Irish

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We were recently invited to a media tasting for a homey meal at Liam Fitzpatrick’s in Lake Mary.

This Irish pub and restaurant is large enough to accommodate large gatherings; yet, everyone feels as though they walked into a family gathering without the annoying relative asking if you are planning on getting married any time soon.

As a result, we felt right at home and had many laughs with the family of Liam Fitzpatrick’s as we enjoyed many dishes on their new menu.

For Starters:

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Ahi Poke
Marinated sushi grade ahi tuna served on cucumber rounds, finished with wasabi aioli, honey Sriracha, fried wontons, and sesame seeds. This appetizer is delicious and refreshing with a nice kick from the wasabi and Sriracha.

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Scotch Eggs
With origins dating back to 1738, these Scotch Eggs are boiled eggs encased in seasoned ground pork, chorizo-coated in bread crumbs, and deep-fried.

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Margarita Flatbread
Basil pesto, mozzarella cheese and grape tomatoes, drizzled with a balsamic glaze. There is nothing negative to say about this dish. The ingredients are fresh and the flatbread itself has a nice texture, but I am biased to liking chewy flatbreads. The balsamic glaze adds a little sweetness that pulls this appetizer together.

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Porter’s Famous Fish and Chips
Haddock filets dipped in Liam Fitzpatrick’s special beer-batter recipe. Served with mushy peas and tartar sauce. Liam Fitzpatrick’s restaurant and Irish pub was put in the hot seat with our visit when they placed this dish on our table.

I hold very high standards for Fish and Chips as my favorite is at a mom and pop restaurant on Malua Beach in Australia.

However, Liam Fitzpatrick’s did not disappoint with their dish!

Porter’s Famous Fish and Chips is now my number two favorite for Fish and Chips…this time, I won’t have to fly around the world for delicious Fish and Chips.

The Haddock filets in Porter’s Famous Fish and Chips were very fresh and moist with a crispy batter.

The chips were made in-house and holds addicting flavors – you will not want to put a single one down.

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Chicken Salad Sandwich
Homemade chicken salad with green apples, dried cranberries, red onions, lettuce, tomato, carrots, and celery. Served on toasted multi-grain bread. If you are looking for a simple, yet tasteful sandwich, this one is for you. Ideally, when you pack a lunch, you hope to pack something like this sandwich, but it sometimes ends up being off with one ingredient or two. Next time, skip the stress and try this sandwich…then ask them how to make it.

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Liam’s Drunken Pasta
Penne pasta with prosciutto, garlic, and basil topped with Parmesan cheese before tossed in a pink vodka sauce. Served with a size of garlic toast. The pasta is made well and the garlic bread went great with or without the pink vodka sauce. The seasoning was not overpowering and each ingredient can be tasted whether trying the pasta or the garlic bread.

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Bread & Butter Pudding – a traditional Irish bread pudding made with raisins, served with whiskey creme anglaise. This dessert is not too sweet and is enough to share. Like all bread puddings, this dessert is very dense and filling. Unlike other bread puddings, the whiskey creme anglaise and chocolate drizzle brings together this dessert. You may want to ask for extra creme if your sweet tooth needs loving.

For more information on Liam Fitzpatrick’s, please visit Liam Fitzpatrick’s.

Be sure to keep an eye out on special events, as mentioned below.

Wine Down Wednesday @ Liam Fitzpatrick's 2016

Block Party (1)

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I had an amazing opportunity to come back to Raglan Road  to meet celebrity chef Kevin Dundon– famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland and his award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking series.

As seen from the picture above he showcased his cooking and charm as he walk us through the dishes we were going to sample that evening.

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Starting off with: Coquille St. Jaques
Seared scallops with creamy mornay sauce and steamed mashed potatoes.

The scallops are dry packed, allowing the scallops to be fresher and withhold an intense flavor versus the frozen ones where all the flavor is released with the water when thawed. It’s then simply seasoned with a little oil, a little salt, and then left to sit to caramelize in the pan.

The scallops had incredible texture, as it was not too mushy or tough, but rather soft. Since it was only enhanced with salt, the true flavors of seafood really came through.

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paired with: Sterling Napa Sauvignon Blanc

This crisp and dry wine had a thicker viscosity that goes along very well with seafood, especially scallops.

