We are thrilled to announce the launch of our exciting new dining event, The SmokeHouses Dinner, taking place on Sunday the 28th of May in Macreddin Village. This unique event celebrates the art of smoking with a very special dinner menu featuring produce from five Irish Smokehouse Artisans, each with a combined knowledge of over 180 years of smoking foods.
The idea for this unique dining experience was born back in 1985 when Evan Doyle opened his first restaurant in Clifden. At the time, Evan was purchasing his smoked salmon from John Roberts in Ballyconneely. One night, John and his wife Bridget were in for dinner, and after the meal, they discussed a recipe where whiskey was used to deglaze. John revealed that the whiskey he used was inherited from his great grandfather, and Evan was fascinated. They eventually made a trade, and Evan was left with a bottle and a half of very old Antiquary whiskey.
Thirty years or so passed and one night John’s son, Graham and Saoirse were staying at the BrookLodge and eating in The Strawberry Tree. Evan told Graham the story of his father and the Antiquary. He said that he had been looking for a good excuse to crack open the full bottle of whiskey and decided a dinner with smoked foods would be the perfect occasion and so the concept of the Smokehouse Dinner was born.
Smokehouses are like a good Bordeaux in that they take years to mature and develop their individual taste and smell as the black tarry residue builds up and seasons. Each Smokehouse has its own unique fingerprint with the flavours it imparts on the foods it smokes. This individuality is what the SmokeHouses Dinner wishes to explore and underline, with produce coming from five unique and very different Smokehouses:
- Sally Barnes; Woodcock Smoke House, Skibbereen, Co Cork
- Fingal Ferguson; Gubeen Smoke House, Schull Co. Cork.
- Graham Roberts; Connemara Smoke House, Ballyconneely Co Galway
- Anthony Creswell; Ummera Smoke House, Inchybridge, Timoleague, Co. Cork
- Evan Doyle; Macreddin Smoke House, BrookLodge, Macreddin Village, Co. Wicklow
The SmokeHouses Dinner
The SmokeHouses Dinner is not just a celebration of world-class smokers in Ireland, but an opportunity to enjoy the individual flavors that each smoker brings to the table. All the smokers have agreed to step outside their comfort zone and use their skills and knowledge to smoke foods that are not normally associated with smoking. Although the dinner menu has not yet been fully decided, conversations are taking place with mentions of lobster, razor clams, venison, squid, mushrooms, woodpigeon, oysters, chocolate, and so much more.
The SmokeHouses Dinner will be presented as a Tasting Menu, with produce from the Smokehouses making cameo appearances throughout. Evan Doyle, together with Jeffrey Gillick and the Strawberry Tree Kitchen Team, will serve a menu that pays homage to the artisanal skills of the smokers and promises to be a unique world first.
Evan together with Manish Pallewar are working with Denise Kelleher from Febvre to select the perfect wine to complement the Smokehouses Dinner. Discussions have taken place as to whether the wines should be smokey themselves or whether they should be complimentary and pay homage to the smoked foods. In addition to wine, five or six courses at the Smokehouses Dinner will have a carefully chosen drink to pair with them. Find out more about the pairings that are being considered here.
And then of course there is that bottle of very, very old Antiquary Whiskey that sparked off the idea of the Smokehouses Dinner in the first place. As promised Evan will open this bottle after the Smokehouses Dinner and five measures of this 150 year old Antiquary will be offered to guests that provide the best reason and story as to why it is them, that should be considered
If you’re a foodie looking for a unique dining experience, then the SmokeHouses Dinner is not to be missed. This culinary celebration promises to be a truly unforgettable experience, offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity to sample the very best of Irish smoked foods, paired with wines that perfectly complement each dish.
The Smokehouses Dinner Package
The Smokehouses Dinner takes place on Sunday May 28th and is limited to 100 guests, we encourage booking early to avoid disappointment. Packages start from €255 per person and include:
- One Night Bed & Breakfast in BrookHall
- Pre-Reception SmokeHouse Cocktail at 6.30 pm in The River Lounge
- A 10 Course Tasting Dinner at banquet style tables in The River Room
- Wine & Drinks Pairings
- Late checkout of 1 pm