Blogs

ABOUT GUILHERME Born and raised in Porto Alegre, Guilherme Bender started his cooking career at his home in south Brazil. With an intent on tracing his Italian ancestry, he then moved to Italy, learning about the food on which he was raised. Now, living in Ireland for 3 years, he is Executive Sous Chef at Kinsale Hotel and Spa. Guilherme loves Ireland; the people, the culture, and he loves the opportunity to introduce to Ireland more of his South American roots. PERSONAL TIPS TO FIT IN AS A CHEF LIVING ABROAD A country's cuisine directly reflects its culture, history and diversity. Knowing this, every time I visit a new country, I use the gastronomic ...
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A little background on myself. I’ve been a chef now for 22 years and a lot has changed in the culinary world. I‘m currently the Executive chef of two of the busiest restaurants in the major cities of Ireland. Like many people being a chef wasn’t on my radar and I fell into it while doing work experience in transition year. There have been good times and bad times. Being a chef has taken me around the world and through it I met my wife. Right now I’m very happy in my current role and have great work satisfaction. I want to write on how technology has made my life much easier and hassle free, when balancing a team of 40 people from all over the world. Initial costs ...
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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 Siobhán McDonagh. Siobhán grew up around cooking and has worked in kitchens since the age of 14. She has worked in kitchens all over Ireland and is currently head Chef at the Brandywell in Dromod, County Leitrim. ...
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My name is Padraic Tighe and I have been a chef for over 20 years. I am originally from Castlebar but now live in Loughrea.  My first job was as a barman for ten years in hotels, clubs and bars all around Castlebar, but as I always had a passion for cooking and hated the hours as a barman, I took the leap from being a barman to go to college in GMIT So in 2001, I went to college in GMIT where I did my training as a chef for two years.  While in college I did some work in Castlebar and Westport, which I loved,but a friend of mine is from Limerick and he asked me to move to Limerick, to which I did for 6 years (love it there too). I then moved around ...
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When I think back to when I began in this industry, pubs were the furthest thing from my mind in regard to both good food and progression in the business. At the time the most exciting thing probably on offer from a “gastro pub" would have been a toasted sandwich or cocktail sausages and chips. All the chefs I went to college with were either working in high end restaurants or hotels.  Jury’s, the Burlington, The Westbury, etc. were the places to be if you wanted to learn and progress in the business, but also to gain the respect of your peers.  The tide was beginning to turn in Ireland in regard to people’s eating habits, where there was a shift towards ...
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Hi I would like to inform you of some of the applied learning opportunities for chefs of all levels, that are  available though the part-time culinary programmes at TU Dublin- Tallaght Campus. Commis Chefs :  For chefs that have a level 6/ equivalent, we offer the BA in Culinary Arts, a 2 year part-time level 7 programme delivered one day per week. Further details: ita.holton@tudublin.ie For experienced chefs we offer two innovative and future-focused programmes The BA(Hons) in Botanical Cuisine and the MSc in Applied Culinary Nutrition 1 . BA(Hons) in Botanical Cuisine is a one year add-on programme, delivered on Mondays . It was inspired by Food ...
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Every job or company has their own rules, regulations and jargon... and when you have worked at as many places as I have, you soon learn that it’s all the same although every industry or company thinks theirs are different. Firstly, starting out you need to know who you are before you walk into any job or apply for any position.  Because without that knowledge, it’s so easy to follow someone else’s ideals and then forget one’s own.   Working in hospitality is not for everyone and people should only work in the industry if they truly love food and people.   It is important to work in all areas in the kitchen so that you can find what ...
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I first jumped from marine science to being a chef/food writer, as I truly believed that chefs and cookbook authors have a massive impact on the health of our planet. After studying for my MSc in Marine Biology, I was completely disheartened by the state of the oceans (especially things like over-fishing) and was horrified at how little airtime this catastrophe was getting. For many years after I worked solely in food. In my mid-twenties I longed to return to science. I now divide my time between the two, once again working more in the marine sector (as a marine mammal observer in the fisheries port of Killybegs). When Seaspiracy came out I was so excited, ...
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Currently, an estimated one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. Food waste is a global issue, but it is also a significant cost for Irish businesses. Having worked as a chef in Ireland and abroad and then gone on to co-ordinate Cork Food Policy Council, I started working in food waste prevention in 2017, when I joined the team at the Clean Technology Centre, based at MTU Cork. Food waste occurs across the food supply system, and my work has focused both on what’s going on at the household level as well as within food service businesses. Ask any chef and they’ll be able to tell you something about the food waste problems in the ...
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Skills & knowledge We are an industry where skills and knowledge are paramount and where the words from the phrase "knowledge is power" rings true. I’ve always had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and learning in my career. What I love about being a chef is that no two days are ever the same and everything is always fresh and  new. The fast frenetic pace of the kitchen with everybody working in tandem focused on a single goal for consistency, excellence, and that sense of pride from a job well done. It’s like an orchestra where every sound and every note join together to create a masterpiece. Then it’s just repeat th at level of precision ...
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