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Party Canapes with Kevin Dundon

Monday, 14 December 2009

Kevin Dundon

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.


Smoked Haddock Smokey

Ingredients
. 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
. 450 g/1 lb smoked haddock fillet, skinned and cut into cubes (undyed if possible)
. 100 g/4 oz Cheddar, grated
. 300 ml/1/2 pint cream
. freshly ground black pepper
. white bread rolls and sticks with butter, to serve

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Scatter half the tomatoes among four individual ovenproof dishes.
2. Arrange the smoked haddock on top and sprinkle over half of the cheese.
3. Scatter over the remaining tomatoes, season with pepper and pour over the cream.
4. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the smoked haddock is completely tender and the top is bubbling and golden brown.

To Serve
Place the smoked haddock smokey dishes directly on the table.
Arrange the bread rolls and sticks in a separate basket and put on the table with a small pot of butter, then allow everyone to help themselves.

Jar of Country Pate

I just love this wonderfully tender and delicately flavoured pate.
Irish lambs liver is available from early spring through to the end of the summer and is just perfect for this dish. It is also very cheap - buy the freshest you can find. A little of this goes a long way, especially when you serve it with some crisp toasts and a dollop of my apricot chutney.

Ingredients
. 400 g/14 oz lambs liver, thinly sliced and cut into strips
. 1 small onion, finely chopped
. 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
. 50 g/2 oz plain flour
. 2 tbsp olive oil
. 350 g/12 oz butter (at room temperature)
. 6 tbsp brandy, plus a little extra if necessary
. 100 g/4 oz clarified butter
. about 8 tbsp apricot chutney
. 8-12 slices Dunbrody caramelised onion crostini
. salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Heat a large frying pan until searing hot. Place the lambs liver in a bowl with the onion and chives.
2. Sprinkle over the flour and season to taste, then mix until well combined. Add the olive oil and a knob of the butter to the pan and then tip in the lambs liver mixture.
3. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the lambs liver is well sealed and lightly browned all over.
4. Pour the brandy over the lambs liver mixture and set alight, then use to deglaze the bottom of the pan by scraping off any sediment with a wooden spoon.
5. Transfer to a food processor and add the remaining butter, then blitz until smooth. Season to taste and add another dash of brandy if you think it needs it.
6. Pour the country pate into a 900 ml/1 1/2 pint kilner jar, tapping it gently on the work surface to ensure that it settles evenly and to remove any tiny air bubbles.
7. Leave to cool completely and then pour over the clarified butter to seal completely. Close the jar and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight is best to firm up.

To Serve
Spoon the country pate into serving bowl and add a dollop of the apricot chutney and a lots of slices of the crostini. Everyone can help themselves

Wild mushroom and cashel blue toasties

Ingredients
. 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
. 2 shallots, finely chopped
. 350 g/12 oz forest mushrooms, sliced (such as chantarelle, oyster and shitake)
. 120 ml/4 fl oz white wine
. 120 ml/4 fl oz cream
. 2 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, basil and chives)
. 1 French baguette, cut into 12 slices on the diagonal (ends discarded)
. 25 g/1 oz butter, diced (at room temperature)
. 100 g/4 oz Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled
. salt and freshly ground black pepper
. chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Method
1. Preheat a heavy-based griddle pan. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes until softened but not coloured. Tip in the mushrooms, season generously and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes until tender.
2. Pour the wine into the pan and allow to bubble down and reduce by half. Stir in the cream and herbs and allow to cook for a few minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.
3. Meanwhile, add the slices of bread to the heated griddle pan and toast until marked on both sides. Remove from the heat and drizzle a little olive oil over each one.
4. Remove the mushroom and cream mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter, then fold in the Cashel blue cheese until just beginning to melt.

To Serve
Arrange the toasts on warmed platter and spoon the wild mushroom and Cashel blue cream on top. Garnish with the parsley. Everyone can help themselves


Pint of Prawns

This dish is simplicity in its self.
Although the prawn infusion takes a bit of time it can happily be made in advance and frozen. Buy the freshest Dublin Bay prawns (also known as langoustines or scampi) you can find to fill the pint but ordinary prawns will be fine for the chaser. Luckily good quality seafood in Ireland is now readily available but it is always worth buying from a reliable source.

Ingredients
. 1 kg/2 1/4 lb raw jumbo Dublin Bay prawns
. 450 g/1 lb raw prawns
. 1 tbsp olive oil
. 1 onion, finely chopped
. 300 g/11 oz carrots, finely diced
. 50 g/2 oz tomato puree
. 50 ml/2 fl oz brandy
. 400 ml/14 fl oz cream
. 2 tbsp Guinness
. 50 g/2 oz butter, diced (at room temperature)
. salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Place the Dublin Bay prawns in a large pan and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and drain into a colander. The prawns should be cooked through but still very succulent and moist. Leave to cool.
2. Heat a large heavy-based pan with the olive oil. Add the raw prawns, onion and carrots and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the brandy and allow to bubble down, then stir in the tomato puree.
3. Pour in 1 litre/1 3/4 pints of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until well flavoured and slightly reduced.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean pan, then simmer until reduced by half.
5. Pour in the cream and simmer for another 5 minutes until reduced by half again. Season to taste and keep warm or leave to cool and reheat as required - you should have 400 ml/14 fl oz in total.

To Serve
Place the prawn infusion in a small pan and add the Guinness, then allow to just warm through. Finally whisk in the butter. Arrange the cooked Dublin Bay prawns in old-fashioned pint glasses and place on serving plates. Pour the prawn and Guinness chaser into the espresso cups and set to one side.

Kevin Dundon
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