Perhaps the event that I was the most excited about during the Dessert Party Weekend that food allergy cookbook author Laurie Sadowski & I hosted was the Lunch & Learn with Laurie at Raglan Road Irish Pub presented by Magners Irish Cider and sponsored by Mary’s Gone Crackers. I mean anything that involves gluten free & dairy free fish and chips and hard cider is a win-win, right?
|The lunch & learn was presented by Magners Irish Cider|
|and sponsored by Mary’s Gone Crackers|
We were so thrilled that Raglan Road Irish Pub allowed us to use a portion of their restaurant for this lunch. It was a perfect place to host a Food & Wine Festival inspired meal with a gluten free & food allergy session added to it. Lorraine, Alan and the rest of the Raglan Road team worked with Laurie & I ahead of time to create a custom menu, based on their regular special diets menu offerings for the guests to choose from, as well as provide us with a really great space.
In addition to hosting the event at Raglan Road, we were thrilled to work with Magners Irish Cider, our title sponsor for this event. They helped us provide great gift bag goodies for guests and also gave them a chance to have a tasting of an array of Magners ciders. We also had Ashley, a Magners Irish Cider representative on hand to assist guests with the tasting and give them information about the Magners brand, including facts and tips for cooking with hard cider.
|photo courtesy of Ashley Elliott|
|photo courtesy of Ashley Elliott|
|photo courtesy of Ashley Elliott|
I did get a chance to sample some of the hard ciders myself, as the event ended, and I have to say that the pear cider is definitely my favorite. I know others were really enjoying the cider as well, and I saw one guest order the drink Jay’Gail Sangria: A refreshing blend of Magners Cider, Peach Schnapps and Fruit Liqueurs & squeezes. Sounds delicious!
In addition to the tasting and information from Ashley, who was a wealth of Magners knowledge, Laurie also spoke about ways in which guests could pair hard cider in their cooking & baking. We also gave out a recipe booklet that included recipes featuring Magners Irish Cider— including a cider bread and a honey cider chicken, a recipe created by Raglan Road Chef Kevin Dundon (see my blog post about my fantastic Food & Wine Festival experience with Chef Kevin HERE). After the event, I actually made the cider bread, the honey cider chicken and a homemade apple crisp all with Magners Irish Cider. I’ll be posting a review of that with a link to it here. Suffice it to say, I adored all of these dishes and found them perfect for the fall season!
After tastings, guests then got a chance to order a lunch (*Note: guests paid for any food or drink they consumed) which featured those amazing fish & chips, along with several vegetarian and vegan options.
|Our custom menu for the lunch & learn|
|A view of our lovely lunch area before our guests arrived|
I have to say that our servers Toni & Jennifer were fantastic. Right from the very beginning, they were there with a smile offering our guests any assistance that they needed. It was a busy event and they also had other tables to work with throughout the restaurant! Kudos to all of their hard work and for their diligence with special diets offerings for the guests. They rock! If you get the chance to head to Raglan Road for a meal and are lucky enough to get them as servers, you will be well taken care of.
After guests ordered, Laurie began a portion of her talk on gluten free flours. Many guests came specifically so they could hear Laurie speak and to ask her questions, and I know that the information that she shared was really useful for me as well.
In between the talk, the head chef for Raglan Road came out to speak with our guests about the special diets options and why Raglan Road focuses on gluten free dishes. It was truly a treat to have the chef come out and speak with the guests about this. As someone who has a special diet myself, I always really appreciate the time that chefs take to come out and discuss options, as well as share the restaurant’s food philosophy.
|Chef speaking to our group about gluten free offerings at Raglan Road; Photo courtesy of blog reader Patrick B.|
After the chef came out, Laurie finished the remaining portion of her discussion on gluten free flours, as well as recipes highlighting Magners Irish Cider, as well as our other sponsor Mary’s Gone Crackers. Laurie created separate recipe booklets for both of our sponsors, which included tons of great recipes. The recipe booklet for Mary’s Gone Crackers contained a vegan cheeseball recipe (I’ve got to try this!), as well as a Mary’s Gone Crackers crusted chicken or tofu dish. We also had Mary’s Gone Crackers Just the Crumbs on hand for guests to sample. Overall, guests were able to get a lot of great baking and cooking tips and tricks and recipes that they could take home with them!
The food was a wonderful addition to lunch & learn. Paired with a Magners Irish Cider, these dishes really gave guests the essence of terrific Irish food. I myself had to get the gluten free & dairy free fish and chips. I just can’t go to Raglan Road without getting these. I adore the tartar sauce that accompanies this dish.
And of course, no event is complete without gift bags & raffle items. We had generous gift bags that included swag from Magners Irish Cider as well as Mary’s Gone Crackers. Guests also had the chance to win really great raffle prizes from our various special diets & Disney related vendors. Here is a list of the vendors who generously provided items for our lunch & learn:
- A Wish Upon a Charm
- A&J Bakery
- Crafts by Courtney
- Dreaded Wheat Designs
- Enjoy Life Foods
- Fun & Eclectic Home Furnishings
- Gluten Free To Go
- Honest Tea
- Jenneal Designs
- Just My Angels
- Liquid Therapy
- Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Paradiso 37
- Picturing Disney
- Taste Up Foods
- Two Prince Bakery
- Udi’s Gluten Free
- Way Better Snacks
Overall, this was a really fun event. It was totally different from the other events that we hosted, and I loved that. It really highlighted the amazing gluten free offerings and special diets accommodations that Raglan Road Irish Pub offers and allowed us to combine, not only great GF food but also great GF drinks and snacks. Magners Irish Cider was a real treat for our guests, and it really was great during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival which can often be difficult for those of us who have a special diet. There were certainly no restrictions at this event! And, of course, Laurie‘s terrific talk inspired guests to bake confidently gluten free & food allergy free!
Big thanks again to Lorraine, Alan, Shannon, Toni, Jennifer and the rest of the Raglan Road Team for helping us make this event happen. And thanks to our sponsors, Magners Irish Cider and Mary’s Gone Crackers. They made our event much tastier!