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Geoffrey Rush isn’t rushing to exit Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise

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On the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, Captain
Barbossa was an out-and-out villain. “Spat out from the mouth of Hell,” is how one
character describes Hector before he  makes his grand entrance in “The
Curse of the Black Pearl.”

But to hear Geoffrey Rush describe the character he has now
portrayed in four installments of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series,
it’s kind of hard not to feel sorry for the “Black Pearl” version of Barbossa.

“I mean, he finally lifts the curse. And then – within three
seconds – Hector gets a bullet through the heart,” Rush said. “Which is kind of
a tough break for him.”


” I feel … cold.” Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But given that “The Curse of the Black Pearl” was such a
huge hit
during the Summer of 2003, Geoffrey wasn’t all that surprised to learn
that Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films were planning on making
more “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. After all, that’s the way things work in
Hollywood these days. Box office success = sequels. But then came the call from
“Black Pearl” director Gore Verbinski.

“So Gore phoned me up and said ‘We are moving on to doing Parts 2 & 3.
We’re going to shoot them together.’ And I said “Well, I hope you guys have a
wonderful time.’ And he said ‘No, no. We’re bringing Barbossa back. Partly voodoo
magic, partly movie magic,’ ” Rush continued.

Which isn’t to say that Geoffrey would be playing the exact
same version of Barbossa when he signed on to do those “Pirates of the
Caribbean” sequels, 2006’s “Dead Man’s Chest” and 2007’s “At World’s End.”


Tia Dalma reminds Barbossa of the terms of their deal. Copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Ted (Elliott) and Terry (Rossio) came up with this really
clever idea that – because Tia Dalma had brought Hector back from the dead – he
was now indebted to her. And in order to repay that debt, Barbossa had to
gather the nine pirate lords and then convince them to release Calypso,” Rush
explained. “So particularly in ‘Pirates 3,’ my character became more of the
politician. The diplomat who put together the Commonwealth Heads of Government
meeting.”

But now that Barbossa was no longer the villain of the
“Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise … Well, that meant inventing
additional characters who could then make Captain Jack Sparrow’s life
miserable.

 “So they then brought
Cutler Beckett, who’s the corporate villain of the East Indian Trading Company
and Davy Jones. And they added a sea monster plus expanded the whole world of
the films to include Singapore and Asia,” Rush said. “That was such a smart
move on Ted & Terry’s part. Exploring the mythology of pirate folklore.
Rather than just sticking with the swashbuckling, drinking-rum-on-the-high seas
end of the spectrum.”


“So tell me. What’s become of my ship?” Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All right reserved

Which was why – when Geoffrey got the script last year for
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” – he was pleased to see that the
screenwriters had not only continued to grow their pirate world but had also
extended Hector’s journey.

“As ‘On Stranger Tides’ is getting underway, Barbossa is not
getting any younger. He’s now got a leg missing. He’s really up against it.
Which is why – in order to put together the best possible retirement package –
he has become a privateer,” Rush said. “Which – historically – is kind of true.
By 40, 50 years into the golden age of piracy, the various crowned heads of
Europe were starting to look around, wondering who were the go-to guys. The
pirates who can bring in the booty which we can then take, rather than having them
taking it from us.”

And while some might find it peculiar that this longtime cutthroat would be now
be so desperate to be accepted into high society, Geoffrey disagrees. He thinks
that it’s entirely consistent with the way that Hector was been portrayed in
the “Pirates” movie series.


“I understand everything … except the wig.” Photo by Peter Mountain. Copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“I’ve always felt that, even from the very first film, that
Barbossa has had delusions of grandeur. I mean, just look at this character’s
costume. His pirate uniform was that of a gentleman from 50 years before. I had
the King Charles the Second look with the big hat and frock coat,” Rush
laughed. “Barbossa’s vain and arrogant and pompous enough to think that he
actually does belong in the court. Which – as an actor – makes this character
an awful lot of fun to play.”

Mind you, Geoffrey is quick to credit Johnny Depp with
making sure that Barbossa was still in the mix when it came time to shoot “On
Stranger Tides.”

“Johnny is supposedly the one – while they were developing
for the script for this sequel – who insisted that Barbossa play a big part in
‘On Stranger Tides’ proceedings,” Rush explained. “He loves those scenes where
Barbossa and Sparrow are going back and forth, bickering like an old married
couple. And I have to admit that I find those scenes fun to play too.”


