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Before joining The Merrion luxury Dublin hotel in 1997, Executive Chef Ed Cooney mastered his trade at some of England and Scotland’s finest hotels and restaurants. He worked as Premier Sous Chef and subsequently Executive Chef at the celebrated Craigendarroch Hotel and Country Club, Royal Deeside, where The Oaks gourmet restaurant held the Michelin Red M. He then moved south to join The Regent Four Seasons London, now known as The Landmark Hotel, as Executive Sous Chef before returning to Ireland in triumph.
For the last 15 years, Chef Cooney has embraced his role at The Merrion's restaurants in Dublin city centre, and has won numerous awards. He has also undertaken several culinary tours of the USA and is a popular guest chef on TV. His cuisine is classical in structure but inspired by seasonal Irish ingredients.
“I’ve always had the instinct to work with indigenous local producers. Meeting them in person and seeing what they do, whether on land or at sea, you see what they’re about, the passion they put into their produce. Without quality raw materials the end product will never measure up.”
A chef needs to be guaranteed the highest quality ingredients. It’s why the relationship between kitchen and producer is significant. Chef Cooney believes finding suppliers who are as fiercely committed as your kitchen team is key. The organisations you align yourself with are important too.
“Good Food Ireland, Euro-Toques and the Restaurant Association of Ireland are all led by an ethos we’re comfortable with. They’re tasked with implementing the highest food standards and ensuring integrity of produce so Ireland can maintain its reputation as a good food island. We like to think we practise what they preach."