Running away with the circus on the pie car

    This past summer I ran away with the circus ... at least for a few hours.

    Peach and pecan salad
    Peach and pecan salad
    Peach and pecan salad
    Peach and pecan salad: Enjoyed the fresh peaches and a nice contrast to the previous seafood course.

    Most encounters with the circus involve siting in the audience as incredible spectacles of artistic and athletic talent whiz through air and race across on ground. But I got a chance this past summer to run away with the circus…for at least a few hours.

    If you plan on running away with the circus, you better enjoy living in confined spaces on trains and trucks. The Ringling Brothers circus for example, transports its performers, staff and animals by train from one city to the next and yes, everyone is like family.

    I was invited onto the pie car, which is where all the food is prepared for the passengers on the train. An critical feat given the demands each performer and athlete puts on their bodies every evening.

    What ensued? You can watch the video interview here, “FUNundrum on a train with Ringmaster & Clown“. It didn’t take long before the experience became surreal when the ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and clown Anthony Hoang jumped on board.

    Chef Michael Vaughn prepared a special lunch for us. The crowning glory was a Tomahawk Steak. It was ginormous and cooked to perfection, medium rare. It capped off an entertaining and larger-than-life lunch.

    The whole experience made me realize I am not ready to run away with the circus. In addition to the fun I had on board, I realized the great adaptations each performer and staff needed to make to continue practicing their art in a traveling circus.

    Tomahawk Steak
    Tomahawk Steak on Ringling Brothers Pie Car. If Ringling Brothers circus is the greatest show on earth, than this piece of steak is the greatest cut of steak on earth. Needless to say, I was not able to finish my entire entree.
    Poster in the Pie Car
    Poster in the Pie Car
    Like speed dating, only circus performers are involved
    Like speed dating, only circus performers are involved.
    Ring Master
    Johnathan Lee Iverson, Ringmaster
    Ringley Circus Clown
    Anthony Hoang, Ringley Circus Clown
    Calamari
    Calamari: Nicely seasoned and always a favorite.
    Coconut shrimp
    Coconut shrimp: Loved the sweet and sour sauce with the shrimp.
    Peach and pecan salad
    Peach and pecan salad: Enjoyed the fresh peaches and a nice contrast to the previous seafood course.
    Courses being plated.
    Courses being plated in the very compact kitchen area.
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