The Pigeon House has earned a reputation as one of Clontarf’s finest eateries, securing a Michelin Bib Gourmand within a year of opening for exceptional dishes, served in informal and casual surroundings. Not keen to rest on his laurels, Chef Proprietor Brian Walsh last year launched the Pigeon Projects initiative, which saw him hand over the Head Chef reigns to a member of his team once a month.
This project saw a number of his young chefs draft their own bespoke menus and run the kitchen for the night, a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on their burgeoning talents and give them a taste of things to come as they progress in their careers.
This month, the series of pop-up style dinners returns and is sure to be as popular as ever, with a number of the previous nights selling out entirely. On January 23rd, Pigeon House Sous Chef Josef Dvorak will take the helm and serve up a menu dotted with tempting dishes of his own creation.
Guests on the night will kick off proceedings with Caramelised Onion Bread and Hazelnut Butter, followed by seasonal Venison Tartare with Guinness Crumb and Cranberries. Next, Roast Carrots will be served up with Chickpeas and Goats Cheese.
On to the fish course, diners will be treated to a delicious sounding John Dory with Smoked Mussels, Almonds and Celeriac before feasting on French classic Duck Cassoulet. Ending the night on a sweet note, dessert will consist of the comforting combination of Puff Pastry, Red Apple and Lemon Sorbet.
Describing Dvorak as one of his ‘right hand men’ for the last seven years, this Pigeon Project has particular significance for Brian and Josef, as it will be a send off for Josef before he returns to his native Prague.
Just as important as encouraging team spirit and creativity among his chefs, for Brian, is the training the project will give them on exactly what it takes to run a restaurant themselves,
“For me it’s great because they get a chance to see what it’s like to run a kitchen. They can’t just say I’m going to do a menu with turbot, foie gras and caviar – it has to work; they have to cost it; it has to make money,” Brian says of the invaluable opportunity the project presents for the chefs.
“I want to equip anyone that works with me so that they leave me in a better position for their next job, and I think this initiative is just part of that.”
The Pigeon Project is now taking bookings for Tuesday, January 23rd, with a price of €35 per person for dinner. Call 018057567 or visit www.pigeonhouse.ie to secure your table.