quibble with an otherwise fantastic dish.
French Canadian Tourtiere – Nowhere is it indicated what’s inside this traditional French Canadian (mystery) meat pie, but it’s excellent. The exterior is a flaky and delicious crust, with garlic, thyme, and other seasonings inside that really elevate it. The meat is probably just pork, but I swear it had more gaminess.
Others in our party seemed less enthusiastic about it, but I loved the Tourtiere and would highly recommend it.
Maple Bûche de Noël – I’ll be honest: most items at any Epcot festival are one-and-done for us. It’s not that we dislike them, it’s that we spend so much sampling everything that the initial sting of opening weekend makes it difficult to justify going back for seconds. Usually, we’ll revisit a few items, but not many.
I already told Sarah that I’d be ordering this every single time we go to Epcot this Christmas season. While that’s probably hyperbole (maybe?), the Maple Bûche de Noël is the winner of Festival of the Holidays for me. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what makes it so special, but the consistencies of (and balance between) the maple mousse and gingerbread cake are perfect, as is the joyous contrast of sweet maple and tart cranberry flavors.
Everything about this Yule Log seems too good to be true: price, quality, flavor…and yet, it all is. (No joke–the Maple Bûche de Noël is better than the Plaza Inn Yule Log at Disneyland that I rave about on this blog with regularity.)
Gold Chocolate Chip Cookie – Very cookie-ish.
Her’s the Yukon alcohol menu:
Frozen Coffee (non-alcoholic)
Unibroue Éphémère Strawberry and Rhubarb
Inniskillin Riesling Icewine
Inniskillin Pearl Vidal Icewine
Inniskillin Gold Oak Icewine
Ice Wine Flight
Frozen Coffee with Tap 357 Whisky
Overall, Yukon is the standout of the Holiday Kitchen lineup. Just to be clear, it’s not as if we went here first and were biased by our growling stomachs–we went late in the day after being pretty full. Nor has the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers bought us off to write a positive review–though I am certainly open to it if it keeps that supply of Maple Bûche de Noël flowing. I think we’ve been pretty ambivalent on the reviews up until now; this is the first Holiday Kitchen about which I am truly enthusiastic, and my glowing praise here is no exaggeration. We’ll be back to the Yukon again and again this Christmas.
What do you think of the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in Canada? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? What did you think of them? If you’ve tried the Maple Bûche de Noël, do you agree with my effusive praise for it? What about the beer or iced wine here? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!