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INGREDIENTS: tragic love, fame and riches, shocking racism & smoldering sensuality!


Like most tales passed through generations, the origin of Thousand Island Dressing is cloaked in mystery. We intend, through this project, to step back in time and videotape our travels as we search for and examine the evidence that supports the three conflicting stories that chronicle the famous salad dressing’s first appearance. Our final two hour, broadcast-quality documentary we hope will uncover the truth behind the condiment's first appearance!

Through our Website/Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube postings we invite you on the journey as it happens... and at the higher pledge levels you can participate in tracing our steps to uncover the mystery yourself in person! (See our Backer Rewards section)


All agree that the dressing was named after the Thousand Islands -- a breathtaking region so called because of the more than 1000 islands that dot the lakes and river along the majestic waterway of the St. Lawrence Seaway.


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the rich and famous made the region their private playground, making it widely known as a summer resort. Several grand hotels provided luxurious accommodations to the enchanted visitors, while steamboats offered extensive tours among the islands. Yachting, lavish parties and early power boating were all feature attractions for the golden years of the resort's greatest prominence (1895 - 1915). Wealthy summer residents, most from the New York City area, built opulent seasonal homes. The most famous of these residences was Boldt Castle on Heart Island, owned by George Boldt, the proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. It still stands today, lovingly restored. George has a claim to giving birth to Thousand Island Dressing and is forever entwined in one of the most tragic love stories ever lived.


Small inns, complete with restaurants specializing in regional recipes, offered “shore dinners” created from the bountiful catches of the St. Lawrence River’s pristine waters and topped with unique sauces and condiments.  A woman by the name of Sophia Lalonde, her husband a fisherman, is credited with creating the original 1000 Island Dressing recipe for her husband's fishing charter customers. 


Around the time the salad dressing was first featured in the islands, it then quickly made two competing "introductory appearances" at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago -- with different recipes, but the same name!


A chef from Chicago -- Theo Rooms -- claimed he created it in Chicago at this time and named it after his recent vacation destination!


George Boldt, Sophia Lalonde, Theo Rooms: 
Three legends - One dressing!

A famous sexually outrageous, voluptuous actress of the day -- May Irwin -- perhaps holds a few missing keys to unlock this mystery.  Miss Irwin owned her own island on the St. Lawrence devoted to escape and pleasure for many men of renown -- and appears, depending on the version, to make an appearance in each of the legends surrounding the birth of the dressing.  Your senses will reel as you see and hear her racist rants put to music and accepted as popular entertainment... the shock value is even formidable today, going beyond even gansta rap and hip hop lyrics!  Adding to her notorious reputation was her participation in the first "on-screen" kiss -- captured on film by Thomas Edison and considered dreadfully scandalous for the time. It was immediately denounced by the critics and clergy of the day with scathing tirades in newspapers across the land!


You'll taste test for yourself the competing "original" recipes and receive a Certificate of Participation with your choice noted for the history books (and DVD collection notes).


Funds will help pay for our anticipated seven to ten day shoot in the Thousand Islands, Albany NY, NYC and Chicago.  Our video production crew will be utilizing high definition cameras, state of the art sound recording and lighting equipment suitable for any setting whether outdoor, indoor, day or night.  The final documentary will be edited in post-production at standard one hour and two hour broadcast lengths. Professional voice over narration, licensed music beds and video special effects will all blend together with our on-location footage to create a fast paced, entertaining and informative show sure to capture viewer attention.  We anticipate interest airing the program from PBS regional stations, The Food Network, History Channel, Travel Channel, Discovery Networks and the National Geographic Channel.


Additional expenses include pre-production planning with location scouting, interview schedules, segment event costs, crew travel and food - both off camera and for the special meal preparation and dining experience portions of the program. Follow-up research, archive retrieval and duplication, clarifications of statements "for the record" from those with first-hand knowledge, historians, scholars and related authenticity confirmation are all part of our complete investigation.


Travelogue updates on our website, Twitter and YouTube, DVD enhanced packaging, recipe books compilation, T-shirt design and printing, and all our exciting reward packages are made possible by your generous pledge.

