Kilkenny was the deserving winner of this year’s Foodie Destination Award (organised by the Restaurants Association of Ireland) which is why Neven chose the city as his base for his two Christmas programmes this year. As well as the traditional favourites (turkey, lamb and ham), Neven demonstrates how to cook some interesting and stylish starters and visits two of the country’s best pastry chefs. As always, Neven’s recipes are crowd-pleasing dishes which are straightforward to make.
Programme one of two Christmas Specials
Neven’s Kilkenny Christmas, Wednesday 5th December 2018, 8.30pm, RTÉ ONE
In the first episode of Neven’s Kilkenny Christmas he cooks two stylish starters – trout paté and duck confit with vegetable crisps followed by a traditional roast turkey with braised red cabbage, cranberry and sausage meat stuffing and a butterflied leg of lamb.
Neven also meets Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland to learn more about the Foodie Destination Award and the reasons why Kilkenny beat 29 other entrants. Neven then visits The Hole In the Wall, Kilkenny’s oldest tavern. Located in a house built in 1582 where the owner, Cardiologist Dr Michael Conway, shows Neven how to make Irish Coffee with poteen made in Kilkenny.
Programme two of two Christmas Specials
Neven’s Kilkenny Christmas, Friday 7th December 2018, 8.30pm, RTÉ ONE
To get everyone in the mood for Christmas, the episode starts in St Canice’s Cathedral, Ireland’s best preserved and extraordinary medieval cathedral where Neven listens to two choirs rehearsing carols for Christmas.
Glazed ham is a traditional favourite but this year Neven cooks a loin of bacon – very similar in taste but easier to cook, and easier to carve. He braises the bacon in cider and glazes it with apply syrup, both made locally by Highbank Organic Farm. Neven comes up with a new way to make the most of the leftovers: turkey and ham coleslaw.
Neven visits one of the Kilkenny’s new cafés, Cake Face, run by Laura and Rory Gannon who show him how to make their “Untraditional Chocolate Mince Pie”. Neven makes his own alternative to Christmas Cake, a Yule Log, before wishing everyone a Merry Christmas back at the Cathedral with a final carol.
Neven’s Kilkenny Christmas is produced by David Hare of InproductionTV for RTÉ and is sponsored by BORD BIA.
Ann Coughlan 00 353 87 6778045
Pauline Cronin 00 353 87 2629967