Manager Neil Grant and staff at the Burns Night.

The first ever West Cork Burns Supper took place in The West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen on Wednesday, January 25th.

The event was open not only to Scottish ex-pats but to all local residents and other blown ins so I sneaked in and joined the celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, born on January 25th 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire.

The host Neil Grant and his team at the West Cork Hotel didn’t spare any effort to turn this evening into a great success. At the beginning a piper led the  70 or so guests into the great decorated dining room, where we  were seated by the waitresses all wearing traditional Scottish dress.

The Amuse-bouche

I was seated next to Avril Allshire-Howe from Rosscarbery Recipes and coincidently the first course (Amuse-bouche / Drunken Rosscarbery Recipe white pudding canapé) of the 7 course unbelievably good menu of West Cork Produce / Scottish styled menu was sponsored by her farm.  I hopefully will follow up on our lovely conversation soon and visit the farm where the Caherbeg Free Range Pork is reared.

I wish I could have changed places for every course, to sit next to the producer of every  dish, to get all details of how it’s made, and to hear some secrets and does and don’ts  from the experts.
This would have been however difficult for the haggis, which was sent from an Irishman in Scotland, to a Scotsman in Ireland especially for that evening!

With every course of the menu, I learned more about Roberts Burns poetry, and about the Scottish Traditions and language. The Ode to the Haggis impressed me a lot, so I had to take a little video:

which can also be found on West Cork Television.

Chef Dean Diplock meets the diners

Dean Diplock , Head Chef at the West Cork Hotel did a great job creating the menu for this evening which was organised in conjunction with West Cork Food, so he wasn’t shy to come out of the kitchen at the end of the evening to ask the guests for their feedback.

He was celebrated by all Scottish and Irish guests, and me the only Austrian who sneaked in. I think I will sneak in shortly again, to have a look at their a la carte menu and weekly offers and report back for you.

To sum up, an unforgettable night, with great Foodies and presentation of Scottish culture with poems and music. The 25th of January 2013 is already in my calendar, and next year it will be a Friday, so a perfect start into a Scottish themed weekend!