Won’t you support... and join us... for this tasty, full-filling mystery adventure?  Complete information is available at our Kickstarter website: www.thousandislandmystery.com

FAQ

  • We don't think that's possible! As part of our early research we've learned that the various recipes used for the dressing are the same as "secret sauces" served by famous restaurants worldwide! However, if our favorite condiment isn't yours, join us for the scandal, intrigue and mystery!

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  • The Thousand Islands tourist season runs from mid-May to about October 15, so any rewards not used this year will be available next year. Technically there will be a three year expiration date on all the rewards, allowing you plenty of time to work around the operating schedule of the establishment granting them. New York and Chicago rewards are available year-round, of course, so spread them out -- there's no need to do everything at once! The Taste Test Event will be just this year as currently planned.

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • A digital download of the DVD documentary • A big thank you in the credits

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • A digital download of the DVD documentary including cover art files and notes • A “thank you” postcard mailed and postmarked from the Thousand Islands • A big thank you in the credits

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • One (1) “Thousand Island Dressing Mystery” t-shirt (small to 4x large) • A digital download of the DVD documentary including cover art files and notes • A “thank you” postcard mailed and postmarked from the Thousand Islands • A big thank you in the credits

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • One (1) bottle each of the two competing “original recipe” Thousand Island Dressings now sold in the Thousand Islands (at Boldt Castle and the Thousand Islands Inn respectively). • Opportunity to participate in the “Taste Test," with your preference noted on end credits and a “Certificate of Participation” suitable for framing! • One (1) “Thousand Island Dressing Mystery” t-shirt (small to 4x large) • A digital download of the DVD documentary including cover art files and notes • A “thank you” postcard mailed and postmarked from the Thousand Islands • A big thank you in the credits

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • A book of all Thousand Island Dressing recipes found during the making of this documentary (and including Oscar of the Waldorf’s recipes for Eggs Benedict, Waldorf Salad and Veal Oscar, as a bonus) • Two (2) / three (3) bottle special gift packs of each of the two competing “original recipe” Thousand Island Dressings now sold in the Thousand Islands (at Boldt Castle and the Thousand Islands Inn respectively) – that’s six (6) bottles total! • Opportunity to participate in the “Taste Test”, with your preference noted on end credits and a “Certificate of Participation”, suitable for framing! • Two (2) “Thousand Island Dressing Mystery” t-shirts (small to 4x large) • A digital download of the DVD documentary including cover art files and notes • A “thank you” postcard mailed and postmarked from the Thousand Islands • A big thank you in the credits

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • Historic Hotel Tour for two (2) at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City (starting at 11:30 am every Thursday and Saturday), and afterwards Lunch for two (2) at Oscar’s Restaurant, with an accompanying special Thousand Island Dressing "original recipe" dish • A book of all Thousand Island Dressing recipes found during the making of this documentary (and including Oscar of the Waldorf’s recipes for Eggs Benedict, Waldorf Salad and Veal Oscar as a bonus) • Two (2) / three (3) bottle special gift packs of each of the two competing “original recipe” Thousand Island Dressings now sold in the Thousand Islands (at Boldt Castle and the Thousand Islands Inn respectively) • Opportunity to participate in the “Taste Test”, with your preference noted on end credits and a “Certificate of Participation” suitable for framing • Two (2) “Thousand Island Dressing Mystery” t-shirts (small to 4x large) • A digital download of the DVD documentary including cover art files and notes • A “thank you” postcard mailed and postmarked from the Thousand Islands • A big thank you in the credits

