Noreen's 'Culinary Tours' during last year were an instant success and proved so popular, that despite wind, rain, high water and broken telephone lines, they are always completely booked out. If last night's crowd is any indication, they will be the forerunner of many more. Noreen, motivated by a desire to share her comprehensive knowledge on cookery, had a good idea; and because of it, people are finding out how simple it is to make delicious dishes. "I'm not trying to teach people how to cook, except that I do emphasize not to overcook vegetables."  What she does aim at, is to enlarge existing repertories, and says it is easy to produce tasty, exotic dishes without wines and cream.  All that is needed is the knowledge of how to use herbs and spices. The ingredients she uses are those everyday ones used by all of us.  I asked around for reactions. All had enjoyed themselves, and learned a good deal.  Quite an achievement!  

 Phyl O'Kelly - Cork Examiner,  January  1974


                Noreen shows her audiences how to cook foods that sound and taste exotic, but are not difficult to make. The dishes are economical, nutritious, colourful and simple to prepare, often in one pan, where the sauce evolves during the cooking process.  She took fundamental cookery courses when living in London, but acquired most of her knowledge firsthand from travels and living in countries around the world.  When living in India,  Noreen  discovered the world of spices and herbs.  In  'one-on-one'  cooking lessons, she  watched the cooks grind and mix spices, and prepare meals for fifty people on tiny stoves.  She tells me that she can get all her ingredients locally in Ireland.  Noreen's American-born husband Fred, is also interested in cooking., and he specializes in both Chinese and French country cooking.  Noreen learned from him too.

      Deirdre McCarry - Irish Independent, January 1974


Noreen  started her culinary series in her own kitchen and these were an instant success.  She does not aim to teach people how to cook, but plans  to enlarge existing repertoires.  She says it is easy to produce  tasty exotic dishes without the use of wines and cream.  All that is needed is a knowledge of using herbs and spices.  Because of this, people are finding out how delicious and simple ordinary dishes can be, and all thanks to Noreen    

Irish Catering Review  - February 1974


Go on a 'Culinary Tour' under the expert guidance of Noreen, who has just completed another very successful one.  It proved very popular with her audience, and many have returned to do this more sophisticated 'tour'. The Menu was quite delightful.   I persuaded Noreen to let me publish her very delicious recipe Bradan na Blarnan - Blarney Salmon,  a new and rather special dish for you to serve on St. Patrick's day.  It is a salmon mould coated in a super green frosting, made from avocado pears.  Decorated in the Irish colours - green, white and gold, it really did look very effective. The general opinion of the "samplers" after the demonstration was that this was a really delicious dish, well worth trying for a special occasion.  If this has whetted your appetite, Noreen has planned more 'Tours' in the near future, all of which sound rather exciting to me. 

Ruth  O'Mahony - Evening Echo,  March  1974


Noreen takes her audience on a Culinary Tour, and starts her presentations with the history and traditions, facts and legends behind the food.  Then, she demonstrates the various dishes, which are sampled by the audience.  Her dishes look exotic, but take little time to prepare, with very easy-to-come-by Irish ingredients. Her speciality dish is Bradan na Blarnan - Blarney Salmon, created recently as Ireland's dish in the common market. It's a salmon dish that looks like a frosted cake.  In September, Noreen will go on tour to Cruises in Limerick;  Actons in Kinsale;  the Commodore in Cobh, and to hotels in Waterford and Wexford.   Macra na Feirme have also asked her to demonstrate her skills to their members in the coming months.

Ruth Kelly - RTE Guide,  July 1974


I've always hated salads and found them cold and uninteresting. To me they were always piles of lettuce, egg and tomatoes cut up with some onion, and served with a dob of salad cream.  So I was delightfully surprised as I watched Noreen conduct a full house for her "Salads" Culinary Tour.  She prepared a full meal of salads, starting with  a French style  hors d'oeuvre, using sliced potatoes and green beans as the focal point; followed by a cold curried chicken and rice salad.  For desert, she mixed a delicious concoction of avocado pears, bananas, cream cheese, coconut and whipped cream.  Noreen  told me why  it is her favourite ' Tour'. "I have a marvelous time using my imagination."  She  agreed with me that Irish people know very little about salads. Not surprising when you realize that until recently we did not have green peppers or fennel, and are inclined to think that  vegetables must always be cooked.  "Not so" said Noreen, who prepared dishes using sliced fresh mushrooms, spinach leaves, chopped raw turnips, which have a nutty flavour;  and mixed mandarin oranges with sliced cucumber.  I saw her using lots of colour;  combining sweet and savoury items with herbs and spices, which she said play a very important role in flavours.

