Back in 1999, the Great Chefs television crew traveled west from Dublin, to the historic Ashford Castle, to tape Executive Chef Denis Lenihan.
The Castle, built in 1228 and later owned in the 1800’s by Sir Benjamin Guinness, of beer fame, is one of the luxurious resort hotels in the world. In 1951, director John Ford and his crew stayed there and filmed the Quiet Man. Inside are the Connaught Room and George V, the Ashford’s two restaurants run by Chef Lenihan and his staff.
Denis Lenihan prepared an appetizer, Summer Scallops Salad and an entrée , Fillet of Beef Wrapped in Irish Smoked Ham, for the Great Chefs of the World television series.
The night before filming, Chef brought to our dinner table, a 35 pound live lobster, saying that in the morning he will prepare a lobster salad. Needless to say, during the night, the lobster disappeared. It seems someone in the Ashford’s sales department rushed the giant lobster off to Dublin to the Irish Tourism Authority, because it was one of the largest lobsters they had seen, and they wanted to use it to promote Irish Tourism. They won, we lost!
Several years ago, Chef Denis left the Ashford Castle to open his own hotel and restaurant with Michael Crowe. He now operates Ryan’s Hotel in Cong, County Mayo and the 120 seat Fennel Seed Restaurant, with the same high quality dining experience that one would find at the Ashford Castle.