While new Michelin stars are being handed out this week, one Kilkenny restaurant has picked up 3 AA Rosettes for quality of cooking.
The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet, which some of those attending Foodcamp and the blogger’s dinner at last year’s Savour Kilkenny Food Festival may have been able to try out, has picked up 3 AA Rosettes – awards assessed as part of unannounced inspections. AA inspectors have been awarding the Rosettes for 50 years with The Lady Helen the only restaurant in the country to garner 3 Rosettes this year. It joins a list of only five eateries in the country that have 3 Rosettes or higher, two of those in Leinster.
Food at The Lady Helen was described by AA inspectors as “innovative cooking based on local seasonal supplies, including the kitchen’s own herb garden”. They said this is seen to its best effect in the full-dress Lady Helen dining room where “presentations are creative and minutely detailed, and yet nothing feels overworked.”
The Lady Helen Restaurant is based in the historic 18th century Mount Juliet Country Estate in Thomastown. Situated on the River Nore, it serves international dishes by a team of Ireland’s most talented chefs in a stunning setting.
The Mount Juliet General Manager, William Kirby, said earlier today that he is delighted the Lady Helen has been recognised by the AA with three rosettes.
“The team are thrilled to see that all their dedication and effort has paid off. We have worked hard in the last two years to build up the Lady Helen’s reputation for excellent, top quality and creative food. Kilkenny is rich in artisan food and we use as much local produce as we can in preparing dishes. We are especially proud to be the only Irish restaurant to have earned this award this year. We are coming through tough economic times and people are more discerning than ever but are still willing to pay for quality and something special.”
AA Inspectors were impressed by the range of dishes served in the Lady Helen which is overseen by Mount Juliet Executive Chef, Cormac Rowe, who leads a team including Head Chef Ken Harker and Sous Chef John Kelly.
Conor Faughan, Director of Consumer Affairs, AA Ireland, congratulated General Manager, William Kirby, Chef Cormac Rowe and all his team on this tremendous and well deserved achievement.
He said: “Our inspectors from both sides of the pond who have decades of experience between them were enormously impressed by the exemplary cuisine served at The Lady Helens restaurant. Just a handful of restaurants in Ireland reach this level of culinary excellence and we wish their very talent team of chefs continued success in the future.”
Hopefully it’s a good omen for Kilkenny ahead of the All Ireland replay this Sunday. Then again, Aniar did just get a Michelin star as well…