We are here to introduce a very talented pastry chef who has won our first ever ChefsEye Battle Chef competition. Grainne Mullins has been a pastry chef for over 8 years now working at a very beautiful hotel in a small coastal village in Ireland, Ardmore called The Cliff House Hotel.
It’s clear to see how talented she is with her stunning creations and determination to learn new things, not only just in the kitchen but in life aswel.
The Cliff House Hotel is a five-star boutique hotel and spa perched on top of a cliff overlooking the stunning views over Ardmore Bay, With a Michelin star restaurant and bar on site this is a place you must visit. (@cliffhousehotel)
We did catch up with Grainne and had the pleasure in asking her some questions.
ChefsEye: Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?
Grainne: No. It was a path that I just fell into. After a work experience in Transition Year I was offered a part-time position and I kept that up until I left school. I realised that making everything fresh and from fresh ingredients was s something that I enjoyed doing. Then my part time job became a full-time job and here I am today.
ChefsEye: What is your favourite style of cuisine to cook?
Grainne: I love to cook any style of cuisine. I get most enjoyment out of mixing both classical and modern cooking styles.
ChefsEye: What is you greatest achievement?
Grainne: My greatest achievement is really getting to where I am today. I have had fantastic opportunities and I have worked hard to get to the level I am at now. Having been featured in the French professional cooking magazine, Thuries, and accomplishing the French language are 2 things that I am glad that I have achieved.
ChefsEye: Who is your favourite chef?
Grainne: I wouldn’t say I have a favourite chef. There are so many I look up to and admire.
ChefsEye: What are your strengths?
Grainne: I am quite patient and willing to learn. This skills are necessary in a kitchen environment as I have a team to inspire and teach and I must be able to do it in a manner that they can remember and appreciate why I ask them to do it in a certain way. I also know that I do not know everything so I am open to new ideas and I am constantly on the look out for new techniques to try out.
ChefsEye: What trends are you noticing in food?
Grainne: Trends come and go. Styles of cooking and ways of plating change so much over time. Sometimes we haven’t even noticed a trends before it has changed again but I see a lot of fruit shaped desserts similar to Cedric Grolet.
ChefsEye: What was your worst kitchen disaster?
Grainne: I can’t think of one in particular but mistakes happen. We aim for perfection in our career but we cannot be all perfect all of the time. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and adapt. I wouldn’t be where I am today without being able to over come mistakes that have happened.
ChefsEye: Who is your biggest inspiration?
Grainne: My parents. They are both fantastic home cooks who use fresh and good quality ingredients. I was brought up to respect and appreciate food and this has definitely always inspired me to respect a foods natural taste we are here to enhance not to cover up.
ChefsEye: What is your favourite dinning experience have you had?
Grainne: I enjoy eating out and do it at any spare moment. I had an amazing meal last summer in La Villa Madie which was unforgettable, but I also enjoy eating in smaller restaurants such as Kai in Galway or Miyazaki in Cork.
ChefsEye: What do you love most about your job?
Grainne: I love the creative side. As chefs we get an opportunity to be artists with everything we put on our plates. I also love the satisfaction of pleasing guests. It’s not always easy but when I received a compliment it makes it all worth while.
ChefsEye: What do you think of social media?
Grainne: I think it’s a great tool for chefs to showcase their work and also to interact with other chefs and get inspiration.
ChefsEye: Do you have any advice to any young chefs who are reading this?
Grainne: Keep pushing yourself. This industry is not an easy one but if you stay positive and keep pushing forward it gets easier. We all have tough days and we all make mistakes we just have to know how to dust ourselves off and come back fighting.
We can not thank you enough for your amazing answers and a small insight to who you are. We look forward to see what the future holds for you and we will be watching.
If you want to follow Grainne on Instagram, head over to @grainnemullins.
Also why not check us out on Instagram @chefs_eye and @chef_jason_shaw.