If you live in Ireland you will have heard it on TV last night (18 May 2011). During the live coverage of the state visit of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband, Prince Philip, and the English Prime Minister David Cameron, the Burren Smokehouse and our smoked salmon was mentioned in first place when the correspondent listed the Irish produce that was to be served at the dinner. It took place at St. Patrick's Hall in Dublin Castle which was filled to capacity with the 172 attending guests.
The political correspondent who was interviewed during the live coverage at Dublin Castle pointed out that it was highly unusual that a Prime Minister would join the Queen during a state visit. PM David Cameron was flown into Dublin yesterday to meet with Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny and to join the guests during the dinner. His presence underlines the political importance and the new relationship between the two countries.
This is the first official visit of an English king or queen in the Republic of Ireland in a hundred years. It is an immensely important and welcomed step in the healing process between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Great endorsement for our smoked salmon
Birgitta herself delivered the smoked salmon to the chefs in Dublin who had the honour to cook for the dinner during the State visit of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip and Prime Minister David Cameron.
Garrett Duff (on left) from With Taste, Dublin, and Ross Lewis (on right) from Chapter One, the award-winning restaurant in Dublin, were the wizards on duty. Ross was the hands-on executive chef, and Garrett the catering chef.
Bord Bía did a great job providing Irish top-class produce from about 15 counties for this dinner which highlighted the importance and the high level of quality of Ireland as a food producing country.
Birgitta: “It’s an absolute delight and outstanding compliment to have been selected to provide the smoked fish that was served at this pivotal state event. We’re also really pleased that executives at Bord Bia have worked so hard to capitalise on the opportunity to showcase Irish food produce during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit. It’s fantastic that the finest Irish food products are being promoted in this way.
This was the menu for what was probably the most memorable state dinner to ever be held in this country - to be selected to provide our Burren smoked salmon delicacies for Her Majesty brings amazing kudos and underlines our brand as being one of the country’s most esteemed and celebrated artisan food products.”
Coverage on RTE1 & dinner menu
The whole evening of the State dinner was televised live on RTE, our national TV station. While the correspondents waited for the cavalcade to appear in front of the Castle, they talked about the food that was being served at the dinner. They got as far as "Burren Smoked Salmon" and the second starter, when the first cars came into view and they excitedly dropped the subject.
Here is the start of the menu, published also on the RTE1 website and in the Irish Independent:
Cured salmon with Burren smoked salmon cream and lemon balm jelly, horseradish and wild watercress, Kilkenny organic cold pressed rapeseed oil [...]