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“Space” sickness OR “Mission: Space” scrubbed. Repeatedly. With disinfectant.

As Epcot’s newest thrill ride continues its test-and-adjust phase, WDW executives are reportedly growing concerned that this centrifuge-based attraction may really be too rough for many WDW guests. But can anything be done between now and August 15th — the official opening date of “Mission: Space?”



Maybe this really isn’t a story that you should be reading first thing in the morning. Particularly if you’re still eating breakfast.

Still, there’s some rather intriguing news coming out of Orlando these days. Word that WDW executives are going very concerned that “Mission: Space” — Epcot’s yet-to-be-officially-opened brand-new thrill ride — may be a bit too rough for many Disney World guests to enjoy riding.

Ever since this Future World attraction first quietly opened its doors to the paying customers back in June of this year, a significant number of guests as well as cast members — as they stepped out of the simulator capsule — have reported symptoms ranging from dizziness to headache and nausea. Typically, in most cases, the side effects of riding the attraction would pass in just 5 minutes to under a half an hour.

But — in some extreme cases — guests who have ridden “Mission: Space” reported that they were still feeling nauseous and dizzy for days afterward. One Central Florida Disney Annual Passholder is said to have taken to her bed for three days before she was finally able to shake off the ill effects she felt from swirling around inside Epcot’s new flight simulator.

WDW Operations staff first became aware of this problem last month during “Mission: Space”‘s test-and-adjust phase, when only Disney World cast members were allowed to ride this Future World attraction. At that time, many longtime WDW employees — including people who worked on WDW thrill rides like the Magic Kingdom’s “Space Mountain” and Disney-MGM’s “Tower of Terror” — were said to have stepped out of the “Mission: Space” simulator and gotten immediately (and violently) ill.

What was the problem? The Imagineers seem to think that — to date — all of the people who have gotten sick on the ride have made the same mistake. Which was to move their head out of the headrest and/or turned their head to the side as the Future World attraction was spinning. Which (for some reason) induces a strong case of vertigo in these people.

“People who look straight ahead — even people who close their eyes while they’re in the ride — they’re fine,” said one Disney cast member who’s actually been working on “Mission: Space” during its test-and-adjust phase. “It’s those guests who don’t follow the safety spiel — who lift their heads out of the headrest or turn to the side — who are causing all the problems. They’re the ones who have been getting sick.”

Which is why — as guests now enter the pre-show area at “Mission: Space” — they repeatedly encounter Disney cast members who spiel a warning that goes something like this: “‘Mission: Space’ is an extremely intense attraction that recreates the experience of space travel. Which is why this ride may not be suitable for all guests. We strongly urge you to read all of the safety precautions before you decide whether or not you actually want to ride the ride.”

Unfortunately, given the number of times that WDW guests actually hear this warning while they’re waiting in the queue, it eventually becomes just background noise to them. Which is why these people suddenly seem so shocked once they’re on board the flight simulator and find themselves exposed to these extreme stresses.

“That was one rough ride, Jim,” said one Disney World visitor in a recent e-mail to me. “I’m glad that I got on the thing and that I got to experience the attraction before it officially opened. But I don’t think that I’ll be riding ‘Mission: Space’ again anytime soon.”

Which brings us to Disney World’s next concern: “Mission: Space”‘s reride-ability. Even the guests who actually enjoyed this flight-to-Mars simulation during its preview period haven’t been all that eager to get back in line to take another spin on the centrifuge.

Said one Disney cast member who rode “Mission: Space” back in June: “Look, once was enough for me, Jim. What with the claustrophobic cabin and the stresses your body is put under as you spin around, it just wasn’t a fun time. At least for me. Which is why I doubt that I’ll be riding ‘Mission: Space’ again.”

It’s the comments like this — particularly from Disney World cast members and annual passholders — that are really giving WDW Operations staff some pause. Given that the Walt Disney Company and Hewlett-Packard have poured over $100 million dollars into the development and construction of this Future World attraction, they don’t want guests and cast members to be saying things like “Once was enough.” In order for “Mission: Space” to become a popular (more importantly, profitable) addition to Epcot’s array of attractions, it has to become the sort of ride that guests want to ride over and over and over and over …

Which — at this point, anyway — “Mission: Space” clearly isn’t. Which is why WDW Operations staff and the Imagineers are now wondering what they should do to counter all the guest complaints about how rough this ride is. Should they dare to turn down the centrifuge a bit, thereby lessening “Mission: Space”‘s incredible effects … but at least (in theory) that will make the attraction suitable for more guests to ride?

