Raglan Road Irish Pub Celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon Stars In PBS Cooking Show Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food
Show Airs on WUCF-TV in Central Florida and on Stations Across the Country
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. – Award-winning Chef Kevin Dundon of Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney goes fishing in Ireland for the trout he prepares in the new PBS television series Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food. The beloved Irish “chef of the people” also scours his garden for fresh herbs and veggies and shows viewers how to prepare the perfect holiday dinner with little fuss.
Based on his new cookbook of the same name, Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food series airs at 2 p.m. Saturdays on WUCF-TV in Central Florida. Show episodes will air through December 21 in the Orlando area, culminating with a “Christmas Made Easy” cooking segment. The series also airs on PBS stations across the country and has been picked up by Create TV, part of the PBS family, for a February 2014 run.
Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food puts a modern spin on the celebrated dishes of Irish culture. With his quick wit and love for locally sourced produce, Dundon takes viewers of the half-hour show on a historic tour of Irish cuisine, demonstrating traditional elements of Irish country house cooking and the gourmet modernization of recipes.
Dundon is known in Central Florida for his Irish dishes with contemporary flair at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World Resort. The celebrity chef also owns and runs Ireland’s four-star Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant, Cookery School and Spa, where the show was filmed.
“I’ve always been inspired by great traditional recipes handed down by my mother and grandmother . . . . It’s now my turn to put a modern twist on it,” says Dundon, whose cookbook has been shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Cookbook of the Year. “The food that I cook is very accessible. My philosophy for food is simple — use the freshest ingredients, treat them with respect, and you get the best flavor and results,” Dundon says.
The series’ companion website, www.kevindundon.com, hosts full recipes featured in the episodes. Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food is a production of RTE and is a presentation of WLIW21 in association with WNET, distributed nationally by American Public Television. Episodes began airing Oct. 26 in the Orlando area (check local listings). Upcoming episodes include:
Nov. 16 – Fish, Hunt and Harvest: Kevin prepares smoked mackerel with a black currant Jus. Also: Skeaghanore duck breast with black cherries, pickled wild mushrooms, sautéed garlic potatoes and to finish, a spiced apple with Killowen yogurt.
Nov. 23 – Birds, Bass and Berries: Kevin creates a woodpigeon salad; whole roasted sea bass in a sea salt crust; crushed baby potatoes; and a sea vegetable salad. Finally, a fresh and tasty elderflower and gooseberry layered “fool” dessert.
Nov. 30 – Comfort Foods: Kevin’s presents his take on Arthurstown fish chowder; slow roasted lemon-cured pork belly; pancetta and cheese mash; braised sweet & sour cabbage; and an indulgent Irish cream bread and butter pudding.
Dec. 7 – Simple Delights: Kevin prepares a caramelized Dunmore East scallop tart served with a simple rocket (arugula) salad; warm roasted garlic cottage pie; orzo pasta risotto and sourdough bread; and heather-infused buttermilk panna cotta with honey.
Dec. 14 – Savory to Sweet: Kevin serves up a warming courgette and almond soup followed by a rack of Wexford lamb with an Asian twist served with a potato rosti. Also featured: caramelized apple chutney; dandelion salad with bacon and poached eggs; and orange marmalade pudding.
Dec. 21 – Christmas Made Easy: Kevin shows his audience how to prepare the perfect Christmas dinner: smoked salmon gateau, twice-stuffed turkey, marmalade-glazed ham, pork rack with apple compote, cranberry and chestnut sprouts, and very cherry tiramisu.
Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke, Paul Nolan and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. Live entertainment nightly includes Irish house band Creel, Irish duo Johnny and Justin plus the Raglan Road Irish Dancers. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300 for information.
Interview with Chef Kevin Dundon:
Ricky Ly of TastyChomps: How did your journey to becoming a chef begin?
Chef Kevin Dundon: My passion for cooking began at the age of 7. I was out fishing with my father and caught some mackerel. I took them home and cooked them for my grandparents for breakfast. This ignited my passion for cooking and also for using fresh ingredients.
TC: What are some key things to know about Irish cuisine? How do you make it “modern” in your own way?
KD: The key to Irish cuisine is using indigenous ingredients. I take traditional dishes such as colcannon, which is a dish of potatoes and kale mash. By adding eggs and flour, you can make colcannon potato cakes which can be used to create a very different dish.
I started my training in Ireland but I’ve since worked all over the world, and it’s the various influences through these experiences that I incorporate into my take on modern Irish cuisine
TC: What are some of your favorite recipes from the book/show? Why?
KD: Orange Pudding. In Ireland, we are famous for steamed puddings and orange marmalade, so I put the two of these together and came up with the orange marmalade pudding, which is delightful.
Also the Pulled Corned Beef broth, traditionally eaten with sauerkraut — here I’ve transformed the corned beef into a broth by cooking the brisket slowly, which is then pulled apart, and I add carrots and potatoes and infuse with Asian flavors.
TC: What or who influences you in your cooking life?
KD: My grandmother and mother have been my main influence, but chefs who are all about fresh ingredients and the natural cooking process like Thomas Keller from The French Laundry also are influences.
TC: What do you usually make for lunch today?
KD: I usually like to do a heavy lunch and a light dinner; for example, today I’m having the Kevin’s Heavenly Ham with colcannon potatoes with a parsley sauce — a dish we serve here at Raglan Road.
TC: What are some of the things you love about Ireland that you would like to share with Central Floridians?
KD: Its rugged natural beauty and the four seasons are just two of the things I love about Ireland . I would love to bring the four seasons to Florida (but that is even above my ability), so I overcome this by using seasonal ingredients that come close to those found in Ireland; for example, seafood from Boston, loin of bacon from Kansas City, organic greens and tomatoes grown locally in Lakeland.
In my new PBS series on WUCF-TV, I travel all over Ireland and talk about my love of Ireland and the ingredients found there, and I get to share my passion for Irish food with Central Florida and the rest of America.
I would love nothing more than to see Floridians’ cooking my dishes in their own homes and enjoying quality time with their families while eating great wholesome food.