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Last week GlobalGrind was a guest of Walt Disney World Resort for a very special soulful celebration with Carla Hall.

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

“Cooking with Soul” is one of the many ways guests can “Celebrate Soulfully’’ at Walt Disney World Resort and create soul-stirring experiences that include music, artwork and more. Our journey started with a cup of gumbo at Scat Cat’s Club Lounge in Disney’s Port Orleans Resort.

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

The gumbo was well seasoned with a dark roux true to the spirit of the New Orleans classic. After washing down the gumbo with some water, we enjoyed some Mickey Mouse-inspired beignets, which were light and fluffy and delicious.

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

For the next stop on Carla Hall’s “Cooking with Soul” tour, we headed to The Polite Pig at Disney Springs for pork sliders and brussels sprouts.

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

Before leaving Disney Springs we had to make a visit to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ for shrimp and grits and macaroni and cheese, which were also YUMMMY!

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

The mac’n’cheese was probably our favorite dish there, it was super cheesy and delicious.

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

Good thing we got plenty of walking in to balance out all that eating because we still had more food ahead after shuttling over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park where we feasted on Tamarind-Braise Short Rib as well as a tofu dish with carrot prepared three ways at Tiffins Restaurant.

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

“The variety [of food] ran the gamut,” said Hall. “[We tried] not only food from The States, and different parts of America, but also internationally and into Africa.”

One of our favorite new discoveries was South African Rooibos tea, which made for a great finish to the meal.

We chatted with Carla Hall about some of her favorite eats at Disney. Here’s what she told us:

“I love Homecomin’ because I love Art Smith but the surprise for me today was Tiffins because it is this amazing restaurant in the middle of a park where you can go to a ride and then you can have this incredibly fine dining experience. A sit down restaurant that’s not burgers and hot dogs. It was really incredible.”

After the “Cooking with Soul” food tour, Hall and Disney chef Douglas James led a special cooking demonstration. Chef Douglas made lamb chops and collard greens that were paired with wines from the McBride Sisters Wine Company, a minority-owned business. The wines, which are available at Magic Kingdom Park, were curated by Disney sommelier Debbi Sacleux, proprietor of Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom Park. We had a chance to sample three different wines and the Rosé was our fave!

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

The cooking demonstration capped off Hall’s experience of “Cooking with Soul,’’ which was created to be a celebration of the soulful history of ingredients, flavors and recipes of Walt Disney World Resort as well as how Walt Disney World Resort cast members find inspiration in creating foods and pairings that nourish the soul.

After watching Chef Douglas prepare the meal, we spoke with Chef Hall about some of the biggest mistakes she sees people make in the kitchen and she told us not enough seasoning had to be the worst offense of all. She also mentioned that people underestimate how much more flavor their food will get if they brown it more.

Since we know our Global Grind readers are big on social media chefs, we asked Hall about a few of her favorites. She mentioned Jocelyn Delk Adams, better known as @grandbabycakes and chef and author Bryant Terry @bryantterry. We highly encourage you to check out his books!

Carla Hall Visits Walt Disney World

Source: Kent Phillips / Walt Disney World Resorts

Hall and her family also spent plenty of time having fun in the Disney parks, including Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. One of their highlights was experiencing the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction at Epcot. They also spent time interacting with Princess Tiana and enjoyed Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom Park.

“Cooking with Soul” is one of the many ways guests can “Celebrate Soulfully’’ at Walt Disney World Resort and create soul-stirring experiences that include music, artwork and more. For more information about the dishes Carla Hall experienced as well as other soulful dining options at Walt Disney World Resort, visit this link.