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The 3rd Annual ABC Primetime Preview Weekend at DCA: Will there be a 4th?

George Lopez proves to be more trouble than Andy ***.

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Well, for the first time, we had a three day ABC Primetime Preview event, they added Friday this year, with the event being held September10th thru 12th.

I have a great story regarding George Lopez, but we will save that till the end….

Let’s look quickly back at the event, the 1st version was held in August of 2002. The highlights included a live version of Whose Line is it Anyways? in the Hyperion Theater hosted by Drew Carey, who said some interesting jokes, some directed at the park he was in. One interesting fact was that they lifted the blockout dates for AP holders to attend the event at DCA (though they were still blocked out of Disneyland). A big highlight for me was the fact that they had the 4 major Sports Trophies all at the same time, on one table! (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL). It is VERY rare to get all four of them in one location. (ABC was broadcasting all 4 championships that year).

Year 2 had the event moved to September, which makes sense in regards to the start of the Television Fall Season, but also happens to fall at the same time as the opening weekend of the Los Angeles County Fair. Was this one reason for moving the event, to shift some of the media coverage to the Disneyland Resort and away from Pomona?

And now we just had year 3, also held the weekend after Labor Day, also the opening of the LA County Fair, but when they announced the ABC event, they stated that it would be 3 days long, Friday thru Sunday.

Well Friday turned out to be named “TGIF Sneak Peek” just a couple of weeks before the event, and was a much lesser day than either Saturday or Sunday. Friday consisted of 4 screenings of the Friday comedy’s in the Golden Dreams Theater, and then what was billed as “America’s Funniest Home Videos Live”. This turned out to be a question and answer session with Chris Harrison of the Bachelor hosting, with AFV’s host Tom Bergeron coming out and basically answering questions from both Chris, and the audience. Only a couple of minutes of actual home video was shown. Attendance at the park seemed to be about the same as a average off-season Friday night.

Saturday was the big day, which offered the most shows, plus the one performance of Jim Belushi’s band. Last year, they offered the concert on two nights (it was the “big” event that replaced the live version of Whose Line is it Anyways?). A couple of other changes, first is that Disney found a sponsor, Aloha Airlines to help cover the costs. Also, they cut back on the events offered. To help facilitate the movement of the celebrities they centralized the event around the Golden State Park area.

The setup this year had the Live Radio booths along the Parade Route near the Pacific Wharf area, a small stage (compared to last year) in the Golden State Amphitheater, Screening of shows, and sometimes a live Q&A in the Golden Dreams Theater. The Public Photo Location was set up along the Grizzly Trail, near the bathrooms behind the Golden Dreams Theater. The private Media center for Still Photography and Television interviews was placed in the west end of the Golden Vine Winery (they built walls to keep the area closed to the public). Disney also set up a backstage rest area, and converted part of the Wine Country Trattoria to serve the celebrities meals and give them some privacy. Last year, the Public Photo Ops were spread throughout the park, which ended up causing some serious time delays to the schedule. This year keeping everything condensed and being able to use some backstage routes helped keep things pretty much on schedule.

A second area was setup in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area. This was for the “ABC Kids Zone”, plus the Wonderful World of Disney. This was designed for kids with lots of Character photo ops plus a couple of Q&A sessions with the cast of Phil in the Future on the Hollywood Backlot Stage.

A Information booth was set up in the middle of Sunshine Plaza, and a couple of booths set up near the entrance of the Boudin Bakery Tour to allow folks to apply to be on either Extreme Makeover or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Saturday had 10 ABC shows in attendance, while Sunday had 6.

By far the most popular thing was the Public Photo Op on the Grizzly Trail. This was where guests actually got to stand next to their favorite celebrities and get a photo taken (due to time constraints, no Autographs were allowed). The second most favorite event was the Question and Answer sessions held at Golden State Amphitheater. The Golden Dreams Theater were mainly full, partially due to the fact they offered Air Conditioning, as since it was unusually Hot and Humid in Anaheim.

Saturday seemed to be busier than normal, but by no means packed, than an typical off-season Saturday. Sunday’s crowd seemed to be actually a bit less than normal. I expected more, especially since the Southern California Annual Pass holders were blocked out on Saturday, but could attend on Sunday.

So will we see a 4th Annual ABC Primetime Preview weekend?