Deirdre McCarry - Irish Independent,   July 1974


If you're not quite sure what a culinary tour entails, it's time you found out.  The idea of holding 'Culinary Tours' is that of Noreen.  They are extremely interesting, and so far have been a marvellous success.  Noreen takes her audience on a tour of good cuisine, starting with a little history, facts and fables on the dishes she demonstrates.  These are willingly sampled afterwards.  Her 'tours' have been received with such enthusiasm so Noreen has been persuaded to go 'on tour'  herself.  This autumn, she will be found in Limerick, Kinsale, Cobh, Waterford and Wexford, as well as in Cork city.  Noreen is from Cork originally. She is married to an American, and has two daughters.  She is an excellent and natural cook, and has travelled round the world learning about food.  Finally, she decided to put her wide knowledge of cookery to good use, and show Irish people ideas on how to prepare and develop our own special cuisine.

 Honor Moore - Woman's Way - September 1974 


Noreen's  dishes are really varied and quite delicious.  This is an ideal opportunity to get some really good ideas, unusual hints and recipes.  The audience at a recent culinary tour were all very complimentary about her dishes, and the "tastings" afterwards. .  A gorgeous concoction of apples and caramel was the top favourite.  It is my good fortune to be able to give you the recipe.    All ingredients were local too. While Noreen took a break, her husband Fred prepared a fabulous mussel dish amidst great hilarity.  But in spite of the fun and jokes, it was highly popular.  Fred and Noreen gathered the mussels  from Ringabella near Crosshaven, Co. Cork.  A sideline from these Tours, is the knowledge that one can gain from Noreen, who is a fund of information about the origin of spices and herbs; where particular dishes originated, and their history.  I really enjoyed this part of the proceedings, and feel I learnt more than just how to make a new recipe.

Ruth O'Mahony - Evening Echo,  September 1974


It was a gourmet occasion spent with Noreen, who aimed to introduce everyday cooking to Irish people.  So, it was with pleasurable anticipation that I trotted along to another 'Culinary Tour' held at the Imperial Hotel.   Noreen's 'Culinary Tours'   have received national acclaim.  Having sat-in on some of her 'Tours', I can vouch for the tastiness of her dishes, as well as their simplicity in preparation. I watched Noreen going with incredible speed from one dish to another from her seemingly inexhaustible repertoire. A nice touch was the sampling of dishes at the end, as well as coffee served halfway through the proceedings.  Both are a feature at all Noreen's demonstrations.  So is her easy and relaxed way of involving the audience, and, at the same time, adding to their store of knowledge, by sprinkling her talk  with interesting facts about the food she is handling..  Her knowledge on cooking and eating is wide, and even better, it is first-hand, from her world travels. Noreen's parents hail from Cork, and she has been ' to-ing and fro-ing' between Cork and practically everywhere else in the world all her life.  She describes the background information on herbs and spices, their origins and uses. The experience was enjoyable and gastronomically satisfying.  It proved too much for my will power. If you are searching for fresh ideas to add zest to Irish meal times, the' tours' are for you.

