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A naked Lincoln among the highlights of the Ford Museum’s “Behind the Magic” exhibit

JHM guest writer Dan Viets is back with an exclusive advance preview of the “Behind the Magic: Fifty Years of Disneyland” exhibit, which opens to the public this Friday.

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As late as the afternoon of Thursday, September 22, large banners were prominently displayed around the massive grounds of the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan announcing that “Behind the Magic: Fifty Years of Disneyland” would be open on Friday, September 23, 2005. But it was not so.

Due to problems completing the exhibit on deadline, the opening has been delayed for one week until Friday, September 30. It will be worth the wait.

My wife and I had been invited to the private, pre-opening President’s Dinner and preview of the

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exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum on Wednesday, September 21, 2005. When we checked in with the museum staff on Wednesday morning, we were informed that the dinner had been cancelled and the opening postponed. Museum staff members were quite appropriately dismayed that no one has contacted us and that we had flown up from Missouri without being notified of the change.

However, I persuaded the museum staff to allow us to have a personal guided tour of the exhibit, even though it was clearly not ready to open to the public. The Disney Company staff members involved with the exhibit were initially reluctant to allow anyone to see it in its state of unreadiness. I called a friend at WDI in Glendale and subsequently, the museum staff agreed that we could be admitted.

Mr. Scott Mallwitz, Director of Experience Design for The Henry Ford, was a gracious host and clearly had become quite knowledgeable about the history of “The Happiest Place on Earth.” He shared with us some of the problems encountered in putting together what looks to be the most well-mounted account of the park’s development and history ever attempted.

The exhibit bears a similarity to the excellent display at the Disney/MGM Studios theme park at Walt Disney World in Florida, “One Man’s Dream”. In fact, some artifacts from that exhibit have been transferred to this one. In addition, many artifacts and pieces of artwork which have never before been seen by the public grace the BTM show.

Ride vehicles from “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” and “Peter Pan’s Flight” are included, but the standout piece is clearly the original Abraham Lincoln figure from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. As Tony Baxter mentioned in a presentation at the Marceline Toonfest the previous weekend (a topic for another article) the original Lincoln figure operated during the later part of the Fair at the same time as the second-generation Lincoln figure began his run at Disneyland. The original figure from New York has never before been seen by the public since the close of the Fair.

Certainly, no other Animatronic figure has ever been exposed to the pubic in the manner that our nation’s 16th President will be in this exhibit. The figure will be buck naked!

The Lincoln figure in “Behind the Magic” will not have on a stitch of clothing. His entire mechanical apparatus will be visible with the sole exception of his face which will retain its life-like life mask just as it did when Lincoln had his clothes on. One of the surprising things is how small the actual mechanical apparatus below the feet of the figure is. The whole thing is contained in a box approximately 2x3x2 feet.

One of The Ford Museum’s most famous artifacts is the chair in which Lincoln sat on that fateful night at Ford’s Theater (not affiliated with the Ford Motor Company). The upper portion of the high-backed, upholstered chair is stained with large amounts of Lincoln’s blood. Apparently the museum staff joked among themselves about displaying the Animatronic President in that very same chair! However, that notion was discarded almost immediately.

Much of the rest of the exhibit consists of beautiful concept art and images of the park’s history which can be accessed through interactive computer screens. The screens are displayed side-by-side with original artwork.

My own small contribution to the exhibit is a postcard of Marceline’s main street from the early 20th century when Walt Disney and his family lived there. The postcard is displayed near other images of “Main Street, U.S.A.” and illustrates the fact that Marceline’s main street was indeed the inspiration for the entryway to The Magic Kingdom.

We spent much of our time in Dearborn touring Greenfield Village, a park created by Henry Ford and dedicated to the theme of American history, circa 1750-1950. Walt Disney visited Greenfield Village in April of 1940 and again with Imagineer/animator Ward Kimball in 1948, following their visit to The Chicago Railroad Fair. There is good reason to believe that Walt’s visits to Greenfield Village influenced his design of Disneyland. Some of the historic buildings are arranged around the Village Green, which of course corresponds to the town square in Midwestern towns like Marceline, Missouri, Walt’s early boyhood hometown. A similar town square is just inside the entrance to Disneyland.

