IRISH COOKING SENSATION CLODAGH MCKENNA TAKES TO THE RAILS ON BELMOND GRAND HIBERNIAN
On 28 September, acclaimed Irish chef and cooking sensation, Clodagh McKenna hosts and curates a two-night “Taste of Ireland” journey on board the Belmond Grand Hibernian - Ireland’s luxury touring sleeper train.
The two-night journey travels to Ireland’s foodie hotspots of Cork and Galway. where guests will have a choice of excursions carefully picked by Clodagh. The stops along the way will help demystify local Irish produce and be personally recommended by Clodagh - inspired by her own culinary experiences. Clodagh, together with the train’s Executive Chef Mark Bodie, will prepare the on board meals that are rooted in the joy of dining together with family and friends.
Clodagh Mckenna comments “I am so excited to be hosting and curating this journey with Belmond. The train travels through destinations of my childhood and will take us to the cities of Galway and Cork that are close to my heart. This trip is ideal for those wishing to explore Ireland’s food roots and learn more about how its culture and food are intimately connected.”
GIN AND FORAGING
In Cork, the itinerary includes a visit to Ballyvolane House where guests can go foraging with Clodagh to seek out Autumn’s rich bounties, including, wild edible plants, fruits and mushrooms. There is also the chance to enjoy a tutored tasting at Bertha’s Revenge Gin Distillery, where gin is crafted using whey alcohol from Irish cow’s milk.
THE GALWAY INTERNATIONAL OYSTER FESTIVAL
On arrival at the gastronomic city of Galway, Clodagh has chosen to host lunch at iconic restaurant Ard Bia for a feast of local delights. Afterwards, guests can explore the charming city on foot and visit Clodagh’s favourite cultural hotspots, including artisan gem ‘Sheridan’s Cheesemongers’. A visit to the oldest oyster festival in the world, the Galway International Oyster and Seafood festival, is a chance to sample the delicacy and try oyster shucking; finishing off the day’s sightseeing in fine foodie form.
Throughout this journey, Mark and Clodagh will cook a selection of dishes taking inspiration from Clodagh’s latest cookbook Clodagh’s Suppers and the destinations where the train passes through. The ‘Autumnal East of Ireland Lunch’ features Waterford Fresh Water Lobster Salad and Apple & Thyme Tart, the ‘Autumnal Southern of Ireland Supper’ includes Toonsbridge Farm Buffalo Mozzarella, Irish Heritage Tomatoes & Irish Apple Balsamic and the ‘Autumnal West of Ireland Supper’ sees Wild Black Sole with Samphire and Carrigeen Moss Pudding & Wild Blackberries on the menu.
CONTEMPORARY LOCAL CUISINE
Belmond Grand Hibernian’s new Executive Chef Mark Bodie has already made his mark on the train’s cuisine. Bodie brings a contemporary twist to traditional Irish fare with menus based on the world-class local produce available from within the counties and regions the train visits from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
THE FINAL INGREDIENT
Clodagh McKenna is a chef, cookbook author and broadcaster. She currently stars in the new Channel 4 series Beat The Chef, which aired this Summer in the UK. Clodagh develops wholesome recipes using seasonal ingredients that are perfect for entertaining. This year, Clodagh celebrates 20 years working in food and has released her sixth cookbook entitled, Clodagh’s Suppers.
Clodagh started her career in food in her home country of Ireland, where she trained and worked at Ballymaloe Cookery School & House in County Cork. Then she went on to develop farmers markets around Ireland as well as creating her own food range, which she sold via the farmers markets. She ran three award winning restaurants in Dublin called Clodagh’s Kitchen, where customers could sample her food ethos, which focuses on simple, local and seasonal produce with a fresh take on Irish cooking.
Belmond Grand Hibernian travels with only 40 passengers on a circular route from Dublin’s Hueston Station immersing guests in authentic contemporary Ireland. The sleeper carriages are formed of elegant en-suite cabins. The train also boasts two dining cars and an observation car with large picture windows and a bar.
Prices for a ‘A Taste of Ireland with Clodagh Mckenna’ start from €3,300 per person and is fully inclusive including all meals, drinks, entertainment and excursions. For more details, visit www.belmond.com