The 2012 Celtic Cook Off Winner shares his winning recipe with you

garyoh02Gary O’Hanlon hails from Ramelton in Co. Donegal. Gary's career began in The Rosapenna Hotel in Downings at the tender age of 15 and from there Gary moved on to the famous Tourism College Killybegs before working his way around Ireland from Dublin at La Cave to Belfast's Stormont Hotel and then on to Boston, Massachusetts, where he spent 6 years opening and establishing Devlin’s Restaurant.

At the tender age of 23 Gary was named as one of Boston's best chefs and contributed to "Great Chefs Cooking for Great Friends", a cookbook in aid of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and in 2004 he was named as one of America's rising Champions by "Affishianado" magazine for his work in stopping the over fishing of Chilean Seabass and highlighting the need to buy sustainable seafood. Devlin’s was named one of Boston's Best in 2005.
In 2005 Gary moved back to Ireland where he worked in The Olde Post Inn Cavan, winning Best Restaurant Ulster from Food & Wine Magazine and Georgina Campbell's Ireland Guide. Gary then left to set up VM @ Viewmount House in Co. Longford in 2008. A beautiful Georgian Manor house once owned by Lord Longford with the Restaurant in the converted stables. Viewmount House quickly established itself as one of Ireland's finest restaurants winning Best Country House Restaurant Leinster in 2010, Food & Wine Magazine Commended "Best Restaurant Leinster" 2011, Georgina Campbell "Sunday Lunch of the Year" 2012, and Bord Bia "Just Ask" winner February 2012.

VM @ Viewmount House has featured in the prestigious Bridgestone Top 100 Restaurants and Places to Stay in Ireland Guides every year since 2009. Viewmount House was named by the Irish Independent as one of Ireland's Top 10 Places to Stay & Eat in 2010.

Gary was the 2012 Celtic Cook Off winner at the West Cork Hotel, competing against Jack Stein for Cornwall, Stephane Delourme for Brittany, Ian Bennett for Wales, Tony Singh for Scotland and Butch Buttery for the Isle of Man. Here is the dish he prepared for the judges:

Gary O’Hanlon’s White Hornless Heath Milk Fed Lamb, Wild Artichoke Paste, Basil Hickory Smoked Cherry Tomato, Crisp Bone Marrow, Chestnut Mushroom, Bagna Couda Jus, Garlic


•    4 small Canons of Lamb
•    8 x 2 cm thick slices of bone marrow
•    12 cherry tomatoes
•    16 cloves of garlic
•    4 tbspn wild artichoke paste
•    12 chestnut mushrooms
•    3 tsp sugar
•    100g fresh basil
•    200 ml water
•    5 drops hickory extract
•    2 tbspn sour cream
•    200ml veal stock
•    2 tsp Worcester Sauce
•    Salt and pepper to taste
•    12 anchovy fillets
•    50 ml olive oil
•    1 beaten egg
•    100g flour
•    200g panko breadcrumbs
•    600 ml milk
•    2 tsp honey


The bone marrow and cherry tomato preparation must take place over 24 hours so planning is essential.
Pierce the cherry tomatoes with a crisscross. Drop into boiling water for 14 seconds, then lift out with a sieve and drop in a bowl of iced water. Skin the tomatoes and set aside.

Bring the 200 ml water to the boil with the basil, hickory and sugar. Once boiled, remove from the heat and cool completely.

Add the cherry tomatoes to a vac-pac bag; pour in the hickory basil solution and seal. A container covered with cling film will suffice once the tomatoes are submerged. Leave in a refrigerator for 24 hours.

Drop 2 medium veal marrow bones into a bucket of cold water. Leave in a fridge for 24 hours.

Next day remove the tomatoes and set aside.

Push the marrow out of the bone, slice 8 slices and pass through flour, then egg and then panko. Set aside.

Blend the artichoke paste with sour cream. Adjust seasoning and pass through a fine sieve. Set aside at room temperature.
For the Jus

Blend the anchovies and 4 garlic cloves with the olive oil. Sauté then add Worcester Sauce.

Reduce then add the veal stock and reduce by half until sticky. Set aside keeping warm.

Add the garlic to 200 ml of milk and boil. Drain and repeat two more times.

Now sauté the garlic on a very low heat and when it begins to brown add 2 tsp of honey.
Season and pan sear the lamb canons on both sides until golden. Place in a pre-heated oven at 120 C for 4 minutes.

Leave to rest for 2 minutes under foil.

Sauté the chestnut mushrooms in butter, season.

To plate, spread a generous amount of artichoke paste up the centre of a long plate leaving a gap on each side.

Add three cherry tomatoes to the plate along with the garlic.

Now add three mushrooms.

Cut the lamb into 5 even slices.

Set on the artichoke paste the length of the plate.

Drizzle the jus on either side of the paste.

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