Sunday, 1 September 2019

Magical Mourne Mountains

Hello All, Sinead here checking in from my work placement in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Co.Down. Since I last checked in, the hotel has been very busy resulting in a hectic kitchen. Since the sun has decided to come out above the Mourne Mountains, the hotel has become a playground for tourists both near and far.

In the kitchen its all steam ahead, each day getting busier than the last since Easter just passed. Now that I am fully settled into the kitchen I have found my feet on the starters section. The starter section is as it sounds, producing starters for service in the Oak Restaurant. Along with that comes the task of creating the Amuse Bouche every day. A favourite task on a quiet day but a dreaded task on a busy day. I have had some great fun experimenting creating different offering such as fennel sorbet with tastes of fennel.

We had a very busy Easter Sunday Lunch, serving over 300 guest a buffet style lunch. When it comes to buffets in the Slieve Donard the highest of standards is expected along with an exceptional variety of offerings. It’s interesting to see the behind the scenes of such a large buffet and the preparation that is needed to occur to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day. Below you can see pictures of the buffet display for Easter Sunday. 

The team in the Slieve are what makes this place so special, front of house and the kitchen communicate very well together ensuring the smooth running of all events. Management and staff are extremely friendly and there can always be laughter heard from one end of the kitchen to another.

From good times and laughter in the kitchen to good times on my days off. On my time off I usually get to explore the northern coast of Ireland, I often find myself driving to the most random of locations to take in spectacular scenery. A favourite place of my is St. Johns Lighthouse, where the lighthouse lounge at the Slieve Donard is named after. Its nice to have such relaxing surroundings to spend time in when you get out of the demanding environment that is the kitchen.

Since my last check in I also got the opportunity to attend the Taste of Tourism Summit in the Culloden Estate and Spa, as a chef from the Slieve Donard. The Summit included talk from various speakers Galton Blackiston, Dr Morgaine Gaye, William Sitwell, Greg Hughes, Danni Barry and many more. It was an interesting day of talks that opened eyes to what is currently happening in both the food and drinks industry and how its effecting the tourism industry in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Until next time, all the best from the Slieve.

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