It has all the appearances of a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. The cowboys are rough and exchange mean glances; there are spurs, chewed tobacco, trusty steeds and the obligatory tumbleweed – all captured in washed out Panavision.
But this Western was made in Mulranny and the cowboys starring in it include a chef, craft butcher, cheesemaker, honey producer and a hotel manager.
This Thursday the Gourmet Greenway – Mayo’s food trail – will mark its second birthday and announce its newest members with an ingenious idea: the launch of a spoof western in the style of cult classic “Once Upon a Time in the West”.
The cast look like identikit cowboys but are, in fact, all local Gourmet Greenway members, specifically: Ollie O’Regan (Head Chef, Mulranny Park Hotel), Dermot Madigan (General Manager, Mulranny Park Hotel) , Andrew Pelham Burn (Carrowholly Cheese), Sean Kelly (Kelly Butchers) and James McDermott (Murrevagh Honey)
“Once Upon a Time in Mayo” is a five-minute movie, filmed on location in Mulranny and on the Great Western Greenway, and will be premiered at the Gourmet Greenway Graze Dinner at Mulranny Park this Thursday night.
It represents the first-ever Western produced to promote Irish food and reflects the community collaboration of local producers in Mayo in what food writer John McKenna described last week at the launch of his Top 100 Places to eat and stay in Ireland as “the County Mayo renaissance”.
“Dermot Madigan and his team have been rewriting the Rules for Success manual in the Mulranny Park. There is a sense of camaraderie and commitment amongst the chefs, food producers, restaurateurs and hoteliers [in Mayo] which is currently unmatched in Ireland and the Mulranny Park has been at the centre of this renaissance”, commented John McKenna.
“The Gourmet Greenway is a food trail based in the West so the concept of the spaghetti Western is genius, I think. This is the social media age where everyone is switched on and likes to share material that captures their imagination. To spread the word of the Gourmet Greenway for the coming year, we wanted to appeal to this audience and we believe we have created something very unique that people will want to talk about and share”, said Dermot Madigan, general manager for Mulranny Park. “The stars of this Western are all local food and hospitality ambassadors and there is a humour to the content that we believe reflects what is uniquely Mayo and yet promotes our serious food and hospitality credentials”, he added.
Created by Mulranny Park Hotel in 2011 to showcase great artisan food producers along the route of the Great Western Greenway, the Gourmet Greenway has become an international success for Mayo. Described by John McKenna as “one of the most brilliant innovations in Irish hospitality”, the community-based collective of 13 producers and hospitality providers has put a spotlight on great ingredients and hosts in the areas of Newport, Westport and Achill and which, last year alone, contributed €1.5million to the local economy.
Current Gourmet Greenway members include: Kelly’s Butchers; Murrevagh Honey; The Greenway Farm; Carrowholly Cheese; Curraun Blue Trout Farm and Croagh Patrick Seafoods as well as Mulranny Park Hotel, Newport House, Café Rua and An Port Mór restaurant.
Pictured above are the stars of ‘Once Upon a Time in Mayo’ from left: James McDermott, Murrevagh Honey; Sean Kelly, Kelly’s Butchers; Dermot Madigan, General Manager, Mulranny Park Hotel; Andrew Pelham Burn, Carrowholly Cheese and Ollie O’Regan, Head Chef, Mulranny Park Hotel. The idea was conceived and developed by Midas PR and produced by Jump Films for Mulranny Park Hotel.