2019 Award Winners CHEF OF THE YEAR 2019

James Coffey, Park Hotel Kenmare, Co Kerry


Casual dining may still be the big story but fine dining is far from dead - and, regardless of style, the restaurants that are performing best are those led by people like our Chef of the Year, who are grounded in classical cooking. And, in this case, a beautiful setting lends a special sense of occasion.

There is much to admire about those great chefs – and we have a good many of them in Ireland – who are not afraid of being in the public eye and use their profile to highlight important issues, not least the importance of valuing the treasure trove on our doorstep that is our wonderful Irish produce. But there is another kind of chef in some of our leading kitchens that we don’t hear very much about, because these shy retiring people just focus all their talent and energy on creating the great meals that make for a memorable dining experience.

Our Chef of the Year is one of those, a classically trained chef who has quietly led the kitchen team in one of our most famous and well-loved hotels for the past five years, and - backed up by a terrific front of house team – whose superb cooking consistently delights a discerning and appreciative clientèle. So let’s hear it for those gifted chefs who enjoy their kitchen space too much to leave it without a great deal of persuasion.

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