Kelvin's Food Blog

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Shannon College of Hotel Management Graduation 2012 (Part III)

Brian Boru Suite, Dromoland Castle, 8th March 2012

Tian of Doolin Bay Crab Meat & Avocado, Tomato & Scallion Concasse, Dill & Black Pepper Dressing

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White Bean Soup with Chorizo Dressing

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Lemon & Black Pepper Sorbet

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Roast Fillet of Irish Beef, Seared Sea Bass, Potato Ecrasse, Aubergine Caviar, Wilted Greens, Red Wine Reduction

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Gateau Opera – Biscuit Joconde perfumed with a Kahlua Liqueur layered with Chocolate Mousse served with Mango Foam

There was a shroud of mystery over what the dinner menu had to offer, it was all kept quite hush, hush. However after chatting to a few of the 3rd years the night before (down the pub, took a while but once the booze kicked in), I knew what to expect. It was quite a promising menu with various cultural influences. Wine flights for each course complemented very well. Head waiter Brendan along with various commis waiters did an excellent job of looking after us. Diving into my starter I discovered a piece of crab shell, which was quite amusing (out of all people, it had to be a chef!). Didn’t want to say anything but uncle Ding pointed it out. Brendan came back with a message from the kitchen: Chef Ruane – “Tell him I don’t care. He deserves it.” Brilliant, love it! Regardless it was a delicious light start to the evening. The soup on the other hand was disappointing, really bland and lacked of seasoning. Its always better to under season than over, you can always add more but can never take back out. “Pásenme la sal y la pimienta, por favor”. Maybe I’m just being picky as I have my own delicious version of this simple Spanish styled soup. The sorbet quite Heston Blumenthal-esque, left me wondering was the man himself actually in the kitchen? An adventurous combination of bold flavours, with someone going a bit too crazy with the black pepper! Hot topic out in the smoking area, with everyone coughing their lungs out (not sure was it the fags or the after kick from the sorbet). After the chemical explosion aka sorbet, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the mains. Having a quick glance at the menu again it talked the talk and when it flew around the world, finally, eventually arrived to the table it sure as hell walked the walk, a mouth watering plate of food. Lovely surf & turf combo of Irish fillet beef cooked a perfect medium and what was supposed to be seabass (definitely wasn’t and if I had to guess I would say hake, as it was quite meaty). The dish as a whole was lovely, both garnishes and sauce complemented the protein and fish. Slow, but at least it was hot. A warning should have been announced for anyone with epilepsy, as the dessert arrived looking very chic & glamorous, triggering a storm of camera flashes around the room. Or maybe it was Heston trying to make a quick escape out the back! Personally I’m not a huge dessert fan, however it did go down well with tout les amoureux  du chocolat. The dessert symbolised us the students, a ship finally ready to set sail and embark on a voyage across the big bad world. It’s sink or swim time kids! My main issue of the evening was the speed of service. It was a very, very long evening and I could see some of the golden oldies beginning to nod off towards the end of the meal. Think by the time we had coffee it was past midnight. One thing we don’t know is what may or may not have happened back of house, behind the scenes. (Back in 3rd year one of the chefs dropped a whole tray of the starter pork belly, couple of hours before service. Luckily we had enough time to fix the situation and bounce back!). Also this was a first experience for many students working and running such a large function under enormous pressure, let alone being in a professional heated kitchen. It’s a huge learning curve for students and by making mistakes drives you to not make them again, (well I certainly hope so!) plus there was that extra added pressure as we left pretty big shoes to fill! We’re all human and make mistakes. Well done guys, thanks for an overall great evening!

Click here for Shannon College of Hotel Management Graduation 2012 (Part I)

Click here for Shannon College of Hotel Management Graduation 2012 (Part II)

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4 comments on “Shannon College of Hotel Management Graduation 2012 (Part III)

  1. Pingback: Shannon College of Hotel Management Graduation 2012 (Part II) « Kelvin's Food Blog

  2. Pingback: Shannon College of Hotel Management Graduation 2012 (Part I) « Kelvin's Food Blog

  3. Rekha
    May 23, 2013

    I always thought that Shannon was not the right place to be a chef .rather it was the place to be a Hotel Manager. Your blog is amazing !

    • kelvintan88
      May 24, 2013

      Thank you for your kind words. Honestly I had no intentions of becoming a chef till the final year of university. Some soul searching when I was in the Seychelles during the summer of 2010 played a major part. I did my final placement as a chef instead of taking on an MIT programme. No regrets at all in the choices I’ve made!

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