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Disney’s 12 … er … 10 … um … Would you believe 8 Days of Christmas?

As the actual twelve days of Christmas draw to a close, JHM webmaster Max Schilling explores the Downtown Disney shop that used to pay tribute to this part of the holiday. Until that WDW store’s need to sell you more stuff overtook its desire to tell a coherent story

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The “Twelve days of Christmas” are the 12 days that separate Christmas Day, December 25, from Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6. Depending on the church, January 6 may mark Christ’s baptism (the Catholic tradition), or it may mark the day that the wise men visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.

Hi Folks, This is Max Schilling, the webmaster here at JHM. As the Christmas season officially draws to a close, I thought that I would share an interesting — and somewhat unfortunate — story of how Disney celebrates the holiday season down here at the Walt Disney World Resort.

A few years ago, “Disney’s Days of Christmas” store opened in at Downtown Disney Marketplace. And as part of the theming for this new store, Disney scattered displays around the store for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

This seems like a really fun idea and it gives a lot of charm to the already well-done decorations. But unfortunately, this being the Walt Disney Company of 2007 and all, the upkeep of this original theming has been lackluster at best.

As of this holiday season, only 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas displays are still fully intact. The amusing part is that — only a few months ago — with the exception of two missing signs, all the original theming was still present. So it seems that — in putting up the seasonal Christmas decorations in this store — WDW’s decorating staff actually replaced and/or removed the 12 Days of Christmas décor that the store is named for & themed around.

Now I understand that this may seems like the typical nit-picky, let’s-take-pictures-of-peeling-paint, Disney Dweeb nonsense that you find all over the Web. But take a step back and look at the big picture here: The store named “Disney’s Days of Christmas” is now missing 4 of the Days of Christmas.  So its not like they removed an irrelevant prop, or tweaked a display. In removing those 4 days, they have more or less eliminated the cohesiveness of the story they are trying to tell. 

While guests coming into the store, noticing the theming, and searching for all of the 12 days is likely a rather rare occurrence, I am sure it still happens every once in a while (Hell, I did it). 

And while it’s certainly not going to destroy anyone’s vacation … A cast-member having to tell a little kid who has just spent the past half hour looking for all of the twelve days that, “Oh yeah, I guess we forgot about days 3, 5, 8 and 9” is not exactly the “good show” that Disney purports to strive for.

On the first Day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
A Mickey in a yule tree
 

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling

The first day of Christmas has Mickey hanging on a swing from a tree in the middle of the store seemingly wound up in Christmas lights.

Mickey in a Yule Tree
Photo by Max Schilling

On the second Day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Two Tweedledees

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling


Mickey in a Yule Tree
Photo by Max Schilling

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Three Lil’ Pigs

The third day is a story book with a picture on the cover of the Three Lil’ Pigs. However the sign that once told which day of Christmas this was has been removed and now 2 screw ends are all that remain. It has been this way since at least May of 2006 and likely for much longer.


The Lil' Pigs??
Photo by Max Schilling


Mickey in a Yule Tree
Photo by Max Schilling

 

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Four chiming bells

The fourth day is a 3D window mural on the back of the store. It features Quasimodo swinging on one of the four bells hanging in the display. Though — with all that garland hanging in front — it’s kind of tough to tell what it is (and tough to photograph). I have a feeling that some of the lights are out in this display. Because I was there at night to take these pictures. And while the rest of the outdoor windows were brightly lit, this one was quite dark. So I had to be kind of creative to get a good shot of this sign.


Photo by Max Schilling


Photo by Max Schilling

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Five Minnie things

This is pure conjecture. But I believe that the front window of the store once contained this display. However, it was removed in an effort to at give one of these windows back — the front-most one — to WDW’s marketing department.

In an effort to keep the story that this Downtown Disney store was originally trying to tell intact, a display case was placed right next to the front window containing “5 Minnie things.” And — back in May — there were only 5 Minnie items in this case.