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Next we have: Duet of Tomato Soup and Champagne Splashed Oyster

 

Ripe Roma/ Plum tomatoes were used in combination with onions, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and then deglazed with Gin. Then chef Dundon upped the decadence of the soup with a generous amount go heavy cream and butter. The super smooth shot of soup was then accompanied by fresh raw oyster.

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paired with: Chandon Brut Champagne
It delivers complex flavors of apples and pears, and accented with citrus spices. The win had a refreshing and dry finish.

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Moving onto the dish that according to Chef Dundon- truly represent his cooking: Roast Rack of Spring Lamb

Scrag end of neck of lamb with leeks, baby potatoes and carrots in Irish stew consommé. 

Tender lamb that’s roasted to a perfect medium (the recommended state for lamb, otherwise it would be too chewy or tough. I’m usually not a fan of lamb due to it’s pungent grassy flavor, however this particular dish made the lamb flavor quite mellow . Also, I preferred eating each bite of lamb with the leek julienne, it really helps when you’re not used to eating lamb.

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it was complimented with a glass of : B.V Rutherford Cabernet

A smooth, smokey red with deep flavors that brings out the savoriness of the broth and the roasted lamb.

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We ended things sweetly with: Pimms Knickerbocker Glory

An interesting concoction of fruit filled gelatin topped with refreshing vanilla mouse and cucumber and melon foam.  With a super addicting petite french pastry- the pistachio macaron.

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Chef Dundon’s dishes all have a common theme, simplicity.  They’re beautifully crafted, without the intentions of being complicated to bring out the true flavors of the ingredients.

*Also, don’t plan on counting calories when tasting these dishes – as a lot of delicious butter are used.

I was even lucky enough to be gifted with one of Chef’s cook book: Chef Dundon’s “Back to Basics” and got it signed!

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A little something extra:

For those interested in the Gin Tomato soup here’s how to make it!
2.0 oz   Olive oil
2.0 oz   Butter
1 each  Yellow Onion (diced)
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
2.25 lb Roma/Plum tomatoes, ripe, cut in 0.5
0.5 cup Gin
1.0 qt Vegetable Stock
1.0 cup Heavy cream
To taste Salt
To taste pepper

1. Heat the oil lightly
2. Add in the onions and cook over medium heat until translucent
3. Add in the garlic and sweat for about 2 minutes
4. Add in the tomatoes and pinch of salt and pepper
5. Cook for 6 minutes stirring
6. Deglaze with Gin: Cook stirring for about 7 minutes
7. Add in Stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until tomatoes are very tender and broken up
8. Add in the heavy cream, bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes
9. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper
10. Remove from the fire and puree with a hand blender until smooth and then strain
11. Serve hot, garnish with creme fruit, crostini, and snipped chives.

1640 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 938-0300

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Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney Announces 10TH Anniversary ‘Master Chef’ Cooking Contest
Finalists Win Ireland Trip to Cook with Celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 11, 2015) – Ladies and gentlemen, start your cook stoves! To kick off its 10th anniversary celebration, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney challenges home chefs to get creative and vie for the honorary title of Raglan Road Master Chef.

Now through April 21, amateur cooks are invited to submit a video featuring an original three-course menu of appetizer, entrée and dessert worthy of the restaurant’s 10th anniversary celebration in October. Raglan Road Master Chef Kevin Dundon, a James Beard award-winning chef whose PBS/Create TV series “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food,” begins its second season March 13, will judge entries and choose five finalists on April 28.

The finalists will fly to Ireland May 21, all expenses paid, where they’ll stay at Dundon’s popular resort and cooking school, Dunbrody Country House Hotel in Southwest Ireland, and work with Dundon to perfect their cooking technique. Each of the finalists will cook a dish chosen by Dundon on Oct. 20 at a private 10th anniversary celebratory dinner at Raglan Road, an award-winning restaurant owned and operated by Irish partners that features several dining rooms of aged walnut and mahogany wood furnishings from old Irish bars and churches that were shipped to Orlando to build the restaurant.

Guests who enter the competition must be able to travel from Orlando International Airport on May 21 and have a valid, up-to-date passport for travel to Ireland and return to Orlando on May 26. While in Dunbrody, finalists also will experience the local farms and fishing locations where Dundon sources his food and will enjoy a Dublin excursion. For information about entering the competition, visit http://www.raglanroad.com/raglan-road-master-chef-competition.

