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Archive for 2008

A day in the life of: The Head Chef!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Hello to Everyone reading this blog!

My name is Eric, I am the Head Chef in the Killarney Court Hotel.

I have been working here for almost 2 years and everyday it’s a new experience.

In the hotel and restaurant business you are learning all the time and no matter how old you are or how much experience you have, everyday is a challenge to improve yourself, perfect recipes and find new exciting food combinations/recipes.

I love the challenge! My job seems simple: Supervise the good running of the Kitchen, but its not always as easy as you think! There are long working days which can be pretty stressful! My day starts by doing a stock take and then if needed I place orders to the different suppliers. And I am always looking out for new ingredients and products and if there are ever special offers on.

Then I check with reception what the bookings for the evening’s dinner are looking like, and see if there if are any groups or tours booked in.

During the Summer season, we often have up to 3 large tours every night that have dinner, and they could often stay for 2 or 3 nights at a time, so I need to make sure that they don’t have the same meal twice!

As Lunch approaches, we need to get the Carvery ready for a very busy lunch service, I need to make sure that the quality of all meals are consistent, that we always have a fresh supply of vegetables & potatoes, and make sure that we don’t run out of anything on the Carvery.

The Carvery service finishes at 3pm and then we commence with Bar food, which is served from 3pm – 9pm and the restaurant opens at 6pm for dinner.

There is always something to do in the kitchens, whether it is food preparation, menu planning, ordering, cleaning, dealing with issues during service etc. Its all part of the job.

My Dad was a chef and he told me there were many a time when he wanted to take off his apron and walk away from the job but he never did! It’s a crazy job to be a chef and a crazy life too! But there is a special buzz in the Hotel/Restaurant business that you don’t find anywhere else like it!! You have a connection with your team mates and the other staff members, that you are all in this together! This is why we I love my job, and this is what keeps me going during a hard day!

Thanks!

Christmas Pudding

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Easy Christmas Pudding

 

Ingredients:

 

500g Raisins

500g Sultanas

125g Dates, chopped

125g Currants

125g Mixed Peel

125g Glace Cherries, chopped

½ Cup Brandy

500g Softened Butter

500g Brown Sugar

10 eggs

4 Carrots

1 tsp Mixed Spice

3 Tbl sp Golden Syrup

500g fresh breadcrumbs

125g plain flour

1 ½ tsp salt

 

 

This is a very simple recipe for the microwave oven, and makes 2 Christmas puddings.

 

Place the fruit in a large bowl. Pour the brandy over the fruit and allow to soak covered, overnight.

 

Cream the butter and sugar. Add one lightly beaten egg at a time to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the remaining ingredients.

 

Grease and line a 2.5 litre pudding basin. Pour in half the mixture ( to 2.5cm/1” from the top of the basin) and smooth over the top.

 

Cook on medium for 28 muinutes. Remove from the microwave oven and allow to cool slightly. Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of the mixture.

 

Turn the pudding out of the basin and remove the paper lining. Serve hot or Cold.

 

 

Salmon & Smoked Haddock Chowder

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Salmon & Smoked Haddock Chowder    

Serves 8

 

50g Butter

1 Onion, chopped

100g plain flour

700ml Fish Stock

225ml Milk

1 bay leaf

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

450g Salmon, skinned & cubed

450g Smoked Haddock, cubed

Black pepper

Chopped Parsely

 

 

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and then fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the flour & stir until smooth. Add the fish stock & milk, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes. Add the cubed Salmon & haddock, and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add black pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley & serve.

Renew Beauty Tip of the Month

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Renew Beauty Centre

Tip of the month

As you all know Summer is setting in (well at least thats what it is supposed to be doing) so our top tip for the month is to moisturize! “The key to hydration is through exfoliation”-that was drummed into us at beauty school and it works! Its common sense really, what is the point of lashing on moisturizer if its not going anywhere. Your moisturizer needs to penetrate deep down into the skin to hydrate it, so how do I get it to do that I hear you say? The answer is simple, through exfoliation! Exfoliate twice a week before bed-time is the best. You have two choices, First a Scrub which contains granules which removes dead skin, build up of dirt and grim-good for oily/combination skin types, Second is a Peel, you have a choice of a hydrating gel or cream that gently removes the build up of dirt and grim while hydrating the skin, good for dry/sensitive skins. You will find your moisturizer will absorb into your skin much better, plus you will use LESS moisturizer! Your wallet will love you for it. I can promise you your skin will be glowing!!

Here are some great home recipes for exfoliating the face and body:

 

Coffee Scrub for the Body- This scrub is a great one for tackling cellulite. Caffeine is known for braking down the soft fat that causes cellulite. Use three times a week for best results!

Ingredients:                                                            

2 cups of coarsely ground coffee

½ cup of sugar or sea salt

2-3 tablespoons of massage oil.

 

 Method

¬     Mix all together in a bowl.

¬     Take a hot shower to moisten skin & open pores.

¬     Using circular motions rub the coffee exfoliate onto your skin, with strong, even pressure.

¬     Shower off and pat yourself dry.

