Interview: Chef Ed Cooney of Ireland's Merrion Hotel

'Our philosophy is to use the best of Irish produce in season'
The Merrion Hotel is one of Dublins finest. Its located in downtown Dublin close by St Stephens Green, Dublins answer to Central Park. The Daily Meal stayed there for two nights and had a chance to sample some of 54-year-old head Chef Ed Cooneys food and it was sensational.
 
The Daily Meal: How did you get into cooking?
Chef Ed Cooney: Always loved it and it had always been an ambition to become a Chef

 

Do you have a specialty dish?
No – I prefer to follow the seasons.

 

Do you prefer a particular style of cooking?
Our philosophy is to use the best of Irish produce in season. We always try not to over embellish the food. We have a variety of culinary concepts in the different outlets of the hotel endorsing this style and philosophy of presenting and serving food.

 

What kind of atmosphere do you create in the kitchen?
Inclusive, developmental and creative.

 

What do you look for when you hire other chefs to assist you in the kitchen?
The person must be a team player, trustworthy and have a ‘can-do’ attitude. The technical requirements depend on the position.

 

Have you won any awards? Please list them below.
The Gilbeys Gold Medal Excellence in Catering Award 2003
The Cellar Restaurant has won, amongst a platitude of awards, the prestigious title of Best Hotel Restaurant in Dublin’ in 2005 & 2006 from Food & Wine magazine. The Cellar Bar has also been featured in a flight of Michelin Guides throughout the years.
The Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland 2016 in the Irish Restaurant Awards, while continually holding 2 AA Rosettes for the last 15 years.

 

What is your favorite spice? Why?
Cumin – I particularly like using it with lamb.

 

What keeps you in cooking?
Food – I just love it and of course the joy of cooking.
 
Additional information can be found at: www.irelands-blue-book.ie.