The site will be live with all contest rules and details on Monday, March 16, 2015.
Raglan Road features inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.” The second season of Dundon’s TV series, “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics,” will premiere nationally March 13 on public television’s Create TV. The network also will air a Kevin Dundon marathon of select episodes of “Back to Basics” and Dundon’s first season episodes of “Modern Irish Food” March 14 and 15 leading into St. Patrick’s Day.
During any visit to Raglan Road, guests can belly up to one of the restaurant’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare. The restaurant, winner of numerous national and local awards and honors, is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, as well as its Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist and other popular entrees. Raglan Road offers gluten-free items including scallops, fish and chips, onion rings and pasta dishes.

Owned and operated by Irish partners Paul Nolan, John Cooke and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland and his award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking series – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Guests can enjoy live Irish bands and performances by The Raglan Road Dancers nightly and during the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch. Live music is also scheduled nightly on the pub patio. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Weekend Brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

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DSC00591St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney, is somewhere you want to be for all the festivities.

Award-winning Irish and American bands and quick-stepping Irish dancers will showcase their Irish roots during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney March 13-17.

The most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida also will feature inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.”

Ragland Road believes in keeping their dishes simple, yet creative. They like to play off of authentic and traditional dishes and modernize it without compromising the quality.

DSC00511I began the experience with Harry’s Beef Carpaccio. Seared aged beef tenderloin with sharp parmesan and a creamy anchovy vinaigrette.  It was paired with a Grape fruit tonic that was slightly sweet and incredibly refreshing.
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Next, was a trio rendition of their brunch items. From left to right:
Eggs & Hash: Poached, battered, and then fried. The 3 process egg had layers of texture from an outer crispy shell, soft middle, and a creamy yolk center. A fried pork belly and potato hash made the dish hearty and filling.
Steak & Herbs: Grilled tender steak that’s paired with a roasted shallot puree. Probably one of the best puree I’ve ever had.
Salmon & Pancake: A lighter side of brunch, a smoke salmon with a dollop of cream cheese on top of a potato pancake.

These were served with cocktails that were made especially for lunch. It has high acidity to cut through the fat yet still light and bouncy to keep you awake.
DSC00515A Bitta Hop On: Bombay Sapphire gin Terrapin Hopsecutioner American IPA, West Indian Falernum, orange bitters and house made Guinness glaze
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Strawberry Field:  Strawberry puree with grapes Ciroc (Gluten Free)

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One of my favorite dish during this brunch, Pan Seared Cod. A statement fish that’s light with a crispy skin. Then a warm bed of Russian mashed potato with shallots, mustard seed and fresh herbs in a spicy  sun dried tomatoes vinaigrette.

This is paired with lighter drinks such as:
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Blueberry Mint lemonade: A super easy to drink cocktail that’s fresh for the lighter drinkers

DSC00533Our Whiskey Sour : Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey with shaken egg whites with a organic cold pressed lemon sour

Now to the more serious dishes Ragland Road, we have

Double Joint: Bone in Ribeye with bearnaise sauce & red wine jus sauce
Proud Pork: Grilled Pork chops with cider Port jus and apple sauce.

Sides: included a Colcannon potatoes, mashed potatoes with potato chip fried in duck fat, roasted veggies, and a salad of greens.

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Next two drinks are probably my favorites, probably because I’m a huge fan of ginger beer.

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Ginger Mojito: Captain Morgan white rum, lime, sour and ginger beer with freshly muddled mint.

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Teelings Whiskey Punch: Teelings small batch Irish whiskey, apple cider, ginger beer, angostura bitters, fresh lime sour and candied ginger.

We ended lunch with a more savory note

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Cooleeney Farm – Daru Irish Cheese: Baked to a melty perfection 

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Carrigaline Farmhouse – Irish Smoked cheese & Brandonvale Vintage Cheddar Cheese. Paired with an Apricot chutney.
and of course, it had to be paired with a drink.
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Raspy Old Fashioned: Dikel 12 Tennessee Whisky, house made Guinness glaze, fresh lemon sour and homemade raspberry puree.
So follow the traditions of Ireland for St. Patrick’s day and gather your friends and family and experience the Irish culture at Raglan Road to not only enjoy great food and drinks but also live entertainment. Featuring Scythian, playing gypsy-infused American Celtic tunes and applauded by iHeartRadio for having “re-invented folk rock in America,”
On Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. Reservations can be booked for other festival days by calling
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Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort,
1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

Press Release – Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney Celebrates ‘Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival’ March 13-17

Featured Bands Include Scythian, Reel Ó Gránde, 3 Dollar Band and More

Award-winning Irish and American bands and quick-stepping Irish dancers will showcase their Irish roots during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney March 13-17. The most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida also will feature inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.”