Phyl O'Kelly - Cork Examiner,  September  1974


                Always on the lookout for new ideas for our annual "Bake-in" Christmas Cookery competition,  where there are no losers - for all entries are subsequently given to various charities; I was delighted when Noreen, known for her successful cookery series, "Noreen's Culinary Tours", suggested we have a section in the competition for decorative baskets of fruit.  While I realise it is not strictly cooking, I think this section  will make a colourful and artistic addition to the competition. I hope you will agree!   So, even if baking isn't your forte, you can enter the cookery competition with an artistic fruit basket           

Maureen Fox - Cork Examiner,  October 1974


Next week, Limerick will meet a lady who has made a life of travel into an education in itself.  And, a delicious education it is.  Noreen  has travelled the globe, yet her tastes in food remain simple.  Audiences at her earlier 'Culinary Tours' were astounded by her meals prepared solely from inexpensive and readily available ingredients,  and Noreen prides herself on being able to prepare the most exotic dishes without either kitchen or sink.  The Limerick Zonta Club are sponsoring a preview at Cruises Hotel, in Aid of the Blind.    

Limerick Weekly Echo - September 1974


Good cooking is the way to a man's the smiling Mayor, Ald P Kennedy seems to say as he attended a Culinary Tour given by Noreen at Cruises Hotel in Limerick.                                      

Limerick Weekly Echo,  October   1974

 (Front page headline with photo)


                Noreen is at present conducting a Culinary Tour at Cruises Hotel.  It is proving so popular that she will run a further tour soon.  Over two hundred people wanted to attend, but only half could be accommodated.  It is one of the most popular culinary events ever held in Limerick,  and in order to avoid disappointing those who could not attend, she is arranging a further Tour.

Limerick Leader - October 12th 1974


The most popular cookery event ever held in Limerick is surely that being conducted these present weeks at Cruises Hotel by the international culinary expert Noreen. The response to Noreen's ' Tours'  has been overwhelming.  Two hundred people tried to attend her 'Culinary Tour', but only one hundred could be accommodated, so Noreen will run a second 'tour' too. She has adopted an original style to produce interest and knowledge on food, and her popular and entertaining evenings are run informally.  The most fabulous meals can be made from the simplest ingredients if you have the know-how. Some of these fantastic dishes can be cooked in five, ten or fifteen minutes.    The surprise element comes when the audience discovers that all ingredients used are those they are already familiar with in their everyday lives. 

Limerick Chronicle - October 1974


               When I met Noreen, I discovered that Cuisine is her subject, but not cooking as it is conventionally presented.  She titles her presentations "A Culinary Tour", and a variety of people are getting the benefit of her experience, on how to cook appetizing, nutritious and exciting meals on 'next to nothing' decimal wise.  Every ingredient has a story to tell, and she says the history of food is the history of mankind. The abundance of good food in Ireland is terrific, but abroad, it has a very poor image.  The  knowledge on how to cook our food is lacking. .  Ireland is virgin territory to become a gourmet's paradise," says Noreen.  Everyone attending the tours fills out a card, and the results show 98%  favourable results.  People are very enthusiastic about learning new dishes.          

Limerick Leader - October 30th 1974


Noreen's latest 'Culinary Tour'  is a  journey through the mystical ages of food,  and will feature the history and preparation of the dishes demonstrated. Our recipes today come from Noreen, who runs very successful  'Tours'  throughout Ireland,  and intends to bring  them to Dublin soon.

Ruth Kelly - RTE Guide,  October  1974


Today, we are devoting a complete page to the culinary arts, and you will meet Noreen, a small lively redhead  and culinary gourmet.  The basics of a simple sauce were even beyond me until I was taken on a 'Culinary Tour' by Noreen, whose  name is now synonymous with an exciting new concept in the culinary arts.  As well as being a marvelous cook, she has inherited the 'gift of the gab' from her Irish parents.  Her fantastic knowledge of food, acquired during her world travels, is combined with interesting chat, and she succeeds in making her culinary tours a really entertaining experience.  By far the most popular and exciting 'Tours', which Noreen intends to repeat next Spring, are her series on Salads and Chocolate Desserts.  She has recently been on a 'Culinary Tour' through the mystical ages of food, in Cork, Kinsale, Limerick and Cobh.  The emphasis is on dinner party menus, and it's really an opportunity to learn some truly native dishes that will whet your appetite.  Noreen has adopted an original and unique style to promote interest and knowledge in food, creating goodwill and understanding through this medium.  These popular and entertaining evenings are run informally, guaranteed to show superb exotic dishes,  that can be prepared with minimum expense and effort.  The surprise element comes when the audience discovers that all ingredients are those they are already familiar with in their everyday lives.