Several of the other features of Greenfield Village also seem to be reflected in Disneyland. These include a steam-driven railroad on which passengers travel in open-sided cars much like the ones at Disneyland. When Walt visited Greenfield Village, the railway was a short line, but it was later expanded to circle the entire Village much as the Disneyland Railroad circles that park.

Among the other rides available to Greenfield Village visitors is a trip on the “Suwanee” sternwheeler steamboat which circles “Suwanee Island”, just as the Mark Twain Steamboat circles Tom Sawyer Island and other boats circle similar islands in the Disney parks in Florida and Tokyo. Visitors can also take rides in genuine Model T automobiles manufactured during the early part of the 20th century similar to vehicles in Disneyland. Other available modes of transportation include a horse-drawn omnibus, which is not on rails, but nonetheless resembles the horse-drawn trolley in Disneyland. Both the cars and omnibus travel the Main Street section of Greenfield.

One of the most fundamental resemblances between the two parks is the fact that Greenfield Village consists largely of historic buildings associated with famous Americans. These include Noah Webster’s home, Robert Frost’s home, the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop and home, and an Illinois Courthouse where Lincoln was known to have practiced law. The idea of including such buildings in Disneyland is reflected in the large painting created by Peter Ellenshaw and shown by Walt on the Disneyland television program before actual construction on Disneyland had begun. In that early bird’s-eye view of the park, (which is part of this exhibit) Walt’s original plan to put just such buildings on what became Tom Sawyer Island is shown. That same concept appears on early Disneyland maps and other licensed merchandise. Walt had intended to fill the island with reconstructions of buildings like Mount Vernon, Monticello and other quintessentially American architecture. Although he soon dropped that idea in favor of an island like Mark Twain’s characters enjoyed, the earlier version reflects a concept similar to that of Greenfield Village.

When Walt and Ward Kimball visited the Village in 1940 and ’48, they had tintype photographs made of themselves at the Greenfield Village Tintype Studio. Although such photos are no longer made there, the building remains just as it was when Walt and Ward were there.

“Behind the Magic” includes more than 200 pieces of art and artifacts beautifully displayed in over 3,000 square feet of space. It also features a nice shop with some merchandise unique to this exhibit. Included is an interesting softcover book which reproduces many of the items on display, including my postcard of Marceline’s main street.

Displayed outside the entryway to the exhibit is a Jolly Trolley from Toontown. Also displayed near that entryway is a permanent part of The Henry Ford Museum’s collection which provides an interesting counterpoint to an icon of early Disneyland. The Dymaxion house is very similar in concept and execution to the House of the Future built and sponsored by Monsanto Corporation in the early days of Disneyland. While the Monsanto house was constructed primarily of fiberglass and plastics, the Dymaxion house, designed by R. Buckminster Fuller a decade earlier, is made of aluminum.

In 1946, Fuller proposed to the Beech Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas that its aircraft manufacturing facility, which had been building aluminum airplanes until the end of World War II, be converted to the peacetime purpose of building aluminum homes for the families of returning veterans. The Dymaxion is round with a peaked roof, and mounted on a single spindle which is set in concrete in the ground at a depth of approximately 8 to 10 feet. Other than that single spindle in the middle, there is no foundation for the house.

Creative differences between the Beech Company and Fuller led to the demise of the project, but The Ford Museum acquired both of the existing prototypes of the house and combined what remained of them into an exhibit of what might have been. It represents a very interesting example of what The House of the Future might have looked like if Disneyland had opened a decade earlier.

A special day of presentations is planned for Friday, November 11 in Dearborn. Vice-chair of Walt Disney Imagineering Marty Sklar, Karal Ann Marling, guest curator of the exhibit and Scott Mallwitz will all be making presentations about the exhibit that day.

“Behind the Magic” will be at The Henry Ford through the end of the year. It will then travel to a museum in the San Francisco Bay area, and reportedly will then return to a venue in the Midwest before traveling to other major museums throughout the country during the next few years. However, if you can get to Dearborn before the end of 2005, you will have the added pleasure of an opportunity to see one of the major influences on the design of Disneyland at the same time that you take in this excellent exhibit.

