Connect with us

General

Why For did Michael Eisner try and shut down production of “The Curse of the Black Pearl” back in 2002 ?

Jim Hill shares some stories about the first film in the “Pirates” trilogy. In particular how Disney’s former CEO — because he genuinely believed that teenagers would think that a movie that was based on a theme park attraction was totally lame — repeatedly tried to pull the plug on this project (WARNING : This article does contain some mild “At World’s End” spoilers)

Published

on

Christian P. writes in today to say:



I’m a huge Pirates of the Caribbean fan and I’m literally counting down the hours now until the third movie opens next week. Do you have any new stories that you can tell about these great great movies that might distract me for a while? Prevent me from spending so much time staring at the clock?


How about this one, Christian?



Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Steve Vaughn





BARBOSSA: Ever gazed upon the green flash, Mr. Gibbs ?


GIBBS: I reckon I’ve seen my share (To Will) Happens on rare occasions, at the last glimpse of sunset, a green flash shoots up into the sky. Some go their whole lives and never see it. Some claim to have seen it. Some say …


PINTEL: … it signals when a soul comes back to this world from the dead !


Gibbs glares at Pintel for interrupting his story.



PINTEL: Sorry.


It’s kind of ironic that the characters in “Pirates of the Caribbean : At World’s End” actually talk about a flash of green light. For back in 2002, when Gore Verebinski and Jerry Bruckheimer were trying to put the first film in this trilogy — “Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl” — into production, they too had to deal with a flashing green light.



Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Peter Mountain


As in: Walt Disney Studios was going to be making this movie. Then they weren’t. Then Walt Disney Pictures was going to be making this movie. Then they weren’t.


At one point during pre-production, Michael Eisner himself canceled the first “Pirates” film. Saying that the movie — as Gore & Jerry envisioned it — was going to be far too expensive (I.E. A then-whopping $120 million). Plus what with all of those undead pirate skeletons walking around and all the throat slashing, stabbing and shooting, this motion picture was going to automatically wind up getting a PG-13 rating. And Walt Disney Pictures — as a rule — never released anything racier than a PG.


And then there was the cold hard fact that it had been 50 years since Hollywood had last produced a successful pirate picture (I.E. Burt Lancaster‘s “The Crimson Pirate” Which Warner Bros. released back in 1952). Every modern attempt to reviving the swashbuckling genre — 1976’s “Swashbuckler,” 1980’s “The Island,” 1983’s “Yellowbeard,” 1986’s “Pirates” and 1995’s “Cutthroat Island” — had all been miserable (more importantly, expensive) failures. So why even bother to try ?


And then there was that whole based-on-a-theme-park-ride angle … Eisner knew that Dick Cook, the Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, had been pushing this concept for years. But given how poorly “The Country Bears” had turned out, Michael was now eager to abandon this project. Put the idea of turning Disney attractions into major motion pictures ‘way behind him.



 Copyright 2002 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved


So in spite of the fact that Verbinski & Bruckheimer already had storyboard artists at work dummying out “Pirates” ‘s action scenes and concept painters creating these amazing images of the Black Pearl, Isla de Muerta and Barbossa’s undead crew … Eisner called the director & the producer and said : “I’m sorry. Disney’s not making this movie. Please shut down production.”


Gore’s response ? He just told the artists to keep working. That Verbinski & Bruckheimer would now team up on Eisner and eventually persuade Disney’s CEO to change his mind.


Oddily enough, it was all of those sketches & pre-production paintings that Gore had insisted the artists keep working on that ultimately swayed Michael. The next week, Eisner made a special trip to Bruckheimer’s offices in Santa Monica for the express process of shutting down production of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”


But — as James B. Stewart describes in his 2005 book, “DisneyWar.”



Bruckheimer had assembled storyboards, and drawings of the major scenes : the island of the dead, the Caribbean port under siege, the skeletons under water and on the moonlit pirate ship. After getting a tour and running commentary from Verbinski, Eisner sat down. “I love it,” he said. “Why does it have to cost so much ?”



Copyright 2003 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved


“Your competition is spending $150 million,” Bruckheimer countered, ticking off projects like “The Matrix” and “The Lord of the Rings,” franchise films that were allowing Warner Bros. to dominate at the box office. Disney desperately needed a franchise of its own.


