A Flavor of Ireland was held recently at the Chicago History Museum. For the CelebrEATy Circle, I had the opportunity to exchange pleasantries and squeeze in a brief interview with Executive Chef Noel McMeel of Lough Erne Resort, Fermanagh, Ireland and also with the former editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine and cookbook author (The Country Cooking of Ireland) Colman Andrews.   And I trusted my hubby Glenn to do the tasting for the Jameson Irish Whiskey (yes, it is really smooth, I tried it too!). Thanks Lisa Kearns of Tourism Ireland. Visit website for more information of Ireland: www.discoverireland.com


Colman Andrews is the former editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine. His most recent cookbook, The Country Cooking of Ireland, was James Beard Foundation choice for the coveted Best International cookbook and Cookbook of the Year.

The book is packed with over 225 traditional Irish farmhouse recipes of soups, savory pies, seafoods, poulty, beef and lamb (corned beef and cabbage, but of course), game, bread, desserts and preserves. Also includes beautiful images of finished foods that make you want to try the recipes. All things Irish —landscape, restaurants, pubs and people are beautifully photographed that makes this cookbook coffee-table worthy and an ideal gift to a foodlover. Recipes worth mentioning are Leek and Black pudding Pizza Christmas Pudding, Pot Roasted Pork with Root Vegetables and Apples, Irish stew and Colcannon (mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage, butter, salt, and pepper plus other additional ingredients such as milk, cream, leeks, onions, chives, garlic, boiled ham or Irish bacon).


Here’s a recipe from the book and you can read more about this book in the Amazon webpage:



Rhubarb-Ginger Crumble Serves 6 to 8

2 lbs rhubarb stalks, cut into 1″ pieces

2 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

Pinch salt

14 tbsp (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine rhubarb and ginger in a medium bowl and mix well. Transfer to a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle 2 cups of sugar over the rhubarb and set aside.

Whisk flour, salt, and remaining sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two table knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal flecked with pea-size pieces of butter. Scatter mixture evenly over the rhubarb.

Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until topping is golden-brown and rhubarb is soft. Set aside to cool slightly, then serve warm; or allow to cool to room temperature before serving. 



Noel McMeel is an Irish Celebrity Chef and is the executive head chef at Lough Erne Golf Resort and Hotel in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. He describes his cooking as “modern Irish cuisine” with a simple philosophy: sourcing, preparing and serving fresh food in season.

McMeel recently won the Head Chef Large Scale Hotel category in the Institute of Hospitality Awards for Professionalism.McMeel’s passion for food and his vibrant personality shine through in all he achieves, from finding the best local suppliers to inspiring his team of carefully selected chefs.

For his tasting menu, Noel offers:

Irish Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Croute

Fresh Sea Oysters with a Cucumber Pickle

Cured Lamb with a Red Onion & Guiness Marmalade

I found a similar recipe of the salmon dish in RTE website. There is also a video of how the salmon with filling is rolled up and sliced.

Irish Smoked Salmon with Herbed Goat’s Cheese, Caramelised Onions, Caper and Gherkin Vinaigrette, toasted Rye Bread

1 pkt smoked salmon

1 St Tola goats cheese

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 lemon zest and some juice

1tsp chopped dill, chive and chervil (anise flavor)

2 large onions

100g butter

2 tablespoons gherkins/capers/sundried tomato

Chopped parsley

50ml extra virgin olive oil

1 loaf rye bread



Slice the smoked salmon length ways and lay side by side on a line tray with cling film.

Mix the goat’s cheese with the chopped herbs, sour cream and a little lemon zest and juice, add some freshly ground black pepper.

Place the goat’s cheese mix on one end of the smoked salmon and roll up like a sausage, leave in the fridge to set for two/three hours.

Mean while in a hot frying pan and the butter and allow to go a nut brown color add the sliced onions and cook on a very low heat until the onions go really soft and sweet. Strain off the excess butter and keep warm until serving.

To make the vinaigrette simply cut the gherkins and tomatoes into small pieces add the capers and cover with olive oil and season and finish with some freshly chopped parsley just before serving.

To serve place some of the caramelized onion into the center of each plate top with a slice of smoked salmon and goats cheese on top and drizzle some vinaigrette around. Serve with some freshly toasted Rye bread.

Chef: Oliver Dunne

RTÉ, the website of Radio Telefís Éireann, Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster

The night ended with a mix of Irish music and Irish food tastings.  The Irish Stew served didn’t disappoint at all — tender chunks of roast beef, along with carrots and celery, yumm!



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