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Can the “Fantasia” Blu-ray help raise the Walt Disney Family Museum ‘s profile?

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Well, it looks like Christmas is coming a little early not only for fans of Walt Disney the man, but also for the Walt Disney Family Museum at The Presidio in San Francisco.

Today, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is releasing a combo Blu-ray / DVD collection featuring both "Fantasia" and  "Fantasia 2000."

And if that wasn't reason enough to celebrate – both films look marvelous in high-definition Blu-ray and sound superb – the company is also releasing on Blu-ray / DVD "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," inspired by a segment from "Fantasia," and DVDs of three recent Disney-related documentaries: "the boys: the sherman brothers' story," "Waking Sleeping Beauty" and "Walt & El Grupo."


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

There's plenty of choices there for any Disney fan's holiday wish list.

To celebrate the release of "Fantasia / Fantasia 2000," the company flew dozens of media professionals from around the world to San Francisco a few weeks ago and gave them a quick tour of the Walt Disney Family Museum and a chance to talk with Diane Disney Miller and her son, Walter E.D. Miller.

Diane, Walter and founding director Richard Benefield are featured in a 5-minute bonus segment on both the DVD and Blu-ray "Fantasia" discs talking about the museum. The Blu-ray disc also offers a 14-minute look at one of the museum's prized possessions, the Schultheis Notebook, and the man who created it.


Copyright The Walt Disney Family Museum. All rights reserved

Throughout the development of the animated masterpiece "Fantasia," a member of Disney's camera effects department – Herman Schultheis – kept a detailed record of the work he and others pioneered long before the age of CGI. His notebook is filled with drawings, behind-the-scenes photographs, frames of film, charts and written descriptions that reveal many of the techniques that were used in early Disney films.

Animation historians like John Canemaker, Charles Solomon and others call the notebook "the holy grail of special effects," revealing how spinning snowflakes, volcanic eruptions and ghostly horsemen were created for "Fantasia."

Schultheis later disappeared in the jungles of Guatemala and the notebook was discovered decades later in a Murphy bed after his wife passed away, leaving the home to an order of nuns.


John Canemaker chats with Diane Disney Miller during his
recent visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

During a round-table interview, Diane was asked about "Fantasia" and where it ranks among her father's classic films.

"It has to be right up there because of the music, the effects, the animation," she said.

"It stands apart," Walter added. "It's so different, so unique."


Walter Elias Disney Miller and Diane Disney Miller

In a detailed commentary track accompanying "Fantasia," Disney historian Brian Sibley says:  "I know of no other motion picture that takes you on quite such an astonishing and stimulating voyage of visual and aural exploration. Walt Disney's 'Fantasia,' is a film that remains as challenging and rewarding as when it was first created more than 70 years ago."

While the focus of the press event was "Fantasia / Fantasia 2000," the questions quickly turned to the museum.

Diane explained how the idea for a museum grew out of the family-financed documentary film, "Walt – The Man Behind the Myth," a CD-rom project, "Walt Disney: An Intimate History of the Man And His Magic. Windows CD-ROM.," and an online "museum" dedicated to Walt Disney's life story. The family had been leasing warehouse / office space at The Presidio filled with Walt's numerous awards, his massive miniature collection, the Lilly Belle, a few paintings and other personal possessions. There really wasn't much in the way of animation art or maquettes, because Walt "didn't bring those things home," but there were still several treasures worth sharing with the world.


The Lilly Belle

Diane also thought that her father had been trashed in some biographies, including "Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince," and "Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination." Those books didn't reflect the man she knew and loved dearly or the warm relationship between Walt and his wife, Lillian.

"But why San Francisco?"

It's a question Walt's daughter heard many times that day and one that I've heard from several Disney enthusiasts since even before the museum opened on Oct. 1, 2009.


Diane Disney Miller cuts the ribbon at the Walt Disney Family Museum
on October 1, 2009

Diane explained that the family had considered several locations for the museum, including near Griffith Park, the Walt Disney Concert Hall or the Autry National Center in Los Angeles as well as a site in Kansas City. The family even considered Napa, where she lives with her husband, Ron Miller, a former Disney CEO.

Eventually, the Presidio Trust approached the Walt Disney Family Foundation after deciding to make the former barracks buildings available for lease. LucasFilm is located at The Presidio; DreamWorks has a production facility near the San Francisco Airport and Pixar is located across the bay in Emeryville.

The family looked at the beautiful brick structure and the view it offered of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. They saw its potential and were hooked.


The Walt Disney Family Museum at San Francisco's Presidio

Diane said, "Why not San Francisco?"

