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Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
Co. Galway

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Danni Barry appointed Executive Head Chef at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
She looks forward to creating simple but sophisticated dishes, utilising glorious local ingredients
 Thurs 22nd December 2022

Danni Barry is the new Executive Head Chef at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. On a pretty bend on its own stretch of river, surrounded by acres of woodlands, walks and gardens that supply the hotel with its own homegrown fruit, herbs and vegetables, Ballynahinch Castle has a beautiful setting, one very much appreciated by its new chef.

“I’ve spent a little time in Ballynahinch now,” says Danni Barry, “I’ve been meeting local producers and just getting a feel for the area. It’s fair to say as locations go it is unrivalled! For a chef, it’s a dream. A stunning rural location, a walled garden just steps away from the kitchen and acres of glorious woodland estate to have as a seasonal larder. At the minute it’s rich with chanterelle mushrooms, hazelnuts, wild herbs, and game. We also have our own pigs and a fantastic local butcher, Laurence, to work with on getting the very best out of them. And that’s just in Ballynahinch - locally we have the best oysters, mussels and crab you can get your hands on, Connemara lamb, small independent cheese makers. The menus across the hotel will showcase all these wonderful ingredients, so they will pretty much write themselves.”

Mayobridge-born Danni Barry is a woman whose career has included time working in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Spain, at Simon Rogan’s l’Enclume in Cumbria and then as head chef at Rogan & Co. in Cartmel in the UK. Having started her cooking career in 2003 in Deane’s in Belfast, she returned to the city in 2014 as Head Chef at Michael Deane’s Eipic where she won a Michelin star, making her only the second ever Irish woman to hold a star. Named Irish Chef of the Year in 2016, Danni has also worked as executive head chef in Balloo House and at The Wicklow Escape.

Danni’s experience and training has always put the focus on the finest, freshest seasonal produce, with a light touch and a considered, balanced, modern approach to flavour. Her food is simple but sophisticated, with a strong visual appeal, food that she has described as progressive and honest.

“I suppose my approach has always been to keep it simple,” says Danni, “so I’ll be finding the best produce I can and using cooking techniques to enhance the ingredients, cooking with the seasons and cooking for the guests. I want everyone who visits Ballynahinch to eat really well, whether they have just popped in for a pint and a bowl of mussels in front of the fire after a walk or they are joining us for dinner in the Owenmore restaurant. Ballynahinch is a hotel that is luxurious and full of character but that also manages to be totally unpretentious. My hope is that my food fits alongside that quite nicely.”

“We are delighted to welcome Danni to the team,” says Ballynahinch Castle’s General Manager, Eoin Walsh, “Danni's passion and understanding of seasonal, high-quality food will add enormous value to our kitchen and make her a great fit for Ballynahinch Castle. We very much look forward to sharing this with our guests through the incredible larder of produce available in Connemara.”

Visit Ballynahinch Castle Hotel’s website

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