The Culinary Skills of Chef Kevin Dundon at Raglan Road Orlando

Getting ready for St. Paddy’s Day at Raglan Road

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney are always something special. Apart from the celebrations on the big day, March 17th, there lots of other fun things going on.

One of my favorites is watching Chef Kevin Dundon work his audience while he prepares several fantastic courses. This year, the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations launched with a Culinary Demonstration Luncheon with Master Chef Kevin which I share with you now.

Darne of Hickory Smoked Irish Salmon

Smoked Irish Salmon

The first course was a Darne of Hickory Smoked Irish Salmon served warm on buttered leeks with mead cream reduction. You can watch Chef Kevin have some fun with his audience while preparing this dish and then you can wish you had been there as you see the finished dish as it was presented to the diners! Watch the video.

Then we were treated to one of my huge favorites at Raglan Road – Espresso of Roasted Tomato & Gin Soup. While I still enjoyed the soup tremendously, I’m not so sure I can order it too often any more. When Chef Kevin says he’s adding a little butter, he doesn’t really mean a little butter!

Tomato & Gin Soup

Roasted Tomato & Gin Soup

Loin of Traditional Irish Bacon

Loin of Traditional Irish Bacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main course was Loin of Traditional Bacon with Irish Mist Glaze served on Colcannon Potato with a parsley cream sauce and raisin cider jus. It has to be, hands down, the absolute BEST bacon I have ever tasted! The dish was SO good I bought the recipe book afterwards so I could try it myself at home. The Colcannon potato reminded me of my childhood Sunday dinners in Dublin as it was a favorite of my Dads.

Jam Jar of Rhubarb Jelly Pannacotta

Rhubarb Jelly Pannacotta

And just when I thought I couldn’t possibly put another morsel in my mouth, Chef Kevin proceeded to wow us with a Jam Jar of Rhubarb Jelly Pannacotta. Rhubarb is another childhood favorite of mine – it grew wild (and I mean big and wild!) in our back garden in Dublin.

Desert was helped down the gullet with a heavenly Irish Coffee.  All in all, quite a wonderful way to while away an afternoon in Orlando! Fantastic food, an entertaining chef and some good company. Thank you Deb (AllEars.net) for being my lunch companion!

 

 

Dancing With The Stars.. and Dining too!

Kevin Dundon at Raglan Road Orlando

Chef Kevin Dundon does his stuff!

Imagine how thrilled I was to receive an invitation for the hubby and myself to attend a Signature Dinner & Wine Event at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney in Orlando!  The executive chef, Kevin Dundon, is a well-known Irish personality and by all accounts, is a Star worth dining with.  Whether he danced or not remained to be seen!

Seated with the entertaining Jeff Houck of the Tampa Tribune and the lovely Katie Machol of the Creative Loafing Blog, myself and Eric Clapton (aka the hubby) thoroughly enjoyed the food, the company and the all-round invigorating evening.  BlackBerry wasn’t something on the menu, but we had them and used them to post photos of the evening and keep our followers informed of the fun.  Social Media has become such a part of [my] life that it’s automatic now to think of who might enjoy a picture or a quick comment on my current experience via Twitter or Facebook.

Before we begin

The little things that make it special

The attention to detail in the set up of the Raglan Room was superb – it was transformed from a very nice dining area to a timeless formal dining room in some famous Historic House in Ireland.  From the candelabra on each table,  to the crisp white linens and sparkling crystal right down to the menu presented with a fresh rose, it gave all indications of a more than wonderful evening ahead.

Rather than make you too entirely jealous and reel off each course that we had,  here’s a link to the menu and some photos of the fabulous fare before we polished it off.  While we enjoyed the fantastic food, wonderful wine and comedic company, the stars came to dance for us.  (Thankfully, none of us diners had to dance with the stars. )  They are really so good at what they do!

Here’s a quick look at what Danielle and Amal dished up for us – I would LOVE to see the contestants on Dancing With The Stars try some of these steps!

I thought there was no way I could eat all that food and survive to tell about it.  But – the portions were perfectly sized so that I could enjoy each of them, without exception!

Chef Kevin Dundon

Chef Kevin Dundon plays with fire

I had to have the lobster Uische Beatha (that’s Gaelic for Whiskey – or the water of life, as it’s commonly referred to!) and it tasted just as good as it looked being flambeed by Chef Kevin.  He looked like he was having way too much fun with the whiskey and the fire!

As we enjoyed our desserts and to-die-for Irish Coffees, Chef Kevin wandered among us posing for photos, signing books and menus and generally having a good time.  It was one of the most enjoyable evenings that my husband and I have ever spent over dinner!

The celebrity branding that Chef Kevin Dundon enjoys is the result of a LOT of hard work on his part.  Next post will be about how he branded himself as a celebrity and what lessons we can learn and use for ourselves.   Here’s a link to a video put together by the folks at Raglan Road Orlando, featuring Chef Kevin and the evening that was such a success!

Jackie T. Ewing meets Chef Kevin Dundon

Jackie meets Chef Kevin Dundon