On the 16th November, the kitchens of Salthill HotelRestaurant were turned into a culinary battlefield with Galway’s top chef’s competing to prepare the best dish for the ‘Come Dine With Me’ event taking place in aid of four local charities; Console, Down Syndrome Ireland-Voices for Galway, Cancer Care West and Galway Lions Club.
    Galway’s top chefs are going head to head in a battle of the chefs competition to create a mouth-watering, seven course Gala dinner with wine with all proceeds on the night being divided between the four charities. The night will kick off with a mulled wine reception before guests are served a seven course meal prepared with locally produced products, each course being prepared by a different chef.
    A live draw will take place on Galway Bay FM to determine which chef will be preparing each course. Guests have a special treat on the night of being able to see their meals being prepared behind the scenes in the kitchen via TV screens. Each chef represents a local business with Tony Ryan from Salthill Hotel, Martin O Donnell from The Twelve, Kieran Cooney Head Chef for Sodexo at Medtronic, Joe Stanford from Army Barricks Renmore, Tu Tul Abul Hasneath from Pacific Rim, Mark Duffy from Compass Catering, Boston Scientific and Mike Loughnane from Army Barricks Renmore.
    Former GMIT and Panel of Chefs Ireland Chef, Johnny Carroll will be MC on the night, talking guests through the cooking experience before their eyes. Guests will be entertained throughout the dinner and continuing on into the night with live music. Like the TV show, ‘Come Dine with Me’, each guest will be asked to score each course. The dish which receives the most votes will determine the ‘chef of the night’.
    Organiser, Maurice McCarthy thinks the event will help raise much needed funds and awareness for the local charities, “The event is a fantastic chance to highlight the great works of all four charities, it also gives the chefs a chance to show off their talents to the people of Galway. The cameras in the kitchen will be a unique experience for both the diners and the chefs and we hope the night will be a great success for all”.
    Each charity involved deserves this much needed funding that the event will raise. Console provides a dedicated Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Prevention Service throughout the country and provides a 24-hour suicide prevention helpline called 1life for anyone in distress, a greatly needed service in today’s society. Voices for Galway is a great parent led group which provides speech and language therapy to over seventy children with Down Syndrome in Galway.
    Cancer Care West is dedicated to supporting those whose lives have been affected by a cancer diagnosis. Their aim is to enhance patient care and wellbeing and to provide support to cancer patients and their families during and after their treatment. The final local charity the event is hoping to help is the Galway Lions Club. Galway Lions Club supports individual charitable needs arising and events for senior citizens. The club holds an annual Christmas food appeal, Alcohol & Suicide Awareness programs, Youth Liaison activities, environmental projects, and many other related activities. 

    Chef’s Biogs:
    Kieran Cooney, Head Chef for Sodexo Catering in Medtronic:
    Kieran started his career in Donnellys in Barna over 20 years ago. He has worked in Galway and Dublin Hotels and restaurants such as Fitzpatricks Castle in Killiney before he started college in GMIT studying on the professional cookery course and the city & guilds which was the top college in the country at the time. Kieran has learned to design and operate kitchens from race courses to marquees on islands and events such as the Rose of Tralee and the Irish open. Kieran joined Sodexo Medtronic in Galway as kitchen manager three years and has become the craft development chef champion for the west of Ireland.
    Head Chef Martin o Donnell, Twelve Hotel, Barna:
Martin graduated from GMIT with diploma in professional cookery. After graduation he decided to travel and experience different cultures in the U S A, New Zealand and Australia. On his return, Martin spent a few years at the Salthill Hotel working with top chef Maurice McCarthy before leaving to open the now acclaimed ‘Twelve Hotel’.
At the Twelve, Martin and his team have won numerous awards including best Gastro Pub in Ireland.
He also received the AA Rosette in the "West" restaurant and has appeared on TV3 and RTE showcasing
what is best about food in the west of Ireland.
    Head Chef Tony Ryan, Salthill Hotel, Promenade Salthill:
    Tony Ryan graduated with distinction from Rockwell catering college. He worked in various hotels and restaurants before moving to work at the 910 bedroom Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch, London and also worked at Lords Cricket Ground and Twickenham.
    Tony lived in New York where he catered many parties for the New York Times, MTV, Broadway Shows and Political Conventions. He also frequently appeared on the Food Network while working with celebrities such as the Duchess of York – Sarah Ferguson.
    Tony represented New York in a ready set cook in the city’s Javits Centre which he won. Since his return to Ireland in 2003, our Head Chef has worked in Galway and prides himself on his fresh and innovative approach to cooking.

    Chef Joseph Stanford, An Chead Chathlan, Dun Ui Mhaoiliose:
    Joe joined Oglaigh na hEireann in 1999 and as a rifleman served on a peace keeping mission in the Middle East where he fell in love with spices from the exotic east and his passion for food was born. On his return, Joe joined the Defence school of Catering in McKee Barracks Dublin.
    He has cooked for state visitors and distinguished guests under the stewardship of Sergeant Kevin Fallon in Dun Ui Mhaoiliose. Joe hopes to specialise in Modern Irish Fair with an emphasis on locally caught and produced food.

    Chef Corporal Micheal Loughnane, An Chead Chathlan, Dun Ui Mhaoiliose:
    Micheal graduated with distinction from the Defence School of Catering in McKee Barracks Dublin after joining Oglaigh na hEireann in 1998.
As part of the culinary team in Dun Ui Mhaoiliose, Micheal has catered for high profile distinguished foreign visitors, our Taoiseach including Dail Ministers on numerous occasions. Micheal has also served overseas on peace keeping missions in the Middle East, Balkons, West Africa and South East Asia and brings back a knowledge and passion for food that speaks for its self.

Chef Tu Tul Abul Hasneath, Pacific Rim, Fusion Cooking:
    Tu Tul has grown up with a strong European influence in Bangladesh. Tu Tul has worked in the top hotels in Asia such as the Pan Pacific Dhaka before he moved to England and later to Ireland. The scenery, the people and what he describes as top quality ingredients such as cream butter and sea vegetables are the main reasons he decided to make Galway his home 11 years ago.
    Tu Tul hopes to titillate diners during the come dine with me experience with one of his inspirational dishes.
    Head Chef Mark Duffy, Compass Catering in Boston Scientific
    Mark Duffy’s first introduction to kitchens was at ‘The Gresham Hotel’ “in the rare owl times” and also the famous ‘Clarence Tea Rooms’  before beginning  his apprenticeship in ‘Ernest’ at Dublin Airport under the guidance of Ken Staunton before  moving to the G.M.I.T. Catering College, Galway to complete his training. 
    Recently cooking for our President Mary Mc Aleese, former Taoiseach Brian Cowan and the ‘Golden Jubilee’ of the ‘Panel of Chefs of Ireland’, keeps marks passion for cooking alive.

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