Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Chef recreates Titanic’s last menu

Have you ever wondered what it was like to eat first-class aboard The Titanic?

Chef and proprietor Conor McClelland of Rayanne House in Holywood spent two months researching the last menu served on board the ill-fated liner.

The nine-course culinary extravaganza will launch this week for the Titanic Made In Belfast Festival in the guest house’s private dining room.

“It was such a beautiful menu. There was so much attention to detail in the food that it really was a first-class feast,” said Mr McClelland.

The banquet, last serviced on April 14 1912, includes delicacies such as foie gras pate, asparagus and watercress salad served with Champagne, and rose water and mint sorbet.

Mr McClelland has sourced the finest ingredients from local suppliers, providing local delicacies such as cream of barley soup finished with Bushmills whiskey.

He and his wife Bernie were lucky enough to find an original wine list too.

“In those days a different wine would have been served with each

course, which isn’t the case today. The wines served back then were European so we can offer similar ones,” Mr McClelland said.

“Aboard ship the meal would last up to four or five hours. There wouldn’t have been much else to do, so dinner was the main event.”

The menu has been slightly altered to suit the modern palate.

Mr McClelland said: “On the ship they served a foie gras pate course just before dessert. That’s not something people are used to today.”

The husband and wife team started to research the Titanic menu when they discovered links between the Rayanne Guest House and local artist JW Carey.

“We found a Carey painting of the Titanic sailing across Belfast Lough that could have been painted from the back garden here,” Mr McClelland said.

“Then we found a painting of the house by the same artist. Offering the menu for our private diners seemed like a nice touch.”

Mr McClelland trained in Galway before working as a chef in both the Black Forest and New York. He returned to Northern Ireland with his wife Bernie seven years ago to open Rayanne House.

The 11-bedroom guest house also features a private dining room that can accommodate between eight and 36 diners.

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