The Great Gourmet Challenge set to promote the wonders of the west

Wild nettle parfait. Photo by Julia Dunin.

Wild nettle parfait. Photo by Julia Dunin.

Recently referred to as “one of the country’s most exciting chefs” by Taste of Ireland, Jonathan Keane, head chef at Co Mayo’s boutique hotel, Lisloughrey Lodge, has overhauled the entire menu and is setting himself up for a challenge to showcase the wonders of the west.

Taking place at 7.30pm on Friday June 8, the Great Gourmet Challenge invites you to indulge in mouthwatering dishes with all items on the seven course taster menu at Wilde’s restaurant sourced from within a 45 miles radius of Lisloughrey Lodge, and for a tasty €45 per person you will be treated to quality cuisine and a feast of local knowledge on the night.

Taking to the floor before tucking into the delicious starter will be Kate Kennedy of Killary Fjord Seashells, discussing shellfish and sharing useful recipe ideas and tips.

Introducing the main course, the increasingly popular Mayo Atlantic Sea Spray Lamb, will be Sean Kelly, following which Leo Hallisey will converse on the importance of using the nature available to our area. The dessert will also be closely connected to the topics discussed.

Chef Jonathan Keane, who designed the restaurant’s new menu, has set the bar for other chefs in Ireland when it comes to using local food. Originally from Kylemore, Connemara, Keane grew up surrounded by inspiring landscape, excellent ingredients, and the magic of the sea, eating the freshest fish and plucking his own potatoes before kitchen gardens were fashionable.

Treat yourself and escape to the hidden gem that is Lisloughrey Lodge, with a special overnight package on the night for a tempting €160 per person sharing, which includes the special seven course taster menu in Wilde’s restaurant and a chance to wake up content in this chic country manor.

With exceptional local suppliers including the popular Kelly’s black pudding, Killeen goat’s cheese from Ballinasloe, Murraveagh honey sourced from Mulranny, Cleggan crab meat, and scallops from Clew Bay, relying on local suppliers makes sense.

Keane has always been a supporter of local produce and insists on incorporating it into his menus. He describes his relationship to local food as part of his philosophy as a chef. “It’s a responsibility to support, nurture, and foster local agriculture and economy,” he explains. “The food in the west of Ireland is the best there is, if we don’t support and promote our own local produce then who will?”

Having earned an excellent reputation, Keane has attracted attention from the media including commendations from Food & Wine magazine, the Irish Independent, and The Irish Times. Most recently, Taste of Ireland referred to Lisloughrey Lodge as “beautiful”, adding: “We expect great things from Lisloughrey, and one of Mayo’s great country houses is definitely back to top form.”

Wilde’s at The Lodge is open seven days a week. Reservations can be made in advance by calling 094 9545400. All offers are available on


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