Belmond announces the appointment of Alan Woods, Head Chef of Belmond Grand Hibernian, who from August 2016 will be crafting and serving up regional Irish cuisine from Ireland’s first luxury touring train.
Previously Head Chef at popular Michelin starred Thornton’s in Dublin, Woods plans to help put Irish cuisine on the global food map by showcasing the very best of Ireland’s rich and diverse ingredients on board Belmond Grand Hibernian.
Belmond Grand Hibernian will be the first luxury rail experience of its kind in Ireland when it launches in August 2016. Departing from Dublin on two, four and six night touring itineraries, the train will traverse the sprawling countryside, dramatic coasts and fascinating cities of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Woods will be bringing a contemporary twist to traditional Irish fare, with menus based on the world class local produce available from within the regions the train visits. Dishes feature Roast Killarney Venison Loin, scallops sourced from the Beara Peninsula, Donegal Turf Smoked Salmon as well as traditional Seafood Chowder. “The Gulf Stream makes the waters a little warmer and the seafood a little sweeter”, says Woods.
His creative vision and understanding of Ireland’s raw ingredients helps strengthens Belmond’s ongoing commitment to offering guests new and authentic food and travel experiences.
JP Kavanagh, General Manager, Belmond Grand Hibernian, “We are delighted that Alan has joined us with a wealth of experience and knowledge of Irish cuisine. We know that through food we can tell a story about the destination, and his colourful and creative menus are sure to leave guests with a wonderful lasting impression of their journey through Ireland.”
Although this is the first time Woods will have worked on board a train, his experience at a host of restaurants and hotels in Europe and Ireland, including The Ivory Restaurant Cork City (1994-1996), Restaurant Jean Luc Figures Barcelona (2004-2005) and Longueville House Hotel in County Cork (2005-2010) has prepared him for the challenge of a moving kitchen.
When not in the kitchen, Woods can be found cycling in West Cork, exploring the mountains and beaches back home in Kinsale and travelling to Germany and Spain with his German partner, in a quest to combine his love of food and travel.
Belmond Grand Hibernian accommodates just 40 passengers in elegant en-suite cabins and will boast two dining cars, ‘Wexford’ a light-filled space with Irish motifs and tweed fabrics and ‘Sligo’ an elegant restaurant with a Georgian feel in relaxed greys and warm woods. The observation car, ‘Kildare’ blends the warm atmosphere and elegance of an Irish saloon and is set to be the social hub of the Belmond Grand Hibernian.