Emer Corridan, the General Manager of the luxury four-star Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Co. Kerry hosted a fabulous eight- course tasting menu in The Herbert Restaurant on Friday evening (11th November). The decadent dining experience, called ‘A Taste of Cahernane’ saw guests enjoying a spectacular new menu prepared by the new Executive Head Chef, Cormac Vesey and his talented culinary team. On arrival, guests enjoyed a Massotina Prosecco reception in the Drawing Room, which was kindly sponsored by ‘Classic Drinks’ before taking their seats in the 2-AA Rosette, Herbert Restaurant.
The evening provided Cormac Vesey the opportunity to showcase the new culinary offering at Cahernane and gave diners the chance to experience his food in an elegant and relaxed setting. Each of the courses were beautifully presented and executed and ultimately each dish was a celebration of the best locally produced seasonal produce.
Cormac’s focus on food provenance and seasonal ingredients lies at the heart of everything he does and is the cornerstone of his cooking. “For me great food is made with great produce, it’s about knowing where it comes from, how it’s grown or produced. The passion and care that goes into creating premier produce is reflected in the final plate of food, so it’s essential that the raw materials that come into my kitchen are of the very highest standards. Cooking with the seasons allows me to find the best that nature offers, what could be better than locally foraged mushrooms or herbs picked just a few hundred metres from my kitchen door? Great food is a celebration of the seasons, it’s when the ingredients should be allowed to sing– even something as simple as in season mushrooms, winter cabbage or hand foraged herbs can be the star on the plate.”
The tasting menu began a with an Amuse Bouche of Duck & Crab Tartlet which was served with a Seaweed Tapioca. Next came an elegant Venison Tartare which was combined with smoked chestnut, fruity blackberry and golden beetroot and was paired with a fabulous red wine, Mourgues du Gres ‘Galets’ Rouge from the Rhône Valley.
A Smoked Gubbeen Ravioli with Wild Mushroom Consommé, Hen of the Woods was both interesting and surprising. The ravioli had a very delicate smoky taste which was perfectly complemented by the woody, earthy flavours of the wild, Hen of the Woods Mushroom. Diners had some unexpected table entertainment too as the Consommé, was poured from a ‘duck decanter’ which was designed and made by Irish tableware and cutlery brand, Newbridge Silverware. A buttery and creamy Chardonnay called Maison Edoaurd Delaunay Bourgogne Chardonnay was the perfect pairing wine for this dish.
The fish dish was Poached Monkfish served with Jerusalem Artichoke, Celeriac, Seaweed Butter and was paired with Domaine Gautheron Vielles Vignes Chablis. It was beautifully seasoned and balanced and tasted of the sea itself.
Next, came a sublime Dry Aged Beef served with Winter Chanterelle, Soubise and Potato Pavé. Chateau Ramage la Batissee Haut Médoc with it’s rich fruits and full body was the perfect accompaniment to the beef.
Caramelised Apple Terrine, Killahora Pom’O Sorbet was served with a dessert wine, Seifried ‘Sweet Agnes’ Late Harvest Riesling. The final dessert was a chocolate lovers dream as a rich Dark Chocolate Crémeux made with local Liberator Port ‘n’ Peat Whiskey came to the table. The sweet dish was evocative of the festive season with its indulgent flavours and rich whiskey hints, much to the delight of the maker of The Liberator Whiskey, Maurice O’Connell who was in attendance at the dinner with his wife, Francesca. The complete culinary experience finished with homemade Petit Fours, served with teas and coffee.
A native of Dunshaughlin Co. Meath, Cormac Vesey is a graduate of the Waterford Institute of Technology where he studied Culinary Arts. Over the years he has honed his skills in kitchens in New Zealand, England, Canada and the South of France where he worked as a private chef for a high-profile client in the glamourous location of St. Tropez. He also worked at several well-known restaurants and hotels in Ireland including the Cliff House Hotel which has 4 AA Rosettes and 1 Michelin Star, the Five Star Killarney Park Hotel in Killarney and Waterford Castle Hotel among others.
Now, Cormac will put his own culinary signature on the 2-AA Rosette Herbert Restaurant which is famous for serving up some of the finest cuisine in the southwest of Ireland, with the kitchen producing consistent, beautiful plates of food.
The Herbert Restaurant, The Cellar Bar and the Drawing Room at Cahernane House Hotel all offer various dining options for guests and visitors. The Herbert Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant while the Cellar Bar serves casual fare, cocktails and artisan gins, whiskeys and beers. The Drawing Room, overlooking the mature garden is an elegant space to relax in front of the fire and read while enjoying a glass of something lovely.
Cahernane House was originally built in 1877 and was restored to its former glory by owners, the PREM Group. The stunning 48- bedroom hotel is set on 6.4 acres on the edge of the Killarney National Park and lakes yet is just a short stroll into Killarney Town Centre. The house is filled with original antiques, artwork and the beautiful original features of the property have been sympathetically restored such as the feature staircase and original stucco ceilings. For more information on Cahernane House Hotel or to make a booking see www.cahernane.com or call (064) 663 1895.