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The “Star Tours” Saga: First, a quick pre-flight drink …

Jim Hill finally delivers on the first installment of his long-promised series about this popular Disney thrill ride. In Part One, Jim talks about how it was Ron Miller who tried to get George Lucas to help the Imagineers create a simulator-based attraction.



Well, I don’t know if I believe in the Force or not. But I’m thinking that it was probably preordained that George Lucas would eventually do something for the Disney theme parks.

After all, George was one of the very first people on the planet to actually experience “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Or so says Mr. Lucas.

I’m serious, folks. In multiple interviews that he’s given over the past 30 years, the creator of “Star Wars” has told the story about how — in July of 1955 — his family drove all the way down from Modesto, CA. Just so they visit Walt’s new theme park.

To hear George tell it, the Lucas family actually made it into Disneyland on the second day that the theme park was open to the public. And — obviously — 11-year-old George must have liked what he saw. For — in the years that followed — Lucas would return again and again. Particularly during the mid-1960s, when George was attending the Cinema School at the University of Southern California up in LA and Anaheim was just a quick drive down the 5.

Of course, this was long before George Lucas became THE George Lucas. The director of “THX 1138” and “American Grafitti,” not to mention being the guy who brought us all six “Star Wars” films as well as the three (and soon to be a fourth, or so they say) “Indiana Jones” films.

But — no matter how successful he became — Lucas still had a large soft spot when it came to Disneyland. This may explain why — when he was looking for just the right sound for the runaway ore cars to make in 1984’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” — George actually sent some sound engineers from Marin County all the way down to Orange County. Just so they could then record the noise that the “Space Mountain” cars make as they zoomed along the track of that Tomorrowland thrill ride.

Of course, in order to get permission to make that recording, Lucas had to first reach out to the then-head of Walt Disney Productions, Ron Miller. And ask if it would be okay to some ILM employees down to Disneyland to record some sounds for the next “Indiana Jones” move. Ron reportedly said “Sure” … If George would then agree to meet with Miller at Silverado (I.E. The Disney family vineyard, which is located in Napa Valley, CA). To discuss something over a glass of wine.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Lucas allegedly said “Okay. ” Which was why — a few weeks later — George and Ron sat down. And — after pouring each of them a glass of Silverado chardonnay — Miller supposedly turned to Lucas and said: “What do you know about Rediffusion?”

George — as it turns out — already knew quite a bit at Rediffuson Simulation Ltd. That UK-based corporation that built these 13-ton simulators that British Airways then used to train its pilots to safely fly jumbo jets. These amazing machines that — thanks to the synchronized movement of the cabin itself as well as film elements that could be projected on its forward screen — could give its occupants the sensation of flight.

“Why did Lucas already know about Rediffusion?,” you ask. Because the techno-wizards that George worked with at Industrial Light & Magic had already seen this simulator technology and immediately grasped its possibility. That this training technology could also be used for entertainment purposes.

Of course, the guys at ILM initially though small & practical. Which is why they were toying with the idea of building a much smaller simulator. Something that Lucas could then place in shopping malls. Which customers could then pay small fees to experience brief films that Industrial Light & Magic would create. Mini-movies that could recreate the sensation of sky diving or surfing.

Miller then supposedly said “You don’t want to do that. Rediffusion is too great a technology to throw away on something that you can ride at the mall. You need to think bigger with this simulator stuff.”

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Ron then reportedly went on to describe Walt Disney Productions’ own flirtation with the Rediffusion technology. How it had come to the Imagineers’ attention as WED was doing initial research for EPCOT Center, checking out possible new ride systems for that new WDW theme park.

Everyone at Imagineering agreed that simulator technology could be the basis of a great new Disney theme park ride. The only problem was … No one could then agree what this ride should be about.

Given the high cost of these simulators (At the time, Rediffusion was selling these pilot training devices for $500,000 apiece) and given the fact that Disney was going to have to buy at least a half dozen of these machines (In order to give this proposed attraction enough hourly capacity to meet guest demand), this project was not going to be a casual investment on Walt Disney Productions’ part. Which is why the guys at WED felt that they had to tie this state-of-the-art technology to just the right property in order to sell the project to Disney’s board of directors.

