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Sauce Masterclass with Kevin Dundon

Monday, 21 December 2009

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.


. 1 tablespoon plain flour
. ½ glass red wine
. 450ml chicken/beef stock

1. Remove the joint of meat from the roasting tray and place the tray on direct heat.
2. Add in the flour and whisk until the mixture becomes dry and lumpy in consistency.
3. Whisk in the red wine and chicken stock slowly.
4. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
5. Add in a sprig of redcurrants and ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary and serve drizzled over the meat

Bread Sauce

. 450ml/15fl oz milk
. 1 small onion
. 4 cloves
. 2 bay leaves
. 4ozs/110g fresh white breadcrumbs
. ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
. 2ozs/50g butter
. 2 dessertspoons of cream

1. Peel the onion and stud the cloves into the onion.
2. In a large saucepan place the studded onion and the bay leaves.
3. Pour the milk over these items and bring gently to the boil.
4. When the milk has come to the boil remove the studded onion and bay leaves.
5. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and allow to cook on a very gentle heat for 8-10 minutes.
6. At this stage, stir in the nutmeg, butter and cream which will flavour and enrich the sauce even further.
7. Allow to cook for another 5-5 minutes and then transfer to a sauceboat to serve with the chicken dish.

Honey and Mustard Sauce

. 150ml apple cider
. 30g Whole grain Mustard
. 30g honey

Remove your ham from the Pan and place back on the stove top at a medium heat
2. Add apple cider, mustard and honey and reduce by half
3. Serve with your love ham!

Kevin's top tips for the sauces:

. Save the liquid from cooking your vegetables in, as it makes a great stock for your sauce.
. You could add a spoonful of cranberry sauce to it to give it an interesting twist.

Honey Mustard Sauce
. Don't let your sauce get too thick, it should be more like a natural Jus

Bread Sauce

. Don't let your Milk boil, just a nice simmer
Cranberry & Orange Relish

You will never again return to the shop-bought cranberry sauce after tasting this delicious commodity. This makes a delicious gift for friends also.

. 8oz/225g fresh cranberries
. 4oz/110g caster sugar
. Juice & zest of 1 orange
. 2floz/50ml port
. 1 cinnamon stick
. 1 measure of port

1. Add all the ingredients into the pot and boil for 10-12 minutes until the majority of the liquids have reduced. Remove the cinnamon stick.
2. Transfer to a sterile jar and label.

Brandy Butter

This very simple recipe and is the traditional accompaniment to Christmas Pudding.

. 4oz/110g butter
. 8oz/225g icing sugar
. Grated zest of one orange
. 2 tablespoons brandy

1. Meanwhile make the creamy icing by creaming the butter and icing sugar together until really light and fluffy.
2. Add the orange zest and brandy and continue to beat for another 2 minutes.
3. You can also add in a little boiling water to soften the icing if necessary.

Cheese Sauce

. 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
. 1 tablespoon plain flour (sieved)
. Half a pint of milk (semi-skimmed is fine)
. 4oz grated hard cheese (such as Cheddar or Double Gloucester). You can add extra cheese for a thicker or cheesier sauce.
. Salt (to taste)
. Fresh ground black pepper (optional)

Here comes the tricky bit, as many chefs would have you believe.

1. First, gently melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan over a low heat. Exercise some patience, and keep the heat low, or the butter will burn, and will make your sauce taste nasty.
2. Next, add the sieved flour and mix to form a smooth paste.
3. Now very gradually add the milk a little at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition to keep the sauce smooth. Any lumps now, and you may as well give up! After initially becoming thick, the paste will become thin and smooth as you add more milk.
4. Add your salt and pepper as required, then slightly raise the heat (do not boil) and sprinkle in your grated cheese, stirring constantly.
5. Once the cheese has melted (raise the heat a little more if necessary), bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly. Allow the sauce a minute or so to thicken, then reduce the heat, and stir occasionally.

Kevin's top tip for each sauce

Brandy Butter:
. Make sure your butter is at room temperature
Cheese Sauce:
. Add in your milk slowly to avoid lumps
. Use a Extra Strong cheese so the flavour comes through
Cranberry and Orange Sauce
. If Cranberry sauce is too thick add a little hot orange juice
. Use fresh Irish cranberries the flavour is so much better