The energy and dynamic environment in the kitchen is addictive and makes me feel alive. While still at school and keeping myself entertained and engaged, my summers consisted of working in a small local restaurant on the Atlantic Coast where I grew up. I remember looking at raw produce and seeing what the Chef/Patron created and this really captivated me. I remember being asked to receive the fresh seafood delivery just caught by our local fishermen and also receiving the products from the farmers for the restaurant. This freshness and the quality of these products were part of the success of what the chef patron created. Fresh, simple tasty food was the recipe of the day and one of the main reasons why I got into this business.
It fascinated me from an early age what you can do with fresh, local products with the right cooking method and delicate seasoning. After completing my exams in secondary school, I moved to Dublin and started my apprenticeship in the Westbury Hotel just off Grafton Street. Here I learnt the basics and also did my culinary studies in Cathal Burgha Street. Once I completed my studies I had the opportunity to work in Switzerland in Glattburg, just outside Zurich, under the guidance of my Executive chef Hans Kerstin. This gentleman took me under his wing and taught me classic French cuisine and I am forever grateful for what he taught me.
After almost 2 years in Switzerland, I moved to Vienna, developed my knowledge further, continuing to look at the produce and cooking techniques. From here I had the opportunity to work in Japan on a cruise liner which again made a big impression on my culinary life and being able to work with so many different nationalities and learn about Asian culture and tradition.
Being away from Ireland for a long period, I decided to move back and help a friend out in Dublin in a fine dining restaurant. An other fantastic experience to run an independent restaurant during the Celtic Tiger of Ireland and witness the expanding restaurant scene in Dublin.
The plan was for 1 year but that quickly passed by and became 6 years. After 6 years of running the kitchen and helping to shape the free standing restaurant, I got an opportunity to move to the UAE Dubai and experience an other dynamic upcoming touristic destination.
I will celebrate soon 13 years of working in the UAE, Dubai and it has been an incredible journey with like minded professionals. I have been involved in projects which I could only dream about and I am thankful today to call this part of the world my home.
Having catered for Royalties, High profile events mapping Dubai as a luxury travel destination, World Records attempts highlighting the hotels I have worked for, Gourmet Food festivals with high profile chefs around the world, just to name a few of the many things that I have been so lucky to experience .
Looking at my career to date, I have been incredible fortunate to work with a number of extremely talented and gifted chefs over the years, who have all, in one way or another, shaped the way that I work and the attitude that I hope to instill in my chefs. Reflecting on the my career to date, I am humbled to know that I have met talented, gifted, passionate people in this industry, who left a mark on my professional and personal life.
I do hope I have left a mark on them too and enhanced their career and the way they manage people in this industry. The same attributes that I look for in potential chefs are traits that I have found to be beneficial in kitchens I have worked in. Produce being the highest quality is the foundation of many kitchens and this is my philosophy also.
I am very fortunate to be able to source some fantastic produce from around the globe and I like to keep the food simple with not too many distractions on the plate for our guests to experience. I believe in “Less is more” and keeping it simple, relying on quality produce”.