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Why For are Tigger & Pooh getting out of the super sleuthing business ?

Jim Hill’s back with answers to even more of your Disney-related questions. This time around, Jim talks about why the Company stopped production of “My Friends Tigger & Pooh,” why he prefers the new version of Epcot to the old as well as explaining his take on the term “Disney dweeb”



First up, Marni’s Mom writes in with a question about Winnie
the Pooh:

Jim –

I was surprised to learn recently that Disney is ending
of “My Friends Tigger and Pooh.” My daughter really enjoys watching
this educational Playhouse Disney series as do many of her friends at daycare.
Which is why I was so startled to hear that the Disney Channel would be
shutting down production of this CG show after just two seasons.  To borrow your catchphrase, Why For is Disney
pulling the plug on what I understand to be a very popular program?

Marni’s Mom

Dear Marni’s Mom –

This wasn’t actually the Disney Channel’s call. Truth be
told, the decision to shut down production of “My Friends Tigger and Pooh”
doesn’t have all that much to do with the show itself. But – rather – Disney Consumer Products’
recent decision to try & reposition its Winnie the Pooh franchise.

Copyright 2007 Disney. All Rights Reserved

Long story short … Mothers of infants and toddlers are the
primary consumers of Winnie the Pooh merchandise. And at least when it comes to
“My Friends Tigger and Pooh,” these super-important shoppers never really
seemed to embrace this new take on A.A. Milne’s classic characters. Which is
why you can walk into your local Disney Store and pick up a Darby Plush
was originally priced to sell at $25.00) for just $3.00.

So – with the hope of recapturing this key consumer – Disney is now refocusing the Winnie the Pooh brand. To be specific, they will be
retiring the “Super Sleuth” personas that Tigger & Pooh portrayed in
this Playhouse Disney series and then returning that Silly Old Bear to his
roots. Turning Winnie the Pooh back into the character that people around the
world (but especially mothers of infants and toddlers) used to know and love.

Mind you, there’s still be some “My Friends Tigger and Pooh”
–related product making it through the pipeline (EX: A new DVD –  the “My Friends Tigger, Pooh and a Musical Too” –
which is due to hit store shelves on April 7th).  But once that stuff makes it makes out through
distribution channels, look for Winnie the Pooh (at least as far as the Walt
Disney Company is concerned) to revert to looking & behaving just as he
did in “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.”

Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved

FYI: This coming Wednesday is Winnie’s 43rd
anniversary as a Disney character. “Honey Tree” (i.e. Pooh’s first featurette)
debuted in theaters back on February 3, 1966 on a double bill with “The Ugly Dachshund.”

Next up, SidKnee writes in to say:


I’ve just discovered your website, and have spent the past
week digging down into the JHM archives and reading through all of your old
articles. I notice, though, that as I read through your stuff that you don’t
seem to have a lot of love for Epcot. Why is that?


I’ll admit that I’m kind of bass-ackwards when it comes to
this particular Disney theme park. Unlike most Disneyana fans, I’m actually
quite fond of some of Epcot’s newer shows. To my way
of thinking, “The Seas with Nemo & Friends” ride-thru is far more
entertaining than “The Living Seas” ‘s original pre-show. Likewise I consider “Gran Fiesta Tour starring the
Three Caballeros
” to be a huge improvement over the Mexican pavilion’s
tired old “El Rio del Tiempo” boat ride. And as for “Soarin’” at The Land … I’ll
take that DCA clone any day over those two AA shows that used to occupy
this spot in the Park, “Kitchen Kabaret” and “Food Rocks!

As for the assortment of attractions that EPCOT Center
originally opened with back in October of 1982 … I’ll grant you that a number
of them were extremely ambitious & beautifully designed. But – to my way of
thinking, anyway  – most of those Future
World pavilions were more earnest than entertaining. Far too corporate & safe when it
came to their take on the future.

Which is understandable. Given that the Imagineers had to cut
deals with some of America’s then-largest corporations (ex: Kraft, GE, AT &
) in order to come up with the cash necessary to make Walt’s dream a reality.

Speaking of Walt’s dream … That’s another bone of
contention. For me, anyway. When Walt initially proposed EPCOT back in the
1960s, it was supposed to be this really-for-real city. A place where people
could live, learn & work. Not some camel of a theme park (i.e. half science
fair, half internationally themed shopping & dining district).

But that said, I can still understand why hardcore Disney
dweebs still jones for the early 1980s version of this Park. Back when EPCOT
Center had truly epic attractions like “Horizons” …

Photo by Jeff

… which promised us all a future that was full of limitless
possibilities … Plus flying cars!

