Paula McIntyre's Burns Night Banquet
Chef Paula McIntyre recreates dishes from an 1859 banquet to celebrate Burns Night.
Back in 1859, a lavish banquet was held in Belfast’s Music Hall to commemorate the birth of Robert Burns. More than 300 Belfast citizens gathered at a feast which included mock turtle soup, turkey with truffles and an array of mouthwatering desserts.
The menu and an account of the banquet was published in the Belfast Newsletter. Using this as inspiration, Paula has set herself the challenge of recreating some of the dishes for a special dinner which will incorporate traditional recipes and local ingredients, with the occasional modern twist.
Paula is cooking for 12 guests in the beautiful surroundings of Montalto House, near Ballynahinch. Montalto has its own unique connection with Robert Burns in the form of Lady Rawdon, who lived there in the 18th century and was one of the original sponsors of the first Edinburgh edition of Burns’s poems.
Paula chats to food historian Annie Gray, Ulster-Scots broadcaster and blogger Mark Thompson, and visits the Linenhall Library to view the world-famous Gibson collection.
Her final selection of dishes to be cooked at the banquet include potage a la reine (chicken and almond soup), haggis, oyster vol-au-vent, turkey a la perigord (turkey with truffles), a strawberry tartlet and an apple meringue.
Directed by: Michael Quinn
Produced by: Andrea McCartney