Blogs

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 Grainne O’Keefe, head chef at Clanbrassil House in Dublin Why did you become a chef? I think I’ve always been really interested in food, although I didn’t come from having an amazing background ...
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Studying to be a Chef I’ve just started my first year at TUD, studying Culinary Arts in the City Centre Campus. I’m 17 years old, and I’ve just finished secondary school. I want to become a pastry chef.   Why Cheffing? I have always been interested in food, so deciding to study culinary arts was a straight-forward decision for me. I’ve grown up surrounded by food, my father is a butcher so good food has always played a central role in home life for me. My mother and granny were always baking, it wasn’t unusual to spend our Saturdays in the kitchen gazing into the oven, eagerly awaiting whatever treat was inside. Eventually, ...
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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 Barry Ralph, Chef-Proprietor at House of Plates Why did you become a Chef? I’ve always been interested in food from a young age. I’ve always dabbled in the kitchen and in the garden. ...
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Entering cooking competitions was never a difficult decision for me, it was something I was always instinctively drawn to. I first began cooking competitively in secondary school, when my home economics teacher encouraged me to participate in a couple of competitions. I quickly realised how much I enjoyed cooking under pressure and in an environment different than that of my class or home. Cooking where the stakes are raised allows you to focus intently on the task at hand and gets you in the zone. Last year I decided to enter the Euro-Toques Ireland Young Chef of the Year competition. I felt I was talented enough and motivated enough to potentially ...
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The 5 most common creative challenges Every chef, at every level encounters creative challenges in the kitchen. Whatever challenge you face; you'll have to take a problem-solving approach. Creativity is a skill that can help you a lot in this! Yes, you read that correctly: creativity is a skill, not a talent. Creativity may come more easily to some people than others, but it's definitely something you can develop and build upon. In this blog, Gastronomixs.com share a list of the 5 most common creative challenges you could face in the kitchen and give you a few tips and ideas on how you can overcome them.   #1: Inspiration from Other Chefs ...
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If you told me 17 years ago about social media and food, I wouldn’t have had a clue about either. I’ve always appreciated food; my parents are both great cooks in their own ways. Old and battered cookbooks from Lima, Peru and Stornoway, Scotland were always in my kitchen. My first stint in a kitchen 17 years ago was an accident. I worked at the bar and it was clear it wasn’t for me. I was told to go to the kitchen or go home. It was busy, hectic… and I had the best time of my life. Endless covers. Weddings. Functions. Bar food. Fine dining. Split shifts. My first executive chef put the fear of God into me, but I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. He told ...
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THE MODERN MENU: HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTRE STAGE A Chef's Perspective   When I first started to cook professionally, over 30 years ago, healthy options on the menu were an afterthought, last in the pecking order of the food I was excited and eager about. What the customer wanted was also often secondary, I wanted to show off. It was all about my ego. Time, awareness, education and a few hard knocks have changed my perception of cooking and menus beyond recognition. Thankfully! The convergence of health and wellness with sustainability, authenticity and mindfulness has brought remarkable changes and challenges to the restaurant industry. ...
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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 Susan Bell , Operations Manager at Wowburger Why did you become a Chef? Ever since I was young, I’ve always been passionate about cooking. My mum and nana were both very good home cooks and ...
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I graduated from DIT with a BA in Culinary Arts last year, so I have been working as a chef full time for just over 1 year. While I did a lot of my learning in the kitchens of DIT, I feel that some of my greatest developments as a chef have been in the many kitchens I have had the privilege to work in along the way.   DECISIONS, DECISIONS I didn’t always want to be a chef, in fact, I thought I would be a Garda or a home economics teacher for a little while in secondary school. I have always had a passion for cookery and food. When I was still in primary school, my mam who had been an accountant decided to train as a chef and started ...
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‘The Mindful Kitchen’ - The Potential of New Skills to Innovate Kitchen Culture and Futureproof the Chef Career! Denise Murray & Annette Sweeney   While there have never been more food establishments and opportunities available for chefs, worldwide, chef numbers are in decline.  Trained, young chefs are abandoning their career in favour of either unskilled work or the pursuit of another profession. We need to ask ourselves why this is happening and how it can be helped.   In light of the time and investment of resources in developing culinary skills in the classroom and the professional kitchen, there is a responsibility on all stakeholders ...
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