Eisner shook his head in exasperation. “The theme park is a drawback, he said, “Country Bears” still in mind. “Let’s move this away from the park.”


And under Eisner’s orders, that’s exactly what Verbinski & Bruckheimer did. They actually pruned a number of moments out of the original version of Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio‘s rewrite of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” screenplay. Scenes & bits of business that they felt were far too obvious references to the Disney theme park attraction.


These cuttings ranged from individual pieces of dialogue (Take — for example — this exchange between Captain Barbossa & Elizabeth Swann) …





BARBOSSA: Very well. You hand that over, we’ll put your town to our rudder and ne’er return.

ELIZABETH: Can I trust you ?

BARBOSSA: It’s you who invoked the parlay! Believe me, Miss, you’d best hand it over, now … or these be the last friendly words you’ll hear !



Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises. All Rights Reserved 
Photo by Peter Mountain


… to whole scenes (Like how Will Turner & Captain Jack Sparrow were originally supposed to make their way into the Treasure Cave at Ilsa de Muerta) …



EXT. ISLA DE MUERTA – LAGOON – NIGHT’



The Interceptor lies at anchor in the distance. Closer, Jack and Will row away from the large vessel in a small longboat, toward the rocky shore.

The RUSH of a waterfall grows louder. Will looks: Ahead of them is a black CAVE MOUTH, right at water level.



WILL: What’s that?

JACK: Depends.

WILL: On what?

JACK: On whether the stories are all true. If they are, that’s a waterfall that spills over at high tide, with a short drop to an underground lagoon. If not …


By now, the moving water tugs on the longboat, and they are sucked in —



JACK: (CONT’D) Well, too late.


INT. CAVES – UNDERWATER LAGOON – NIGHT



— the longboat takes a harrowing drop over a short waterfall … but then lands safely in a gorgeous underwater lagoon, floats lazily toward a sandy shore.



JACK: Chalk one up for the stories.


Mind you, what’s ironic about all this is — because, on Eisner’s order, Bruckheimer & Verbinski did have Eliot & Rossio remove that line that referenced the talking skull at the start of the “Pirates” theme park attraction as well as that nod to the waterfall that your bateaux slides down at the very beginning of the ride … Well, that meant that Ted & Terry could then fold these bits back into their screenplay for “At World’s End.”


Don’t believe me ? Then play very close attention to Barbossa’s dialogue in the scene where that Chinese junk goes hurtling off the edge of the known world. Which — FYI — is also supposed to remind you of your sliding-down-the-waterfall entrance into the actual “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction.


Mind you, Eisner’s insistence that the “Pirates” movie deliberately distance itself from the theme park attraction didn’t end with those scenes being clipped from the script. No, Michael was still so worried that teenagers would think that “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a kiddie picture that — very late in the game (I.E. February of 2003, just five months before “Pirates” opened in theaters) — he insisted that the studio tack a new subtitle onto the film : “The Curse of the Black Pearl.”



Please note that the above “Pirates of the Caribbean” teaser poster makes
absolutely no mention of the film’s “The Curse of the Black Pearl” subtitle
Copyright 2003 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Which made Verbinski insane. Because — of course — it wasn’t the Black Pearl that was cursed. But — rather — the Aztec gold that Barbossa and his crew had spent the past 10 years sailing around the Caribbean, trying to recover.


But Eisner was insistent. Arguing that — should the first “Pirates” picture prove to be a success — that the studio could then keep the subtitle thing going for all of the subsequent installments. That said, Gore was still so upset with this last minute addition to his film’s title that he asked Disney’s marketing department to make the subtitle so small that you could barely read it on the “Pirates” posters. Which — for the most part — the PR staff agreed to do.


Of course, in this one instance, Michael was right. Which is why “The Curse of the Black Pearl” could then be followed by “Dead Man’s Chest” and (Coming next Thursday to a theater near you !) “At World’s End.” So score one for Mr. Eisner.


Anyway … There, Christian. That story should have helped you kill 10 minutes or so. Come back to JHM next week and I’ll help you kill even more time by talking about how Johnny Depp wasn’t really Mouse House managements’ first choice for the role of Captain Jack Sparrow.


And who was ? Would you believe … Matthew McConaughey ?!



More details next week, I promise. Til then, have a great weekend, folks ?

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

General

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

General

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

General

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Trending