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Simple or Sublime with Kevin Dundon - Cheese

Monday, 30 November 2009

Each week Kevin will take a key ingredient such as a piece of fish or meat and cook up two totally different recipes with it. In the first slot he will do a simple recipe that's easy peasy for the viewers to do and in the second he will cook up a high end snazzy recipe with the same ingredient.

The ingredient this week is cheese, on week 1 the ingredient was cod, week 2 was steak.

Kevin Dundon Proprietor of Dunbrody House

Kevin Dundon is the Chef/Proprietor of Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant, located in Ireland's sunny South East. Dunbrody was established in 1997 by Kevin and his wife Catherine and has very quickly become a must-see for all foodies. It is now considered to be one of Ireland's Premier Hotels & Restaurant. Kevin's runs a cookery school at the hotel as well which already recognised as one of the most respected in the country.

Dunbrody is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of The World and Ireland's Blue Book. The hotel has won numerous awards including Restaurant of the Year 2004, 2005 & 2006, Chef of the Year in the Food and Wine awards 2004, 2005 & 2006, Andrew Harper's Grand Award 2001 for the best Hideaways in the World, Irish Bacon Dish of the Year 2000, Country House of the Year 2001 (Georgina Campbell's Hotel Guide) , Country House of the Year 2001 (National News Paper) Evening Herard RAC Gold Ribbon Award & Three Dining Awards and Red Chateau for the Michelin Guide, to name just a few.

Kevin started his career in Dublin, Ireland in a restaurant called The Old Schoolhouse and continued his studies at Dublin College of Catering where he graduated in 1986. He received a scholarship to work in Switzerland and worked in Zurich in a well known restaurant called La Mère Catherine.

From there, Kevin took a position on Wind Star Sails cruise ship on its maiden voyage from Le Havre, France to the Caribbean. His next position was as Sous-Chef in Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Canada where he represented Canada in culinary competitions in the US, Luxembourg and the culinary Olympics. Kevin also completed his Master's Degree in Canada and received honours in Chef de Cuisine in 1992.

Kevin has cooked for many well-known celebrities during his career including the Her Majesty, the Queen, President Bush and Bono. In 1994, Kevin was head-hunted back to Ireland as the Executive Head Chef of the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, widely recognised as one of the most prestigious Chef appointments in Ireland.

Over the past few years Kevin has steadily built his media profile and has appeared on numerous TV channels including ESPN Cable, CBC (Live) Canada, RTE (Live) Ireland and No Frontiers Travel Show. In autumn 2002 Kevin featured as Expert Chef on Ask Anna Series by Stopwatch TV for RTE. He is also a regular on Irish radio.

More recently he appeared on the NBC Today show live on St. Patrick's Day while in New York, representing the Face of Irish Food. During summer 2002 Kevin and Dunbrody Cookery School were the main feature for Hip Productions travel series 'Hip World', broadcast in April 2003 on the US Travel Channel. In addition to this Kevin has made a series of appearances at UKTV Food's Great Food Live, BBC 1's Saturday Kitchen and The Today Programme.

In 2003 Kevin was contracted by MGM Grand in Las Vegas to be the Signature Chef in their Irish pub/restaurant, The Nine Fine Irishmen, which has since been the recipient of numerous excellent reviews and awards. In 2004, Kevin filmed no less than 12 VTs for BBC Good Food Live. 2005 was a very successful year for Kevin whose media profile soared with his role as resident chef of RTE's hugely popular The Afternoon Show every week.

In addition to this, Kevin has also regularly appeared regularly on TV in Nevada, US to promote the restaurant. He has also made appearances on Sara's Secret Food Network and Dinner and a Movie.TSB This year , Kevin has filmed a one hour documentary for an NBC prime time show.

Though Kevin's media profile continues to flourish, he still remains passionate about his role as a Chef and is Chef/Patron of an Irish Gastro Pub in Disneyland, Orlando called Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant. A second gastro-pub is opening in Disney, California in 2007.

His first book, Full on Irish, was published by Epicure Press in 2005. Kevin's writing extends to journalism as well and he has written for BBC Good Food Magazine and Delicious among others.
Kevin and Catherine have three Children; Emily, Sophie and Tom. Most recently Kevin was seen on the hit culinary series-Guerrilla gourmet with a host of other famous Irish Chefs.

Kevin has a regular column with the Irish Independent Newspapers where he imparts all of his culinary tips.

Simple Dish:

Baked Eggs with Spinach & Parmesan

. 8 eggs
. 8oz/225g baby spinach leaves
. Small knob of butter
. Tiny pinch nutmeg
. 4 tablespoons of pouring cream
. 3oz/75g grated parmesan cheese
. Cracked black pepper

1. Select four small ramekins or oven proof dishes.
2. Wash the spinach leaves and dry them thoroughly with some clean linen.
3. Heat a frying pan with a small knob of butter and add the spinach to the pan and cook over a high heat for approximately one minute until the spinach has all wilted down.
4. Once this has happened sprinkle the spinach with a tiny pinch of nutmeg-not too much now or it makes the dish very highly flavoured which is undesirable.
5. Transfer the spinach to a fine sieve and allow it to drain of all the excess liquid. Push the spinach with the back of a spoon if that helps.
6. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5
7. Divide the spinach over the base of the four ramekins and then crack two eggs on top of each portion of spinach.
8. Pour 1 tablespoon of cream on top of each batch of the eggs and then divide the grated parmesan between the four dishes.
9. Put the ramekins on a flat baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the eggs have just set.
10. Serve immediately with slices of well buttered toast.

Fancy dish:

Wild mushroom and smoked cheese parcel

. 7oz/200g wild mushrooms (torn roughly)
. ½ medium sized onion (finely chopped)
. 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
. ¼ glass white wine
. 1oz/25g butter
. 2oz/50g cranberries
. 80ml fresh cream
. 3oz/75g Smoked cheese (grated)
. Chopped flat leaf parsley (2 dessert spoons)
. Salt, Cracked black pepper
. 1 packet of ready to roll Puff pastry
. 1 egg mixed with milk to glaze the tartlets.


Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

1. Line 6 tartlet moulds or tian rings with the puff pastry. You need to cut out a disc of puff pastry twice as large as the ring/mould you intend to use and push this pastry around the base and sides of your well oiled mould using your fingers to secure it in place. (Old canned food tins can be used or alternatively you can use actual tartlet dishes)
2. At this stage also cut out a disc of puff pastry with the mould to use, as the lid, at a later stage.
3. In a large pot melt the butter and add in the finely chopped onion and garlic and sweat these off gently and without any colour. Keep the pot on a very gentle heat.
4. Add in the torn wild mushrooms and allow them to cook down in the pot with the addition of ½ of your white wine. Season the mushrooms well at this stage with some salt and cracked black pepper.
5. At this stage add in the fresh cranberries and mix thoroughly.
6. Once all of the vegetables are cooked gently increase the heat and add in the remaining wine, the cream and bring the liquid to a rapid boil.
7. Next add in the grated cheese and you will find that this will thicken the liquid and bind everything together. Finally add in the chopped parsley and cranberries and allow to cool slightly.
8. Fill the previously lined rings with the mushroom mixture and press the disc of pastry down on top to encase the tartlet. Use a little egg wash around the rim of the disc to assist you.
9. Cut some incisions in the top with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape.
10. Brush the entire tartlet with prepared egg wash and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
11. Serve with a green salad or some crisp green vegetables and baby boiled potatoes.

Kevin Dundon