The dedicated team at the Limerick Strand Hotel were honoured recipients of the 2019 Knorr Great Irish Roast award. They picked up the award in the hotels category, besting competition from across the country.

“To win the Knorr Great Irish Roast award was a huge honour for the Limerick Strand Hotel and great recognition for the effort put in by our amazing kitchen team. The Irish roast dinner is a staple dish of Irish culture so for the hotel to be honoured as the best in Ireland meant so much to us,” said Stephen O’Connor, General Manager of the Limerick Strand Hotel.

The competition is back for 2021 and entries are now open. This year there are two categories – Meat Roast, and Vegetarian or Vegan Roast. Each category winner will receive a number of valuable awards, including a €3,000 voucher, 50,000 Chef Rewards Points, and national and local PR. All entrants will receive 500 Chefs Rewards Points.

You can find a full list of rewards as well as information on how to enter by clicking here.

Pre-lockdown, The Limerick Strand Hotel would sell “Thousands of roast dinners a week, including our very busy function and Sunday buffet business,” said Stephen. With the sector slowly reopening and business picking up, the team hopes to get back to those huge numbers in time.

Before the chefs at the Limerick Strand Hotel begin cooking, they make sure to have the best vegetables, sauces, and meats on hand. “The ingredients and the produce that we use – local and Irish is always our motto and our kitchen team has been championing local suppliers for many years,” said Stephen.

22/10/2019 Photographed at the Unilever Award to the Strand Hotel, Limerick.
Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

For Stephen and his team, a great Irish roast isn’t just one thing but the coming together of all of their ingredients. “It is everything that we put into our roast. It is the small things such as Achill Island sea salt, the 3 different types of premium mustards we use to coat the roast and it is the locally grown herbs to give it that extra bit of flavour, then it is great local vegetables and potatoes to compliment the dish all served with a homemade roast gravy.”

Attention to detail also plays a huge role. “It is the care and attention, it is the slow cooking of the beef for over 24 hours which gives it that juiciness and tenderness while keeping in that great flavour,” Stephen continued.

While the last 18 months have undoubtedly been tough for everyone, the team at the Strand Hotel kept things going. Being able to stay open during the pandemic for essential workers was important. “It allowed us to keep more of our great team employed, we had a very successful takeaway service during this time including our amazing roast beef on Sundays,” said Stephen.

A takeaway service is nothing compared to open doors however. “It has been a pleasure to be able to welcome back guests again. Business has been very strong.”

“There is a real appetite to go out and have a meal and a few drinks, it is that freedom that people have missed and we are delighted to be in a position to provide it,” said Stephen.

The Knorr Great Irish Roast competition is open to any business that serves roasts to the public. This includes pubs, hotels, restaurants, cafés, golf clubs, leisure venues, and garden centres.

For more information and to enter, simply click here and fill in the form.

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