Photo by Jeff

To be honest, I have some problems with the storytelling aspect in
this Future World attraction. I mean, as a father of a 14-year-girl, I think
that it’s great that Disney chose to depict the Mother in “Horizons” as being
the one who ‘s in charge of that huge hydroponic orange grove (Remember how
that artificial orange scent used to waft out of this pavilion’s then state-of-the-art
smellizers ?) ‘way out there in the desert.

Photo by Jeff Lange

But to then follow this scene with that toothless old gag which shows Dad in the kitchen, struggling to finish decorating Junior’s birthday
cake ? How lame & predictable is that? I mean, that sort of joke stopped being funny back in the early 1950s when Ozzie
first put on a frilly apron and then tried to serve Harriet breakfast in

Photo by Jeff Lange

You see what I saying? In “Horizons,” the wonder of the future
was constantly being undercut by these stale sitcom moments. Never mind about
how cool it might be to actually live under the sea. Here’s a guy promising
his girlfriend (for the umpteen millionth time) that he won’t be late for a
family party.

Photo by Jeff Lange

And as for the beauty & majesty of the infinite cosmos? It’s upstaged by a
Dad who struggles to retrieve his child’s teddy bear in zero G.

Photo by Jeff Lange

And then “Horizons” wraps up with this ham-handed attempt at
a heart-warming moment. Where it doesn’t really matter if our futuristic family is
scattered to the four winds. Thanks to holography, they can still
all be together (albeit artificially) for important moments like Junior’s birthday.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Okay. I admit it. “Horizons” did have a very cool ride
system. Not to mention those two amazing Omnimax projection rooms that you rode
through, where the enormous images on those screens just seemed to envelope you. And it is worth
noting here that – thanks to this Future World attraction’s
you-pick-the-finale feature – that “Horizons” was Disney’s very first
interactive attraction. Sort of.

But beyond that … Me personally, I found this Future World pavilion to be too safe, too predictable. And to be honest, that’s pretty much how I felt about the rest of this theme park back in 1982. That EPCOT Center had a lot of great design and showcased some amazing technology. But beyond that the place was just too bland, too corporate back then.

And I can’t have been the only one who felt
this way. Given that EPCOT Center’s attendance levels plummeted in its
second year of operation. The word clearly got out among would-be WDW visitors that the Resort’s newest theme park was something of a snooze. Which is why – in order to get those turnstiles turning
again — Disney’s new management team was forced to bring temporary, high profile attractions
like the Daredevil Circus Spectacular.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Mind you, WDW’s PR staff really struggled to come up with a
way to justify setting up what was obviously a contemporary circus right in the middle of Communicore. Which is why press releases from that era described
the pachyderms who appeared in this new EPCOT Center show as being “Martian Mastodons.”

Photo by Jeff Lange

Of course, your mileage may vary when it comes to Epcot. And
if you really are fond of the original version of this WDW theme park … Well, then you might want to go check out this auction. Which features an actual chunk of the 70MM film that was used in this Future World pavilion. Or at the very least head on over to Where Mr. Lange recently put together a terrific 3-disc set that pays tribute to “Horizons.” Plus – just today – Jeff posted
a great selection of images from the EPCOT Center Daredevil Circus Spectacular. So if you’d like
to see what this short-lived show really looked like, click on this link.

And – finally – one JHM reader who wishes to remain
anonymous wrote in to say:

I find it incredibly offensive when you refer to
JimHillMedia readers as “dweebs.” I, sir, am not a dweeb. I come to your
website for the entertaining & informative stories, not to be insulted. If you continue to call your readers “dweebs,” I – for one –
will stop coming by your website. And I will then tell all my friends who are
interested in reading about Disneyana to avoid JimHillMedia as well.So you’d best heed my warning. Stop calling JHM
readers dweebs.

Okay then. You’re not a dweeb. Are you an overly-sensitive, humorless jerk who takes himself entirely too seriously? Absolutely. But let me state for the record that you, sir, are not a dweeb.

Look, before anyone else chimes in here and pretends to be mortally offended, let me explain: Me personally, I consider “Disney dweeb” to be a fairly innocuous way to describe someone who’s just a tad too obsessive when it comes to The Walt Disney Company. You know the type. That guy who won’t let you get a word in edgewise because they’re determined to prove that they know ‘way more than you do when it comes to the World of Walt.

And — yes — I’ll admit it. There are days when I am a big, honking Disney dweeb. My only saving grace is … Well, I don’t take myself all that seriously. More to the point, I at least know when to shut up.

Speaking of which … It’s time that I wrap up this week’s Why For column. But before I go, I just want to remind everyone about New York Comic-Con. Which is being held next weekend at the Jacob K. Javits Center

… because no self-respecting Disney dweeb is gonna wanna miss out on this year’s event.

Have a great weekend, okay?

And remember — if you want your Disney-related questions answered
as part of this weekly column — you need to send them along to

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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