Blogs

Meet the chefs & teams of Ireland’s professional kitchens, with Chef Network The Chef Network community brings together chefs at all levels from all sectors across Ireland. In a  Hotel & Restaurant Times  regular column we meet some members and hear from them what inspires and motivates them, their career challenges and opportunities, and how they believe we can improve the industry. In this edition, we meet  Marguerite Keogh . Marguerite grew up around food and fresh produce. She is currently Head Chef in the Five Fields in London. LONG QUESTIONS 1. Why did you become a Chef? I guess I always had a love for food, from baking and cooking ...
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ABOUT MEGAN WALSH Hello there.  My name is Megan, and I live in the South West of Ireland. This year I am studying for my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Culinary Arts at Munster Technological University (MTU) Kerry. As part of my degree, I was required to design a food blog around a particular topic that I enjoy talking about and that is when I heard about Mood Food. MOOD FOODS What is Mood Food? That is the question that I have been researching for the past few weeks, and I was slightly surprised by the amount of information I found. Before I did this research, I had no idea that your mind and gut were so connected and that it was ...
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ABOUT MILENA BOZHKOVA Milena Bozhkova is 33 years old and originally from Bulgaria. She has been living in Northern Ireland for 14 years.    DO YOU LIVE LIFE WITH A PURPOSE? PLANT-BASED FOOD 7 years ago, I was riddled with stomach pain, and I had already had my gallbladder removed at that stage. It was a constant trial of different kinds of diets/lifestyle changes to help me overcome my health issues, but nothing seemed to work. Gluten free, paleo, keto, you name it, I’d tried it. A friend of mine suggested that I should try to go vegan for a week and see if it would make a difference. And so, I did, and I haven’t looked back. I cut out ...
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ABOUT MEERAN GANI MANZOOR I am Meeran Gani Manzoor, I am the head chef for Blue Haven Collections. As part of the company, we have 2 different properties, Old Bank House, Kinsale and Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale. I manage both properties, which include a variety of eateries, including Fishmarket Bistro, RARE, a high end fine dining restaurant, Hamlets Street Food Gastro Garden, Old Bank House Café and Vikkis Modern Tapas Restaurant in Cork. Tabasu @ Old Bank House, a regional Indian tapas restaurant, is our latest venture. I gained my culinary degree from studying in the University of West London and worked in the Metropolitan Hotel London, Dorchester Collections, ...
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ABOUT MATTHEW BROWNIE Matthew Brownie, from New Zealand, has been a professional chef for 27 years & is the Director/Owner of his own snack company (The Skibbereen Food Company). Formerly, Matthew was a demonstration Chef for The Simply Better Brand for Dunnes Stores and a Writer for The Southern Star Newspaper in West Cork and for The Irish Foodie (Quince Publishing) Matthew lives in West Cork, Skibbereen.   THE INDUSTRY I LOVE, LEFT BEHIND Let’s go back 30 years and here’s a skinny New Zealander that loves cricket, works as a Mig and Gas Welder and is passionate about NZ rugby in his hometown of Whanganui, New Zealand. ...
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ABOUT NIGEL McGRATH My name is Nigel McGrath and I have been working in kitchens for about ten years now. I had spent most of my working life in the Defence Forces - 24 years in total having joined at the tender age of 17. Leaving the Military was a decision that was never going to be easy as once you leave there is no going back. I had a burning desire to work as a chef from about the age of thirty onwards. I have no culinary background and no one in my family had previously worked in kitchens. There are no grandma recipes lying around the house Well maybe there is, I just did not see them. Truth be told, I did not learn to cook until I got married when ...
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ABOUT AIDAN KELLY Aidan trained at the IT Tralee, leaving as NTCB student of the year. He spent his Commis years in the Blue Haven in Kinsale, and credits Sheen Falls and L’Ecrivain as where he learned his trade. Aidan has been Sous Chef and Head Chef in some busy hotels and restaurants, picking up some medals en route. For the last 6 years Aidan has been his own boss, the last 3 being in The Grillshack, a very busy and funky restaurant in Kildare, where he also produces his range of hot sauces.   PRODUCING & SELLING YOUR FAVOURITE RECIPES It's been a strange old year for all the food industry in every part of the world, but ...
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KITCHEN CULTURE Meet the chefs & teams of Ireland’s professional kitchens, with Chef Network The Chef Network community brings together chefs at all levels from all sectors across Ireland. In a  Hotel & Restaurant Times  regular column we meet some members and hear from them what inspires and motivates them, their career challenges and opportunities, and how they believe we can improve the industry. In this edition, we meet Maurice Mc Geehan . Maurice grew up in his parent’s baron a rural farm in Co. Donegal. He is currently the Performance Chef for the IRFU where he combines his culinary experience with the science of ...
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ABOUT JONATHAN FARRELL Currently the senior sous chef at Bastible in Dublin., Jonathan has spent over ten years working as a chef in a wide range of roles; from large hotels to making cakes in his Mum's café, to catering for exclusive groups in ski chalets and Scottish hunting lodges. After a spell of backpacking in 2016, Jonathan re-entered the kitchen when he took a job in a small seaside hotel in Sweden. This lead to stints in some of the best one and two star kitchens in Copenhagen and the UK. Working with such great chefs as Jonathan Tam at Relæ, Matt Orlando, Tommy Banks and Simon Rogan. Jonathan believes in making delicious, sustainable ...
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ABOUT MARK COMERFORD Mark Comerford is a chef, food blogger, and founder of The Writing Room - a creative outlet for aspiring young writers and blog   No Eggs, No Milk, No Problem . OUT OF MY DEPTH; COOKING ADDICTION & MENTAL HEALTH The narrow, bare-concrete, spiral staircase underfoot leads the way to a new chapter of my life. My feet are heavy and not just because the steel-toe-cap shoes are a size too big. I trip on a step, stumble to one knee and catch myself; the rattle of my knife case echoes, startling the HR lady, who, instinctively and with a sharp gasp, asks if she should fill out a report. I decline and nervously laugh it ...
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