On The Menu at The Oak Room with Mike Tweedie

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th July 2019

Mike Tweedie is the head chef of The Oak Room at Adare Manor. 

Born in Devon, Mike honed his skills alongside prominent chefs including Hywel Jones and Michael Caines before taking on the leading role at the recently-renovated manor hotel and golf resort in Ireland. We spoke to him about the seasonal produce on his menu, his approach to menu design and love for simple dishes.

If you were to pick three ingredients to cook with that are in season right now, what would they be?

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What dishes would you create with each of those ingredients? 

For the Dexter beef what we do is we use the fillet - we bath it, cook it in braised beef fat and then we serve a braised oxtail boudin and then some peas, girolles, and some broad beans - very seasonal at the moment, with a bit of smoked bone marrow as well. 

With the buttermilk, we do a buttermilk pudding as a pre-dessert. We just very lightly set it, we put a raspberry jelly, which we make from raspberry wine from Wicklow and then we do some frozen raspberries and a simple oat crumble. 

Would you say that using seasonal produce is important to you? 

Of course, it's really important to use seasonal and local as much as you can - you have to give back to the community and you have to support the local people. It's so important, for a chef it's one of the most important things. 

Can you talk us through the menu design process at The Oak Room? 

We're very classic in what we do. We have a five-by-five à la carte and we have a market menu which is a tasting menu.

In terms of dish development, we just work with as many local people as we can, we look at what's available on the markets, 

Most of the time the protein doesn't really change - like the Tipperary quail, the Dexter beef  - though we may change it for venison in the winter. 

We try and change the garnishes, not the protein. Most things work;  beef works with peas or it works with mushrooms; it's just knowing those classic favours. 

And when you do put a new dish on the menu, do you wait until it's exactly how you want it do you tweak and update it as you go along? 

I find that when I put a dish on the menu, if I think about it too much it can overcomplicate it, whereas if I just do it, it's easier to just do it and we can go back.

A dish might come on again next year, like the scallops with satay sauce - and then we look at it and go: "okay what can we do to improve it, do we add something, do we take something away?"

We try and strip it back as much as we can so it's just the raw ingredients. 

As of right now, what would you pick as your favourite dish on your menu? 

It would probably be the Wexford strawberries - a take on strawberries and cream. The lemon tart, I don't think you can go wrong with a good lemon tart when it's done right. 

As for a main course, we have a cod which is lightly salted and roast, we just serve it with a classic Bréval sauce with some scallops and Exmoor caviar.

I like simple food and I cook simple food, so the dishes that have less on them are my favourite. 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th July 2019

On The Menu at The Oak Room with Mike Tweedie