Blogs

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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Food, Cooking and the 5 Senses… Are you considering pursuing a long-term culinary career? Let me ask you the one question that made my decision to choose this type of career so easy and that is now a driving force for me Ulrich Hoeche to teach the next generation as a lecturer in Culinary Arts at GMIT “Name one other profession that allows you to use all of your 5 senses every single day”! In this blog post I will have a closer look at the five senses and their relation to food and cooking. The enjoyment of Food, Why do I enjoy cooking so much and why did I become a chef, it is quite simple, I have a love for food and eating ...
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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 Derek Reilly. Derek has been almost 30 years working in the hospitality industry and remains as enthusiastic, passionate & inspired as he was the very first time he stepped into a professional kitchen, his hunger ...
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A graduate of GMIT Culinary arts, I enjoyed many years working in Hotel and restaurants, loving the competitive, high energy, creative world of hospitality and making great friends along the way. After returning to education my interests evolved focusing on the relationship between diet and health, in particular relating to our senior population. Taking a food first approach to raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition and hydration care supporting our ageing population to eat well, live well and age well at home. In 2008 I joined COPE Galway Senior Support services https://www.copegalway.ie/senior-support- service/community-catering/ ...
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Introduction On a conventional Monday, the kitchen and restaurant staff are finishing the set up for the evening service. A young couple in their early thirties arrives at their table. The young couple seems to be in a low mood, between the knowledge of the French Maitre’d and the skills of the chef and his kitchen team, they will try to improve the atmosphere at table 7. Bite after bite, sip after sip. However, the tension is still there. Through the course of their dinner, the chef analyzes his own deepest thoughts and comprehends his dubious answers to his dilemmas, in the meantime, he does not lose the focus of the service. ...
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A Note to my Younger Self If I had a euro for every time a chef said ‘sure you’re one of the lads’ I'd be minted!  Sometimes accepting masculine cultural norms and acting like “one of the lads,” feels like the way to fit in but I don’t think it’s the solution.  No offence lads, you're great...but ladies, you don’t need to pretend to be someone you're not to become a successful chef. One experience I will never forget was during my college years.   I ventured out with my CV, looking for my first job as a Commis Chef. The Head Chef of one of the restaurants came out to me and his response was ‘I’m telling you now, you won’t be able for it’. How wrong was ...
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The Humble Breakfast Chef – Gordon Burke, Galway Bay Hotel.   I have worked in this sometimes crazy and often brilliant industry for as long as I can remember. My mother was a casual waitress working functions in Hayden’s Hotel in the 1980’s.  I was always equally fascinated and in awe of a group of local women, all casual waitressing staff heading off to the local hotel a couple of times a week to work at weddings or local dinner dances, will we ever see the like again? Their spirits were always good, and they never complained. School was never my priority, which is ironic as I headed to college in 2015 to decidedly change my life. I had worked ...
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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 Sarah Caldwell. Sarah has been a chef for 16 years. She has been mostly self taught, but recently graduated with a BA in Culinary Arts from TU Dublin in 2020. She has worked in many situations as a chef, but now ...
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Improve Your Career And Culinary Skills Through Culinary Competition Chefs are afraid of competitions because they do not know how they work. The first thing to do is to pick a competition the suits you.  For example, in Ireland we have Chef Ireland competitions every 2 years at CATEX, then we have competitions at Food & Bev Live at City West on the alternative years.  Each chef should get the brochure and look at the areas which you feel that you as a chef can excel at.  When you pick the competition that you like, look at the rules, find someone who has competed before and talk it through with them.  This is the start of the way forward ...
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Chefs and Booze.   Hi My name is Jonathan, I am an alcoholic. Even now, 12 years sober, part of me is hesitant to share this publicly. Even now, so long after facing my demons, I feel shame and self-conscious writing about this. So why am I doing it?   Here is why..   For as long as I can remember, drink played a huge part in my life. Everywhere I looked, adults were drinking, at family occasions, after mass, Italia 90.  I remember the laughter, and never realised there was anything wrong with this behaviour.   When I started working in the local pub as a kitchen porter on my 15th birthday, I was intrigued ...
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