Touring Ireland!

by Jennifer Iannolo

Greetings from the Emerald Isle! Chef Mark and I are once again running amok throughout the countryside to bring you our favorite flavors, colors and delights from the other side of the pond. We’re spending a few days in the lovely County Kerry, with its ever-varying landscape of craggy hills and verdant hues. We’re here to participate in a Culinary Celebration of Ireland weekend at the Park Hotel Kenmare featuring some of Ireland’s most renowned chefs, including the hotel’s Head Chef Mark Johnston, who is joined by Dublin restaurateurs Ross Lewis of Chapter One and Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain, as well as Mickael Viljanen of Gregans Castle in County Clare. As always, we’ll have audio, video and photos of the experience, but here’s a little rundown of what’s on the agenda:

Tonight: “One by Three” dinner featuring 1 Ingredient, 3 Interpretations, 9 Courses and 1 Result

Tomorrow:
Chef Mark will hit the Kerry Way trail on his way to a cheese tasting at the top of the hill, while I’ll be sampling a variety of the hotel’s SAMAS Deluxe Destination Spa offerings. We then have a food and heritage walk of the town of Kenmare, then a whiskey tasting and a surprise dinner menu from the chefs.

Sunday we’ll depart for home!

On our way here, we took a day to wind our way through County Clare to see some of the spectacular views, and enjoyed a night at the Moy House hotel in Lahinch, near the Cliffs of Moher. We both fell in love with the Moy House, which was wonderfully elegant with nary a hint of pretense, so our stay was relaxing and comfortable. We woke to views of the ocean and those famous cliffs, so it was hard to leave! Photos of our mini-tour, followed by dinner crafted by Chef Daniel O’Brien, are in my Facebook album as well as Chef Mark’s.

We’ll have more on that County Clare visit, along with Chef Mark’s interview with Chef Daniel, in the coming days, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek from the road. We hope you’ll follow along with us as Chef Mark revisits his favorite Irish tastes and sights, and as I experience my first (but definitely not last!).

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