Blogs

Shane Farrell is a 1st-year Culinary ARTS Student in TU Dublin - Tallaght   Deciding to Become a Chef Growing up, becoming a chef was never something that occurred to me. It was never what I saw myself working as full-time. I’ve always cooked, and I enjoyed baking with my Granny when I was young. Food was always important in our house, but it never felt like a career path for me. I actually started off studying Marine engineering in CIT after my leaving certificate. I wanted to work on boats and ships, not in kitchens. Then, in a twist of fate, I crashed my motorcycle and ended up breaking multiple bones. As a result, I deferred a year ...
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DISH PRESENTATION: SOME TRENDS AND TIPS If you aspire to be the Rembrandt of the culinary world but struggle to make your dishes look like works of art, then you should definitely read this blog by Gastronomixs.com for trends and tips on dish presentation.   Fashionable dishes Looking back at the last century of gastronomy, you will recognise a number of styles in dish presentation. It's similar to fashion: one trendsetter starts a movement, and the rest follows. An example of a plating style is the ‘classical presentation’ of placing the elements of the dish on specific parts of the plate. A past trend was to serve dishes in glasses, ...
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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 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 in ...
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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, I ...
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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. When ...
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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. Once ...
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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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