Editor’s note: Dan Viets is the author of arguably one of the better Disney history books to be published in the past few years, “Walt Disney’s Missouri: The Roots of a Creative Genius.” So if you’d like to learn more about Walt’s formative days in Marceline & Kansas City (Not to mention detailed information about Disney’s aborted indoor theme park project, “Riverboat Square”), then I urge you to pick up a copy.

 

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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Jens Dahlmann of LongHorn Steakhouse has lots of great tips when it comes to grilling

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Sure, for some folks, the Fourth of July is all about fireworks. But for the 75% of all Americans who own a grill or a smoker, the Fourth is our Nation’s No. 1 holiday when it comes to grilling. Which is why 3 out of 4 of those folks will spend some time outside today working over a fire.

But here’s the thing: Though 14 million Americans can cook a steak with confidence because they actually grill something every week, the rest of us – because we use our grill or smoker so infrequently … Well, let’s just say that we have no chops when it comes to dealing with chops (pork, veal or otherwise).

So what’s a backyard chef supposed to in a situation like this when there’s so much at steak … er … stake? Turn to someone who really knows their way around a grill for advice. People like Jens Dahlmann, the Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef for Darden Restaurant’s LongHorn Steakhouse brand.

Given that Jens’ father & grandfather were chefs, this is a guy who literally grew up in a kitchen. In his teens & twenties, Dahlmann worked in hotels & restaurants all over Switzerland & Germany. Once he was classically trained in the culinary arts, Jens then  jumped ship. Well, started working on cruise ships, I mean.

Anyway … While working on Cunard’s Sea Goddess, Dahlmann met Sirio Maccioni, the founder of Le Cirque 2000. Sirio was so impressed with Jens’ skills in the kitchen that he offered him the opportunity to become sous-chef at this New York landmark. After four years of working in Manhattan, Dahlmann then headed south to become executive chef at Palm Beach’s prestigious Café L’Europe.

Jens Dahlmann back during his Disney World days

And once Jens began wowing foodies in Florida, it wasn’t all that long ’til the Mouse came a-calling. Mickey wanted Dahlmann to shake things up in the kitchen over at WDW’s Flying Fish Café. And he did such a good job with that Disney’s Boardwalk eatery the next thing Jens knew, he was then being asked to work his magic with the menu at the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill.

From there, Dahlmann had a relatively meteoric rise at the Mouse House. Once he became Epcot’s Food & Beverage general manager, it was only a matter of time before he wound up as the executive chef in charge of this theme park’s annual International Food & Wine Festival. Which – under Jens’ guidance – experienced some truly explosive growth.

“When I took on Food & Wine, that festival was only 35 days long and had gross revenues of just $5.5 million. When I left Disney in 2016, Food & Wine was now over 50 days long and that festival had gross revenues of $22 million,” Dahlmann admitted during a recent sit-down. “I honestly loved those 13 years I spent at Disney. When I was working there, I learned so much because I was really cooking for America.”

And it was exactly that sort of experience & expertise that Darden wanted to tap into when they lured Jens away from Mickey last year to become LongHorn Steakhouse’s new Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef. But today … Well, Dahlmann is offering tips to those of us who are thinking about cooking steak tips for the Fourth.

Photo by Jim Hill

“When you’re planning on grilling this holiday, if you’re looking for a successful result, the obvious place to start is with the quality of the meat you plan on cooking for your friends & family. If you want the best results here, don’t be cheap when you go shopping. Spend the money necessary for a fresh filet or a New York strip. Better yet a Ribeye, a nice thick one with good marbling. Because when you look at the marbling on a steak, that’s where all the flavor happens,” Jens explained. “That said, you always have to remember that — the higher you go with the quality of your meat — the less time you’re going to want that piece of meat to spend on the grill.”

And speaking of cooking … Before you even get started here, Jens suggests that you first take the time to check over all of your grilling equipment. Making sure that the grill itself is first scraped clean & then properly oiled before you then turn up the heat.

“If you’re working with a dirty grill, when you go to turn your meat, it may wind up sticking to the grill. Or maybe those spices that you’ve just so carefully coated your steak with will wind up sticking to the grill, rather than your meat,” Dahlmann continued. “Which is why it’s always worth it to spend a few minutes prior to firing up your grill properly cleaning & oiling it.”

