Meet the Maker - Executive Chef Bernard McGuane, Glenroyal Hotel - IntoKildare
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Meet the Maker – Executive Chef Bernard McGuane, Glenroyal Hotel

Tell me about The Enclosure at Arkle Bar & Restaurant.
We’re very busy, we just set up a new concept about a year ago and it’s been going great!

We have sharing boards for big cuts of meats like tomahawk steaks, and Chateaubriand, we also do a beautiful seafood platter for two. Then on the main menu, we have lots of favourites, from mushroom risotto to chicken wings, and chicken karaage, showing a little bit of a Japanese influence. We also have a couple of tasty pasta dishes and a really really good burger.

We do all the staples, they’re very tasty and of really high quality. We’re passionate about flavour and cooking what people want to eat, you know?

What can people expect on a visit to Glenroyal Hotel?
The Glenroyal is fantastic! The leisure club has two swimming pools, one of them is for kids. I have two kids myself, so I’m often bringing them to it. We’ve also got Shoda Café to the side of the hotel as well, it’s a large café with healthy food options and a brilliant grab-and-go section. They also do really good coffee, and so it’s always really busy.

There’s a really good offering here, you know? You have excellent facilities, beautiful rooms, the café and then you have the restaurant across the way too, which is Arkle Bar & Restaurant. It’s a fantastic destination with a really great buzz!

You’re taking part in Taste of Kildare this weekend, preparing a dish for the 8-course dining experience in the Ledger Restaurant at The Curragh. Tell me about this dish, and what people can expect.
Sure, so we’re doing some canapés. So, we’re doing macaroons in a horseshoe shape, pistachio flavour, and passion fruit flavour. And then we’re doing little chocolate jockey hats too, all to keep in theme with the brilliant venue, The Curragh Racecourse. We’re also doing truffles, chocolate cherry and white chocolate and blueberry.

I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be a great weekend. It’ll be something a little different, very imaginative, and the whole occasion will be loads of fun.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Kildare on your days off?
I love Castletown House because I have two little kids. And then, I suppose, Donadea Forest Park too… I would have always went there when I was younger because it’s near enough to where I’m from, and I still go there quite a bit for a stroll around the grounds, maybe once every two weeks or so with the family. That’d be the two things I love.

Oh, and I love going to Maynooth as well. There’s a good hustle and bustle in the town on a Sunday. With so much happening at the weekends there’s no need to go into the city at all, you know?

Where is your favourite place to eat out in Kildare?
Well obviously, Aimsir at Cliff at Lyons, because he’s one of the best chefs in the country, you know?

And I suppose Two Cooks in Sallins as well, really good food by two great chefs there. I kind of know them from years ago, and I really like it… it’s a really cool spot. I’m looking forward to them opening back up at night again.

What is your favourite song?
Oh, I suppose one of George Ezra’s songs, my son was born around the same time one of his songs was big. I can’t remember the name of it, I’d have to sing it, but I won’t!

And our final question, what is your favourite film?
My favourite film would be probably Dead Poets Society, it’s fantastic. I loved it as a kid, and I saw it again there recently and I was reminded how much I love it still.