Friday, July 20, 2012

Dermie Meets: Chef John O' Leary Malton Hotel...

Tucked away in the heart of Killarney, Co. Kerry is one of Ireland's most luxurious hotels and is home to an exceptionally talented chef, John O' Leary. I caught up with John recently to chat about sourcing world class local ingredients, the launch of their new seasonal signature platters and asked him to share some simple summer recipes.

John and his team take good food seriously and never compromise on using only the freshest local quality ingredients including Kerry lamb and Beal Kerry cheese. John describes his food as "creative cuisine, classically influenced" which is served in contemporary elegance in a true Victorian setting. He truly believes that Ireland has world leading beef, fish and lamb which he is fortunate enough to be able to source right on his doorstep.

“Our new menu offers a range of locally produced and grown ingredients from Kerry lamb to Beale local farmhouse cheese, which comes from Listowel. We work very closely with our local suppliers to source indigenous ingredients like wild mushrooms from Kenmare and wild garlic from the Killarney countryside”. The local forager, Patrick, sources the very best local ingredients including wild chanterelle mushrooms. The journey from forest to fork is captured here:

One of the most popular summer lunch dishes which leaves the kitchen is that of roast vegetable salad with basil pesto. John shares the recipe for this dish as an example to showcase that over 80% of the ingredients for the salad are sourced from the hotels herb and salad garden.


Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Salad with Basil Pesto:
(Serves 4)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees or gas mark 4.

The salad comprises of a selection of leaves including Mizuna, Mibuna, Mustard Leaf and Rocket and for colour a little Oak Leaf and allow a hand full of leaves per person. You may like to use Dermie's salad dressing here.

For The Topping:

The topping is decided by what is in season. Throughout the summer, the Malton garden is home to baby courgettes, artichokes, red onions, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, celery, pak choi stem and radish. Try to source a selection from your own vegetable garden or from the local farmer's market.

- Cut selected vegetables into equal sized pieces and toss in olive oil, Maldon salt and cracked black pepper.

- Add some unpeeled garlic cloves to the mixture.

- Roast in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes (it is important to leave a bite to the vegetables).

- Allow to cool slightly and dress them with a little basil pesto.

- Toss them through your salad leaves and top with crumbled Cashel Blue cheese or Beal Irish Goats Cheese.

This recipe is delicious with a chilled glass of Pinot Blanc.


The team of chefs are very excited about their new Tiffin Platters which they have recently launched offering diners value for money with a nice alternative to tapas. “Our Tiffin Platters offer a creative alternative to tapas, so why not order a few platters amongst friends and share the experience. All our platters have been specially selected so that each course balances perfectly with the next. We grow our own range of herbs and vegetables in the hotel gardens providing us with some of the wonderful fresh ingredients we use in these new dishes" explains John.

The Malton’s feta cheese and olive salad platter accompanies a lamb tagine with apricot cous cous, with a refreshing raspberry and lime posset platter to finish.

For a more authentic Indian experience, diners are invited to sample spiced hummus with lemon, chicken and coconut korma, and cardamom parfait; a tempting blend of spices and flavours. The Malton’s roasted vegetable salad with basil, goats’ cheese and wild mushroom lasagne, finished off with lemon curd with crushed meringue.


Whether the occasion calls for luxury on a grand scale or quiet intimacy, dining at The Malton is an experience you'll want to share.