The first time around, the Imagineers chose poorly. They initially tried to create a simulator that was based on Walt Disney Productions’ December 1979 release, “The Black Hole.” Envisioning a theme park ride that would have actually given guests some control over their vehicle. Piloting them to pilot their vehicle through the various twists & turns that one might encounter as they roamed through the corridors of that enormous spaceship, the Cygnus. Then sought out its mad commander, Dr. Heins Reinhardt and his evil robot, Maximillian.

Unfortunately, though Disney poured over $20 million in the production of this Gary Nelson film, “The Black Hole” failed to impress the public. Or — for that matter — do all that much business at the box office. Which is why Mouse House executives then quickly shied away from the idea of doing any sort of attraction that would remind the public of this big budget bomb.

Here’s an interesting little side note, though: While the Imagineers never actually got to build that “Black Hole” based attraction, they did eventually get around to using that guest interaction element. That thing was supposed to make Disney’s simulator ride so special.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Though — instead of being placed inside a Tomorrowland attraction — this multiple-destination idea eventually proved to be one of the popular features of one of Epcot’s old attractions: Future World’s “Horizons” ride, where — toward the end of the attraction — guests could chose whether they want to revisit the not-so-distant future via spaceship, submarine or low-flying hovercraft.

Anyway … Getting back to Ron, George and those two glasses of chardonnay: Being the old football player that he was, Miller reportedly put it on the line. I’m told that Ron said: “I’m tired of Disney making these movies that are supposed to be like ‘Star Wars.’ I figure, why settle for pale imitations when we could get the real thing?”

Miller then quickly sketched his idea. He wanted Lucas to collaborate with the Imagineers on a new attraction for the Disney theme parks. Something that would make use of Rediffusion’s simulator technology. That ILM could perhaps create the ride film for.

“Would this proposed attraction have featured the ‘Star Wars’ characters?,” you ask. Well, that’s what I’m told Ron was hoping for …

Unfortunately, Lucas turned Miller down. Though not for the reason that you might think.

You see, George really did want to work with the Imagineers on some sort of attraction for the Disney theme parks. Unfortunately, at this time, he was going through a fairly brutal divorce. And — given everything that was going on then — it was just the wrong time to be taking on such an ambitious new project.

So Lucas didn’t actually say “No” to Miller when it came to doing a “Star Wars”-based attraction for the Disney theme parks. He just said “Not now.” Which is why the two men finished up their wine and agreed to discuss the project again a year or so down the line.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Of course, there was no way that Ron could have known that — just a few months later — he’d be fighting for his professional life. First by having to drive off greenmailers Saul Steinberg and Irwin Jacobs, then by facing attack from within. As Roy Disney & Stanley Gold put together a successful campaign to have Ron removed as Disney’s CEO and Michael Eisner put in Miller’s place.

I’ve often wondered what would have happened if — instead of “Not now” — George Lucas would have said “Yes” to Ron Miller. Would the success of a “Star Wars” -based attraction have been enough to stave off Ron’s critics for a while? Given Miller the time he needed to prove that he really was his own man, not just some dumb jock and/or Card Walker’s water carrier. But an ambitious executive who truly did have a real plan and a vision for what Walt Disney Productions could become in the 1980s, 1990s and beyond.

Disney corporate history is full of moments like this. Seemingly small pivot points that ultimately had a huge impact on the company, significantly altered Disney’s destiny. Like what would have happened if — instead of starting up Touchstone Pictures (So that Disney would then finally have a way to release adult-oriented material) — the company had done what Ron Miller had originally wanted to do back in 1980. Which was to buy the then-hugely-financially troubled 20th Century Fox studios.

Now imagine that: Instead of just being the corporation who has “Star Tours” in its theme parks, Disney could have actually been the company that (through Fox) could have released the “Star Wars” movies to theaters, the two trilogies on videos & DVDs. What sort of impact would an aquisition like that have had on the Walt Disney Company’s future?

That’s the sort of thing that one might want to mull over while sipping a nice glass of Silverado chardonnay.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Speaking of the Silverado Vineyard … As you can see by the photos that accompany this article, Nancy and I made a special trip out to Yountville, CA. last year just to visit the Disney family vineyard. We had a wonderful time touring Silverado and highly recommend that — if you’re ever up in the Stags Leap district — that you drop by for a visit.

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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