Interview: Chef Dervilla O'Flynn of Ireland's Ballymaloe House

'Energy, positivety, willingness to learn and focus'
Chef Dervilla O'Flynn
Ballymaloe House

The Daily Meal: How did you get into cooking?

Chef Dervilla O'Flynn: I came to Ballymaloe for a summer after I finished high school and loved it so I stayed.

Do you have a specialty dish?
Our latest most delicious way of cooking is roasting/grilling in our Big Green Egg chargrill oven- when we serve a buffet, we cook our local Turkey’s in it and they are to die for!
Do you prefer a particular style of cooking?

I love Mediterranean style cooking and adapting them to what we have from the farm and sea and the classics that never need to change.

What kind of atmosphere do you create in the kitchen?
My aim is to have A calm happy one so talking and listening are very important.
What do you look for when you hire other chefs to assist you in the kitchen?
Energy, positivety, willingness to learn and focus.
Have I missed anything that you feel is important that you would like to add?
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Cooking and producing good food that you go the extra steps to find and transform onto a customers plate, takes such a lot of work that I don’t think is truly appreciated by those who eat it.

What is your favorite spice?
Cumin, turmeric. I am experimenting with them all the time and they are so adaptable to many dishes and have subtlety that brings out the best of what they’re being cooked with.
What keeps you in cooking?
The kick out of satisfying people who appreciate the efforts we put in.
Have you had experience with vegetarian cooking?
Of course as we have our own vegtable gardens. There are vegtables on nearly every dish that goes out.
What is your favorite vegetarian dish?
We are so lucky to have amazing vegetables, fruit and lettuces and herbs from our gardens so…for lunch, my favourite food to have is a super salad of grains, seeds, avocado, garden herbs and leaves with roast garden romesco and slow roast tomatoes with seed crisps.
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