SOURCE: Tourism Ireland

March 02, 2007 10:01 ET

Top Irish and American Chefs Create a Gourmet Moveable Feast in Boston for St. Patrick's Day

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 2, 2007 -- Six of Ireland's best chefs are traveling to Boston this St. Patrick's Day season to showcase New Irish Cuisine, an innovative style of Irish cooking that is making Ireland a fashionable spot in culinary circles.

The culinary tour is being sponsored by Tourism Ireland and the Boston Irish Tourism Association as a way of promoting travel between Massachusetts and Ireland in 2007 while conveying the high standards of cuisine in both places. Other partners include Aer Lingus, Guinness, Michael Collins Whiskey, The Irish Dairy Board, Tommy Moloney's Irish Meats and local companies Hurley's Irish Breads and Mannion's Bakery.

The Irish chef delegation includes chefs Noel McMeel of Castle Leslie, County Monaghan; Ed Cooney, Merrion Hotel, Dublin; Mark Donohue, Adare Manor, Limerick; Patrick McLarnon, Francesca's Restaurant, Dublin; Kevin Thornton, Thornton's Restaurant, Dublin; and Barry Wallace, Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway. (Irish chef bios: http://www.irishmassachusetts.com/Food_Bios_Irish.html)

These chefs pair up with leading Boston chefs throughout the week at top Boston hotels like Omni Parker House, Jurys Boston Hotel, Hotel Commonwealth and Seaport Boston Hotel, Eastern Standard Restaurant and the Black Rose Pub. The Gaelic Gourmet Gala featuring twelve Irish and American chefs takes place on Friday, March 16, 2007 at Hotel Commonwealth in Boston's Kenmore Square. (Boston chef bios: http://www.irishmassachusetts.com/Food_Bios_US.html)

Joe Byrne, Executive Vice President - United States and Canada for Tourism Ireland, said: "Travelers to Ireland from the United States increasingly note the great food experience and culinary delights of the Emerald Isle.

"We believe that the vacation experience of our visitors is substantially enhanced by excellence in the kitchen," Byrne added. "Ireland's culinary reputation has been re-made in recent years, as a distinctive new Irish cuisine has emerged that is based on traditional ingredients handled in new ways -- a focal point of which is the abundance of fresh vegetables, meats, poultry, and especially fish available in the Emerald Isle."

"Massachusetts and Ireland share so much heritage and culture, and our culinary program with Irish and Boston chefs accentuates this shared history during St. Patrick's Day season," said Michael P. Quinlin, president of Boston Irish Tourism Association. "We encourage visitors from Ireland and indeed from across North America to visit Massachusetts this year and to rekindle their longstanding ties with America's most Irish state."

The chef tour begins on Monday, March 12 at the Massachusetts State House, where State Senator Jack Hart of South Boston and other legislators officially kick-off "Irish Food & Culture Week in Massachusetts" welcomes the visiting chefs and local Irish-American cultural groups. The event, held in Nurses Hall at noon, is free to the public and features samples of Irish cheeses and breads, as well as Irish music and step dancing.

That Monday evening, the Black Rose Pub hosts an Irish whiskey and Irish cheese tasting event featuring cookbook author Margaret Johnson at its newly refurbished upstairs dining room. Featured products include Michael Collins whiskey with a variety of cheeses from KerryGold, Ireland's prominent cheese maker.

On Tuesday, March 13, Chef Mark Donohue of Adare Manor in Limerick joins Parker Restaurant Chef Gerry Tice to prepare a five-course gourmet dinner at Boston's famous Omni Parker House Hotel. The dinner is $60 and reservations are required.

On Wednesday, March 14, Chef Matthew King at the Stanhope Grille, Jurys Boston Hotel, welcomes Chef Noel McMeel of Castle Leslie, where the two chefs will create a memorable gourmet meal that pays tribute to the culinary traditions of Ireland and New England. The dinner is $75 and reservations are required.

