Crom Castle, Co Fermanagh
This 19th castle was built as a sailing lodge for the Crichton family, the Earls of Erne, who came to Ireland from Scotland during the Plantation of Ulster. The current occupant, John Crichton, the 7th Earl of Erne, provides a Downton Abbey experience to paying guests. Derry Clarke and Catherine Fulvio have their skills tested with an elaborate 18th century menu that includes Eels in White Sauce, Chickens boiled in Bladders and a cabbage shaped like a duck.
Lords & Ladles is back for series three with a new set of stunning houses, baffling recipes and intriguing ingredients. Once again, three of Ireland’s top chefs, Derry Clarke, Catherine Fulvio and Paul Flynn, will invade the stately homes of Ireland to recreate the grand feasts that their great kitchens once prepared and give the audience a peep behind the doors of some of the grandest stately private homes and reveal the families who have lived there.
Each week the Chefs arrive at a Great Irish Country House to recreate a grand dinner from its history while tantalising the TV audience with sumptuous descriptions of the treats on the menu. First, they Draw Lots for the division of labour – one will Gather the ingredients, one will Cook, and one will get to Dine with the house’s proud owners.
The Gatherer must source the ingredients for the feast. They get their hands dirty hunting, shooting and fishing and instead of bacon, they’re bringing home the pigs’ heads, skinned eels and lambs’ tongues! The Cook will familiarise themselves with the workings of the kitchen and grapple with the enormous amount of food that was the norm for a grand house dinner.
Meanwhile the Diner explores the house with the family, learning about its place in Irish history and the trials and tribulations of the family seat, before helping to lay the table with the finest silver and china from the house safe.
The Cook’s work all done, the meal will be served with all the pomp and ceremony it deserves, to the audible delight of the diners who can’t help themselves from gasping at the spectacle as the sumptuous banquet is laid before them.
This series, the menus range from the 14th to the 19th century. For the first time we explore Irish food before and after the arrival of the Potato, revealing our rich culinary heritage before arrival of the humble spud in the late 16th century and how it changed in the centuries after.
This series will take us on a historical cross country tour from the ancestral home of the High Kings of Ireland at Clonalis House in Roscommon; to the magnificent Tudor Revival mansion that is Borris House in Carlow, home to the descendants of Dermot Mac Murrough; Killruddery House in Wicklow home of Sir William Brabazon sent here in 1534 by Henry the VIII; Temple House in Sligo which boast a Knight’s Templar Castle in the grounds; Crom Castle on the shores of Lough Erne built by Scottish planters and Drishane House in Castletownshend, home to the celebrated writer of the Irish RM novels, Edith Somerville.
Lords & Ladles is produced by Mind the Gap Films with funding from the Broadcast Authority of Ireland’s Sound & Vision initiative and Section 481 Tax Incentives for Irish filmmaking.