Hector and Jack share a snort from Barbossa’s secret stash of rum. Photo by
Peter Mountain. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But – then again – in “Pirates 4,” Geoffrey had an
additional acting challenge. Given that Barbossa – in an off-screen encounter
with Blackbeard – had (SPOILER AHEAD) lost a leg battling with this brutal
buccaneer.

“Given that was going to obviously change the way that I
portrayed this character, I initially explored the idea of strapping my real
leg up out of sight so that I could then play Barbossa while wearing an actual
wooden leg. And I worked with a professional prosthetic guy, a medical man in
Australia. And he took casts and did all that. I was then hoping that we’d be
able to wrap that bit of leg & my ankle and then hide it under my frock
coat. Because that’s how – I think – Robert Newton (Editor’s note: the actor
who played Long John Silver in Disney’s 1950 live-action version of Robert
Louis Stevenson
‘s “Treasure Island“) did it,” Rush continued.

But even as Hector’s real wooden leg was being prepared,
that prosthetic guy had some bad news for Geoffrey.


Check out the blue stocking that Geoffrey Rush wore in place of an actual pegleg.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“He told me “You know, it takes contemporary amputees about 18 months to 2
years to retrain their minds to find balance and equilibrium. Because you’re
not standing. You’ve got a ghost leg,” Rush stated.  “So I went to Rob Marshall & Penny Rose,
the costume designer, and said ‘I’ll act the leg.’ And everyone was in
agreement. They said ‘We’ll give you a blue stocking to wear on that leg which
the FX guys can then remove later in post-production.”

Which sounds easy. But it really wasn’t. Given that — at the end of every shot
— the tech guys then had to come in and photograph Geoffrey’s leg. So that –
when it came to do all of the post-production work on “On Stranger Tides” – the
FX guys would be able to make the CG version of Barbossa’s leg match the
lighting of that scene in the movie.

Which isn’t to say that Rush had a particularly miserable
time while making “Pirates 4.” After all, how often does an actor get paid to
spend time in Hawaii?


Johnny Depp chats with (left to right) director Rob Marshall,
screenwriter Terry Rossio
and Kevin R. McNally, who portrays
Joshamee Gibbs, on the Ke’e Beach location in
Kauai.
Photoby Peter Mountain. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“We started in Kauai for about six weeks, then about a month
in Oahu. We were actually on the beach where they shot ‘From Here to Eternity.’
Except all I did in that scene was kick a dead mermaid,” Rush laughed.

Speaking of the mermaids, Geoffrey was thrilled with the way
that those characters turned out in “On Stranger Tides.”

“Look, I know that CG is part & parcel of that whole
film making process, especially with these big commercial summer release films.
But sometimes when filmmakers use too much CG, it then give their movies a
slightly synthetic look,” Rush explained. “But the mermaids that Rob &
Jerry came up with for ‘On Stranger Tides,’ I totally believed in them. To me, they
were so painterly. Like grand old master paintings of sirens on rocks and
things. Really quite beautiful. And feral.”


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Now where this gets interesting was – prior to last Tuesday’s night’s press
screening – Rush hadn’t actually seen much footage from “Pirates of the
Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

“You have to remember that the ‘Pirates 4’ characters are on
three different boats. The Spanish and the Queen Anne’s Revenge and there
there’s the Providence all heading towards the Fountain of Youth,” Geoffrey
explained. “So when I saw the press screening on Tuesday night at the El
Capitan
, I was absolutely enthralled to see what everybody else was doing when
I had my days off.”

So with “On Stranger Tides” ready to sail into theaters and
“Pirates 5” looming on the horizon (Terry Rossio reportedly delivered a
preliminary first draft of that film’s screenplay
to Jerry Bruckheimer earlier this month),
I asked Mr. Rush if he hoped to play Barbossa again in the “Pirates of the
Caribbean” series.


Geoffrey Rush is clearly still a big “Pirates of the Caribbean” fan. Here he is, the morning
after the “On Stranger Tides” world premiere being backdoored onto the Disneyland
version of this classic theme park attraction. Photo by Angela Ragno

“If they keep shapeshifting this character, absolutely.” Geoffrey concluded.
“In fact, given the way things leave off in ‘Pirates 4,’ maybe the story will
now come full circle and I’ll get to play a villain again. Who knows? All I
know is that – blue stocking and all — the character of Barbossa is still
great fun to play.”

Which is why Geoffrey Rush isn’t rushing to exit Disney’s
“Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise.

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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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