¬     Apply a good anti-cellulite body lotion (My favorite is Estee Lauder Slimming body gel; this also has caffeine extracts to further stimulate the brake down of that soft stubborn fat!) Volia!!!  You are now glowing!!

By Amanda Arthur

 

For more information please contact Renew Salon at:

 

·     Killarney Court Hotel (064) 37070

·     Riverside Hotel (064) 39200

·     Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort (064) 42599

 

Message from the General Manager

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Letter from the General Manager

Dear Guest,

                     Thank you for looking at our website for the Killarney Court Hotel. I hope that you find it easy to navigate and pleasing on the eye. I also hope that the ‘BLOG’ that we are including at present is interesting for you and gives you an insight into what we are about here at the ‘Court’.

                      We decided to do the blog having seen how it can help people understand what properties are like and what makes them tick. The recepies come from our Head Chef Eric Zsabo, who operates with a good brigade of 6 chefs. I hope you try out his recommendations as they are very tasty indeed. Our ‘Day in the life’ articles are an attempt to let you see how we operate in sometimes a humorous fashion ; as we all need a bit of humour in our everyday life. I do an article each month also. I try to portray how we are here in Killarney and our unique approach to life.

I hope we are succeeding in our aim and look forward to meeting you in the future if you come and stay with us.

See you soon…….Derek Carroll.             

Chocolate Fondant with Honeycomb Ice Cream

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Chocolate Fondant with Honeycomb Ice Cream

 

450g Dark Chocolate

225g Butter

½ Cup of Plain Flour

1 Cup Sugar

5 Eggs

 

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, Place over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to melt. Do not allow to get too hot.

Cream the eggs and sugar together, either by hand or in a food processor.

Add the flour and beat in.

Beat in the melted chocolate and butter mix. Place the mix in the fridge,

Brush 4 ramekins with soft unsalted butter and dust with cocoa powder or flour.

When the mix has slightly set, pipe or spoon the mixture into the moulds.

Cook in a hot oven 190ºc/Gas 4½ for 8-10 minutes. When cooked the fondants should have risen but still be runny in the middle, served with Honeycomb ice cream.

 

Quick & Easy Honeycomb IceCream

1 lt Vanilla Ice Cream

2 x Crunchie Bars, broken into chunks

 

~ Slightly melt the Ice Cream and stir in the Chunks of Crunchy.

 

 

A Day in the life of ….. the Accounts Department

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Hi,

We are Mary and Maura, more commonly known as M&M, or more affectionately by our restaurant manager, Eamon, as “TheThe Flowers in The Attic ( upstairs in a windowless coffin).

 

When we were asked to write this, 2 of the ladies (term very loosely used) in the Sales & Marketing office as opposed to THE EXECUTIVE office said that a blog on the day in the life of the accounts office would be BLANK.

 

Our day as you can imagine is the usual day to day running of a very busy office, dealing with wages, creditors, debtors cash etc. so we are not going to go into that in any great detail, but we are busy busy busy.

We arrive to work between 8.15am and 8.45, have cup of tea and catch up with the other staff members as to what as happened over night, any new staff etc etc.

Between us we have 16 years of hard labour done, and so far so good. Which in itself is testament to the Hotel we work in, unlike so many places where staff come and go so quickly.

We also get fed and wathered at work with the odd cup of tea thrown in to keep us in our normal ever cheerful moods!! Well maybe not on a Monday!

 

Our office is like Heuston Station on a Friday, we have so many calling to us. We think that maybe invisible to ourselves, we have stamped on our foreheads, “Come to us, we can help and sort you out”.

 

So whether you come as a guest or staff you are guaranteed a fun time!

A Day in the Life of.. Eamonn

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Welcome to those who are reading our web page and have come across my entry on the Blog. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Eamon. I have been here at the Killarney Court Hotel for five years now. I started out as Duty Manager, then progressing to Assistant Manager and now Restaurant Manager. Some might say “are you mad?” to go into restaurant life full-time. Well it doesn’t pay to be mad in this business, but it sure helps. “Late nights, early mornings, working weekends and long hours, why not try for a 9-5 Monday to Friday job” they ask.

I think there is more of a chance of me doing the Riverdance with the Lockness Monster and the Yeti at Madison Square Gardens than that. No its the Hotel and Catering life for me.

Meeting new people everyday and seeing the new challenges and dramas, the tears and the gut busting laughter that each day brings. And with no two days ever the same it certainly isn’t boring. Sometime you could be led to  believe you are part of a real life soap drama. And our ratings must be high as we are open to you 12 months of the year, leaving us stand tall in this industry as other establishments’ close their doors for a few months at the end of each year. Well enough about me, let me take you on a days trip through the catering side of my day.

Another busy morning: Breakfast doors opening at 7am to the rush of another early morning tour group (one of four groups), who must have been told the famine is on its way to our shores again as no doubt I will be run over by the masses running for the buffet. But first here come the morning staff so I must do my check list on them:

Blood shot eyes            Clear.

Hangovers                    No

Alive                            Yes.

