If the walls of Adare Manor could talk, they would have fantastic, star-studded stories to tell. Next week, the five-star hotel and resort will see celebrities and sports legends pass through its doors for the JP McManus Pro-Am.
Ahead of the highly anticipated tournament, Loughlin Druhan, Culinary Director at Adare Manor, took us behind the scenes of the menu, meals and preparation for the big event. Although we have yet to see how the competition will unfold, one thing is certain: the food will be above average.
Taking place on Monday July 4 and Tuesday July 5, the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor aims to raise funds for charities, primarily located in the Mid-West region of the country. The tournament will see a number of well-known professional golfers and celebrities – such as Jamie Dornan, Niall Horan and Mark Wahlberg – visit the County Limerick Hotel.
Loughlin Druhan oversees all kitchen operations at Adare Manor. The Wexford native previously worked at other prestigious hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton in Bahrain, Cairo and Dubai. As a major event, food will play an important role in the Pro-Am, between feeding hungry golfers, keeping everyone together and showcasing what Ireland has to offer.
From breakfast and lunch to dinner and afternoon tea; fresh Irish produce has been handpicked in advance and will be central to every meal. Attendees will be treated to a range of delicious dishes from real Irish frying to a quintessentially Irish 4th of July twist – and even a golf ball-shaped dessert.
“What was important to me, as a culinary director and based in Ireland, was to showcase what we have here,” says Druhan. “We have a lot of people who come from Europe or America, so it’s great to show what we can present in relation to Irish produce, so we use a lot of local producers.”
With around 80 chefs at Adare Manor and the Michelin-starred restaurant The Oak Room on site, there’s no doubt the dining experience will be impressive. When designing the menus for this year’s Pro-Am event, the focus was on offering Irish food every day, whether it was the Irish themed night or the 4th of July BBQ. .
“I would have spoken to a lot of our suppliers individually and spent time with them going through our menus and making sure the menu has the best deal we could possibly offer, particularly from an Irish perspective, relating with Irish food producers,” says Druhan. . “My focus is on promoting the island of Ireland, so that’s what the menus are written around.”
During the Pro-Am, breakfast and lunch offerings will be available on a terrace next to the mansion ballroom before moving on to afternoon tea. Over the two days, many meals will be served via ‘live stations’ meaning chefs will be front of house and available to explain each dish to attendees and share a bit more about traditional Irish dishes and more product presentation as each meal is served. These live stations will have varying themes like a seafood section or a fresh juice bar for breakfast.
Speaking of the most important meal of the day, attendees’ breakfast will include features such as omelet stations, egg stations and more, incorporating the overall goal of fresh Irish food. Typical fry options such as black and white pudding from Clonakilty, sausages from Manor Farm and bacon from O’Neills in Wexford will also be available. Adare Manor also has a team of on-site bakers who will be on hand to make bread and pastries which will be available fresh each morning.
Prior to the event, a marquee was built on the grounds of the mansion and will seat up to 1,500 people for dinner each evening. Menus will see a selection of canapes which, again, will have an Irish accent. On Tuesday, as the Pro-Am draws to a close for another year, guests will enjoy their last meal with a three-course menu beginning with a shrimp cocktail entrée, followed by a beef main course and ending with a delicious lemon parfait.
Honoring the 4th of July was something Druhan and the culinary team wanted to incorporate into the menu, given this year’s Pro-Am dates. But in doing so, making the most of Irish produce and showing some of our own traditions was again a priority.
In contrast to the celebration in the United States, there will also be an Irish-themed evening. Overnight, several live stations will showcase Ireland’s impressive culinary offerings. Seafood counters, for example, will include Irish lobsters, mussels, clams and oysters. The smoked salmon, smoked mackerel and trout served in the evening will come from Duncannon, County Wexford.
The food for the 4th of July celebration on Monday will merge traditional 4th of July barbecue offerings, but using Irish produce, Druhan and the team exemplify what can be achieved from great, fresh, local cuisine. “It was nice to be able to complement the 4th of July and have an Irish themed event so they could also see what we would be doing from an Irish perspective,” he says.
American-style salads, such as a shrimp salad and a corn, avocado and black bean salad, will be served throughout the evening. A spit-roasted pig and other barbecue options including BBQ ribs, Wagyu beef burgers and Southwestern grilled chicken will also be among the dishes that will be created using produce from around the world. ‘island.
The Irish-themed menu will include a crabmeat starter, with crab sourced from Doonbeg followed by Irish lamb for the main course or a choice of fish. This will be followed by a delicious dessert in the shape of a golf ball, consisting of a layer of praline inside a chocolate mousse with fresh berries and a strawberry sorbet, always in keeping with the golf theme. .
The stations serving the food also tie in with the Irish theme and have been designed with traditional Irish markets in mind. Design elements have been created to complement the food and pay homage to Irish traditions.
Up to 40,000 spectators are expected at Adare Manor for this year’s Pro-Am with a wide selection of food and drink on hand for those lucky enough to have picked up a ticket – or in this case, a cap. .
Between watching the golf and partaking in a bit of celebrity spotting, spectators can refuel with a number of vendors offering a range of food and drink options. Although slightly different from the three-course meals served in the mansion, spectators can expect a creperie, a Mexican, a vegan vendor and Adare Farm ice cream alongside other offerings such as the usual burgers, fries and a pizzeria, among others. Some other vendors include The Hot Potato, Supermac’s, and Burgertorium.
If we didn’t already have FOMO (fear of missing out), we certainly do now.