A taste of Limerick comes to Mayo
A UNIQUE Bridge to Bay gastronomic extravaganza of fine food and wine, incorporating a joint collaboration by two hotels along the Wild Atlantic Way, has proven a mouth-watering success, writes Tom Gillespie.
The head chef at the Mulranny Park Hotel, Chamila Mananwatta, and the executive chef from the Strand Hotel in Limerick, Tom Flavin (pictured) treated diners to a taste of Mayo in Limerick and a taste of Limerick in Mayo.
The Mayo leg at the four-star Mulranny Park Hotel featured a nine-course meal devised by executive chef Tom of fine Co. Clare produce. He and Chamila cooked up a fantastic storm of dishes, washed down with exquisite Spanish white and red wines.
Earlier, the Mayo menu was showcased at the four-star Strand Hotel.
The Mulranny banquet started with a selection of canapés - Burren smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (served up in egg shells), Liz Ryan’s guinea fowl pate, sourdough and gooseberry, and Malcahy’s wild boar and barbecue sauce washed down with Prosecco.
The next course was St. Tola Ash and Gabriel’s Aran Island goat's cheese, onion, croutons and Mizuna with white Valminor Albarino white wine from the Rias Baixar region of Spain.
Next up was Sexton’s hake fillet with Ballyporeen bacon broth, oyster mayonnaise and peas, accompanied by Godello 100% or Tempranillo 100% white wine.
A Mayo ingredient - frozen Velvet Cloud sheep’s milk from Claremorris - with elderflower and apple liqueur came next.
Then diners enjoyed Skeaganore Farm duck breast, leg bon bon with carrot, smoked butternut squash and Ballyhoura white beech mushroom, accompanied by Tempranillo 100% old vines (50 years old).
A dessert of Birdhill brambly apple textures followed, as did Limerick cheddars - Cahill’s vintage and old Irish creamery smoked cheddar, accompanied by a glass of fine port.
Dermot Madigan, general manager, Mulranny Park Hotel, said the idea of the food series was to highlight the fantastic produce located along the Wild Atlantic Way.
He added: “Tom Flavin champions fantastic produce in Limerick and Chamila Mananwatta champions fantastic products here in Mayo. We thought it was a great idea to get a taste of Chamila in Limerick and a taste of Tom in Mayo.”
Among the guests in Mulranny was newly installed Mayo Person of the Year Sean Kelly who said he would like to see greater descriptions of food attached to menus in our restaurants.
He commented: “When you go into a good restaurant you are handed a menu and then a wine list. The wine list tells you the grape, the soil, the tree, everything. But the food menu doesn’t tell you where the salmon was caught, how a product was produced, how it was delivered or how it was prepared by the chef.”
Earlier in the day Tom and Chamila brought guests to visit one of the hotel’s suppliers, Croagh Patrick Seafood, a member of the Gourmet Greenway. Padraig Gannon supplies some of the best oysters and mussels along the Wild Atlantic Way and was on hand to open oysters for the visitors.
Refresh, reset and restore break
If you are looking to get away and recharge your batteries or have quality time as a couple then Mulranny Park Hotel is the place to reconnect. Enjoy turf fires, gourmet food and miles of beaches and walks, taking a break from the virtual world of social media and spending time focusing on the connection between yourself and someone important.
A refresh, reset and restore break includes two nights' B&B with one evening meal, a romantic, healing seaweed bath and prescription facial with orange blossom and cedarwood sensorial scalp and arm massage from €179 pps. The hotel have also put the option as an extra that guests can book online, with candles and a seaweed bath in their room.