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Maldron Hotels

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Stephen Connolly appointed Head Chef at Maldron Hotel Portlaoise
A passion for beautiful food and a hunger to improve
 Tues 19th April 2022

Stephen Connolly has been appointed Head Chef at the three-star Maldron Hotel Portlaoise, after working his way up from Chef De Partie to Junior Sous Chef and then Sous Chef. Stephen says he is proud to oversee such a talented group of chefs and delighted to have been appointed as Head Chef.

“Ever since I was a child I have always had a keen interest in cooking and when I was in my transition year I did work experience in a number of places, one being a Renault garage another in a bike shop but my final placement was as a kitchen assistant in a small pub on Mill Street in Dublin called the Tenters. It was working here that really sparked my love for hospitality and after that experience I actively worked towards entering the industry.

“At Dalata I have gone from strength to strength working hard and making my way up through the ranks. I have used my time actively upskilling by attending and applying for courses that are available within the company.”

Stephen has completed several courses through the Dalata Academy. This has included advanced culinary management, menu development, allergen awareness for head chefs and all HACCP related courses, as well as first aid for mental health.

As Head Chef, Stephen says he loves to create exceptional food but his time is now spent juggling a number of other demands that come with the role.

He added: “I am passionate about preparing and developing menus and specials as well as delivering beautiful food on a daily basis. A typical day for me would be arriving to work and beginning by speaking with the team about how the morning has gone and the business on the books for the day and week ahead.

“I also link in with different departments about various inquiries and bookings as well as taking care of orders, monitoring stock levels and ensuring the kitchen is in a good working manner. I’ll also make a point of speaking to the chefs to ensure they have all they need to smoothly get through the days.”

Dalata Hotel Group, Ireland’s largest hotel group, which operates Maldron Hotels and Clayton Hotels and a portfolio of partner hotels, is currently in a rapid period of expansion and recruiting for a variety of roles. For anyone considering a career in the hospitality industry, Stephen says the rewards are there for anyone with a determination to succeed.

He added: “I would say if you have a passion, then go for it. This is genuinely such a diverse and equal opportunity industry. You get out what you put in. For those willing to work hard, I can honestly say you will be rewarded and with the Dalata Academy, you are supported as you grow your career through training and development.”

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