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The Gaylord Palms’ Christmassy DreamWorks Experience translates into lots of holiday face time with the “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda” characters

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Francis T. sent me this e-mail yesterday:

I know that you mostly write about Disney. But my eight year
old has recently discovered the Dreamworks animation movies and is now completely
obsessed with Shrek. We're headed to Orlando next month. So I was wondering if you
had any recommendations about where I could take Ian so that he could then be
guaranteed plenty of  facetime with his
new favorite character.


Copyright DreamWorks
Animation, LLC. All rights reserved

Dear Francis T.

First of all, if Ian really is a Shrek fan, be sure that you
and your son watch ABC tonight between 8:30 – 9 p.m. ET/PT. You see, just ahead
of the live grand finale of "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars," the
Alphabet Network will be airing "Shrek the Halls." Which is this half
hour-long holiday special that stars the green guy, Fiona, Farkle, Fergus,
Felicia as well as their storybook friends.

Here's an interesting bit of "Shrek the Halls"
trivia for all your Disney animation buffs out there: This 2007 DreamWorks
Animation production was actually directed by Gary Trousdale. Who — back when
he was teamed with Kirk Wise — co-directed a trio of well-received full length
animated features for Walt Disney Animation Studios. To be specific 1991's
"Beauty and the Beast," 1996's "Hunchback of Notre Dame"
and 2001's "Atlantis: the Lost Empire
." FYI: Kirk & Gary also
created the pre-show film for that late, lamented Epcot attraction, "Cranium
Command
" (which used to be presented inside of the "Wonders of
Life" pavilion at Future World).

Getting back to Shrek now … If you're headed to Orlando
next month and are seriously looking to do the Shrek's-greatest-hits tour while
you're in town, then you have to spend at least one day at Universal Studios
Florida
. Which is where  — in the Production
Central portion of this theme park — you'll find USF's Shrek 4-D attraction.

This 12 minute-long 3D film basically covers what happened
between the end of the original "Shrek" film and its 2004 sequel, "Shrek
2

." It reveals that — en route to Hotel Honeymoon — Shrek and Fiona were
(SLIGHT SPOILER HERE) waylaid by the Ghost of Lord Farquaad and his henchman,
Thelonious. And these newlyweds  need
Donkey & Dragon's help if their wedding night is ever going to get back on
track.


Copyright NBCUniversal /
DreamWorks Animation, LLC. All rights reserved

 And now here's a fun
fact for all you Disney theme park fans: Pacific Data Images (i.e. the
DreamWorks Animation's acquisition that initially handled all of the CG for
this Glendale-based studio) also did some computer animation for another 3D
movie that's currently being screened in the Orlando area. They're the folks
who — back in 1991 — created all of the Waldo footage featured in "Jim
Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D
" over at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Anyway … Once you and your son have experienced " …
 the miracle of OgreVision" and have
then wandered the aisles at Shrek's Ye Old Souvenir Shoppe, if you're still in
need of additional interaction with the big green guy … Well, then you've got
to head on over to the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. Which is currently
offering DreamWorks Experience packages.


Photo by Jim Hill

Which — for a Shrek fan like Ian — would be like he's died
and gone to ogre heaven. Given that — if you book a two or three-day
DreamWorks Experience package — this is what will greet you upon arrival in
your hotel room.


Photo by Jim Hill

That's right. It's a plate of Ogre Fingers (which are kind
of like Twinkies that have been covered in thick green fondant). Lovingly
presented on a bed of chocolate cookie crumbs, surrounded by gummy worms and
colorful candy rocks.

What's more, your morning wake-up call can be delivered by
Shrek himself (or Donkey. Or Po from the "Kung Fu Panda" films. Or
King Julien from the "Madagascar" trilogy. It all depends on who your
favorite DreamWorks Animation character is). And you can then start your day
off with a big glass of swamp juice …


Photo by Jim Hill

… which you can use to wash down a Shrek-shaped waffle …


Photo by Jim Hill

… which is only available at the ShrekFeast Interactive
Character Meal. Which — as you might expect, given the name of this particular
Gaylord Palms offering — features a moment where Shrek & Fiona will actually
come by your table and then interact with your family.


