2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Culinary Demonstration with Kevin Dundon, Raglan Road etc…

Let’s start out by saying that we REALLY love Kevin Dundon’s Culinary Demonstrations at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival… How much so? Well we’ve attended in 2010, 2011, 2012 (with Calvin & Kate), and now in 2013 (with Lisa & Andy).

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Like the last two years, we started out with Amy Meddins (Wine Representative) and John Ekin (WDW Emcee) – nick noticed that the counter in the demo kitchen is smaller this year and that means the wine person sits behind a small table

Amy talked briefly about the wine, but very briefly. She said that we were all here to see the Chef and eat his food, if you want more wine details, she’d be happy to talk with us later.

  • Chalone Estate Vineyard Chardonnay (Chalone Vineyard, Monterey County, California)
    • Lisa and Andy weren’t really happy with the wine choice, but it seemed to turn out okay
    • We thought that the wine had a slightly stinky/sour nose and without food it wasn’t oaky (that’s good) but it wasn’t a wine that Nick would drink without food

Chef Kevin has been paired with Amy and John in 2011 and 2012. The three work well together. John called Chef Kevin “the Master Chef of Ireland” and put in some plugs for Kevin’s books, cookware, knives, Raglan Road, and Dunbrody House – it was all done in a funny, self-effacing way.

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Chef Kevin Dundon has some fancy togs this year. He went over to kiss Amy hello… There was a lot of laughter on the stage.

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John, Kevin, and four books… His smile is really infectious

And like I said, he laughs a lot

And like I said, he laughs a lot

The first lady he brought up on stage (of course, he got a kiss)

The first lady he brought up on stage (of course, he got a kiss) – she answered a question or finished his sentence, he said “I’m done, you don’t need me… ” and walked off stage (grinning), he snuck around backstage and come up and surprised her on the other side

More talking about products and such

More talking about products and such – again, in a very self-effacing way

Now, let’s get down to some cooking (recipes at the bottom of blog post, we got a scanner!)

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We’re going to be eating Roasted Round Trout. This wild sea trout has good fat content and the muscle is nicely textured.

Food is all about the ingredients….. Chef Kevin Dundon

Chef Kevin repeated some of the stuff that he usually says, but somehow it doesn’t have the same-old-same-old effect that we’ve noticed with some of the other celebrity chefs. With him, it’s like he’s stating his firm beliefs about food (almost making it a mission to get people to eat better) whereas with some other chefs it feels more like selling than true belief.

Food shouldn’t be complicated, you should taste what it is. A piece of fish should taste like fish… Chef Kevin Dundon

Chef Kevin still gets his fish from Foley’s in Boston (couldn’t find the quality of fish that he wants in Central Florida – no surprise to us)… He also buys the last catch from the boats, it costs a bit more, but the fish is very fresh and thus very tasty.

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Fish finishing up in a Kevin Dundon Skillet – fish fillet, almonds, fresh thyme, and Kerrygold butter

This was looking wonderful. As always, he’s actually cooking!

When cooking fish in a skillet like this (he cooked it without any butter or oil), when it has cooked about 1/4 of the way up the thickness of the fillet (skin side down), flip it and finish cooking… add the butter and seasonings after it’s done

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The final plating on-stage. Roasted Round Trout, toasted almonds, and green bean salad

Chef says that you should visualize in your head what your dish is going to be like when you finish — doesn’t every cook worth a damn do this anyway?

Cooking is like everything else, you need to visualize the end result … where you’re trying to go, otherwise, how will you ever get there? ….. paraphrasing Kevin Dundon

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Our plating… As always, Chef Kevin is more generous than the WDW cooks in the back when left to their own devices

This was OH SO GOOD. The fish wasn’t overcooked! It had a nice crust on the skin side. The green bean salad was a hit with all four of us. And of course, the mashed potato was excellent.

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The fish was cooked through BUT not overcooked.

The wine paired well, I think it was all the butter and cream that made the wine taste better. Nick even said that he could drink it with the fish (in other words, the ickiness of the wine went away <grin>).

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One last look at the yumminess that is Chef Kevin’s creations

Our dessert was a lemon tart with meringue (not raspberry meringue by consensus at our table)…

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Individual lemon tarts with raspberry on the side

Kevin does a lot of work with celiac disease in Ireland… and today, Sarah from Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW was in the audience, he called her up to the stage and made her a dessert that would meet her dietary needs… Flambeed berries in a bed of toasted meringues (sorry no photo of the dessert, but did get a photo of Sarah and Chef Kevin).

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Sarah & Chef Kevin

Everything we had to eat was excellent (Lisa & Andy may HAVE to go to Raglan Road now, they still haven’t been). Chef Kevin was entertaining and engaging – he just makes it fun. We’re going to have to try one of his culinary dinners in the next year (give them another try)… we can’t make the Food & Wine Festival dinner this year, already have plans.

One last item of interest… Chef Kevin Dundon is going to be on PBS here in the U.S.! Beginning October 26, Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food will be on television… Don’t know if we’ll get it around here, but if he’s as entertaining and engaging on television as he is in person, it will be a hit.

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