Right open the doors, let in the hungry and get the tea, coffee and toast flowing. The doors open  and the stampede commences and is ongoing for roughly around 1.5 hours as the tours need to get out early to start their day of sight-seeing, souvenir shopping and postcard writing to look forward to. As things calm down and the staff race to clear and reset we begin to greet our other patrons who are not travelling on coach and are more calm as they take a relaxing stroll over to the hot and cold buffets.

We can pride ourselves on the buffets we provide with a vast choice of items available on both cold and hot sections. This is not to be taken only on my word as one would say I am being favourable. No, this is the word of our guests who regularly compliment our breakfast.  So its 10.00am and as the last of the late night revellers enter the door for some food to bring up the energy levels which were worn out in town and having that “just one more” at the residents bar, its time to prepare for lunch.

(we’ve all done it!). Our carvery lunch which is available from 12 – 3pm, 7 days a week in our main bar, McGillycuddys consists of the finest roast for miles as well as a choice of other hot favourites for all to choose from. All meals accompanied by a selection of vegetables’ and potatoes and there is also a home made soup of the day available also. God my mouth is wetter than that of a child in Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory writing this.. I might have to take a break and hit the carvery. No I will contain my hunger for now and continue. All this great food is served up to you by our “Queen of the Carvery, Eileen”. Not only is she serving you the finest lunch but she also has her salad bar for those health conscious among us. With a great lunch and a friendly face, what more could one ask for. So while you are at it, why not have a drink served up to you by our attentive bar staff to complete your lunch. Right: Lunch over no time to waste. Its time to check out the Restaurant for the nights business ahead. I’m sure I will grab something to eat soon. A great job for keeping the weight down, it must be said , surrounded by food all day. One would expect me to be on those weight loss/makeover programmes.

At night the Restaurant opens at 6pm, sit its time to check the menus with the Chef and if needs be, get them translated for any French, German or Spanish groups that may be on their way. So its out with the books. An idiots guide to foreign languages!.

Unfortunately  my knowledge of foreign languages would fit comfortably on the back of a stamp.. Hence the books.. Time to check that all tour tables are set and allocated and that all tables for those guests on a tour bus are ready. The restaurant offers an extensive choice on both our table de hote and A la carte menus and With a wine list to entertain even the most experienced of palates. On inspection of the dinner staff all accounted for and in good health after the morning shift, its time to open the doors and began the hectic night ahead. It ahs to be said a manager is only as good as the staff behind him and I guess I am “Donald Trump” because i have got a good bunch . They wont hear “you’re fired” from me! So off goes the night serving the masses who still haven’t been told that the famine is over and isn’t coming back to Ireland anytime soon. Surely someone fed them on their day trip somewhere. Maybe not. So once the restaurant is full and is in full swing. I have been known to speak French to Germans , Spanish to the French tours and German to the Americans. While all this is going on our main bar is in full swing with our popular Bar Food menu. But its all good. Behind all the smiles for the guests, threats of broken limbs in the kitchen, tears and bloodshed, WE LOVE IT.           That’s why five years on I’m still here. So as dinner ends the day is over. Its time to wash-up, relax and have a glass of wine. I ponder on the day gone and look forward to more adventures tomorrow so come see us soon and be part our family and our hectic but enjoyable lives at the Killarney Court Hotel.

Message from the GM

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

How ‘r’ tings???  

 

Here in Killarney the most common phrase you will hear is How ‘r’ tings??  It is an expression of enquiry, concern and love and also as a salutation. It can be shortened to the more comfortable ‘Tings’?! if you are on close terms with your receiver.

 

To hear this greeting was somewhat of a culture shock to me, a lad from Wexford. In my original home place the phrase ‘How’s she cuttin’, was the accepted turn of phrase and it made perfect sense to me.

In Northern Ireland it is ‘What about ye?’, and in Australia it is G’Day.

 In every part of the globe there is a local, often humorous expression that puts a little smile on our face. The common thread in them all is the feeling of warmth, and the feeling of welcome. So the next time you visit Killarney, and you are walking along and a total stranger says ‘ How ‘r’ tings’ just smile and say ‘ My tings are fine’ Don’t worry , they will know exactly what you mean.

 

Derek Carroll.

 General Manager.

 

Recipe of the Month

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Apple & Berry Crumble

Serves 6

6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled & cores removed

¼ cup Caster Sugar

2 cups Frozen Mixed Berries

60g Butter, chilled, cubed

¾ cup flaked Oats

½ cup Flour

½ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp of Honey

1 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon

 

Method:

 

  • Preheat oven 180°C, grease 6 small ovenproof dishes / ramekins.
  • Thinly slice apples & place into a saucepan over medium heat. Add caster Sugar, stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the apples are tender.
  • Stir in the Berries and spoon the mixture into the dishes.
  • Rub the butter into the flour util the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add in the oats, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon & Honey and mix well.
  • Spoon the crumble mixture over the fruit, bake for 30 minutes until crumble is golden.
  • Served warm with Whipped Cream or Ice Cream.

 

Killarney Court Hotel, Tralee Road, Killarney, Killarney, Co Kerry. Ireland
Tel: +353 (0)64 6637070 | Lo-Call: 1890 930 033 | Fax: +353 64 6637060
Email:

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