However, in the months since then, it appears that WDW’s decorators decided that this corner of the “12 Days of Disney” store looked too sparse. So they added an additional Minnie doll to the top of the case, thereby bringing the total of “Minnie things” in this area of the shop to six.

But as for the sign that used to be displayed in this section of the “12 Days of Disney” store, that must have been lost somewhere along the way.



Photo by Max Schilling

Photo by Max Schilling

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Six Ducks a-playing

The sixth day is a mural behind one of the counters. As you can tell from the picture below, the sixth day has been, uh, personalized, by the big sign hanging down in front of the mural. It doesn’t really take away from the painting and I guess I am being slightly over critical. But it seems to me the sign could be a tad higher so it didn’t interfere as much with the sight-lines for the mural.

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling
 

Photo by Max Schilling

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Seven Dwarfs a-mining

The seventh day is another indoor mural behind one of the counters. The seventh day seems to be holding up quite well. Though — in my pictures from May — I was unable to find Sleepy. As they had hidden him behind a stack of bags and boxes waiting for package pickup. (The picture below is from December and only the bottom of the mine car is hidden away)

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling
 
 
Photo by Max Schilling

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Eight toys a-spinning

The eighth day is one of the displays that has recently been hijacked at the “Disney’s Days of Christmas” store. Originally, there was a display with minimal animation featuring 8 different toys spinning. However — for the 2006 holiday season — the sign was ripped off the wall (and not patched, I might add).



Photo by Max Schilling

And the spinning toys were replaced with a big-ass Christmas tree dropped smack-dab in the middle of this display space.


Photo by Max Schilling

The patch job (or lack thereof) where the sign once hung …

 On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Nine Genies flying

This day features a nicely painted mural of the genie in nine different costumes.

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling


Photo by Max Schilling

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Ten lions leaping

This is another day that was ripped apart. But — for some reason — only the sign was removed (Again for the 2006 holiday season. It was there back in May). The mural of the ten leaping lions is still in place.

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling
 
On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling
 
In the shot below you can clearly see the screwholes from the missing sign (and Simba’s rump).
 
On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Eleven puppies panting

This display is just inside the front door and is one of the nicer “Days” on display in this WDW store. It features a nice stone fireplace and some chairs in front for tired shoppers.

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling
 

Photo by Max Schilling

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:
Twelve fairies flitting

The Twelfth day pays homage to the wrapping & personalization section at the end of the store that has murals of fairies flitting about.

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mickey in a yule tree
Photo by Max Schilling

In the interests of fairness, I would also argue that the way the Walt Disney Company went about designing the décor of this location was not the smartest of approaches. They filled, not one or two windows, but ALL of the store windows with the 12 days of Christmas theming and left virtually no room for any marketing displays.  

So, realistically, I can understand the marketing department taking down the 12-days displays as soon as they need product-display room. Coming from a company that is renowned for shoving ‘product placement’ down your throat, I’m sure the marketing department is none too pleased by not being able to get in and play with the windows because Imagineering has commandeered them for store theming.

So it really seems to boil down to a case of the left hand not knowing (or even more frightening, caring) what the right hand is doing. Disney’s marketing department is focused on selling stuff, and to hell with the theming. And apparently the Imagineering skeleton crew that makes up the Florida office isn’t powerful enough to stop them.

I personally can’t find too much fault with these store windows being used to display merchandise. I mean, they ARE store windows. But the part about this whole thing that bothers me is that — at the end of the day — Disney has left us with half (Okay, 2/3rds. But work with me here, people) a theme. 

And when you theme a location like this, where all of the design elements are essential for completing a storyline, reinforcing that theme … You can’t just remove one or two pieces and then hope no one notices. That is just bad show. Disney should either relocate / reinstate the missing days or else take down all of these “12 Days of Christmas” -themed displays down & be done with it.

What do you folks think? Am I being a grouch (or a grinch) for complaining like this about the changes that have been made to “Disney’s Days of Christmas” store? Or given the decorative gimmick of this WDW shop, should all of these displays have been left intact?

Your thoughts?



Photo by Max Schilling

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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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