Good question, ABC likes the event, as it gives them some extra exposure, a chance to film commercials with non-paid “extras” (aka guests), and offers a centralized media event, where they can get a lot of coverage in one place. Also, this event is similar to the NFL Pro Bowl (Say WHAT!!!!) Football and DCA… well, where is the Pro Bowl played…. Hawaii! The players really don’t want to play ONE more game, so the “free trip” for let alone the player, but also their family is a big deal.. not for the player, but for the family, who will put pressure on the player to attend. Same with this event, celebrity families (read into this “the kids”) get a weekend at the park, they get free nights at the Grand Californian, front of the line ride privileges, etc…. And many families do show up. Also the synergy factor, as the commercials ABC films will help plug DCA when they air.

Disney Theme Park division likes the fact that they don’t have to “pay” to get the celebrities, and the fact that the ABC division helps pay the bill. They are hoping to help drive attendance, but based on what I know, all they are doing is drawing in some AP holders who will make an extra visit due to the event, plus all those comp admissions from the celebrities and their families. They also like the exposure from the media coverage. Interesting to note that if you notice the logo’s around the park, inside the park they said “at Disney’s California Adventure Park”, but in the Media center, and in ABC’s coverage, they used “at Disneyland Resort”, so management knows about the coverage of the event, and what they want to advertise. The big drawback to the Theme Parks is the extensive labor they need to set up and run the additional events, plus all the hosts they need to escort the celebrities and the media. (Though they did cut back on that somewhat this year, one of the reasons for the centralized locations).

So will we have a 4th Annual event? Good Question, we won’t know until sometime next summer, but I am not sure, my guess about 50/50…

Why…

  • Will it detract from the 50th celebration?
  • Is it worth the extra costs?
  • And who will pick up the costs?

All good questions and only time will tell.

But I promised you a story, one that makes George Lopez a “Bad Boy”.

First off, I was truly impressed by all the celebrities that attended the event this weekend..

Saturday night after the event, I happened to be at the HearthStone Lounge at the Grand Californian around 9 PM. Dominic Monoghan from the new series “Lost”, but better known as “Merry” from the Lord of the Rings trilogy was also there. He was so gracious with his fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs, and this was supposed to be his “time off”.

I can tell many more stories like that, but lets focus on George Lopez, on my way to the HearthStone Lounge Saturday night, George and his family was walking down the Grizzly Trail, it was pretty quiet, but a few guests still went up and said hello, and he was signing autographs and being very nice to them. And his “official” duties ended around 5 PM.

But let me tell you a story from the media center. Most shows had a group of activities, they had time at the Public Photo Op, the Q&A session with the guests, the Parade of Stars, some promotional filming, mainly having them ride Tower of Terror and maybe one or two more rides, and maybe some commercial filming in the park. Then they had the Media stuff, spending some time walking down a line of Live Radio booths, which this year was about 10 station from the West Coast, plus the Media Center, which was set up for TV interviews (for about an hour), plus the still “Paparazzi” photo shots. And yes, there was quite a few professional photographers who solely came to the event to get just the “right” shot with the Promo Wall behind them that could be sold to People Magazine, etc…. Well, as a photographer I also got the right to take photos at the same time…. And I got some great shots, but it is a long day for the Paparazzi since they basically get a few minutes of shots about every 90 minutes, and a lot of waiting in between. Many of the stars know the regular photographers, and well, George Lopez is one of those. He came out early “between” shots and said hello, and could tell the photographers were bored, so he came up with an idea to “wake us up”.

When he came out for his official Media Photo Op, he had a Sharpie, and started to write on the wall, the one that is used for the backdrop with the logos. Well, he wrote “Watch George Lopez Tuesday’s 8:30 on ABC!”. Which is clever, though a few folks in management started to worry about how they were going to get it off the wall before the next Photo Op. Well, George posed for a few photos, and then decided to go back to the wall… this time he added “No on Bush!”.. now he really got the management attention, remember this is the same company that decided not to release Michael Moore’s latest film. But they still needed to bring out more of the cast, so the photo op went on…. but George wasn’t done, he decided to add one last comment… this time “Erik Estrada Sucks”.

Well, when the cast went to the TV interview areas, they said “no more pictures” and they couldn’t get it covered up fast enough. The joke in the Media center after that was that all the stars were being frisked for Sharpies before entering the center. While some of us Media folks wanted to start selling spray paint…. Hoped you enjoyed the article and the photos, if you want to check out more, you can always visit my photo site, http://darkbeer.smugmug.com.

See you next time.

— David Michael
darkbeer@ml1.net

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jens Dahlmann back during his Disney World days

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

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

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

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

Photo by Jim Hill

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

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

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

Photo by Jim Hill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Jim Hill

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

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

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

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers is a sincere if somewhat surreal way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont

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Some people travel halfway ‘around the planet so that they can then experience the excitement of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. If you’re more of a Slow Living enthusiast (as I am), then perhaps you should amble to Brattleboro, VT. Where – over the first weekend in June – you can then join a herd of cow enthusiasts at the annual Strolling of the Heifers.