Micheline McCormack - Sunday World, November 1974


Noreen will shortly commence her  'Culinary Tours'  at White's Hotel in Wexford.   It will be a unique and adventurous experience in food presentation, and an opportunity to learn more about simple dishes, which are cooked in a matter of minutes.  Noreen sees food as a culture, and makes one aware that the facts and fables, the arts and superstitions of plant life, in all its aspects, are inextricably interwoven.   "From the very beginning in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and the apple.. And thereby hangs a tale."  This is Noreen's approach to food, and her evenings are spent with this happy chat throughout her demonstrations.  She was interviewed recently on the radio programme 'Roundabout' by Tom McSweeney, and has begun writing a book.    She believes that the best way to learn about a country is  through its food, and through this medium, Noreen is able to bring her audiences on her 'Culinary Tours'.  It was an unflattering remark heard overseas, that people in Ireland lived on a diet of Irish potatoes, which made Noreen decide that she could prove Irish ingredients and food were as good as the world's best.  As a result, Noreen started  her 'Tours', and has cultivated a unique blend that is new and excitingly different.

The People - Wexford,  November 8th  1974


Gourmet treats begin at Whites Hotel, Wexford, on Monday, November 18th.  .  Just think of  lots of colour and the lovely combination of sweet and savoury ingredients mixed together, and meals that will warm you up in this cold weather.  The dishes shown by Noreen at her 'Culinary Tours, make a pleasant change, and take the drudgery out of cooking mundane day to day meals. Think of all the compliments!    

The People - Wexford, November 15th 1974


Do not miss the opportunity to see an Expert Cook, who will appear at Cashs - Cork  next week.


   Starting Tuesday, 18th February - Noreen, of Noreen's 'Culinary Tours  fame, will demonstrate and cook economical meals with Le Creuset cookware at 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.  Pick up some useful tips,  free advice and a special offer of a free 'Mama' dish with your purchase of Le Creuset cookware.

Taken from a Press Release published in the Cork Examiner, February 1975 , by  Le Creuset,  for their promotional event at Cashs in Cork.


This is Noreen,  (photo)  who recently gave a cookery demonstration in Dublin's Shelbourne hotel, aimed at showing that gourmet dishes need not be beyond the average housewife's budget.  Noreen was born in India.  Her mother hails from Cork, and her father is a doctor, who studied at Trinity College, Dublin.  Noreen's interest in cooking stems from extensive travelling round the world, and her objective with the demonstrations, is to show people interesting ways of using foods available, keeping in mind economy, presentation and simplicity in preparation.  She is married to an American 'Freddie', who was the U.S. delegate to the World Food Conference.  They have two daughters.

Honor Moore - Woman's Way,   April 1975


Noreen is well known to cookery enthusiasts in the South. She gave a cookery demonstration some time ago in Dublin.  The recipes featured here have  been designed by Noreen, to make the best of Ireland's natural foods.  We think you will find them interesting.    (Ten recipes are featured in a three page article)

Honor Moore - Woman's Way,    May 1975


Noreen, whose Culinary Tours are already well known in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford, is now presenting them to Dublin audiences at the Shelbourne Hotel.  She picks up local recipes, adapts them to her own personal style of cooking, to show audiences interesting ways of using foods available, keeping in mind, economy, presentation and simplicity in preparation.                     

Honor Moore - Woman's Way,   June 1975


There is a very real need in Ireland to create an interest in Irish cooking, according to gourmet  cook, Noreen, who is fed up with the lack of imagination here.    Ireland in her view is virgin territory to become a gourmet's paradise, and we are not exploiting this potential.  Her very popular Culinary Tours have inspired people all over Ireland  to become more adventurous in their approach to cooking.  To put Irish food well and truly on the map, and inspire a more imaginative approach and greater interest in good food, Noreen and others are establishing the Irish Gourmet Society in the new year. Noreen says, " Lyon in France was once the capital of cuisine in the world, with a total of twenty two 'three star' restaurants.  Now it has been surpassed by Brussels in Belgium, which boasts twenty three such restaurants. If that can happen in Belgium, it can also happen in Ireland, although  it would take years; but we have to start somewhere.  Setting up a gourmet society to improve standards and inspire interest in Irish food at its best is a start."  Good food is Noreen's business, and already she has demonstrated the skills of preparing excellent meals to well over six thousand people across the country.      

