The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival was launched in 2006 to showcase the variety of fresh ingredients available in the Golden State. It instantly became one of the Disneyland Resort’s most popular annual events and has grown each year, with festival marketplace kiosks—plus other locations throughout the park—serving bites and sips that highlight California’s fresh produce as well as the state’s diverse food landscape.
“Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival features the best of what California has to offer,” says Gary Maggetti, general manager of Disney California Adventure.
Chef John State, culinary director for food & beverage at the Disneyland Resort, agrees. “It’s not difficult to find a hero when you come to Disney California Adventure park,” he says. “I’m not talking about Spider-Man or Black Panther; I’m talking about the hero ingredients that we celebrate here in California.”
From corn, artichokes, and avocados, to strawberries and Meyer lemons, the Disneyland chefs raise the culinary bar each spring with dishes that showcase these delicious California heroes and many more.
Due to the closure of Disney California Adventure in March, this year’s festival was cut short, so my son and I decided to re-create one of the recipes that make this festival one of our favorite Disneyland traditions.
Beef Sliders with Roasted Garlic Chimichurri and Pickled Onions
A favorite sandwich that made appearances in both 2018 and 2019 is the grilled-beef tenderloin slider with Chimichurri sauce and pickled onions. According to Maggetti, it was the most popular menu item of the entire 2018 festival, which is why it was a no-brainer to bring it back the following year—it was also no surprise to me because it’s my favorite too.
While the original sandwich showcased beef tenderloin from California’s well-known Harris Ranch, we decided to switch to beef burger sliders as the vehicle for the Disney chefs’ tangy pickled onions and addictive roasted garlic Chimichurri sauce. I guarantee you’re going want to put this sauce on everything once you taste it (we definitely do).
An important thing to note is that the onions need to pickle for 24 hours, so there is a bit of pre-planning required for this recipe. On the upside, you can pre-make the Chimichurri at the same time.
Check out our at-home recipe below:
- 1 pound of ground beef
- Slider rolls
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, divided
- 1/2 cup of Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of onion, minced
- 1/2 cup of orange juice
- 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a small pot, heat all ingredients except onions until sugar and salt dissolves.
- Place onions in a jar, pour mixture over them and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle garlic cloves with 1 teaspoon of oil, season with salt and pepper, and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Cool for 10 minutes, then peel each clove and set aside.
- Heat orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced by half. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Place peeled roasted garlic cloves in a small bowl and press with the back of a spoon until smooth. Discard any hard pieces.
- Stir together the roasted garlic, orange juice, 1/4 cup of oil, parsley, red onions, and cayenne pepper.
- Shape ground beef into small patties. Season with salt and pepper and cook. Set aside.
- Cut rolls in half and toast. Place one slider on the bottom of each roll. Top with Chimichurri and pickled red onion.
We want to see your creations if you decide to give this Beef Sliders recipe a try! Be sure to share photos with us on Twitter at @Attractions.