On Friday, March 16, the second annual Gaelic Gourmet Gala takes place at Boston's Hotel Commonwealth. The six chefs from Ireland will work alongside some of Boston's best-known chefs, including Michael Schlow of Great Bay Restaurant; Jamie Bissonnette, Eastern Standard Restaurant; Andy Husbands, Tremont 647; Marc Orfaly, Pigalie Restaurant; David Ross, Lucca Restaurant; and Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger Restaurant in Wellesley. Billy Costa, celebrated host of the television hit, "TV Diner," will serve as master of ceremonies. Admission is $100.

On Saturday, March 17, Eastern Standard Restaurant hosts a special Irish breakfast with Chef Barry Wallace, featuring authentic Irish sausages and bacon imported by Tommy Moloney's Meats.

On Saturday evening, March 17, Aura Restaurant at the Seaport Boston Hotel welcomes Irish chef Ed Cooney and Chef Kevin Thornton, Thornton's Restaurant in Dublin, to its kitchen to cook alongside Chef Frank Toohey.

In addition to culinary events, Massachusetts has a full schedule of parades, concerts, dances, genealogy workshops and special events to mark St. Patrick's Day, one of the largest ethnic holidays in the world. The Irish in Massachusetts accounts for 23% of the state's population, according to the US Census Report.

"We hope these cultural and culinary activities will encourage Americans to enjoy St. Patrick's Day in a way that reflects contemporary Irish and Irish-American tastes," said Quinlin.

For more information on the Irish chefs program, visit www.irishmassachusetts.com/Food.html. For details on travel to Ireland, visit www.discoverireland.com/us.

Irish Food & Culture Celebrations
Boston, Massachusetts
March 12-17, 2007
Presented by Tourism Ireland and Boston Irish Tourism Association

Schedule of Events

Monday, March 12, Official Kick off of Irish Food & Culture Week in
Massachusetts
Massachusetts State House, Nurses' Hall
Legislators' Proclamation and official greeting to the visiting chefs.
Sampling of food products from Irish and Irish-American vendors.
Noon - 2:00 p.m. Free to the public. 617 696-9880

Monday, March 12, Irish Cheese & Whiskey Tasting Event
Black Rose Pub, 160 State Street, Boston
Irish cheese and whiskey tasting event at the Black Rose Pub, with cookbook
author Margaret Johnson (The Irish Spirit), sponsored by Irish Dairy Board
and Michael Collins Whiskey.
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. / Private event / 617 696-9880

Tuesday, March 13, Irish Heritage Dinner
Omni Parker House, 60 School Street, Boston
Featuring Chef Mark Donohue, Adare Manor, Limerick, and Chef Gerry Tice,
Parker Restaurant
6:30 - 10 p.m. / $60.00 / Reservations 617 725-1630

Wednesday, March 14, Irish and New England Culinary Traditions
Jurys Boston Hotel, 350 Stuart Street, Back Bay, Boston
Featuring Chef Noel McMeel, Castle Leslie, Monaghan, and Chef Matthew King,
Stanhope Grille
7:00 - 10 p.m. / $75.00 / Reservations 617 532-3827

Friday, March 16, Gaelic Gourmet Gala
Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
Featuring six master chefs from Ireland and six master chefs from Boston.
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. / $100.00 / Reservations 617 532-5063

Saturday, March 17, Irish breakfast
Eastern Standard Restaurant, 500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
8 a.m. - Noon
Featuring authentic Irish breakfast with Chef Barry Wallace, Glenlo Abbey
Hotel, Galway

Saturday, March 17, Irish Chefs Finale
Seaport Hotel, 200 Seaport Boulevard, South Boston Seaport District
Featuring Chef Ed Cooney, Merrion Hotel, Dublin, Chef Kevin Thornton,
Thornton's Restaurant, Dublin, and Chef Frank Toohey, Aura Restaurant,
Seaport Hotel
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. / Reservations 617 385-4300

Contact Information

  • Tourism Ireland Contact:
    Ruth Moran
    212 418-0832

    BITA Contact:
    Michael P. Quinlin
    617 696-9880