I began my chef-training back in 1994 and was sent to work for Pat Mac Sweeney at the Country Squire Inn before joining Michael Fleming at Flemings restaurant. Michael then sent me off to work for Anton Mosimann in London Knightsbridge early in 1998. With the solid training I had received back in Ireland, I had all the confidence to work with the best of chefs from around the world in Antons Kitchen and was very lucky to travel with him around Europe working on various private dinners and festival events.
After two years, I moved on to work for Pierre Kofmann at La Tante Claire 3* Michelin, as Chef de Partie for a further 2 years. Pierre then sent me off to France where I worked with Phillippe Etchebest – Meilleur Ouvrier De France (voted best chef in France in 2000) at the Chateau des Reynats a Chancelade in Perigord. As the only foreign chef in this 2* Michelin boutique hotel I learnt a great deal from the team and got to work in all sections of the kitchen for almost two years.
With many years of experience in European kitchens, I then headed to Australia and took a position as Head Chef at Cadmus in Circular Quay, Sydney. Working with chefs from Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, I was fascinated by their style of cooking and absorbed as much as I could. At the time, a chef called Peter Kuruvita was making big waves in Australia. He had worked with some of the best chefs in Europe and spiced up the more classical cuisine with recipes and flavours that represent his roots in Sri Lanka. I was thrilled to start working with Peter at Flying Fish Sydney 2* in 2004.
After an amazing time of exploration, learning and broadening my chef-horizon, I came home to Ireland in June 2006 to work as Executive Sous chef at the Sheraton Fota Island Resort & Spa. In early 2010 and a few phone calls later, I found myself – once again – at the other end of the world: I was offered the role of Executive Chef at the Sheraton & Westin Resort & Spa in Fiji. I was in charge of both hotels with 800 rooms, 125 chefs, 12 restaurants, banquets for more than 1,000 guests, 3 acres of farming land and farm team. My beautiful wife cared for our two little children while our family embarked on this adventure. And an adventure it was! Despite my many years of
international experience let’s just say… it was a new challenge. My team and I worked hard to provide excellent food and service for all guests at these two prestigious luxury resorts. But it was worth it. By the time we left you wouldn’t have recognized the kitchens I had walked into 4 years prior. The level of professionalism and quality at which we as a team had arrived at was incredible. We had achieved a lot.
Finally, in 2014, we decided it was time to come home. I was ready to pour all the passion and experience I had accumulated over the years into something of my own. LovingSalads was born. With the great support of my family and friends I was able to build a complete kitchen-unit next to our house, grow some of our own produce, set up and sell at the local farmers markets and cater for events. We have received a lot of great support and reviews from our customers as we strive and push ourselves to become even better. If you ask me, having operated since July 2014 and opening our first shop in Cork in September 2015, we have come a long way in getting to know our customers and finding our place in the local community. I know that the future of LovingSalads & LovingJuices is going to be even better, and I hope you will be part of our exciting journey.