Meet the Chef
Perhaps you have eaten our food at Lee Valley. Perhaps you even have a favourite dish. But have you met the man behind the genius? We’d like to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into our kitchen.
Meet Chef Danny. Danny is passionate about good food. It seems to be in his DNA. At the young age of seven, Danny was already baking apple pies, scones and fairy cakes for neighbours and friends. When he was a teenager, he used to love backwoods cooking. He and his friends would go out all day fishing. They would wrap the fish they just caught in washed laurel leaves, pack the outside with mud and cook them over an open-fire. I wish you could see the gleam in his eye as he recounted the story, “When you crack it open, you have beautiful fish inside.” His passion for cooking continued to grow, as did his skill for perfecting tantalising dishes.
Danny has experience cooking in several of Cork’s renowned hotels and restaurants before joining us at Lee Valley ten years ago. We refuse to let him go. And if you’ve tasted his food, you know why!
We asked Danny his favourite thing to cook, and although he admitted that it is hard to choose just one favourite, he did let us in on his love of cooking outdoors. “I love outdoor cooking. It’s fresh – the outdoor air puts you in good form. People are laughing and having a good time; it just changes the whole vibe.”
His most-raved-about dish to date? Pan-fried John Dory fillets served with lime-chorizo butter and a side of broccoli tempura. That said, he let me in on a little secret. In the next week or so, he will be introducing a new dish to the menu, and it may just steal the place of Lee Valley’s most-requested-dish. It’s an American-inspired pulled pork dish that is just…wow. Really. Pulled pork with garlic butter, balsamic reduction, basil pesto smothered over french toast and then heat-blasted in the oven before being topped with smoked streaky bacon, red cheddar and parmesan. Slightly spiced rustic fries are served on the side, along with a craft beer.