 Isabel Conway - Cork Examiner,  December 1975


Tonight, on our celebrity panel is Jack Cruise, Lady Antonia Wardell, Tony Butler and Candy Devine.  Our guest is Noreen, a Culinary Artiste, who is creating great interest across the country in her attempts to create a new Irish cuisine.  Through her 'Culinary Tours', she shows audiences what they can do with the wonderful food available in Ireland, We have three people on our guest panel, all claiming to be Noreen.   It will be up to our celebrity panel to direct several questions to these ladies, and guess which lady is the real Noreen.

 Mike Murphy on the RTE programme   "To Tell the Truth"   1975


Super Cook Noreen's  secret ingredient is a matter of having the right attitude towards cooking.:  Is it possible to make culinary masterpieces from every day ingredients which do not cause havoc to the housekeeping budget?  According to super cook Noreen, it is.  Noreen has demonstrated to over six thousand women and men all over the country from parish halls to the Shelbourne Hotel.  Like all top cooks, Noreen insists food only needs an extra whiff of flavouring, garlic, herbs or spices, to lift the most mundane meal out of the ordinary.  Now, others will be able to taste her delectable food through the Gourmet Diners Circle, to be run at the headquarters of one of Cork's oldest and most important industries, Beamish and Crawford.  The dinners  will be served to sixty diners, and the emphasis will be on the best of all things Irish.     

Jean Sheridan - Sunday Press,   February 1976


The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Cllr. A.A. "Gus"  Healy, and the Lady Mayoress,  Mrs Rita Healy,  have accepted an invitation to attend the inaugural dinner of the Irish Gourmet Society, arranged by gourmet and international cookery expert Noreen, to be held in The Vault room at Beamish and Crawford in Cork.  Noreen, who has conducted many successful 'Culinary Tours' throughout Ireland, brings new ideas to these events and occasions, to promote the best in Irish food.  Sponsorships have poured in from many Irish companies. Waterford Crystal, Irish Linen Mills (Belfast and UK), Carrigaline Potteries, Irish Cutlery, and others including Le Creuset and Tupperware, Sunbeam,  and  Gilbeys  in Dublin.                 

 Cork Examiner - April 1976


Attending the Gourmet dinner presented by Noreen in the Vault Room at Beamish and Crawford Ltd, to launch the Irish Gourmet Society were the Lord Mayor of Cork, Mr. A. A. Healy, and Sponsors, Messrs. Richard Beamish, Tom Corcoran of  Waterford Glass, and Dan O' Connell of Carrigaline Pottery.       

 (Caption under photograph)    Evening Echo - May 1976


In 'Cooking Irish Style Today' Noreen brings good cooking into everyone's reach.  Very colourful, economical and easily followed recipes, without additional expense or extra work in the process.  Noreen includes several traditional dishes as well as many original ones incorporating characteristic Irish flavours. Noreen writes a weekly section in a national newspaper, and also runs 'Culinary Tours' throughout Ireland during the winter.  Here are some written comments received from those attending her 'Culinary Tours' . 

·         'Enjoyed every minute and feel each dish was one which I could cook for my family, and not keep for special occasions, as none were too expensive, or time consuming, and yet are colourful and exotic enough for a dinner party.'

·         'Very colourful, economical and easily followed recipes.'

·         'Takes the ordinary everyday items that people use, but does them in such a way that the result is a luxurious meal.'

