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A special behind-the-scenes version of Why For

Jeff Lange shares photos of a bizarre WDW structure that few Disneyana fans ever got the chance to see. Plus Jim Hill talks up some fun Disney-related events that will be happening around the country over the next few days

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Karen M. writes in to ask a special favor:



Dear Jim —


I just want to send you a quick e-mail to thank you for writing about Charlie Ridgway‘s new book, “Spinning Disney’s World.” On your recommendation, I picked up a copy and found that Mr. Ridgway’s biography was just as you said it would be: Loaded with great behind-the-scenes stories.


The only thing that I found disappointing about “Spinning Disney’s World” was its meager assortment of photographs. Given everything that Charlie’s witnessed over his 30 year career with the Disney Company, it would have been nice to see some pictures of the stuff that the guests never get to see.


Beyond that, “Spinning Disney’s World” was still a great read. Thanks again for recommending it.


Your loyal fan,


Karen M.


Dear Karen M.


Thanks for your nice note. I’ll be sure to pass along your comments to the nice folks at The Intrepid Traveler (I.E. The company that actually published “Memories of a Magic Kingdom Press Agent”). Maybe by the time they get around to publishing the paperback version of Ridgway’s book, The Intrepid Traveler can fold a few more photos into that version of the book.


But — in an effort to make it up to you, Karen — I contacted Jeff Lange, JHM’s official photographer and asked him if he could root around in his files. Find something that Disneyana fans probably haven’t seen before.


At first, Jeff sent me images like this one. Which showed how the front side …


 
Photo by Jeff Lange


… and the back side of Epcot‘s France Pavilion were different. Revealing how the Imagineers only themed the parts of World Showcase that the public could actually see.


 
Photo by Jeff Lange


So out front, the view (Take — for example — the faux Canadian Rockies that loom behind the Canada Pavilion) may be majestic.


 
Photo by Jeff Lange


But when seen from behind, these mountains lose an awful lot of their majesty.


 
Photo by Jeff Lange


Now, as interesting as these images may be to some of you folks, I knew that a large number of JHM readers have already been on WDW tours like “Hidden Treasures of World Showcase” and “Backstage Magic.” So seeing Epcot’s backside isn’t all that impressive to people like that.


So I continued to press Mr. Lange, saying: “Come on, Jeff. I know that — somewhere down deep in your photo archives — you’ve got something that few Disneyana fans … Hell, probably even some WDW cast members … have never seen before.”


And Lange hemmed & hawed … Before finally forking over this series of shots.



 Photo by Jeff Lange


“And what exactly am I looking at here?,” you ask. Well, this is actually a unique artifact from the days when Michael Eisner was still running the Walt Disney Company.


To explain: It’s well known that Mr. Eisner was something of a control freak. That he insisted on having the final word when it came to a great number of aspects of the Mouse House. And among the many areas that Michael liked having control over was the construction of all those new hotels that were built at the Walt Disney World Resort between 1984 and 2005.


And Eisner … He wasn’t a just-look-at-the-blueprints-and-then-touch-a-few-fabric-swatches kind of guy. If Michael was expected to sign off on a new $100 million resort … Well, then — by God — he wanted to see what the proposed rooms at this hotel were going to look like first.


So for each new resort that the Disney Development Company proposed for construction on property, the Imagineers first had to create a mock-up of the interior & the exterior of a sample room for this new hotel. So that Eisner could then (in effect) test-drive that resort.


So the photo above? That’s a shot of the mock-up that was built for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. And the one just below? This is the sample room that the Imagineers created for the Coronado Springs.


  
Photo by Jeff Lange


And as the story goes … Each time that Michael Eisner would fly down to Walt Disney World to take part in some press event and/or an annual meeting, WDI would try to have one of these mock-ups set up for him. And then Disney’s CEO would perform a thorough evaluation of the sample room. He’d check to see if the the furniture in the room was sturdy & comfortable, if the paintings on the wall were pleasing to the eye, even if the towels in the bathroom felt thick enough.


In some rare cases, I’m told that Eisner would actually spend the night in one of these mock-up rooms. Just to check if the bed & the mattress that the Imagineers were considering using were comfortable and/or if the comforter felt scratchy. Which meant that Disney Security would then have to stand watch outside the sample room overnight. Just to make sure that no one — be it a guest or cast member — disturbed the Big Cheese’s slumber.


