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 Stephen Hayes, Head Chef at Cashel Palace Hotel & Mikey Ryans Why did you become a Chef? I guess that I became a chef by a mistake, or you could say a series of fortunate events… As ...
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Fuelling up on Fibre in Our Institutions In the latest budget the government pledges for 35,000 more children to receive hot meals in schools  and the HSE are currently looking to feed an increased capacity of workers and patients it raises questions about the food we serve in institutions and the attitude of the institution themselves towards the people they are feeding. How much do those who control the purse strings the nutrition and wellbeing of the people consuming the food produced in these institutions? I have spent a significant part of my career looking at what we feed large group of people in my role as a group catering manager and chef before ...
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“Food and mental health – how what we eat affects how we feel” - Prof. Charles Spence, Oxford University Professor Charles Spence is a world-famous experimental psychologist with a specialization in neuroscience-inspired multisensory design. He has worked with many of the world’s largest companies across the globe since establishing the Crossmodal Research Laboratory (CRL) at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University in 1997. His new book Sensehacking, published by Viking Penguin has just been released. As part of our Mind Your Mind Campaign in partnership with BWG Foodservice, Prof. Spence discusses the link between food ...
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Growing up in the 1980s, depression was a dirty word. It was all that was unsaid in our society. The silence that surrounded my father’s mental illness still remains within me, even though it is more than thirty years ago. Back then, a breakdown meant failure. It was a dark time for all. It signified something severely wrong with the individual, as opposed to the society that he or she had found themselves in.   To some degree, I inherited this system, this fractured way of framing one’s life. I built it into myself, often unconsciously, goading myself to be better and better, to never accept defeat. The anxiety, the depression, the panic attacks predated ...
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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 Robert Bullock, Chef Owner of Le Patissier in Co. Dublin. WHY DID YOU BECOME A CHEF? I grew up in Buckinghamshire in South East England. My mum was a florist and a great home baker and cook. I was ...
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Try Lamb ambassador, chef Dan Cruickshank is a food explorer, widening his horizons by trying out ingredients from countries around the world and using them in his own cooking at home and in his kitchen in Dublin. Dan shares his personal favourite flavour combinations inspired by his culinary travels around the world, which match perfectly with lamb.   Unique Flavour Pairings To Try With Lamb Fresh mint, sumac and pomegranate These Middle Eastern flavour combinations work brilliantly with lamb as sumac adds a mellow citrus taste without the heat. I love mixing mint and pomegranate together to add a sweet and ...
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DEALING WITH COVID IN MY KITCHEN Chefs and restaurants have been crucial in taking a leading role in the current pandemic. With Covid-19 still actively changing the definition of normal to the “new normal”, most industries are rushing to adjust their business activities to stay safe and to ensure compliance with government health advice. The consequences of this on the restaurant industry have been intense and unprecedented so far.  CHALLENGES As a business, we had to put in a lot of groundwork on how to react to this new normal once we were allowed to re-open. During the initial March – June lockdown, we in Blue Haven Collections ...
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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 Paddy Gorman, Chef at Tinnypark Nursing Home in Co. Kilkenny Why did you become a chef? My first memory of cooking is probably from when I was about 4 or 5 years old, making porridge for ...
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THE STEREOTYPE As chefs we’ve heard it all... “Oh! You want to be a chef? Don’t go down that road”, “Ah, would you ever give up that job and look for one with normal hours”, “Why would anyone want to work that many hours?” Long working days and lack of personal time, are two stereotypes often associated with the hospitality industry, giving us a bad reputation. Often the industry gets dragged through the mud over it. We’re not the only ones working long hours and yet it’s our industry that is known for overwork! Doctors, nurses, guards, paramedics, even hairdressers have all had to work hours outside the ‘norm’. Perhaps in the past this was more common, ...
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As we see a shift towards more restaurants adopting a takeaway model, we decided to look at the different types of packaging so that you can stay on track and meet your sustainability goals. There are many things to consider when purchasing food packaging, in this quick guide we’ve broken down the most popular options and shared some information which will help you make a more informed decision on what’s best for your business. In the past year or so, we had seen significant progress in efforts to reduce single use disposables in the catering sector and a growing awareness of the impact of the volume of packaging waste produced in our industry, with great ...
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