She also believed it was in her dad's "spirit to renovate an old building" and outfit it with cutting-edge technology to let him and his colleagues tell the story of his life.

There are some Disney ties to the city by the bay, although they're rarely mentioned: San Francisco's Courvoisier Gallery was the first to recognize animation cels as popular art. The Disney Studios was a longtime client of San Francisco-based Bank of America and museum visitors can listen to a few audio clips of Walt's brother, Roy O. Disney, talking about the studio's relationship with its bankers. Walt Disney's lifelong friendship with Art Linkletter was launched when the two met during a "Fantasia" event in San Francisco. Walt Disney received the Key to San Francisco in 1958, prominently displayed with the many Oscars and other awards in the museum's foyer.

And, arguably, San Francisco is a stronger international tourist destination than Los Angeles. Remember, Walt's influence was global.


The "1950s & 1960s: The Big Screen and Beyond" gallery at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Most everyone thought if you build it and it has the name Walt Disney attached to it, people will come. They are coming, but not in the numbers really needed for the museum to thrive.

I talked to Walter about some of the challenges the museum has faced, especially in regards to marketing. I've visited several times when the galleries are nearly deserted, although attendance picks up during the holidays as locals take out-of-town guests to visit the museum or to see "Christmas with Walt Disney," an hour-long film worth catching. Judge the relationship Walt and Lillian had based on the footage shown here as well as what's featured in "Walt & El Grupo."

Marketing is trying. There have been print ads and stories in several newspapers across the country, including New York and Los Angeles. There are banners up at various locations in San Francisco and some advertising with San Francisco MUNI. An award-winning "Eye on the Bay" evening TV magazine episode on the museum featuring Walt's daughter and John Lasseter has aired several times and there was a great segment on the nationally broadcast CBS' "Sunday Morning" shown when the museum first opened. D23 has included a few stories in the pages of its luxurious magazine.


(L to R) Diane Disney Miller, John Lasseter and Nancy
Lasseter at the Walt Disney Family Museum's
opening gala

One thing few people realize is that in 1982, long before there was any thought of opening a museum dedicated to Walt Disney, Lillian and daughters, Diane and Sharon, sold the company the rights to Walt Disney's name and likeness in deal that included the Disneyland Railroad and Monorail.

That means the museum must get company approval for its marketing and advertising campaigns. Items in the museum's store featuring Walt's name and likeness or any animated character have to be cleared. Even sponsors have to be OK'd by the company. The website, www.waltdisney.org, is hosted by the company and is updated only once a month.

To improve the timeliness of its communications, the museum launched a blog, Storyboard, and it recently held a fan-based contest to create a YouTube video to help with marketing. A winner will be selected soon.


Storyboard, the Walt Disney Family Museum's new blog

The relationship with the company is good, as the "Fantasia / Fantasia 2000" press event indicates. Still, even good relationships can be improved.

The Presidio Trust has also made things a bit more challenging with its restrictions on signage. Despite adding a massive glass wall and in-fill gallery to turn a U-shaped building into a rectangle because – in theory – the in-fill gallery could later be removed, the Presidio Trust will not allow the museum to install any semi-permanent signage or even a "Partners-like" sculpture. A couple of banners are put over the handrails and fold-out signs are set up on the sidewalk in front of the museum and removed daily.

There's ample free parking for the museum, a rare thing in San Francisco, although plans call for a great lawn to eventually replace the huge parking lot. Some visitors who take a taxi to the museum have had trouble getting service out of The Presidio.


One of the bus signs that are now rolling around San Francisco, promoting
the Walt Disney Family Museum

A few special promotions, including one tied to the World Series and the San Francisco Giants was a big hit, offering discounted admissions to anyone sporting a Giants hat or shirt. A Toys for Tots promotion is planned, but no details have been released.

The admission price of $20 for adults; $15 for students and seniors; and $12 for children 6 to 17, may seem pricey to some given the Bay Area's battered economy, but there are few complaints after people experience the galleries.

Those who've visited – even casual fans – walk away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the man who launched a little cartoon studio with his older brother, Roy, and continued to grow and diversify the family business.


Lillian & Walt Disney receive the Key to the City from San Francisco Mayor George
Christopher and his wife in December of 1958. Image courtesy
of the Walt Disney Family Museum

"The reaction and word of mouth has been well beyond our expectations," Walter said. "We hope to utilize more of it in our marketing."

Stories written by those attending the "Fantasia / Fantasia 2000" press event and the bonus material in the Blu-ray / DVD releases will help. Walter said the short segment on the museum – or at least part of it – will soon be broadcast to rooms at The Disneyland Resort with hopes that it will eventually be shown on the ships of the Disney Cruise Line and the company-owned resorts in Florida.

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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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