Now in its 16th year, this three-day long event typically gets underway on Friday night in June with a combination block party / gallery walk. But then – come Saturday morning – Main Street in Brattleboro is lined with thousands of bovine fans.

Photo by Jim Hill

They’ve staked out primo viewing spots and set up camp chairs hours ahead of time. Just so these folks can then have a front row seat as this year’s crop of calves (which all come from local farms & 4-H clubs) are paraded through the streets.

Photo by Jim Hill

Viewed from curbside, Strolling of the Heifers is kind of this weird melding of a sincere small town celebration and Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade. Meaning that – for every entry that actually acknowledged this year’s theme (i.e. “Dance to the Moosic”) — …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something completely random, like this parade’s synchronized shopping cart unit.

Photo by Jim Hill

And for every piece of authentic Americana (EX: That collection of antique John Deere tractors that came chugging through the city) …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something silly. Like – say – a woman dressed as a Holstein pushing a baby stroller through the streets. And riding in that stroller was a pig dressed in a tutu.

Photo by Jim Hill

And given that this event was being staged in the Green Mountain State & all … Well, does it really surprise you to learn that — among the groups that marched in this year’s Strolling of the Heifers – was a group of eco-friendly folks who, with their  chants of “We’re Number One !,” tried to persuade people along the parade route not to flush the toilet after they pee. Because – as it turns out – urine can be turned into fertilizer.

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of fertilizer … At the tail end of the parade, there was a group of dedicated volunteers who were dealing with what came out of the tail end of all those cows.

Photo by Jim Hill

This year’s Strolling of the Heifers concluded at the Brattleboro town common. Where event attendees could then get a closer look at some of the featured units in this year’s parade…

Photo by Jim Hill

… or perhaps even pet a few of the participants.

Photo by Jim Hill

But as for the 90+ calves who took part in the 2017 edition of Strolling of the Heifers, once they reached the town common, it was now time for a nosh or a nap.

Photo by Jim Hill

Elsewhere on the common, keeping with this year’s “Dance to the Moosic” theme, various musical groups performed in & around the gazebo throughout the afternoon.

Photo by Jim Hill

While just across the way – keeping with Brattleboro’s tradition of showcasing the various artisans who live & work in the local community – some pretty funky pieces were on display at the Slow Living Exposition.

Photo by Jim Hill

All in all, attending Strolling of the Heifers is a somewhat surreal but still very pleasant way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont. And that’s no bull.

Photo by Jim Hill

Well, that could be a bull. To be honest, what with the wig & all, it’s kind of hard to tell. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Sunday, June 4, 2017

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Looking to make an authentic Irish meal for Saint Patrick’s Day? If so, then chef Kevin Dundon says not to cook corned beef & cabbage

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Let’s at least start on a positive note: Celebrated chef, author & TV personality Kevin Dundon – the man that Tourism Ireland has repeatedly chosen as the Face of Irish Food – loves a lot of what happens in the United States on March 17th.

“I mean, look at what they do in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s Day. They toss all of this vegetable-based dye into the Chicago River and then paint it green for a day. That’s terrific,” Kevin said.

But then when it comes to what many Americans eat & drink on St. Paddy’s Day (i.e., a big plate of corned beef and cabbage. Which is then washed down with a mug of green beer) … Well, that’s where Dundon has to draw the line.

Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon displays a traditional Irish loin of bacon with Colcannon potatoes and a Dunbrody Kiss chocolate dessert. Photo by Tom Burton. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Green beer? No real Irishman would be caught dead drinking that stuff,” Kevin insists. “And as for eating corned beef & cabbage … That’s not actually authentic Irish fare either. Bacon and cabbage? Sure. But corned beef & cabbage was something that the Irish only began eating after they’d come to the States to escape the Famine. And even then these Irish-Americans only began serving corned beef & cabbage to their friends & family because they had to make do with the ingredients that were available to them at that time.”

And thus begins the strange tale of how corned beef & cabbage came to be associated with the North American celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Because – according to Dundon – beef just wasn’t all that big a part of the Irish diet back in the 19th century.

To explain: Back in the Old Country, cattle – while they were obviously highly prized for the milk & cheese that they produced – were also beasts of burden. Meaning that they were often used for ploughing the fields or for hauling heavy loads. Which is why – back then — these animals were rarely slaughtered when they were still young & healthy. If anything, land owners liked to put a herd of cattle on display out in one of their pastures because that was then a sign to their neighbors that this farm was prosperous.

