The Silken Thomas hotel was the proud recipient of the Knorr Great Irish Roast award in the hotels category back in 2018, on the back of nearly 20 years’ hard work and dedication from the food and beverage team.
The Kildare hotel has long been noted for its excellent roast. Brian Flanagan, owner and General Manager, said: “It meant so much to us at The Silken Thomas to win the great Irish roast. Our carvery was nearly 20 years in operation when we won, and the win was vindication for our efforts during that 20 year period. We were particularly delighted for the team involved in its daily preparation and service. It gave the team a tremendous lift.”
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.
For The Silken Thomas, timing is everything to ensure the final plate can truly be called a great Irish roast. “When the food is plated, the different components need to be as fresh as possible, be that in the raw product or the cooking process. It takes time to get this process right. You don’t want elements of the dish produced to far in advance,” said Brian.
Fresh, quality ingredients are crucial. “Ingredients are the key,” continued Brian. “Fresh produce cooked correctly will never disappoint. We are so fortunate to have beef of the highest quality here in Ireland, it just needs to be treated with respect, and the flavours will come through. Homemade gravy cannot be overlooked, it is essential to get this right.”
It all adds up as well – thanks to a combination of ingredients, timing, and the dedication of the team, The Silken Thomas sells an average of over 1,250 roast dinners a week.
The Silken Thomas reopened its food operation when outdoor dining was allowed to resume earlier this year, on the 7th June. “We are delighted with how the business has performed since reopening,” said Brian. “It has been more challenging operating under current guidelines and restrictions but our team here at the Silken Thomas has done a great job adapting.”
While closed as a result of the lockdowns, the team used the opportunity to make various improvements to the property which have been well received by customers. They also expanded their outdoor offering, so much so that most customers are still choosing to dine outside. “We now find with indoor dining back, the majority of our customers still want to dine outside, which is a great vote of confidence in our outdoor offering,” said Brian.
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.