Behind the scenes of top class menu for Jamie Dornan and other stars

If the walls of Adare Manor could talk, they would have some fantastic, star-studded stories to tell. Next week, the five-star hotel and resort will see celebrities and sporting legends walk through its doors for the JP McManus Pro-Am.

Ahead of the highly anticipated tournament, Loughlin Druhan, director of culinary at Adare Manor has taken us behind the scenes of the menu, meals, and preparation for the big event. While we have yet to see how the competition unfolds, one thing is for sure — the food will be above par.

Taking place on Monday, July 4 and Tuesday, July 5, the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor aims to raise money for charitable organizations, mostly located in the Mid-West region of the country. The tournament will see a number of well-known pro-golfers and celebrities — such as Jamie Dornan, Niall Horan and Mark Wahlberg — heading to the County Limerick hotel.

Loughlin Druhan oversees all kitchen operations at Adare Manor. The Wexford native has previously worked in other prestigious hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton in Bahrain, Cairo and Dubai. As a major event, food will play an important role in the Pro-Am, between feeding hungry golfers, allowing everyone to come together, and showing what Ireland has to offer.

From breakfast and lunch to dinner and afternoon tea; fresh, Irish produce has been handpicked in advance and will be the focus of each meal. Attendees will be treated to a range of delicious dishes from a real Irish fry-up to a quintessentially Irish twist on the Fourth of July — and even a dessert shaped like a golfball.

  Loughlin Druhan Culinary Director at Adare Manor who will oversee all the catering requirements for the JP McManus Pro-Am.  Picture: Dan Linehan
Loughlin Druhan Culinary Director at Adare Manor who will oversee all the catering requirements for the JP McManus Pro-Am. Picture: Dan Linehan

“What was important for me, being the director of culinary and based in Ireland, is to showcase what we have here,” explains Druhan. “We have a lot of people coming in from Europe or in from America so it’s great to show what we can showcase in relation to Irish produce so we’re using a lot of local producers.”

With about 80 chefs at Adare Manor and Michelin star restaurant, The Oak Room on-site, there is no doubt that the culinary experience will be an impressive one. When looking to design the menus for this year’s Pro-Am event, the focus was on an Irish food offering across each day, whether it’s the Irish-themed evening or the Fourth of July BBQ.

“I would have spoken to a lot of our suppliers individually and spent time with them going through our menus and ensuring the menu has the best offering that we can provide, especially from an Irish perspective, relating back to Irish food producers,” explains Druhan. . “My emphasis is on promoting the island of Ireland so that is what the menus are written around.”

An Irish showcase

During the Pro-Am, breakfast and lunch offerings will be available on a terrace off the manor’s ballroom before moving into afternoon tea. Across the two days, many meals will be served through ‘live stations’, meaning that chefs will be front of house and available to explain each dish to attendees and share a bit more about traditional Irish dishes and further showcase the products as each meal is served. These live stations will have various themes such as a seafood section or a fresh juice bar for breakfast.

Speaking of the most important meal of the day, breakfast for attendees will include features such as omelette stations, egg stations and much more, incorporating the general goal of fresh, Irish food. Typical fry-up options such as Clonakilty black and white pudding, sausages from Manor Farm and bacon from O’Neills in Wexford will also be available. Adare Manor also has a team of bakers on site who will be on hand to make bread and pastries which will be available fresh each morning.

  Green keeper Gene Gullinane cutting the grass in area in front of the 18th green at Adare Manor for next week's JP McManus Pro-Am.  Picture Dan Linehan
Green keeper Gene Gullinane cutting the grass in area in front of the 18th green at Adare Manor for next week’s JP McManus Pro-Am. Picture Dan Linehan

Ahead of the event, a marquee has been constructed on the grounds of the manor and will cater for up to 1,500 people for dinner each evening. Menus will see a selection of canapes which will, again, have an Irish focus. On Tuesday, as the Pro-Am wraps up for another year, guests will enjoy their final meal with a three-course menu beginning with a prawn cocktail starter, followed by a beef main course, and finishing with a delicious lemon parfait.

Themes

Honoring the Fourth of July was something that Druhan and the culinary team wanted to incorporate into the menu, considering the dates of this year’s Pro-Am. But in doing so, making the most of Irish products and showing off some of our own traditions was again a focus.

Contrasting the Stateside celebration, there will also be an Irish-themed evening. On the night, several live stations will feature Ireland’s impressive culinary offerings. Seafood counters for example will consist of Irish lobsters, mussels, clams, and oysters. Smoked salmon, smoked mackerel and trout served in the evening will be from Duncannon, County Wexford.

Food for the Fourth of July celebration on Monday will amalgamate traditional Fourth of July BBQ offerings but using Irish products as Druhan and the team illustrate what can be achieved from great, fresh, local food. “It was nice to be able to complement the Fourth of July and doing an Irish-themed event so that they can see what we would do from an Irish aspect as well,” he says.

  A map of the course for next week's JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor.  Picture Dan Linehan
A map of the course for next week’s JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor. Picture Dan Linehan

USA-style salads, such as a shrimp salad and a corn, avocado, and black bean salad, will be served during the evening. A pig on a spit and other BBQ options including BBQ ribs, Wagyu beef burgers and southwest grilled chicken will also be among the dishes that will be created from produce sourced from across the island.

The Irish-themed menu will see a crab meat starter, with crab sourced from Doonbeg followed by an Irish lamb for the main course or a choice of fish. This will be followed by a delicious dessert shaped like a golf ball, consisting of a praline layer inside a chocolate mousse with fresh berries and strawberry sorbet, in keeping with the golf theme too.

The stations serving the food also fit into the Irish theme and were designed with traditional Irish markets in mind. Design elements have been created to compliment the food and pay tribute to Irish traditions.

Spectators’ village

Up to 40,000 spectators are expected at Adare Manor for this year’s Pro-Am with plenty of choices for food and beverage on-site for those lucky enough to have grabbed a ticket — or in this case, a cap.

Between watching the golf and partaking in a bit of celeb spotting, spectators can refuel with a number of vendors providing a range of food and drink options. While slightly different to the three-course meals being served within the manor, spectators can expect a creperie, a Mexican, a vegan vendor, and Adare Farm ice cream alongside other offerings such as the usual burgers, chips and a pizzeria, among others. Some other vendors include The Hot Potato, Supermac’s and Burgertorium.

If we didn’t already have FOMO (fear of missing out), we definitely do now.

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