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of heat … Again, before you officially get started grilling here, Jens says that it’s crucial to check your temperature gauges. Make sure that your char grill is set at 550 (so that it can then properly handle the thicker cuts of meat) and your flattop is set at 425 (so it can properly sear thinner pieces of meat).

Okay. Once you’ve bought the right cuts of quality meat, properly cleaned & oiled your grill, and then made sure that everything’s set at the right temperature (“If you can only stand to hold your hand directly over the grill for two or three seconds, that’s the right amount of heat,” Dahlmann said), it’s now time to season your steaks.

“Don’t be afraid to be bold here. You can’t be shy when it comes to seasoning your meat. You want to give it a nice coating. Largely because — if you’re using a char grill — a lot of that seasoning is just going to fall off anyway,” Jens stated. “It’s up to you to decide what sort of seasoning you want to use here. Even just some salt & pepper will enhance a steak’s flavor.”

Then – according to Dahlmann – comes the really tough part. Which is placing your meat on the grill and then fighting the urge to flip it too early or too often.

“The biggest mistake that a lot of amateur cooks make is that they flip the steak too many times. The real key to a well-cooked piece of meat is just let it be, “Jens insisted. “Of course, if you’re serving different cuts of meat at your Fourth of July feast, you always want to put your biggest thickest steak on the grill first. If you’re also cooking a New York Strip, you want to put that one on a few minutes later. But after that, just let the grill do its job and flip your meat a total of three or four times, once every three minutes or so.”

Of course, the last thing you want to do is overcook a quality piece of meat. Which is why Dahlmann suggests that – when it comes to grilling steaks – if you’re going to err, err on the side of undercooking.

“You can always put a piece of meat back on the grill if it’s slightly undercooked. When you over-cook something, all you can do then is start over with a brand-new piece of meat,” Jens said. “Just be sure that you’re using the correct cut of meat for the cooking result you’re aiming for. If someone wants a rare or medium rare steak, you should go with a thicker cut of steak. If one of your guests wants their steak cooked medium or well, it’s best to start with a thinner cut of meat.”

Photo by Jim Hill

As you can see, the folks at Longhorn take grilling steaks seriously. How seriously? Just last week at Darden Corporate Headquarters in Orlando, seven of these brand’s top grill masters (who – after weeks of regional competitions – had been culled from the 491 restaurants that make up this chain) competed for a $10,000 prize in the Company’s second annual Steak Master Series. And Dahlmann was one of the people who stood in Darden’s test kitchens, watching like a hawk as each of the contestants struggled to prepare six different dishes in just 20 minutes according to Longhorn Steakhouse’s exacting standards.

“I love that Darden does this. Recognizing the best of the best who work this restaurant,” Jens concluded. “We have a lot of people here who are incredibly knowledgeable & passionate when it comes to grilling.”

Speaking of which … If today’s story doesn’t include the exact piece of info that you need to properly grill that T-bone, just whip out your iPhone & text GRILL to 55702. Or – better yet – visit  ExpertGriller.com prior to firing up your grill or smoker later today. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers is a sincere if somewhat surreal way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont

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Some people travel halfway ‘around the planet so that they can then experience the excitement of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. If you’re more of a Slow Living enthusiast (as I am), then perhaps you should amble to Brattleboro, VT. Where – over the first weekend in June – you can then join a herd of cow enthusiasts at the annual Strolling of the Heifers.

Now in its 16th year, this three-day long event typically gets underway on Friday night in June with a combination block party / gallery walk. But then – come Saturday morning – Main Street in Brattleboro is lined with thousands of bovine fans.

Photo by Jim Hill

They’ve staked out primo viewing spots and set up camp chairs hours ahead of time. Just so these folks can then have a front row seat as this year’s crop of calves (which all come from local farms & 4-H clubs) are paraded through the streets.

Photo by Jim Hill

Viewed from curbside, Strolling of the Heifers is kind of this weird melding of a sincere small town celebration and Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade. Meaning that – for every entry that actually acknowledged this year’s theme (i.e. “Dance to the Moosic”) — …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something completely random, like this parade’s synchronized shopping cart unit.