Press Release issued by  Mercier Press on publication of Noreen's book in 1977


Noreen is best known for the Culinary Tours she runs throughout Ireland, and their success is a tribute to her very positive attitude towards Irish cookery. She deplores the common impression that the meagre foods of the famine era still represent Irish cooking today, and points out:  "Rich in food resources with excellent dairy and agricultural produce, top quality meat and an abundance of fish around the coast, Ireland today is virgin territory to become a gourmet's paradise."  To help bring this about, Ms. Kinney calls for a fresh look at cooking and suggests that "La Nouvelle Cuisine" the revolutionary style now adopted by master chefs right across the Continent, calling for the use of fresh ingredients, simplicity of preparation and imaginative presentation, might be the answer.  She herself has tried to put the theory into practice during the 'Culinary Tours'.  Using ingredients available locally, she put together her own cuisine with characteristic Irish flavours to suit the Irish taste.  I agree with Ms. Kinney's comments about our natural resources and what we ought to be doing with them.  Results now appear in a book by Mercier Press, 'Cooking Irish Style Today'.  I expect that the book will be popular with tourists, and will also gain the place it deserves as a family cookbook on the home market.

Georgina Campbell - Irish Independent - July 1977


The cookbook that makes you feel hungry is the one that gives the best results, and when Noreen gets cracking in her own style, the taste buds start to drool.  Just read about Blarney Salmon.  For its' imagination in the field of desserts, the book deserves a medal.

Tony Butler - Evening Herald - July 1977


It is refreshing to see a book on cookery in Ireland that is simple, basic, practical and delicious which titillates the gourmet palate.  Noreen's "Cookery Irish Style Today" recognises that there is a greater variety of  foods available.  Traditional meals are included, but an attempt is made to show recipes for the more adventurous, which includes some galloping gourmet delights like Blarney Salmon - Bradan na Blarnan.   It is such a pleasure to read, and will add a touch of spice to the Irish table, that has always been considered to be dull and conservative.

Micheline McCormack - Sunday World,   August 1977


There are some delightful recipes  in  'Cooking Irish Style Today', by Noreen Kinney, (Mercier Press)  and none are above the capability of the average housewife.  Fish, meats, salads, poultry, soups and sweets are shown to have mouth  watering possibilities.  Traditional Irish dishes are described, and so too are many originals.  You will find that a gourmet meal can be prepared, cooked and presented at a really minimum cost.                                                                                               

Phyl O'Kelly - Cork Examiner,  July 1977


                Spend a Weekend of Leisure for Your Pleasure at Actons Hotel, Kinsale, Co. Cork.From Friday 5th to Sunday 7th November. Our guests who will entertain you are: Desi Banks-RTE  'Floral Arrangements'; Noreen 'The New Cuisine'; Ena Russell 'Fashion and Grooming'; Clare Rogan 'Fitness'; Chef Roden-Actons 'Cooking demonstration'  (with commentary by Noreen);  and Gilbeys of Ireland   'Wine tastings and Apéritifs'

This Announcement from Actons Hotel, Kinsale, appeared in the Cork Examiner September 1976


The following item is taken from a Profile on Noreen's husband Frederick Kinney, by Deirdre McCarry:  Freddie Kinney, an American, is a high-powered, world  traveled businessman and food consultant,  who decided to settle in a small corner of Ireland, in a bungalow over-looking the Atlantic ocean near Crosshaven, Co. Cork.  He flies regularly to China, Russia and all over the European Continent.  Currently, he is doing a commissioned survey into the world protein shortage problem.  His findings when published could be of immense value to the eventual survival of humanity.  He is a big man.  He likes to talk a lot; is very interested in people and has endless patience.   However, he came to like Crosshaven very much.  "In my ten years of marriage, every time my wife Noreen came home with our two daughters, now aged eight and six years, they would stay a few weeks, where as I was lucky if I had a weekend." So, he  decided to settle in his wife's country.  "It's so peaceful here, and the best country in the world to rear our children.

Irish Independent, May 1974


The following item is taken from a Profile on Noreen's husband Frederick Kinney, by Isabel Conway: Noreen, whose 'Culinary Tours' and demonstrations have received national acclaim, is married to an American,   Frederick Kinney.  Her husband  is a consultant on proteins and international food shortages.   He was a US delegate at the United Nations World Food Conference in Rome last November.  Noreen credits him with teaching her a great deal about the make-up of  food components, and the basics of various  traditional  international  foods. From their modest bungalow commanding a breathtaking view of the scenic Co. Cork coastline, not far from Crosshaven,   Fred  is currently working on a study commissioned by Dun and Bradstreet.  It  will define for the first time the world markets, risks, investment opportunities and probable future growth of industrial proteins.    His work takes him around the world, and he commutes regularly to the States and other parts of  the world.

