The luxurious, four-star Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Co. Kerry is fast becoming known as a food lover’s heaven and with new chef, Cormac Vesey at the helm the cooking is as skilful as it is tantalising, offering patrons an elegant yet uncomplicated dining experience. With Cormac leading the charge the main hotel restaurant is taking a new direction, now called ‘Herbert’s’ the menu retains all of the best of the sea and the land and offers gourmet cuisine but without any fussy embellishments.
Cormac’s focus on food provenance and seasonal ingredients lies at the heart of everything he does and is the cornerstone of his cooking. Speaking to guests at a recent eight-course tasting menu evening he said, “Great dishes start with great flavours, it’s my job to make the ingredients sing, it’s not my job to over complicate the best that mother nature has already provided.”
“I don’t subscribe into the idea that there has to be all of these extra flourishes such as gels and foams to make a dish impressive, great dishes don’t need that. I like to start from the beginning, and to look and see what’s in season. What’s growing now is going to be the very, very best thing on your plate. It’s incredible how something as simple as a spring cabbage or a carrot can become something extraordinary with careful and thoughtful cooking. Ingredients don’t need to be pimped up and made into something they aren’t they just need to be complemented and matched carefully and thoughtfully”
Emer Corridan, the General Manager of Cahernane House Hotel hosted the eight- course tasting menu in Herbert’s Restaurant (Friday, March 24th). The fabulous dining experience, called ‘A Taste of Cahernane’ saw guests enjoying a spectacular menu which was inspired by an old 1960’s menu which chef Cormac Vesey found in the old store kitchen at Cahernane and which inspired the team to look to the past for future culinary inspiration.
The original 1960’s menu inspired such new dishes as organic salmon with nori and pickled cucumber, asparagus cream soup with a delicate and perfectly formed quail’s egg, lobster au gratin with Kells Bay Dilisk Cheddar and charred leak. The meat dish was just a joy to behold, noisettes of lamb were served with a tarragon jus and delicious Pommes Dauphine. The tropical fruit parfait with roast pineapple and coconut sorbet provided a refreshing taste revival before diners enjoyed a chocolate marquise with burnt apple gel and calvados ice cream. This was reminiscent of old fashioned, ‘fizzy apples’ and was the focus of lots of chat around the restaurant.
The evening provided the kitchen team with the opportunity to showcase the new culinary offering at Cahernane and gave diners the chance to experience the dishes 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.
The complete culinary experience finished with homemade Petit Fours, served with teas and coffee. Cormac Vesey then went out to the dining room to chat to the guests about the meal and the produce which was used.
A native of Dunshaughlin Co. Meath, Cormac 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.
Herbert’s Restaurant, The Cellar Bar and the Drawing Room at Cahernane House Hotel all offer various dining options for guests and visitors. Herbert’s is a fine dining restaurant while the Cellar Bar serves casual fare, cocktails and artisan gins 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. All of the dining outlets are open to both hotel residents and non-residents alike.
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.