“Whereas pork … Well, everybody raised pigs back then. Which is why pork was a staple of the Irish diet rather than beef,” Dundon continued.

So if that’s what people actually ate back in the Old Country, how then did corned beef & cabbage come to be so strongly associated with Saint Patrick’s Day in the States.? That largely had to do with where the Irish wound up living after they arrived in the New World.

“When the Irish first arrived in America following the Great Famine, a lot of them wound up living in the inner city right alongside the Germans & the Jews, who were also recent immigrants to the States. And while that farm-fresh pork that the Irish loved wasn’t readily available, there was brisket. Which the Irish could then cure by first covering this piece of meat with corn kernel-sized pieces of rock salt – that’s how it came to be called corned beef. Because of the sizes of the pieces of rock salt that were used in the curing process – and then placing all that in a pot of water with other spices to soak for a few days.”

And as for the cabbage portion of corned beef & cabbage … Well, according to Kevin, in addition to buying their meat from the kosher delis in their neighborhood, the Irish would also frequent the stores that the German community shopped in. Where – thanks to their love of sauerkraut (i.e., pickled cabbage) – there was always a ready supply of cabbage to be had.

“So when you get right down to it, it was the American melting pot that led to corned beef & cabbage being found in the Irish-American cooking pot,” Dundon continued. “Since they couldn’t find or didn’t have easy access to the exact same ingredients that they had back in Ireland, Irish-Americans made do with what they could find in the immediate vicinity. And what they made was admittedly tasty. But it’s not actually authentic Irish fare.”

Mind you, what Kevin serves at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs (which – FYI – Orlando Magazine voted as the area’s best restaurant back in 2014) is nothing if not authentic. Dundon and his team at this acclaimed gastropub pride themselves on making traditional Irish fare and then contemporized it.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Take – for example – what we serve here instead of corned beef & cabbage. Again, because it was pork – rather than beef – that was the true staple of the Irish diet back then, what we offer instead is a loin of bacon that has been glazed with Irish Mist. That then comes with colcannon potatoes. Which is this traditional Irish dish that’s made up of mashed potato that have had some cabbage & bacon mixed through it,” Kevin enthused. “This heavenly ham – that’s what we actually call this traditional Irish dish at Raglan Road, Kevin’s Heavenly Ham – also includes some savory cabbage with a parsley cream sauce as well as a raisin cider jus. It’s simple food. But because of the basic ingredients – and that’s the real secret of Irish cuisine. That our ingredients are so strong – the flavors just pop off the plate.”

Which brings us to the real challenge that Dundon and the Raglan Road team face every day. Making sure that they actually have all of the ingredients necessary to make this traditional-yet-contemporized Irish fare to those folks who frequent this Walt Disney World favorite.

“Take – for example – the fish we serve here. We only used cold water fish. Salmon, mussels and haddock that have been hauled out of the Atlantic, the ocean that America and Ireland share,” Kevin stated. “Not that there’s anything wrong with warm water fish. It’s just that … Well, it doesn’t have the same structure. It’s a softer fish, which doesn’t really fit the parameters of Irish cuisine. And if you’re going to serve authentic food, you have to be this dedicated when it comes to sourcing your ingredients.

Copyright Mitchell Beazley. All rights reserved

And if you’re thinking of perhaps trying to serve an authentic Irish meal this year, rather than once again serving corned beef & cabbage at your Saint Patrick’s Day Feast … Well, back in September of last year, Mitchell Beazley published “The Raglan Road Cookbook: Inside America’s Favorite Irish Pub.” This 296-page hardcover not only includes the recipe for Kevin’s Heavenly Ham but also it tells the tale of how this now-world-renown restaurant wound up being built in Orlando.

On the other hand, if you happen to have to the luck of the Irish and are actually down at The Walt Disney World Resort right now, it’s worth noting that Raglan Road is right in the middle of its Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This four day-long event – which includes Irish bands and professional dancers – stretches through Sunday night. And in addition to all that authentic Irish fare that Dundon and his team are cooking up, you also sample the fine selection of beers & cocktails that this establishment’s four distinct antique bars (each of which are more than 130 years old and were imported directly from Ireland) will be serving. Just – As ucht Dé (That’s “For God’s Sake” in Gaelic) – don’t make the mistake of asking the bartender there for a mug of green beer.

“Why would anyone willingly drink something like that?,” Dundon laughed. “I mean, just imagine what their washroom will look like the morning after.”

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Friday, March 17, 2017

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