Photo by Jim Hill

And for every piece of authentic Americana (EX: That collection of antique John Deere tractors that came chugging through the city) …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something silly. Like – say – a woman dressed as a Holstein pushing a baby stroller through the streets. And riding in that stroller was a pig dressed in a tutu.

Photo by Jim Hill

And given that this event was being staged in the Green Mountain State & all … Well, does it really surprise you to learn that — among the groups that marched in this year’s Strolling of the Heifers – was a group of eco-friendly folks who, with their  chants of “We’re Number One !,” tried to persuade people along the parade route not to flush the toilet after they pee. Because – as it turns out – urine can be turned into fertilizer.

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of fertilizer … At the tail end of the parade, there was a group of dedicated volunteers who were dealing with what came out of the tail end of all those cows.

Photo by Jim Hill

This year’s Strolling of the Heifers concluded at the Brattleboro town common. Where event attendees could then get a closer look at some of the featured units in this year’s parade…

Photo by Jim Hill

… or perhaps even pet a few of the participants.

Photo by Jim Hill

But as for the 90+ calves who took part in the 2017 edition of Strolling of the Heifers, once they reached the town common, it was now time for a nosh or a nap.

Photo by Jim Hill

Elsewhere on the common, keeping with this year’s “Dance to the Moosic” theme, various musical groups performed in & around the gazebo throughout the afternoon.

Photo by Jim Hill

While just across the way – keeping with Brattleboro’s tradition of showcasing the various artisans who live & work in the local community – some pretty funky pieces were on display at the Slow Living Exposition.

Photo by Jim Hill

All in all, attending Strolling of the Heifers is a somewhat surreal but still very pleasant way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont. And that’s no bull.

Photo by Jim Hill

Well, that could be a bull. To be honest, what with the wig & all, it’s kind of hard to tell. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Sunday, June 4, 2017

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Looking to make an authentic Irish meal for Saint Patrick’s Day? If so, then chef Kevin Dundon says not to cook corned beef & cabbage

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Let’s at least start on a positive note: Celebrated chef, author & TV personality Kevin Dundon – the man that Tourism Ireland has repeatedly chosen as the Face of Irish Food – loves a lot of what happens in the United States on March 17th.

“I mean, look at what they do in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s Day. They toss all of this vegetable-based dye into the Chicago River and then paint it green for a day. That’s terrific,” Kevin said.

But then when it comes to what many Americans eat & drink on St. Paddy’s Day (i.e., a big plate of corned beef and cabbage. Which is then washed down with a mug of green beer) … Well, that’s where Dundon has to draw the line.

Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon displays a traditional Irish loin of bacon with Colcannon potatoes and a Dunbrody Kiss chocolate dessert. Photo by Tom Burton. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Green beer? No real Irishman would be caught dead drinking that stuff,” Kevin insists. “And as for eating corned beef & cabbage … That’s not actually authentic Irish fare either. Bacon and cabbage? Sure. But corned beef & cabbage was something that the Irish only began eating after they’d come to the States to escape the Famine. And even then these Irish-Americans only began serving corned beef & cabbage to their friends & family because they had to make do with the ingredients that were available to them at that time.”

And thus begins the strange tale of how corned beef & cabbage came to be associated with the North American celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Because – according to Dundon – beef just wasn’t all that big a part of the Irish diet back in the 19th century.

To explain: Back in the Old Country, cattle – while they were obviously highly prized for the milk & cheese that they produced – were also beasts of burden. Meaning that they were often used for ploughing the fields or for hauling heavy loads. Which is why – back then — these animals were rarely slaughtered when they were still young & healthy. If anything, land owners liked to put a herd of cattle on display out in one of their pastures because that was then a sign to their neighbors that this farm was prosperous.

“Whereas pork … Well, everybody raised pigs back then. Which is why pork was a staple of the Irish diet rather than beef,” Dundon continued.

So if that’s what people actually ate back in the Old Country, how then did corned beef & cabbage come to be so strongly associated with Saint Patrick’s Day in the States.? That largely had to do with where the Irish wound up living after they arrived in the New World.

