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Meet The New Talent In The Manor's Kitchen

08 February 2018

Having joined the Celbridge Manor Hotel as Head Chef in 2017, Stafford Chamberlain joins us to give us some of his background, share his expertise and what makes a really great meal. 

Q. Can you give us some background to your cooking career?

My cooking career started back in Jamaica at an early age of 13 but by then I was pretty good in the kitchen. I had no idea this was what I wanted to do but I did my professional culinary training and once completed, I quickly had job offers from restaurants and hotels.

I worked in Jamaica for many years before moving to Ireland in November 2000 after coming here on vacation previously.  I started working in the Glen Royal Hotel in Maynooth where I was then promoted to Sous Chef and after 5 years to Head Chef. I stayed with Glen Royal for 12 years before deciding I wanted to see the world and to see and learn more.

Having decided that I would work on a luxury yacht, I joined Seabourn, one of the most luxurious 6-star companies in the world. I worked here for 5 years where I travelled nearly ¾ of the world places including Iceland, Green land, Thailand, Egypt, Israel, Antarctica, Amazon River, New Zealand just to name a few.

Returning to Ireland in 2015, I worked in venues such as The Druids Glen, The Pillo Hotel & Spa Ashbourne & The Garden House Café before joining the team here at Celbridge Manor Hotel as Head Chef.

Q. How would you describe your style of cooking?

My style of cooking, I would not say is indifferent from other chefs, however being Jamaican, I do like experiment, mix and match flavours and often add a little twist. We take the old-style, mix it up with the new contemporary style and call it my style, that’s what most chefs do I think!

Q. What’s the most popular dish on the restaurant menu

Having launched our new restaurant menu in January, we have received great feedback on my Goat’s Cheese Filo (Goat’s cheese and spinach wrapped in filo pastry, deep fried and tossed in honey. Served with apple purée and baby apples), plus our French trimmed chicken wings with homemade sauce are to die for. We have had great feedback overall on the new menu, which I am sure will be great.

Q. In your opinion what makes a truly great meal?

For me, I would say if the plates are cleaned then I can say, job well done!

It takes a lot of hard work, passion and effort but, most of all, love to put out a truly great meal. If you do not like what you do or enjoy doing it then the result is never going to be the same. It is all about the presentation, the wow factor, you see it and instantly you want to dig in!

Q. Many chefs pride themselves on using local produce, can you find much around Celbridge?

I do agree local is always the best way to go, it can benefit you in many ways, helping to get the word out about delicious dishes and also to meet the local community. Local suppliers can be a great source including fish suppliers, butchers, vegetable suppliers and if you lucky even the milk man! We are sourcing some local suppliers at Celbridge and hope to use more as time goes on.