 Cork Examiner, January  1975



Excerpts from some correspondence received by Noreen during 1974, 1975 & 1976:


It is nice to see someone who knows exactly what they want to achieve and embarks upon it so painstakingly.  I am sure that the first Gourmet Dinner will be an enormous success.

                Excerpt from letter to Noreen from M. Elson, Director - Irish Linen Guild London, April 1976 (Sponsor)


Rita joins me in thanking you for the splendid hospitality you showed to us last Friday.  It is hardly necessary to say how much we enjoyed ourselves and the excellent menu was indeed a credit to you.  With Every good wish.  Gus Healy.

                Excerpt from letter from Gus Healy, Lord Mayor of Cork, Guest at The Gala Dinner and Launch of the Irish Gourmet Society, May 1976


A big thank you for your assistance, and the wonderful work you did organizing the launch of the Irish Gourmet Society.  Everyone is delighted with its success.  We appreciate all the effort you made, and were delighted at the outcome of your work to find major sponsorships.  Without them, it would have been difficult for us to get off the ground.  On behalf of the society members, again very many thanks, and every good wish for the future.                                                    

John Lott - President -  Irish Gourmet Society,  June 1976


On behalf of all of us at Beamish and Crawford, I send you and your family every best wish for a happy, joyful and peaceful holiday.  We value and thank you for your friendship and the excellent goodwill that exists between us.  May the New Year bless you with good health, prosperity and continued success. 

J.A. Gauntley -  Managing Director,   December 1976


We have had all the reactions this morning from Staff, Parents and Committee, and everyone was delighted with you and enjoyed the evening.  It was an excellent start to our venture, most important!  One of the things they said was that you took the ordinary everyday items that they would use, but did them up in such a way that it became a luxurious meal.  Other impressions were more personal - You had such a pleasant manner and lovely voice.  Again very many thanks for all the trouble you took for our fundraising event.

Anne Maxwell - Superintendent at the Cork Spastic Clinic,   October 1975


I do hope you will be able to drag yourself away from that 'gold mine' in your kitchen, and attend our next meeting of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Excerpt from Beamish & Crawford's letter to Noreen's husband Fred - December 1975


I will do my utmost to be at your launch of the new Irish Cuisine on March 4th at the Shelbourne Hotel, and hope nothing stands in the way.

Theodora FitzGibbon, February 1975


Without fail, we will be along in force to have a look at your programme's potential for television and savor some of your excellent cuisine. Look forward to seeing you again.     

Dick Hill - RTE TV  Ireland


On the very day when we met, our Programme Controller finalized his programme schedule for next year. Sad to relate, when it was subsequently published, he had taken the decision not to include any home-originated cookery programmes.  With a single channel, there has to be a clear list of priorities established because broadcasting time is limited.  Consequently, we have to adopt a cyclic pattern to include several subjects of domestic interest.  I can assure you that when the question of cookery programmes comes into consideration again, you will not be forgotten. Wishing you every success in your culinary work.

Dick Hill -  RTE  TV (Radio Telefis Eireann)


I think your idea to develop a new Irish Cuisine is an excellent one, and greatly needed.  I am sure that Paul Bocuse will be most interested to hear what you are doing to improve Irish food. However, I think you should know that in France, the culinary field and kitchens are still dominated by men, but do not let that deter you in making contact with Monsieur Bocuse. 

Seth Goldslager, - Newsweek European Correspondent,  Paris 1974


Your work and your own principles in cooking are good.  Your idea to manage Culinary Tours seems very pleasant and interesting.  We wish you a big success for this, and think that Paul Bocuse will be very happy to speak to you about your project.  Again, wishing you success. 

Letter to Noreen from Jean & Pierre Troisgros - France 1974


Thank you for your letter. I look forward to seeing you at Collonges, and send you my best wishes with your culinary work.  

