Jason’s first job working in a professional kitchen came in 1994 when he worked as a Kitchen Porter/Kitchen Assistant at The Bistro in Castle Market Street in Dublin city centre. This is where Jason started laying the foundation for his future as he worked weekends and summer holidays from school from the age of 14.
On finishing his leaving certificate, Jason studied Hotel Management at Griffith College for 1 year, passing all modules successfully before coming to the realisation that he had a greater love for food and that a Chef career would be the right path for him. So Jason enrolled in a professional cookery course at CERT on Amien Street in 1999.
Jason then went on to work in Lanzarote, Spain, during summer breaks from college and quickly adapted to running a kitchen and placing orders/stock-taking in Spanish. When he returned to Dublin, Jason began working in the fine dining QV2 restaurant in Dublin city centre where he worked for 3 years moving up the kitchen brigade under the patron Head Chef-owner and panel of chef’s president, Eoin McDonnell.
With this experience under his belt, Jason thought it time to travel to Australia for a year to develop his skills further. He worked in 2 fine dining restaurants in Sydney; Quay Side Brassiere and Kingsley’s Prime Steak House. This experience helped Jason fine-tune my skills and respect the high-end ingredient’s that he was using.
For the past 13 years, Jason has worked in With Taste and moved up through the kitchen brigade to his current position as Head Chef. With the Executive Head Chef, Garrett Duff, Jason has been involved in organising many high profile events and consulting with well-known chefs such as Richard Corrigan, Ross Lewis, Patrick Guilbaud (Kieran Glennon), Garry Hughes, Kevin Thornton, Nevin Maguire, Paul Flynn and Kevin Dundon on numerous showcase events, awards, launch’s and Royal state visits.
Jason also has a passion for trying to teach people how to cook and have 3 years of experience working for the VEC adult education centre teaching, giving adults basic home cooking skills.
SO LET’S GET TO KNOW HIM…
How long have you been working in the hospitality industry?
I had my first kitchen job at 14 in a bistro in Castle Market street Dublin 2 while still in school so was part-time. I started full time in 1998 so 21 years ago.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have a diary and a work schedule to keep to so could be anything from monitoring staff training, menu developing, checking our staffing for events, cost management, answering queries from clients/emails, tastings and to manage the day to day running of our kitchens.
What do you find most rewarding about your role?
It’s all about pleasing our clients and getting good feedback and passing on and receiving knowledge.
What’s your earliest food memory?
Making coffee cake, apple pie, wheaten/soda bread and scones in my Grandmothers farmhouse in Gortmore, Smithboro Co. Monaghan with no fancy moulds or cutters, everything cut by hand.
What is your pet peeve in the kitchen?
Messy worktable, if your table is a mess more than likely so will your plates.
Which kitchen tool could you not live without?
I try not to be too reliant on any one piece of equipment as it can damage your skillset as a chef, very important for me to have my instinct but if you push me for an answer most used would be the thermomix.
What is your current ingredient obsession
Love all good quality meats and fish, I’d say it’s hard for any chef worth their salt to name one.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Good pieces of bread and butter – simple.
Who is your dream dinner party guest?
If past is ok I’d say Bill Shankly or Brian Clough as I loved their charisma – Present Jurgen Klopp, surely there’s a pattern here.
Let us in on your top foodie tip.
Not to rush things, I find a lot of home cooks cook things at too high of a temperature causing flavours and tenderness not to develop properly and always rest your meat and fish for an appropriate time after cooking never to be eaten straight from the oven or pan.
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