What Disney theme park food did ‘MasterChef’ Shaun O’Neale crave as kid?

Shaun O’Neale is one of America’s hottest celebrity chefs, thanks to his win on season 7 of Fox’s “MasterChef” last fall.

The former Floridian also happens to be a Disney buff who grew up with a powerful Disney food memory: He craved the giant turkey leg sold at the Magic Kingdom.

“I’d beg my parents to let me have that damn turkey leg!” he laughed in a phone conversation last week from his home in Las Vegas. “They never let me. They’d say, no, let’s sit down and have a burger and get out of the sun.

“The first time I was old enough to walk around Disney by myself, I bypassed all my favorite rides and went right to the turkey leg.”

No wonder O’Neale, 35, grew up to be a food star.

Today, he spins both plates and records — combining his passion for cooking with his longtime career as a disc jockey.

He’ll return to Disney World on Sept. 3 to do a cooking demonstration at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, plus sign copies of his new book, “My Modern American Table: Recipes for Inspired Home Cooks.”

Coming back to Epcot as a celebrity chef is a “full-circle life anniversary,” O’Neale says.

He first visited in December 1982, when both he and the theme park were babies. Epcot opened two months earlier, on Oct. 1, 1982.

“This is my 35th year and Epcot’s 35th anniversary,” he says.

Like music and food, “Disney has been a staple in my life.”

After living in Gainesville, Miami and Hawaii, O’Neale went to high school in North Carolina, then headed to Tampa, where he honed his disc jockey skills.

He moved to Las Vegas in 2008 and became known for keeping the party pumping at nightclubs and resorts. In 2010, O’Neale became the first DJ to perform for a New Year’s Eve party for 100,000 people — with Caesars Palace as his backdrop.

Even his love of a good New Year’s Eve party has a Disney spin.

“I celebrated Y2K at Disney,” says O’Neale, whose last visit came in May, during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.

On that trip, he dined at the Animal Kingdom’s celebrated Tiffin’s restaurant, which advertises “a globe-trotting menu of artfully prepared fare.”

He was “shocked” to see venison on the Tiffin’s menu, and since he won MasterChef with a spice-rubbed venison dish, he ordered the “Ethiopian Coffee Butter-infused Venison Loin.”

Tiffin’s passed this MasterChef’s challenge.

“It was beautiful, and the presentation was amazing,” he says. “I’m blown away by how Disney is upping their game in the food world and really focusing on some unique flavors.”

For his cooking demonstration at the Food & Wine Festival, O’Neale will make lobster ravioli — with a twist.

“There’s squid ink in the pasta dough,” he explains. “The dough is tuxedo black, but you don’t get a whole lot of flavor of the squid ink. The super black ravioli dough with the bright pink lobster makes a special presentation, and I make the sauce with Anisette liqueur, which brings a brightness to the dish and a unique flavor pairing.”

He’s making this visit a family affair, bringing his mother, Karen, and some other friends who cheered him on during the finale of MasterChef.

“We’ve got matching shirts!” he exclaims, like a true Disney fan.

One thing they probably won’t be doing: Chowing down on a giant turkey leg, although O’Neale knows what he would do with one if he had to turn it into a MasterChef challenge.

“I’d pull the meat off the bone and do a turkey meatball or slider,” he laughs. “Or just grab a beer and let my competitors go to town.”

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