Scythian, playing gypsy-infused American Celtic tunes and applauded by iHeartRadio for having “re-invented folk rock in America,” tops the lineup of talented bands to perform on stage during the Mighty Festival. Reel Ó Gránde, 3 Dollar Band, Drops of Green, The Brayzen Heads, The West Coast Trio and the award-winning Raglan Road Irish Dancers will entertain on indoor and patio stages throughout the five-day festival.

Raglan Road guests ready to “get their green on” can participate in festivities that run from 4 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 13 and from noon until 1:30 a.m. March 14-17.

The diverse band lineup headed by Scythian offers something for everyone:

· Reel Ó Gránde, the newest Raglan Road house band playing traditional Irish ballads, jigs and reels and modern Irish and country music.

· The West Coast Trio from Connemara, playing traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute and guitar with plenty of reels and jigs.

· 3 Dollar Band, an exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.

· The Brayzen Heads, a popular duo on guitar and banjo playing Raglan Road regularly.

· Drops of Green, an exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.

· The Raglan Road Dancers, seven full-time champion dancers, performing daily

The entertainment schedule will be posted at raglanroad.com. Festivities at Raglan Road will include complimentary face painting for guests. Guests can order from Raglan Road’s popular lunch, dinner and bar menus featuring new dishes just introduced by Chef Kevin Dundon. The dinner menu features loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick’s Day. Throughout the event, the restaurant’s Cooke’s of Dublin counter-service eatery will offer Irish favorites like fish and chips, battered sausages and deep-fried candy bars.

On Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. Reservations can be booked for other festival days by calling 407/938-0300.

Pubs in Ireland have long been considered a place for families to gather. Following that tradition, Raglan Road is a place to meet friends and family and experience the Irish culture on St Patrick’s Day and everyday. Guests are encouraged to proudly wear a sprig of Shamrock as is the tradition in Ireland and participate in “the wearin’ of the green.”
During any visit to Raglan Road, be it brunch, lunch or dinner, guests can belly up to one of the restaurant’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic fare. The restaurant, winner of numerous national and local awards and honors, is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, as well as its Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist and other popular entrees. Raglan Road offers gluten-free items including scallops, fish and chips, calamari, onion rings and pasta dishes.
Owned and operated by Irish partners Paul Nolan, John Cooke and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland and his award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking series – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Guests can enjoy live Irish bands and performances by The Raglan Road Dancers nightly and during the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch. Live music is also scheduled nightly on the pub patio.

Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Weekend Brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

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Photos and Words by Katherine Nguyen – Katherine Nguyen Photography

Ireland’s celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon showcases his new cookbooks at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at a “Modern Irish Food” lunch demo during St. Patrick’s Festival.

In the midst of the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival March 7-17 at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant, Ireland’s celebrity chef Kevin Dundon served up flavors of his homeland during two signature dining events.

Chef Dundon is known for his five-star Dunbrody House hotel and cookery school in Ireland, Dundon. He is also the master chef and creator of the pub menu at Raglan Road. His 5th book illustrates stories from Ireland featuring his restaurant partners, Paul Nolan and John Cooke, as well as himself. More than that, Chef Dundon has his own line of cookware and appliances! Don’t worry, his pans are stainless steel! Host of the PBS series, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food,” Dundon cooked in the Grand Dining Room at the Downtown Disney restaurant and demonstrated recipes from the cookbook upon which the show is based.

John Cooke, Chef Kevin Dundon, Katherine Nguyen (Tasty Chomps Photographer), and Paul Nolan
From left to right: John Cooke, Chef Kevin Dundon, Katherine Nguyen (Tasty Chomps Photographer), and Paul Nolan.

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During the “Modern Irish Food” lunch event, Dundon demonstrated four lunch courses paired with wines.