Photo by Jim Hill

I have to say that — when Nancy, Alice and I dropped by the
Gaylord in July and did  the whole
DreamWorks Experience — the ShrekFeast (which is presented in the backmost
portion of the Villa de Flora on select Saturday & Sunday mornings from 8
a.m. to 10:30 a.m.) offered quite the spread. Though — that said — this early
in the morning, I just couldn't bring myself to sample the green goo that was
bubbling in what our hostess referred to as " … the magic
fountain."


Photo by Jim Hill

I mean, I know. It was only white chocolate that had had green food coloring
added to it. But even so, the very idea of eating a chunk of cake or a
marshmallow which had been dunked in chocolate fondue was … Well, I'm not one
of those guys who likes to start his day off by immediately slipping into a
diabetic coma. But your mileage may vary.

 Anywho … After
breakfast, if you're now looking to burn off some of those extra calories you
took on  you while ogre-indulging at
ShrekFeast, why not grab the family and head out for a Rise of the Guardians
Scavenger Hunt? This indoor activity (which takes its inspiration from DreamWorks Animation's latest theatrical release) will send you wandering
through all of the Gaylord Palms' spectacular atriums as you collect
information to solve puzzles and crack codes. And provided that you enter all
of the right answers on the appropriate website, you could wind up winning the
grand prize.


Photo by Jim Hill

Mind you, you'll probably wind up revisiting the Gaylord
Palms' indoor atriums later in the day. Given that this is where you and your
family will then get to meet & greet with some of your favorite DreamWorks
Animation characters.

As you might expect, that party monster King Julien is
greeting guests & holding court in the Key West atrium, just across from
Sunset Sam's.


Photo by Jim Hill

Meanwhile in the bamboo forest at the edge of the Old
Spanish fort that you'll find in the Gaylord Palms' St. Augustine atrium, Po
happily poses with "Kung Fu Panda" fans.


Photo by Jim Hill

And — as you might expect — who's made a new home for
himself in the faux swamp found in the Everglades atrium but Shrek himself?


Photo by Jim Hill

The only downside of visiting the Gaylord Palms Resort and
Convention Center next month, Francis is … Well, to be blunt here, you're a
year too late for the "Shrek the Halls" -themed ICE! winter holiday
attraction.

For those of you who don't know: Every year between early
November and the first day of January, the Gaylord Palms presents this special
seasonal show. Where 40 artisans from Harbin, China transform two million
pounds of ice into a frosty walk-thru interactive DreamWorks Animation character
experience.


Photo by Jim Hill

Last year, the Gaylord built this popular Central Florida
Xmas activity around DWA's "Shrek the Halls" TV special. For the 2012
– 2013 holiday season, ICE! is drawing its inspiration from DreamWorks
Animation's 2009 holiday special, "Merry Madagascar." Which detailed
how Alex the Lion and his friends from the "Madagascar" trilogy saved
Christmas after Santa & his reindeer crash land on the Island of Madagascar
one Christmas Eve.

And since Santa suffers a head injury as a direct result of
this crash and now can't remember who he is, all Claus wants to do now is party
with King Julien and the lemurs …


Photo by Jim Hill

… it's up to Alex and his friends to deliver all of those
presents to the children of the world.

I had hoped to include a few more shots of the interior of
this year's version of ICE! But — to insure that all of the icy characters now
on display in "Merry Madagascar" remain intact right through January
1st — the staff of the Gaylord Palms keeps all 20,000 square feet of this
indoor exhibit at a frigid 9 degrees. Which is why my camera froze up just
three rooms into this spectacular seasonal walk-thru.

But the upside is that my camera eventually thawed out once
I got outside again. Which is where I found the walk-around character versions
of the "Madagascar" cast entertaining some Gaylord Palms guests at
the Crack-a-Lackin' Pool Party.


Photo by Jim Hill

In short, it's kind of wall-to-wall DreamWorks Animation 24/7
at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center these days, Francis. So if
you really are looking to give your son Ian a Shrek-filled Central Florida
vacation when you arrive in Orlando next month … Well, you may want to
consider booking one of those Christmassy DreamWorks Experience packages that
this Disney World-adjacent property is currently offering. Especially taking into consideration the Cyber Monday specials that the Gaylord Palms is offering now through December 2nd for selected dates over the course of this resort's 7 1/2 week long holiday celebration.


Photo by Jim Hill

Because there's just no other place in the Orlando area where
you'll be able to get this sort of access to the big green guy and his friends
& family over the 2012 – 2013 holiday season.

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  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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