I mean, it’s not like there isn’t a precedent for doing something this. Some of you may recall — when the “Wonders of Life” pavilion first opened at Epcot back in October of 1989 — that the Imagineers were forced to make changes on “Body Wars.” Many WDW guests found this simulator ride (particularly during the trapped-inside-the-lung sequence, where the ride cabin kept moving back-and-forth, back-and-forth) to be more than they could realy handle. Which resulted in numerous “protein spills” (I.E. the code word that “WOL” cast members use when they’re out on stage, among WDW guests, to discreetly spread the news that some unfortunate has vomited inside of one of the “Body Wars” probe vehicles).

To lessen the nausea that this particular sequence in “Body Wars” was inducing in WDW guests, the Imagineers first tried lessening the back-and-forth motion of the simulator. But that didn’t really help; guests were still getting sick. Eventually, the folks at WDI were forced to make some cuts in the Leonard-Nimoy-directed ride film, shortening the amount of time that Disney World visitors had to spend inside the lung. (Even today as you ride “Body Wars,” if you watch carefully you’ll notice that there’s a rather abrupt transition in the lung sequence. As if several seconds has been snipped out of the ride film. Well, it has.)

And — even as recently as March 2001 (just weeks after Disney’s California Adventure theme park had officially opened to the public) — the Imagineers were forced to shut down that park’s “Mullholland Madness” because of guest complaints that that Wild Mouse ride was just too rough. So it’s not like Disney hasn’t responded to guest complaints like this in the past.

Unfortunately, the real crux of the matter here is that Epcot’s “Mission: Space” attraction is driven by a centrifuge. As in: All the ride’s effects key off of your body’s reactions to being spun around at high rates of speed. If WDI opts to turn down the centrifuge (I.E. lessen the number of revolutions per second that your ride cabin experiences), they then run the risk of turning their $100 million thrill ride into a not-so-very-thrilling thrill ride.

Still — based on the number of guest and cast member complaints that they’ve received to date — something clearly needs to be done about this Epcot addition. For now, Disney seems content to just try and get ahead of the negative buzz that’s been building on “Mission: Space.” Which is why — earlier this month — it invited several Central Florida journalists to come experience this Future World attraction well ahead of its August 15th opening.

But even this carefully selected group of press representatives reportedly had problems with the ride. According to the story in the July 2nd edition of the Orlando Sentinel, “More than a few (reporters) walked away on wobbly knees. ‘Four minutes (of spinning in space) was long enough for me,’ said one journalist.”

Which pretty much puts Disney right back where it started. With a $100 million dollar attraction that many WDW guests and cast members — after they initially ride “Mission: Space” — may think is too rough to ride again. Which will hardly translate into the smashing success that the Walt Disney Company believes it need in order to turn Epcot’s attendance problems around.

Mind you, not everyone thinks that “Mission: Space” is too rough a ride. The hardcore coaster fans (as well as the WDW guests who actually follow the safety spiel, who keep their heads in the headrest and look straight ahead, never to the side) actually seem to enjoy the attraction. Said one young rider in a recent e-mail to me, “‘Mission: Space’ is such an awesome recreation of a trip out into space, Jim, that I bet that this ride is actually going to cut into the number of WDW guests who go over to the Kennedy Space Center. I mean, why look at dusty old rockets anymore when you can experience a recreation of the real thing?”

Mind you, this same JHM reader then explained why he had been able to experience “Mission: Space” without experiencing any ill effects (“I made a point of not eating anything that afternoon. After all, you can’t hurl if you have nothing left to hurl.”) He then offered up this intriguing theory as to why so many WDW guests and cast members have found themselves getting sick during the “Mission: Space” previews.

“It’s not the ride itself that’s making people sick, Jim. It’s that giant Gravity Wheel with the Space Simulation Lab sitting on it. That’s all that the guests can see when they’re standing out in the pre-show area, waiting in the queue. They go through the line looking at this 35 foot tall room, standing on its side, as it spins ’round and ’round and ’round.”

“No wonder people who are motion sensitive are exiting ‘Mission: Space” complaining of dizziness and nausea,” this savvy JHM reader continues. “They’ve already been made dizzy by what they’ve forced to look at while they’re waiting in the queue.”

“If Disney really wants to cut down on the number of people who are getting sick on ‘Mission: Space,’ they should just shut down — or at least slow down — the gravity wheel that towers over the queue area. That would probably cut back on the number of guests who are getting off the ride nauseous.”

You know, that may actually be a halfway decent suggestion. I’ll try and pass it off to the folks at WDI. Who — right now, anyway — are still anxiously flailing about, trying to find some sort of solution for their “people-are-getting-sick-on”Mission: Space” problem.

Your thoughts?

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Jens Dahlmann back during his Disney World days

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

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

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

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

Photo by Jim Hill

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

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

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

Photo by Jim Hill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Jim Hill

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

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

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