General Industry

Kennedy Summer School To Re-Create Menu Served To JFK On Irish Visit

By Robert McHugh
Kennedy Summer School To Re-Create Menu Served To JFK On Irish Visit

The 2023 Kennedy Summer School has announced that as a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the presidential visit of John F. Kennedy, the state dinner menu that the president was served will be re-created and served again at the Summer School luncheon at the JFK Memorial Park, where EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness is this year’s special guest speaker.

The President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, visited Ireland 60 years ago this year.

During that visit, an official dinner at Iveagh House saw a gourmet Irish meal being served at a state banquet which was hosted in his honour by Taoiseach Sean Lemass.

Iveagh House Meal

At the original dinner in 1963, head chef Pierre Rolland from Hotel Russell who was in charge of catering the event had to replace his original proposed menu after advice given to him by JFK's aides that the President’s busy schedule meant he would prefer a light meal that evening.

Rolland replaced his original proposal and served Irish smoked salmon, followed by clear turtle soup garnished with sherry and Parmesan chips, Irish beef tournedos served with a mushroom sauce, new potatoes and fresh peas with butter, finished off with strawberries and cream, to the 80 guests gathered in the ballroom of Iveagh House.


State Banquet Menu

This Friday, the lunch menu in Wexford will feature a smoked salmon-Dublin Bay prawn roulade, served with capers, watercress, Wicklow organic cold pressed lemon rapeseed oil, and garden pea shoots to begin.

This will be followed by slow cooked rib of Slaney Valley beef served with buttered baby potatoes, roast carrots and new season broad beans (which also featured on the state banquet menu at Dublin Castle for the late Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Ireland in May 2011).

Wexford Strawberries

In addition, there will be Kilmore Quay baked salmon, wrapped in Connemara ham, served with kale, stuffing, a Dublin Bay prawn broth, and green beans.

For dessert, guests will enjoy Wexford strawberries and cream biscuit cake.

60th Anniversary Lunch

Tickets to the luncheon are sold out, however, a limited number of tickets remain for some of the events which will take place across New Ross for the annual Kennedy Summer School.


Dr Elaine Mahon, Gastronomy and Food Studies Lecturer in the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology at Technological University Dublin, will be assisting in the event and curating the menu for the 60th anniversary lunch at the Kennedy Summer School.

'Leap Back In Time'

"Nations have been using food for centuries to display wealth, cement alliances and impress foreign visitors, and Ireland’s state dinners have certainly embodied this," said Dr Mahon.

"The very best of Irish ingredients would have been selected by the Hotel Russell. By the 1950s, beef was often the centrepiece of Irish state menus, and this is why we also see it JFK’s state dinner in 1963. The menu featured the finest ingredients from all across the country and a nod to his Wexford heritage in the Slaney Valley beef and Wexford strawberries."

"The menu being served to guests who will dine at the JFK Memorial Park in New Ross on Friday will enjoy a leap back in time to that very state dinner menu for JFK in 1963 on the 60th anniversary of his visit to his ancestral home place.”

Canadian Ambassador

The annual Kennedy Summer School is set to host a number of expert discussions and is billed as 'A Festival of Irish and American, History, Politics and Culture.'


There will be over 60 guest speakers participating with Her Excellency, Canadian Ambassador Nancy Smyth, set to open the occasion.

Fan of sports can enjoy a talk given by football legend Martin O’Neill who will be taking to the stage to discuss his life in football.

Kennedy Tea Party

The weekend will include panel discussions, debates and public interviews and the Kennedy Tea Party hosted by RTE’s Eileen Whelan.

An expert panel will discuss the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the European Union with moderator Alex White SC, joined by Patrick Honohan, Suzanne Lynch, Lucinda Creighton and Dermot Murnaghan.

An expert panel is also set to discuss ‘Celebrity Politics.’

The Kennedy Summer School and Festival is run in association with the Office of Public Works, New Ross District Council, Wexford County Council, Boston College, Purdue University & Failte Ireland.