“When the Irish first arrived in America following the Great Famine, a lot of them wound up living in the inner city right alongside the Germans & the Jews, who were also recent immigrants to the States. And while that farm-fresh pork that the Irish loved wasn’t readily available, there was brisket. Which the Irish could then cure by first covering this piece of meat with corn kernel-sized pieces of rock salt – that’s how it came to be called corned beef. Because of the sizes of the pieces of rock salt that were used in the curing process – and then placing all that in a pot of water with other spices to soak for a few days.”

And as for the cabbage portion of corned beef & cabbage … Well, according to Kevin, in addition to buying their meat from the kosher delis in their neighborhood, the Irish would also frequent the stores that the German community shopped in. Where – thanks to their love of sauerkraut (i.e., pickled cabbage) – there was always a ready supply of cabbage to be had.

“So when you get right down to it, it was the American melting pot that led to corned beef & cabbage being found in the Irish-American cooking pot,” Dundon continued. “Since they couldn’t find or didn’t have easy access to the exact same ingredients that they had back in Ireland, Irish-Americans made do with what they could find in the immediate vicinity. And what they made was admittedly tasty. But it’s not actually authentic Irish fare.”

Mind you, what Kevin serves at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs (which – FYI – Orlando Magazine voted as the area’s best restaurant back in 2014) is nothing if not authentic. Dundon and his team at this acclaimed gastropub pride themselves on making traditional Irish fare and then contemporized it.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Take – for example – what we serve here instead of corned beef & cabbage. Again, because it was pork – rather than beef – that was the true staple of the Irish diet back then, what we offer instead is a loin of bacon that has been glazed with Irish Mist. That then comes with colcannon potatoes. Which is this traditional Irish dish that’s made up of mashed potato that have had some cabbage & bacon mixed through it,” Kevin enthused. “This heavenly ham – that’s what we actually call this traditional Irish dish at Raglan Road, Kevin’s Heavenly Ham – also includes some savory cabbage with a parsley cream sauce as well as a raisin cider jus. It’s simple food. But because of the basic ingredients – and that’s the real secret of Irish cuisine. That our ingredients are so strong – the flavors just pop off the plate.”

Which brings us to the real challenge that Dundon and the Raglan Road team face every day. Making sure that they actually have all of the ingredients necessary to make this traditional-yet-contemporized Irish fare to those folks who frequent this Walt Disney World favorite.

“Take – for example – the fish we serve here. We only used cold water fish. Salmon, mussels and haddock that have been hauled out of the Atlantic, the ocean that America and Ireland share,” Kevin stated. “Not that there’s anything wrong with warm water fish. It’s just that … Well, it doesn’t have the same structure. It’s a softer fish, which doesn’t really fit the parameters of Irish cuisine. And if you’re going to serve authentic food, you have to be this dedicated when it comes to sourcing your ingredients.

Copyright Mitchell Beazley. All rights reserved

And if you’re thinking of perhaps trying to serve an authentic Irish meal this year, rather than once again serving corned beef & cabbage at your Saint Patrick’s Day Feast … Well, back in September of last year, Mitchell Beazley published “The Raglan Road Cookbook: Inside America’s Favorite Irish Pub.” This 296-page hardcover not only includes the recipe for Kevin’s Heavenly Ham but also it tells the tale of how this now-world-renown restaurant wound up being built in Orlando.

On the other hand, if you happen to have to the luck of the Irish and are actually down at The Walt Disney World Resort right now, it’s worth noting that Raglan Road is right in the middle of its Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This four day-long event – which includes Irish bands and professional dancers – stretches through Sunday night. And in addition to all that authentic Irish fare that Dundon and his team are cooking up, you also sample the fine selection of beers & cocktails that this establishment’s four distinct antique bars (each of which are more than 130 years old and were imported directly from Ireland) will be serving. Just – As ucht Dé (That’s “For God’s Sake” in Gaelic) – don’t make the mistake of asking the bartender there for a mug of green beer.

“Why would anyone willingly drink something like that?,” Dundon laughed. “I mean, just imagine what their washroom will look like the morning after.”

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Friday, March 17, 2017

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