Blogs

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This blog comes from Head Chef Johnny Harvey, who has recently experienced 'the other side' , working in an office job on internship (with Chef Network!) and finds himself comparing life in the kitchen with a Mon-Fri office environment, which brings up some big questions about job satisfaction and workplace wellness... and some painful memories. Working 9-5 I am currently a 4 th year student in Culinary Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and as part of the course I am partaking in an internship with the Chef Network. In the beginning I was unsure as to what to expect, as I would be completely out of my comfort zone but I listened and learned how marketers ...
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Chef Network is working on a range of initiatives that address ways that we can improve our industry. One area we are looking at is improving the health and wellness of chefs and later this year we will run a series of practical workshops on this topic. In the run-up, Wellness Coach Maria Caldwell will share a series of short blogposts with practical tips on dealing with stress and improving health & wellness. Please do share your own thoughts, tips and feedback in our Health & Wellness discussion thread Just Breathe! How many times have we said this to someone who's having a bad day - whether they're angry, or sad, or in a stressful situation? ...
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My REACTION to Food on the Edge - And the ACTION I'll Take  I had a strong curiosity and desire to attend Food On The Edge 2017, but a packed up calendar with work engagements had me thinking that work and responsibilities were a priority. Then, I've received the news that Chef Network will have me as their guest... plans quickly shifted and I was lucky enough that my partner in business offered to cover for me on the 2 days of the symposium. I won't deny that taken 2 days off in a very busy schedule, came with guilt and excitement at the same time. But I was open to enjoy every experience and every lesson learned at FOTE 2017. My very first ...
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I’ve searched high and low for information, articles, stories from people who’ve went to college in Ireland and studied Culinary Arts, there is not much at all to be found! Whether or not it’s the fact there’s not many success stories, or people just don’t want to share them, I really don’t know. I didn’t always want to be a chef. Infact, I didn’t even think about becoming a chef until just over a year ago. Until I fell in love with the restaurant industry, the waves and the rush that comes with a service, pleasing the customer and all that comes with it, I’d worked in various cafés, restaurants over the last couple of years (a good few of them, due to impulsivity/ ...
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THE TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS, AND TRIUMPHS OF SUSTAINABLE SOURCING I started cooking in Germany when I was 17. The way Germany approaches the economics of kitchen waste and recycling was way ahead of any other country. Every bit of waste was recycled or sorted in some way. A sustainable restaurant always made sense to me, but there was one turning point a few years back that solidified my mentality. A big volcanic eruption in Iceland disrupted the industry – ash covered crops and caused some to fail, while planes were temporarily halted and importing ingredients became impossible. Up until then, we had been mindlessly importing things, purchasing ingredients ...
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In our latest Chef's Blog , Luke Ahearne, Chef de Partie at the Clove Club, London, talks about why he made the move to work away from Ireland, building his knowledge by eating out, and the importance of setting goals and knowing where you want to go.   A while back, during a holiday in London, I stopped for a meal at one of London’s world-renowned restaurants: The Clove Club. This was long before beginning work there, but since then things have come full circle – I started by having lunch, and it was during that meal I decided I wanted to work there. Now it is approaching the one-year mark since I moved and took a position as Chef de Partie at ...
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As a Pastry chef who works closely with Cacao Barry (one of the most well known high-quality chocolate brands for the artisan industry and organiser of the most prestigious chocolate competition in the world, the World Chocolate Masters) one of the things that came up during meetings with the colleagues from abroad is that Ireland is rarely involved at the sharp end of pastry competitions. So when the Junior Chocolate Masters - probably one of the most intense chocolate/pastry competitions around for chefs under 25 - came around again, I was determined to get an Irish entry. In the end, I managed to get not one but two pastry chefs selected to take ...
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LinkedIn   for Chefs - How to Build the Best Online Profile    We at Gather&Gather were truly delighted to host the recent Chef Network #KitchenCulture event with our colleagues at  LinkedIN . Working with LinkedIn has been a really exciting journey so far for Gather&Gather and we are really proud of what we have achieved with them.   At the event, as well as having a great discussion amongst chefs about improving the culture in our professional kitchens and a presentation on Chef Network’s future plans and partnership opportunities, we had a presentation from LinkedIn themselves with tips for chefs on using their LinkedIn profile.  ...
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Without collaboration and conversation, the food industry falls flat. It is essential to confront the issues facing the industry and debate solutions to them – and that is exactly what more than 80 Chefs and suppliers did at #KitchenCulture . A panel featuring four experienced and innovative Chefs led the discussion. Chef JP McMahon of Aniar Restaurant and Food on the Edge participated alongside Ireland's Chef of the Year Danni Barry of Deane's Epic. Also joining the discussion were Gather&Gather's Mark Anderson and Dalata Hotel Group's Darina Brennan. These chefs shared what motivated them every day, debated how to recruit and train incoming chefs, ...
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Global Food Trends Summer 2017 by Darina Brennan Darina Brennan boasts more than 20 years of experience working in restaurants throughout Ireland. She currently works as Executive Group Development Chef at Dalata Hotel Groups. Here she discusses some of the trends spotted all around the country this summer. What food trends have you come across? Which are you most excited for? Let us know by responding with a comment! While the basics stay the same, food trends are constantly changing and evolving. It’s fantastic across the board that suppliers look into this in depth for us as Chefs. Otherwise, we would never be in our kitchens if we put ...
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Finding a mentor to guide a novice chef through the demands of the culinary industry is crucial to the success of aspiring chef. The interactive graphic below, produced by  Resdiary , shows just how interconnected that network of mentors and proteges can become.  Consider the impact of the Roux Brothers, two of the top men in French cooking, who together have mentored many of the world's most prominent chefs. One past student, the famously foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsay, has shared his trade secrets with a few select students.  Is the Irish culinary industry as interconnected as the graphic below would indicate? How do these complex connections influence ...
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Evan O'Ceallaigh; "most chefs don't have a good understanding of classic cooking" An Irish chef in Paris. I was asked to write a piece for Chef Network Ireland about my experiences of moving to France. Well I’m not going to talk about the restaurant that I’m working in or nothing like that. This piece is really about WHY I am in France. Why it was that I chose to work in France over anywhere else in the world. And ultimately why learning the ins and outs of cuisine classique is so important to me, and why it should be for other young chefs too! "France is the birthplace of modern day restaurants " photo: Pullman ...
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Sustainability at 3fe We've been making a move towards sustainability here in 3fe of late. It's something that's always been in the back of our mind and we probably do a lot of it without thinking already, like recycling our waste and using locally sourced suppliers, but we think that making a concerted effort to do it right is better for the environment, our suppliers and us as we move towards being a more progressive business in every way. Kitchen crew, you might not always see- we hang out in the basement but we are the team behind your food at 3fe. The Sustainability Restaurant Award membership has been instrumental in helping us to ...
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FOTE2016: 10 Things to Take Away This year’s Food on the Edge was a great success with over 600 people attending the two-day event. Chefs from all around the world came to Galway to debate and discuss the future of food. Many talks were very political and many were deeply personal. All the speakers reached out to audience to try and encourage them to act better when it came to food. Whether growing, making, serving or marketing food: all counts. The fight for good food has still only just begun. Many have no access to this food. Many ignore it. Our mission is to try to make it accessible. Directly talking and acting to establish a discourse ...
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