January 23, 2011
Sunday Brunch: A Taste of the
Disney Theme Parks' Cookbook
by Reuben Gutierrez
Author's note: After
much deliberation, I'm delaying my planned entry
for this week's
Sunday Brunch simply because the original
was too long and essentially covered two
separate topics. While both
are exciting Disney Food reads, the latter,
which will premiere next week, will be more
satisfying after reading this one, so I thank
you for your patience and hope you enjoy this
week's Sunday Brunch!
|One of the things I missed most
after the end of
was the "Specialty of the Mouse" column.
Sometimes the writers provided a
restaurant review with recipes to follow
and other times DM would publish
readers' recipe requests from the Disney
Theme Parks. Fortunately,
if you are dining at the parks or
resorts and you absolutely cannot leave
home without the recipe of what you just
feasted on, the cast members will gladly
provide any recipe you desire.
If you just couldn't make it to a Disney
dining venue that year and you were
yearning for a Disney recipe, you could
always turn to
In 2005, the lack of readership due to
the dawn of the Internet age caused the
40 year old publication to cease
printing new issues, taking with it, the
resource of Disney recipe requests.
Thankfully, before the demise of
Disney Magazine, the company finally
answered the call of continued recipe requests
by publishing a terrific book in 2004,
Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs.
I have wanted this book for years,
especially now that I am a culinary student, and
thanks to an AMAZING Secret Santa, I finally got
At first glance of the
recipes, it seems to be organized rather
confusingly since the recipes for desserts,
appetizers, soups, main courses, etc. seem to be
in no particular order at all.
Though confusing for chefs at home, to us
Disney Fans, the recipes are organized by where
in a Disney park they came from since guests
will first remember where they had a certain
dish. Included are the
Walt Disney World Resort (broken down
into its respective theme parks, then the resort
hotels), the Disneyland Resort (broken down like
WDW), and the
Disney Cruise Line.
Upon closer look, you will see that within each
category, the recipes are ordered by the time of
day in which you would enjoy them: breakfast
items first, followed by lunch items
(sandwiches), appetizers, dinner courses, and
finally desserts. The book
publishes the most requested recipes ranging
from such classics tastes from The Plaza Inn
Disneyland to the exotic flavors of
Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Each recipe has been
reduced from the large volume restaurant version
to a size suitable for serving at home.
The recipes begin with a small
description describing the final dish, where it
came from in the world of Disney, and also gives
a little history. For
example, "Chris' Cold Pie" is a lemon chiffon
pie named for Christopher Disney Miller, the son
of Diane Disney Miller, and
Walt Disney's first grandchild.
It was named such because Christopher
thought the pie was too cold.
The recipes are written with home cooking units
(cups, tablespoons and Fauna's favorite: "tsps.")
and understandable instructions.
Some recipes come with suggested wines
where appropriate and others are sprinkled with
"Cook's Notes," providing tips for improving
flavors, serving instructions, where to find
things in the supermarket, and other helpful
tricks for making the recipe the best you can.
So far, I have tried out
one recipe in this book and the results were
quite successful. In working
with the book, I found the recipe very easy to
follow as each step to the recipe is clearly
explained in terms the average person
understands. In culinary
school, you're taught a lot of culinary
vocabulary and techniques that help you become a
fancy pants chef, though chances are,
you've unknowingly done those techniques
out of a cook book such as this one!
For example, the recipe for
New Orleans Square's
Choux Fritters (remember Tiana's famous
beignets?) seemed very familiar as I read it; I
realized that the first part of the recipe
described the method for making pate au choux,
the pastry batter used to make eclairs and creme
puffs. The one thing the book lacks is
photographs of the recipes.
It would be very helpful to have a visual of
what you should be ending up with, especially if
you've never had the chance to enjoy and see the
dish at the Disney parks.
Overall, Cooking with Mickey and the Disney
Chefs certainly lives up to its name in
providing a great variety of recipes from the
parks and resorts and making it entirely
possible to do it at home.
After last week's
mouthwatering entry on getting a magical
Ice Cream bar in your own neighborhood, I
figured what better way to follow up than to
invite you into my kitchen to cook up an actual
Disney treat on your own.
With the help of Mickey and the Disney Chefs,
come back next week for cooking up Disney
Recipes with Reuben!
You can find Cooking
with Mickey and the Disney Chefs anywhere in
the Disney Theme Parks where books or
kitchenware are sold. Some
examples include the
Yankee Trader in
Liberty Square in
Magic Kingdom, Mouse Gear at Epcot, and
World of Disney in
Downtown Disney WDW and Disneyland.
You could also find the book online at
or directly at