Heritage & Dedication
Frank Hederman has dedicated over 35 years to creating the finest artisan smoked salmon in the world.
Drawing on Ireland’s heritage, focussing on small batch production, and avoiding mechanisation or automation where possible, he has spent decades refining the rare traditional skills of hang-smoking in an authentic timber smoke house.
Today, he is widely recognised by the international food community as the very best in the profession.
Tradition & Authenticity
Frank has one of only a handful of authentic timber smoke houses worldwide. Decades of smoking have blackened and seasoned every surface and crevice, and it is the unique atmosphere of this dark, silent space which imparts incomparable character to the smoked salmon.
Frank is also one of the few producers who hangs his fish for smoking, and with 35 years behind him, his skills are unparalleled. This traditional hanging method is vital to the lean texture and depth of flavour that is consistent with our smoked salmon.
He uses beech wood smoke rather than oak, for its milder tannins and subtlety, creating deliciously balanced smoked fish.
Provenance & Sustainability
Compared to Scotland and Norway, where mass production dominates in still-water loughs and fjords, Ireland’s small, mostly organic farms on the wild Atlantic coast collectively produce a tiny one per cent of Europe’s fresh salmon.
The low stocking densities, and superior feeding regimes, along with the unique natural conditions found on the exposed sites guarantee healthy, prime-quality, organic fish with toned and flavoursome flesh. They are a perfect raw material for Hederman smoke.
In season, Frank also sources wild fish, caught by draught net in the Lee Estuary, Co Cork.
Unlike so many corporate smokers and retailers, who outsource production to large-scale smokers, all of our salmon is produced in our own smoke house by Frank Hederman and a small, loyal team who share 50 years of experience.
Intuition & Integrity
When we say our product is handmade, we mean that it is handmade. From harvesting to hand-filleting, the emphasis is on conserving the freshness and delicacy of the salmon.
Once the curing begins, the activity slows, and from this point onwards, calm reigns. Suspended from tenterhooks, Small batches of salt-cured salmon sides undergo a quiet transformation.
Fat molecules disperse, smoky flavours are absorbed, and texture becomes lean and tender. It takes as long as the sides need; nothing truly good can be rushed.
When smoked, the sides are minimally trimmed and left unsliced to maintain the integrity, delicate structure and natural quality of the smoked salmon. Serving simply requires a delicate slice down to the skin.
Handmade & Irish
Hederman smoked salmon has been chosen by royalty for events such as the state banquet to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday. It has featured on A-list menus for international sporting fixtures such as the Ryder Cup.
In 2016-17 Hederman smoked salmon is an official partner by Rolls Royce to celebrate their Enthusiasts’ Club’s Diamond Anniversary.
Click here to get in touch with the Oakleaf team to place an order or to find out more.