Paul Bocuse - France 1974


Noreen, whom you last met when we had tea at your flat in Paris, has become a "Cooking Authority and Personality" in Ireland.  In the last couple of years, there have been over 40 articles written about her in all parts of the Irish Press, and she has appeared on radio and television.  She runs 'Culinary Tours' in most main towns and cities in Ireland, and started them in Dublin at the Shelbourne last Spring.  Noreen has a particular style that concentrates on making exotic foods from relatively common ingredients, that are quick and easy to prepare, and can be easily duplicated by  Madame La Cuisiniere, who as you know these days, means everyone.  She has recently taken to doing promotional work too, and has already done it with Le Creuset, Sunbeam, Waterford Glass, Gilbeys and others.  However, the most interesting promotions have been with the wine trade.  Obviously there is a great logic in this.  In Cork, Noreen did a promotion with Gilbeys in February at the Imperial Hotel, which was reasonably successful.  She then tried one with Woodford Bourne, and it was especially successful.  They reported very big increases in their sales of Pasqua and Valpollicella, as well as the Spumante which was featured.  Having been encouraged, Noreen planned to repeat this in Dublin at a Culinary Tour at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.  She spoke again with Gilbeys and they agreed to do the wine tastings at the event.   Last February, they had graciously invited her to lunch in their Directors dining room.  I accompanied her.  Present were David Dand, the Managing Director,  and Keith McCarthy-Morrogh, the Marketing Director.  Noreen spoke to them about the use of wines and liqueurs in cooking.  They were very involved and focused on marketing their new product Baileys Irish Cream, and were only mildly interested in using the item in the cooking process. We sampled the liqueur at the end of the meal, and Noreen said she could create a dessert using the product.  She included the "Jewel Box"  into her repertoire at a special 'Culinary Tour' demonstration, held  for the Press and RTE TV representatives.  The dessert is presented as a jewel box, made from a French style sponge and filled with fresh fruits and Baileys Irish Cream.  The decoration is piped fresh cream in diamond shapes, filled in with colour jams.  It is very colourful.  The event took place at the Shelbourne Hotel on March 4th of this year.    The evening was a great success, despite the fact that the piping cream bag split at the seams, when she was decorating the dessert.  Even Theodora Fitzgibbon, seated in the front row (the doyen of culinary journalists in Ireland) encouraged her not to worry about completing the work.  But Noreen smiled, held the bag together with her hands, and did it to a thunderous clap.  "I admire your cool under such a nerve racking situation", Dick Hill, Head of RTE Programmes told her afterwards, and Tom McSweeney rushed to do another radio interview with her, while everyone sampled the displayed foods.  It was a very successful evening   The event got great publicity in the media.  Dick Hill,  who had already met with Noreen about a TV cookery programme,  which was put on hold as there is only one TV  channel here,  told her that she was still in mind when it came to doing another cookery series. They have to do a cycle of different programmes to suit all viewers.  Unfortunately, Gilbeys did not see the potential of what she had done for their product, within the realms of the culinary field, as their interests are entirely focused on marketing and sales of their new 'drink' product;  but they did become a Sponsor for the 'Tours'.  They also agreed to be a Sponsor for the 'Irish Gourmet Society',  which started recently.  The Irish Gourmet Society will officially launch the 'New Irish Cuisine' at an Inaugural  Gourmet Dinner in May next year.  It has received considerable sponsorship from companies in Ireland and England.  These include Waterford Crystal, Irish Linen Mills, Beamish & Crawford, Le Creuset, Sunbeam, Tupperware and many others.  Noreen is not only a "Grand Chef", but a very good performer.  She is very charming and most experienced in the Culinary Arts.  When she did a special event for Le Creuset last February at Cashs in Cork, the distributors had the largest month in their history here in Ireland. 

The above excerpt was taken from a personal letter written in November 1975 to Gerald de Geoffre de Chabrignac head of the House of Hennessy in France, from Frederick Kinney, who was a friend of the family for many years.


Additional letters about Noreen's work, or written to Noreen by numerous people who attended the Culinary Tours, are on file in Noreen's Culinary Library.



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