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The first course was Espresso of Courgette and Almond Soup; it was very smooth, different, delightful, and had two consistencies: a froth on top and a more watery soup underneath.. Paired with Domaine Chandon, Brut, Napa, which was quite tasteful! It is one of my favorite drinks (not shown).

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The second course was Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Seared Scallops and Crispy Pork Belly paired with Vosceret, Estate Bottled, Chablis, France. I quite fancy this dish as each item within it had its own specific texture and flavor. The scallops were made just right and were not overcooked. The crispy pork belly was delicious, but may get stuck in your teeth! The white wine that came along with the dish was smooth and did not overpower any of the flavors from the dish.

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The third course was Pulled corned beef & cabbage infused with an Asian broth paired with Chalone Estate, Pinot noir, Chalone, California. I believe this dish to be very easily duplicated at home as my mom often makes a dish similar to this for us. However, the carrots in this dish here was a bit hard and I prefer it to be softer, cooked longer.

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The red wine paired with this dish was my least favorite – I am not a fan of the strong reds.

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The fourth and last course of lunch was Upside-Down Steamed Orange Pudding with Caramelized Clotted Cream paired with Inniskillin, Ice Wine, Canada. Now, you may think that’s a lot of cream on top, but it was very necessary to make the dessert not be so overbearingly sweet! Eating all of the ingredients with no substitutions or deletions, it was good enough to make anyone with or without a sweet tooth to come asking for seconds! Even Chef Dundon, who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, could eat this dish ALL DAY LONG. On the other hand, the dessert wine was super sweet – too sweet for my taste! But don’t let my opinion cloud your choice to try this the next time you’re at Ragland Road!

All of the dishes served can be found in “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food” the book or a DVD of Chef Dundon cooking a few dishes himself step by step!

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Not only did we get to try food from Chef Dundon’s book, but we were able to meet with him as well as Paul Nolan and John Cooke to hear about their lives, their new books, etc.

Chef Dundon shared an experience of when he was a wee lad. He would catch mackerel for his mother to cook for him very often back in Ireland. One day, he had an urge to cook mackerel himself to surprise his grandparents for breakfast! Little did he know, he didn’t cook the mackerel very thoroughly – he was ahead of his time and discovered sashimi! (Just kidding). Chef Dundon ended up serving cold tea and a cold meal, including the mackerel, to his grandparents who loves him and his cooking no matter what!

What’s more is that it was his grandmother and mother who inspired his passion for cooking!

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To read more of Chef Dundon and more of Paul Nolan, John Cooke, and Ireland, make sure you pick up “I’d ate the Back Door Buttered, Ma!”

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Here’s a sneak peak… This is Bill Hazlett – the first man at the bar. He is featured in the book and also honored us by his presence in the back room.

Throughout the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival, Raglan Road and Downtown Disney will celebrate with a lineup of guest bands, Irish dancing, children’s activities, face painting and “wearin’ of the green.” Visit raglanroad.com for more information.

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Owned and operated by Irish partners Paul Nolan, John Cooke and celebrity chef Kevin Dundon – famous for his five-star hotel and cookery school in Ireland – Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist. The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando. Guests can enjoy live Irish bands and performances by The Raglan Road Dancers nightly and during the Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch. Live music is also scheduled nightly on the pub patio. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Sunday Brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

Katherine Nguyen is a student at the University of Central Florida majoring in Molecular Biology and Microbiology and minoring in Health Service Administration with a goal of going to dental school. She enjoys playing soccer and has been captain of an intramural team for 3 years now at UCF. Photography is her number one hobby in which she has dabbled in the field since 2008; she is very diverse in the field, but her favorite sub-fields include portraits on location, nature, food, and sports photography. In her free time, she also tutors any subject in high school and middle school as well as volunteers at Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, FL. Link:  https://www.facebook.com/KatherineNPhotograp

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

Kevin Dundon jacket RTE front

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.

Kevin Dundon Modern Irish Food Pesto

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.

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Every few months, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Downtown Disney hosts a signature dinner series with Chef Kevin Dundon.

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This past March 13-14, the signature event was entitled ‘A Tale of Two Chefs’ and featured Chef Kevin Dundon and Michelin-Starred Chef Derry Clarke.

Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon and his best friend, renowned Michelin-starred chef Derry Clarke, proprietor of the award-winning Dublin restaurant l’Ecrivain, collaborated to entertain guests during “A Tale of Two Chefs” gourmet Signature Dinner.

