Friday, September 30, 2011

Homemade by Clodagh

Homemade: (above) 1. Clodagh McKenna & Nigel Blow; 2. Sonia Reynolds & Peter O'Brien; 3. Peter Gaynor with his sister Caitriona Gaynor.

(below) 4. Darren Kennedy & Roisin O'Hea; 5. Maria Collnis, John Healy & Clodagh Hopkins; 6. Gillian Clarke & Sarah Williams. (Pix. Kieran Harnett)

A career-long ambition of chef, food writer and TV presenter Clodagh McKenna was officially fulfilled as she celebrated the launch of her new restaurants at Ireland's largest and longest established department store, Arnotts. 'Homemade by Clodagh', complete with two restaurants (one self-service) and a food-market, had its officially unveiling on Tuesday evening with over 250 invited guests gathering to celebrate the launch.

Among those in attendance were designer Peter O’Brien, Sonya Reynolds, Arnotts CEO Nigel Blow, Darren Kennedy, showbiz agent Noel Kelly and his wife Caitriona, Avila Lipsett, legal eagle Clodagh Hopkins and diamond dealer Maria Collins. Clodagh's parents Jim and Irene McKenna were also present to wish her well, as were John Collins and Peter Gaynor from Capital Foods and Bairbre Power.

Guests at the official opening were treated to a mouth watering range of sample items from the menu, including Wild Mushroom Crozier Cheese and Rocket Bruschetta, Orange Zested Duck Confit, Smoked Salmon Mousse on Herb Fittatas and House Pate served with Seasonal Apple Chutney. Drinks service included wines from Febvre and seasonal Elderflower cocktails for the tail end of summer that we’re currently enjoying.

According to Clodagh: "I am so privileged to have been given this opportunity at Arnotts, which isIreland's leading department store and a wonderful platform to be able to spread this message by creating honest, uncomplicated but delicious foods for a city centre audience. We source all our produce, except in rare circumstances where it's not available to us in Ireland, from Irishsuppliers. This, in my opinion, means we have the very best ingredients available to us in the world and, at the same time, it supports jobs in one of the most important sectors of business in Ireland."

Suppliers are predominantly based in the greater Dublin area but as far a-field as Tipperary, Cork and Kerry. The restaurants, which employ 75 staff, will help support over 250 jobs at these suppliers indirectly, in addition to the 75 it employs directly at Arnotts. The number of Irish suppliers to the restaurants under 'Homemade by Clodagh' has increased by 30% since the take-over of the concessions in May. Bon appetit!