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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Public Officials Proclaim Irish Heritage Month in Massachusetts

Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts issued a proclamation declaring Irish Heritage Month in the Commonwealth in March 2009.

And the Massachusetts State Senate issued a Resolution for St. Patrick's Day, welcoming visiting chefs from Ireland who participated in this year's Gaelic Gourmet activities in Boston. The resolution was signed by Senate President Theresa Murray and Senator Jack Hart.

The chef events are sponsored by Tourism Ireland and the Boston Irish Tourism Association as a way of highlighting the cultural and culinary ties between Ireland and Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is the most Irish state in the USA, with nearly 24% of residents claiming Irish ancestry, according to the US Census.

Boston's Gaelic Gourmet Gala - Tastefully Irish

The annual Gaelic Gourmet Gala sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Boston Irish Tourism Association was held at Seaport Hotel Boston on Saturday, March 14, 2009.

The event featured a four-course dinner by master chefs from Boston and Galway. Gerard Reidy of the Delphi Mountain Resort in Galway was there to cook alongside Boston's finest chefs, including Barbara Lynch and Colm Lynch of No 9 Park, and Rachel Klein and Richard Rayment of Aura Restaurant at Seaport.

The popular quintet from Ireland, Celtic Thunder, performed twice during the dinner.

Proceeds from the evening benefited Fisher House Boston, a group that provides living arrangements for families of veterans who are in Boston for long-term medical treatment.

The Gaelic Gourmet Gala is sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Boston Irish Tourism Association, as a way of celebrating Irish cuisine in America.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Boston Irish Heritage Trail Featured on

Boston's Irish Heritage Trail was featured on this week as part of the city's St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Among the Trail sites shown: the Old Granary Burying Ground, Irish Famine Memorial, and statue of Mayor Kevin White. And other stops along the way included the Omni Parker House and the Black Rose Pub.

Irish Fiddler Seamus Connolly in Boston

Ten-time Irish fiddle champion Seamus Connolly appeared on the New England Cable News as part of this year's St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Irish Chefs Visit Boston for Tasteful St. Patrick’s Day Feasts

Boston is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a tasteful display of contemporary and traditional cuisine from Ireland as the 5th annual Gaelic Gourmet celebration takes place the week of March 11-18, 2009 in hotels, restaurants and pubs throughout the city.

This year’s culinary program features two master chefs from Ireland, Chef Gerard Reidy of Delphi Mountain Resort in Connemara, County Galway, and Chef Kevin Cleary of the Westbury Hotel in Dublin. They’ll be cooking with Boston chefs Barbara Lynch, Rachel Klein and James Tierney to create special gourmet dinners at the Seaport Hotel Boston and Jurys Hotel Boston.

The annual program, presented by Tourism Ireland and the Boston Irish Tourism Association, is designed to showcase new cuisine from Ireland alongside the distinct culinary traditions of Massachusetts.

“Ireland is enjoying a culinary renaissance, and March is the perfect month to convey this exciting trend to the American public,” said Joe Byrne, Executive VP, United States and Canada, Tourism Ireland. “We want Americans who are thinking about an Irish vacation this year to know they can expect excellent cuisine.”

“Once known only for its clam chowder and baked scrod, Boston and Cambridge are today part of a culinary circuit and destination," said Patrick Moscaritolo, president of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. "When we started Restaurant Week nine years ago, 35 restaurants signed on. This year's Restaurant Week in March features 219 restaurants, an indicator of our vibrant culinary scene."

“For people seeking a tasteful way to experience and enjoy Irish heritage in March, Boston is the place to be,” said Colette Quinlin of Boston Irish Tourism Association.

Venues participating in this year’s festivities include Aura Restaurant at Seaport Boston Hotel, Stanhope Grille at Jurys Boston Hotel, the Black Rose Pub and Tamo Lounge at Seaport Boston Hotel. The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and Massachusetts State House are also participating venues.

The culinary week kicks off on Wednesday, March 11, when Chef Dan O’Donnell hosts a Sam Adams Beer Dinner upstairs at the Black Rose Pub near Faneuil Hall. The four-course, sit-down dinner pairs various ales and stouts of this local brewery with traditional Irish dishes like cockles and mussels, potato leek soup, Lamb Wellington and Irish Heritage Trifle.

The Tamo Lounge at Seaport Hotel Boston is hosting the Seamus Connolly Trio on March 13, 14, 16 & 17, featuring top flight Irish traditional music by one of Ireland’s master fiddlers as well as exquisite lunch and dinner menus by executive chef Rachel Klein and her staff.

The marquee event of festivities is the Gaelic Gourmet Gala on Saturday, March 14, at Aura Restaurant, Seaport Hotel Boston. Aura’s executive chef Rachel Klein is joined by Ireland’s Chef Reidy along with Boston’s renowned Chef Barbara Lynch. The four-course, sit-down dinner will benefit Fisher House Boston, a non-profit group that provides housing to families of veterans in Boston for medical care. Major General John F. Kelly, U.S. Marines, is special guest of honor. Celtic Thunder, Ireland’s popular singing quintet featured on PBS, is providing musical entertainment. Tourism Ireland is also raffling off a grand trip to Ireland at the Gala.

On Tuesday, March 17, Chef Reidy appears at the International Seafood Show at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, where he’ll give a live demonstration of Irish cooking from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m..

The evening of March 17, Chef Cleary from the Westbury Hotel in Dublin joins Chef James Tierney, executive chef at the Stanhope Grille at Jurys Boston Hotel, at a private event hosted by General Manager Stephen Johnston. The Westbury hotel and Jurys Boston Hotel, soon to be renamed The Back Bay Hotel are both members of the Doyle Collection.

On Wednesday, March 18, Chefs Reidy and Cleary appear at the Massachusetts State House for “A Day of Irish Culture,” which runs from Noon to 5:00 p.m.

The culinary week in Boston was developed in 2005 as a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a more stylish, sophisticated way, said Quinlin, whose association promotes travel between Massachusetts and Ireland throughout the year. Since then, over 20 chefs from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Canada have participated, along with dozens of Boston chefs.

Organizers say the culinary collaboration during Gaelic Gourmet week will extend into the spring, when the Volvo Ocean Race comes to Boston and then to Galway. One of the world’s premier global sailing events, the Volvo Ocean Race is stopping at Boston’s Fan Pier from April 27 through May 15, and then onto Galway, where the race docks from May 22 through June 5.

“The Volvo Ocean Race carnival in Boston this May will be a tremendous showcase for all that Ireland has to offer,” said Ruth Moran of Tourism Ireland, which is one of the sponsors of the Fan Pier event. “And we’ve invited Chef Lynch to return to Ireland to participate in the Galway festivities.”

For more details on Gaelic Gourmet Week, including reservation information, prices and times, dinner recipes, chef listings, and other information, visit the Boston Irish Tourism Association’s web site

In addition to culinary events, the web site features a variety of Irish and Celtic concerts, dance performances, theater, literary readings, parades and cultural gatherings taking place throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. According to the US Census, Massachusetts is the most Irish state in the USA, with 24% of all residents claiming Irish ancestry.


About Boston Irish Tourism Association
Founded in 2000, the Boston Irish Tourism Association promotes cultural tourism in Massachusetts year round to the travel industry. The group has over 100 members, including hotels, cultural venues, museums, pubs and restaurants, gift shops and travel agencies.

About Tourism Ireland
Tourism Ireland markets the island of Ireland as a single destination in the North American market. It is based in New York City.