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Chef Kevin Dundon, known for his five-star Dunbrody House hotel and cookery school in Ireland, is Raglan Road master chef and creator of the pub menu as well as author of multiple cookbooks.

Michelin Star Chef Derry Clarke has been chef/owner of l’Ecrivain for more than 22 years. L’Ecrivain has been awarded a Michelin star every year since 2003.

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The Tale of Two Chefs Signature Dinner included craft ale and wine pairings, and featured both classic techniques as well as more modern ones like creating garden herb foams for the potato salad, and pea panna cotta. One of my favorite items from the meal was a twice cooked potato that came with a rack of lamb…the flavor and texture of the potato was truly amazing.

Below are some photos of the wonderful evening:

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First Course – Langoustine in Kaffir Pastry with Tomato Jelly and Chili Jam

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Second Course – Potato Salad with a Garden Herb Foam

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Third Course – Sweet Pea Soup served with a Pea Panacotta

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Fourth Course – Rack of Spring Lamb and Braised Cottage Lamb Pie, Farm Fresh Vegetables with Twice-Cooked Roast Potato

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Fifth Course – Layered Chocolate Indulgence Infused with Coffee with an Irish Twist

The next Ragland Road Signature Dinner will be announced in the coming months. Guests can call 407/938-0300 for reservations up to 48 hours in advance. Visit raglanroad.com for more information

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Click-clack, tip-tap, tip-tip tap, tip-tap-tip – faster and faster – the beats move to a fun, rollicking furor. It’s the sound of foot-stomping jigs and reels of Irish step dancing and live Irish music on the wooden stage at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Downtown Disney.

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Brunch is usually a calm, late morning affair – maybe enjoying a mimosa in the shade away from the Florida sun and reminiscing about the previous night’s series of events. Here, at Raglan Road’s new Rollicking Sunday brunch, guests and the whole family can now enjoy a unique experience unlike any other this side of the pond. Enjoy the music of the Raglan Road house band and dancers performing while chomping down on a platter of the Full Irish breakfast, Eggs Benedict, or ham schnitzel.

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Celebrity Chef and co-owner Kevin Dundon has created a new brunch menu with roots in Irish cuisine and a touch of modern flare. The chef’s Full Irish Breakfast features sausage, black and white pudding, bacon, roasted fresh tomato, mushrooms and fried eggs with “roasties” – home-fries style potatoes – all served in a hot iron skillet. A favorite of the brunch menu is Kevin’s Ham Schnitzel, a breaded pan seared ham schnitzel topped with arugula and a fried egg – still slightly runny with delicious golden yolk – and a side of chips, also known as potato fries in the States.

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Kevin’s Ham Schnitzel, topped with a glorious fried egg

Other brunch options include a Smoked Salmon Omelette or Pancakes Diaspora with crème fraiche, maple syrup and mixed berry compote. Lunch or dinner menu items can also be ordered like the Lobster Club sandwich with lobster & avocado, crispy prosciutto, watercress and citrus herb mayonnaise and the Cluck Curry, chicken breast in curry broth with onions, peppers, leeks and steamed almond rice.

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“’Let’s get the party started’ isn’t an Irish phrase, but it aptly describes the spirit of a true Irish brunch back home,” said Raglan Road manager Lorraine Gorham, who was born in County Mayo, west Ireland. “And that’s what The Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch is all about.”

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Chef Gary Cooke slicing the roast rib rack of beef

The folks at Raglan Road are also unveiling a new “Host the Roast” option for 6 or more. Host the Roast is a traditional family style dining experience, reminisced of the great Sunday lunch when Irish families sat down together to celebrate and catch up on family time. Guests can choose their favored roast meat from roast rib of beef, roast pork loin, roast leg of New Zealand lamb, or roast lemon thyme chicken. All the roasts are served with traditional accompaniments and carved table side by you for your guests assisted by one of the Raglan Road’s fantastic chefs. Prices range from $35 to $55 per person. Orders for the Roast must be placed by 1pm on Friday prior to your Sunday Brunch Reservation (Call 407-938 -0300).

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The Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with entertainment from noon-4. Brunch entrees range from $8 to $26. Visit http://www.raglanroad.com/the-rollicking-raglan-sunday-brunch for the full menu. Guests can call 407/938-0300 for reservations or just stop by to grab a table.

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