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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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My commentary was more in they need to produce dishes that can have a shelf life while being able to be quickly, cheaply made in large quantities with little variance day to day.

Interesting that you say this- Chef Denis’s background is partly in high volume cafeteria operations. He was the executive chef of the UVA Medical Center and was the executive chef for all of William & Mary, including their dining halls. So maybe cafeteria-style food, which as you mentioned requires large quantity production that can be quickly made with minimal variance, is a good comparison?
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Interesting that you say this- Chef Denis’s background is partly in high volume cafeteria operations. He was the executive chef of the UVA Medical Center and was the executive chef for all of William & Mary, including their dining halls. So maybe cafeteria-style food, which as you mentioned requires large quantity production that can be quickly made with minimal variance, is a good comparison?
Possibly. I can say I tent to think of all of it as being very similar. They all tend to taste very salty to me and cool very fast. They aren’t items (generally) made on an “as needed” basis.

FWIW - I’m not saying Chef Denis’s food isn’t good (I haven’t had it), but rather my opinion is I’m not going/not going to a park because of the quality of food. I kinda expect bad, with ok bend best case.

In my opinion, even though Mythos is really great theme park food, it’s still just ok compared to places off property from UO.
 
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Nov 1, 2012
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Interesting that you say this- Chef Denis’s background is partly in high volume cafeteria operations. He was the executive chef of the UVA Medical Center and was the executive chef for all of William & Mary, including their dining halls. So maybe cafeteria-style food, which as you mentioned requires large quantity production that can be quickly made with minimal variance, is a good comparison?
Chef Dennis was about 10-12 feet from me talking to about 5-6 park goers near the Italy booth this past Saturday. They asked him about his background. One of the jobs he held was in the culinary department at Disney for a few years. So he does have amusement/theme park food service background as well.
 
Mar 8, 2022
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The reputation was building back when Grain & Grill opened last year. Also, Chef Dennis has changed and tweaked menus & and recipes across almost the whole park in the last 2 years. Folks are picking up on the food service at KD fairly quicky on social media sites.
There are still going to be a ton of people ignoring that chatter..... Honestly, I almost was that very person. When Mac Bowl opened I loved it but I had some friends that completely crapped all over it and when the quality of MB collapsed I was not only done with KD's food but I was done listening to people trying to convince me of stuff. I'm not saying it's rapidly growing, because I think it is.... I'm just saying that it's still going to be another year or so before the majority of people recognize the change.
 
Mar 18, 2017
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KD used to have really good ribs and also tried a buffet before the Dining Plan came in. And yet all *I* ever heard about them, until Chef Paul at least, was that it was standard theme park food. It's always helped to be selective with what you get, including watching for variation, and that's still true. While you could certainly get better elsewhere for the full price of a meal, it can be well worth any small price differential for not just getting chicken tenders or whatever.

As to the Mac Bowl, even at its peak, if you went in the evening when crowds were light the food would likely be in poor condition.
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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@Nicole penned the largest (and best) Kings Dominion culinary review ever for this event. Pretty happy with how it all turned out. Hopefully some of you find it useful/interesting. Chef Denis is doing fantastic work.

PS: As always, these types of posts don't do well on social media. If you like them, please consider sharing and/or engaging with them by liking them, responding to them, and/or sharing them on Facebook and/or Twitter. Really appreciate it!



 
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Mar 18, 2017
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I see the KD's description of paella is the same as used in your review. Even googling paella, I see there can be variation in the meats used. So what's in it? Never heard of it before.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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Yes, unless they are egregious, we use the official descriptions in our articles. While Paella, as you observed, can have a variety of ingredients, the rice is the key component.

My recollection is that this one had shrimp and sausage, but after so many dishes, I could have that wrong.
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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Virginia
For anyone who is curious (like I was), BGWFans' 2022 Food & Wine average dish score was 6.5 and KDFans' 2022 Grand Carnivale average dish score was 7.1. The lowest scoring dish across both events was Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo with a very poor 2.6. Busch Gardens Williamsburg also SLIGHTLY edged out a win for the highest scoring item(s!) across both events with a tie between the Bananas Foster Cheesecake and the Lamb Burger Slider at 9.4. Kings Dominion's Rice Kheer trailed EVER SO SLIGHTLY behind with a 9.33.

Overall, according to our reviews, Grand Carnivale had, on average, better food. Which event had the absolute best food is definitely less clear though.
 
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