Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer got to attend a Tables of Wonderland dinner at Golden Oak’s Markham’s restaurant , the first private Walt Disney World community.
Chef Christian Rumpler and Golden Oak Food and Beverage Manager Melissa Schreiber welcomed Tables in Wonderland guests to the exclusive dining room where “Disney takes service to the next level,” says Melissa.
Chef Christian has his own garden just outside the kitchen door with herbs and seasonal veggies (with a Disney horticultural intern to tend the healthy gardens). The kitchen cures its own charcuterie, makes fresh pasta, even the sauerkraut for the pastrami sandwiches. Lettuce comes from their own garden and from The Land Pavilion at Epcot. Just imagine the perfect BLT: bacon cured in the kitchen, tomatoes from the garden and lettuce from The Land. “We source locally when we can, and focus on sustainable ingredients,” says Chef Christian.
Golden Oak is named for a scenic ranch in California’s Placerita Canyon where Disney filmed segments of “The Mickey Mouse Club” TV show in the 1950s. Walt Disney Productions purchased portions of the property in 1959 and, over the years, acquired more than 900 acres for TV and movie productions and protect its harmony with nature. Walt Disney and his family spent time relaxing and playing on the ranch. (Some say golden nuggets were found under a tree on the property in 1842, thus the name.)
Markham’s was inspired by “Spin and Marty,” the popular series of TV shorts that aired as part of “The Mickey Mouse Club.” Adjacent Tyler’s Lounge was inspired by the 1960 movie “Toby Tyler,” also filmed at Golden Oak Ranch. Both rooms are upscale and inviting, with warm wood, brick accents and golden tones.
Here’s a recipe that illustrates the Golden Oak culinary team’s level of detail – even for a cocktail. For more information on Golden Oak, disneygoldenoak.com. For information on Tables in Wonderland, visit tablesinwonderland.com.
The Floridian Peaches and Cream
- 2 ounces house-made Florida peach vodka (recipe below)
- House-made cream soda, to taste (recipe below)
- Florida peach pinwheel, for garnish
- Fill Collins glass halfway with ice cubes. Add vodka, then cream soda. Garnish with peach.
House-Made Florida Peach Vodka
- 1 Liter Ciroc vodka
- 8 fresh Florida peaches, washed and left whole
- Combine vodka and peaches in glass container that can be sealed. Place in dark, cool place for 3 to 5 days, shaking daily. (The longer it sits, the more peach flavor will develop.)
- To use, strain liquid and refrigerate. For extra flavor, juice peaches, strain and add to vodka.
House-made Cream Soda
For this recipe you will need a soda charger and soda gas canisters. You can substitute canned cream soda, which will produce the same taste but not the froth.
- 1 quart cold water for charger
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup cooled vanilla syrup (recipe follows)
- Add all ingredients to a soda charger and add two gas capsules to carbonate liquid. Keep cold.
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
- Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Cool.
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