Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Sunday, 3 July 2016
Eurotoque Ireland was set up by founding member Mrs Allen of Ballymaloe House this year and celebrates 30 years with some fabulous dinners cooked by its chef members including myself during July well worth going to if your in Dublin
At Fenns Iv always considered the kitchen to be a learning environment at present we have three apprentice chefs in the kitchen all at various stages of learning the trade. One thing I enjoy most is watching them and helping them learn and progress with new skills and confidence in what they do
Thursday, 2 June 2016
In 1996 I took my first summer job working in a kitchen run a former home ec teacher who taught convicts in prisons and now ran a cafe with home made cakes pastries and other goodies it was from here I developed a love of cooking but also hard work and discipline I had my jobs that i had to do before I started in the kitchen which included brushing and mopping the cafe and general cleaning duties it was the kind of business where everyone got stuck in when it got busy but my role was predominantly in the back round and that's how I liked it
From that I attended Cork Institute of technology to begin my professional chef course I excelled as I loved what I did got on with my class mates and worked hard.
I won a scholarship to America graduated top of my class after two years and had the joy of representing my country in an CIT culinary team
As part of the chef program two placements had to be completed of which I stayed in the same hotel for.
On my first day the sous chef whom departed within months of me starting made some comments such as your hairs too long you'll start to smoke and the pastry section os somewhere you should get familiar with as that's where most women end up ........
At the time it went over my head and didn't pay attention to it I got on with my training and worked hard on my journey of becoming a chef . I got on well with my head chef and when I felt it was time for me to move on advice and help were offered to me in my career.
A summer season at another hotel and I find myself 15 years ago at Fenns Quay my first restaurant I loved it some of my former collage friends had worked there too some five years later I became head chef aged 26 and at aged 28 the proprietor. I became a member of a chef organisation where I would meet and be mentored by some of Ireland's top chefs. Many chefs have come and gone through Fenns under my watch and many come back to say hello or even back to work for me which makes me proud
•Fenns voted RAI best restaurant Cork 2015 & 2014
•Georgina Campbell & Bord Bia
"Just Ask" all Ireland restaurant of the year 2015
•Mckennas top100 2014 & 2015 & appear in their guide 14,15,16
•Food and Wine top 10 chef in Munster
• food and wine top 10 restaurant in Munster
•featured in Michelin guide 2008-2016
• Yes Chef awards finalist 2014 ,2015
•Hi Magazine judges special merit award winner 2015
•Eurotoque food council
• RAI council member 15&16
Why write this piece ?
What is its importance ?
My name is Kate Lawlor I am a chef with an award winning business
In this piece I do not mention gender as first and foremost is hope that we got all above merits because Were bloody good at what We do.
I hope I am an inspiration to both male and female chefs coming into the industry as are the chefs Iv met worked with and continue to be to me those I meet in circles such as Eurotoques and chef network.
Being a chef is a passion, our industry needs looking at when it comes to hours and pay we also need to look at why culinary graduates are shying away from kitchens and yes women are short on the ground we need to address this too and find out the reasons why. Our industry is talking and debate has begun it can only be for the good of every chef
My first trip to the school each term I talk to the TY students about how and why I use local suppliers but more importantly explained what a local supplier was and the benefits of using them are followed by a tasting of the foods of some of the suppliers i use.
The next challenge set by the teachers were for the young ladies to research a local supplier and develope a dish around the product and a cook off took place and a final group were picked
This is a simple project but it's results are clear home economics as a subject is a vital life skill but key to education in food
I commend the Home Ec department in Saint Mary's for taking an idea that is so clever fun and rewarding in so many ways for everyone involved and such a joy to return each time to sample amazing locally produced food and feel that an impression has been made that will stay with these young ladies
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Being a chef gives your cauldron of creative thoughts on how foods should mix and marry to create wonderful works of art on a plate that not alone look good but also taste good in theory but reality ideas don't always work and dishes sometimes fail but this is where the specials board comes in it allows you scope to try and test something I may think is a dish amazing the public may disagree
Like with my latest want to add to the menu salt fish mousse the idea being salt fish has always been in Cork's English market have used it to make croquettes in the past and serve it with black pudding .
So we're heading to the warmer time of the year and I do love a good mousse so we salted some hake and made a salt fish mousse delicious added some beetroot needed something else and capers were added must say I'm very happy with this dish but missing a bit of chrunch the team decided a brown bread tuile to garnish may do the trick and some of Kevin's sunflower shoots to make it pretty