This practice reportedly continued well into the late 1990s (Below you’ll see a shot of the exterior of the mock-up for the Beach Club Villas) …


 
Photo by Jeff Lange


… As well as a series of paint tests that were done as possible house exteriors for Celebration.


 
Photo by Jeff Lange


Unfortunately, in the wake of Euro Disney‘s financial troubles (Which was directly tied to those five huge hotels that Eisner insisted on being built as part of the Parisian project’s Phase One) as well as all the problems arising from Celebration’s far-more-vocal-than-expected residents … Michael lost most of his enthusiasm for architecture in the mid-to-late 1990s. Which is why the Imagineers eventually stopped building these mock-ups for Eisner to try out.


Now as to where this building (Which was re-themed over & over & over again. I once personally saw this structure with a 20-foot-tall maraca leaning against the sample room. Which was when Disney Development was trying to get Michael to sign off on the construction on the first All-Star Resort) was actually located … Well, it was in a backstage area that no longer exists.


Do you know that massive cast member services building / laundry facility that the Caribbean Beach and the Pop Century Resorts now share? That’s where this sample room complex used to be.


Anyway … That’s a look back (courtesy of Jeff Lange’s fantastic photo archives) at a little-known piece of WDW history. Now wasn’t that better than looking at Epcot’s backside?


Speaking of Epcot … Mr. Lange just put another one of his theme park DVDs on the market. This time around, Jeff pays tribute to the Universe of Energy pavilion with a special 25th anniversary collector’s edition disc. Which features several different versions of this Future World attraction. So if you’d like to pick a copy of this sure-to-be-popular DVD, I suggest you follow this link.


And while I’m making with the gratuitous plugs here … Robert Schooley & Mark McCorkle (AKA the creators of Disney’s incredibly popular “Kim Possible” animated series) have written a new book, “Liar of Kudzu.” Which the Disney Channel just optioned, given that they now want to use Robert & Mark’s novel as the basis for a new TV movie.



Copyright 2007 Simon & Schuster


Anywho … In support of the recent release of this Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing title, Schooley & McCorkle will be doing a book signing this Saturday at Storyopolis in Studio City, CA. The event is supposed to get underway at 3 p.m. (And FYI for all you “Kim Possible” fans out there: Robert & Mark have said — in addition in signing copies of “Liar of Kudzu” — that they’ll be happy to autograph any KP items that fans of that show may want to bring along).


By the way, if you’re on the wrong side of the country to attend the Studio City signing on Saturday … On Tuesday, April 3rd, Schooley & McCorkle will be signing copies of “Liar of Kudzu” at Square Books, Jr. in Oxford, MS. That event gets underway at 4 p.m. And the same deal appeals for any “Kim Possible” fans who want Robert & Mark to sign any items related to their favorite Disney Channel series.



Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment


And speaking of the Disney Channel … In celebration of the upcoming release of the DVD version of “Jump In,” KeKe Palmer will be appearing at Disney’s California Adventure this Saturday. From 2 to 4 p.m., this tween favorite (Best known for her work in “Akeelah and the Bee“) will be greeting her fans and signing copies of this soon-to-be-released disc in an area directly adjacent to the Studio Store.



 Copyright 2007 The Intrepid Traveler


And to now bring things full circle here … Getting back to “Spinning Disney’s World: Memories of a Magic Kingdom Press Agent” now … On Saturday, March 31st, Charlie Ridgway will be hosting a reading & book signing at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Merritt Island, FL from 2 to 4 p.m. Then — on Sunday, April 1st — this Disney Legend will be meeting with his fans at the Barnes & Noble in Daytona Beach.


  
Copyright 2007 Mousesurplus
 


Speaking of Florida … For those of you who still mourning the closure of the old Mouse Surplus warehouse that used to be out on Tradeport Avenue in Orlando, have I got some great news for you ! The new owner of this great Disneyana collectibles outlet has finally located a new building.


Mind you, this new version of Mouse Surplus isn’t officially supposed to open ’til May. But tomorrow, 150 lucky Disneyana fans will have the chance to tour this new facility as well as purchase furniture from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, signs, snowglobes and other sundry items. Of course, in order to get into this special event, you’re going to need a ticket. Which you can acquire by going here.


Okay … I think that that brings us up-to-speed on all of this coming weekend’s events. You folks have a great April Fools weekend, okay? And hopefully we’ll see you all again come Monday morning.

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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