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • A special enhanced signed DVD package of the documentary including liner notes and photos, special May Irwin memorabilia including footage of “The Kiss”, audio and graphics for “The Bully Song”, and rare Irwin photos • Two (2) Uncle Sam’s Boat Tour tickets cruising from Alexandria Bay through Millionaire’s Row and featuring a stop at Boldt Castle • Dinner for Two (2) at the Thousand Islands Inn in Clayton, NY featuring their “original recipe” Thousand Island Dressing in a special dish • Lunch for Two (2) at the Riveredge Resort in Alexandria Bay featuring the George Boldt “original recipe” Thousand Island dish served on the outside deck overlooking Boldt castle • Historic Hotel Tour for two (2) at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City (starting at 11:30 am every Thursday and Saturday), and afterwards Lunch for two (2) at Oscar’s Restaurant, featuring a special Thousand Island Dressing dish • A recipe book of all Thousand Island Dressing recipes found during the making of this documentary (and including Oscar of the Waldorf’s recipes for Eggs Benedict, Waldorf Salad and Veal Oscar as a bonus) • Two (2) / three (3) bottle special gift packs of each of the two competing “original recipe” Thousand Island Dressings now sold in the Thousand Islands (at Boldt Castle and the Thousand Islands Inn respectively) • Opportunity to participate in the “Taste Test”, with your preference noted on end credits and a “Certificate of Participation” suitable for framing • Two (2) “Thousand Island Dressing Mystery” t-shirts (small to xx large) • A digital download of the DVD documentary including cover art files and notes • A “thank you” postcard mailed and postmarked from the Thousand Islands • A Executive Producer credit

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    • Website, Twitter and YouTube updates as they occur • A special enhanced signed DVD package of the documentary including liner notes and photos, special May Irwin memorabilia including footage of “The Kiss”, audio and graphics for “The Bully Song”, and rare Irwin photos CHICAGO: • Tour of the hotel at the Chicago Renaissance Blackstone’s official on-site historian • Two (2) people, one (1) breakfast each at The Yolk, a trendy Chicago restaurant featuring new and creative breakfasts, specialty juices, and their own private labeled premium coffee. • Two (2) people, one (1) lunch each at the Firehouse Restaurant, located in a renovated Chicago Firehouse that dates to 1905, this restaurant features an American classic menu and will offer a special 1000 Island Dressing dish. • Two (2) people, one (1) dinner each at Harry Caray’s Steakhouse, serving the finest prime, aged steaks and chops in a truly warm "Chicago" atmosphere served with a side of 1000 Island "secret sauce" for use throughout the meal. • Admission and tour of the culinary archives and pertinent files at the Chicago History Museum, led by a staff research specialist THOUSAND ISLANDS: • Two (2) Uncle Sam’s Boat Tour tickets cruising from Alexandria Bay through Millionaire’s Row and featuring a stop at Boldt Castle • Two (2) tickets for admission to the Antique Boat Museum, the largest freshwater maritime museum in North America featuring yachts and power boats from the turn of the century and a unique gift shop. • Antique speed boat ride through the 1000 Islands, as part of your visit to the Antique Boat Museum • Admission to the 1000 Islands Museum, including the Muskie and Duck Decoy Halls of Fame, access to the archives of history for the region and an unsurpassed gift shop • Dinner for Two (2) at the Thousand Islands Inn in Clayton, NY featuring their “original recipe” Thousand Island Dressing in a special dish • Lunch for Two (2) at the Riveredge Resort in Alexandria Bay featuring the George Boldt “original recipe” Thousand Island dish served on the outside deck overlooking Boldt castle NEW YORK: • Historic Hotel Tour for two (2) at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City (starting at 11:30 am every Thursday and Saturday), and afterwards Lunch for two (2) at Oscar’s Restaurant, featuring a special Thousand Island Dressing dish • A recipe book of all Thousand Island Dressing recipes found during the making of this documentary (and including Oscar of the Waldorf’s recipes for Eggs Benedict, Waldorf Salad and Veal Oscar as a bonus) • Two (2) / three (3) bottle special gift packs of each of the two competing “original recipe” Thousand Island Dressings now sold in the Thousand Islands (at Boldt Castle and the Thousand Islands Inn respectively) • Opportunity to participate in the “Taste Test”, with your preference noted on end credits and a “Certificate of Participation” suitable for framing • Two (2) “Thousand Island Dressing Mystery” t-shirts (small to 4x large) • A digital download of the DVD documentary including cover art files and notes • A “thank you” postcard mailed and postmarked from the Thousand Islands • A Location Researcher and Executive Producer title in the credits

Funding period

- (30 days)