What is your role at Ashford Castle?

Breakfast Chef

What was your background before you worked at Ashford Castle?

I live locally in Cross and had completed a secretarial office course. I tried to find work in that field locally but was unsuccessful. I then found Ashford Castle and applied to work there.

What was your first experience of Ashford Castle?

When I applied there were jobs available in the kitchen and although the work was new to me, I really enjoyed the environment, activity of the kitchen, and working as part of the team. As well as of course, producing top-quality food and recipes. Everything was made with fresh ingredients and local produce. 

It was a brilliant learning platform for beginners and anyone willing to learn the ropes. 

What were your thoughts when you saw the Castle for the first time after the restoration?

It was truly amazing to see how Ashford Castle has transformed and how lovingly it was restored. The restoration is stylish/tasteful and has combined the original Castle features with more modern fittings which are still luxurious.

The addition of the Cinema, Billards Room, and award-wining Spa is exquisite. The private Hideaway Cottage is really special nestled on the banks of Lough Corrib.

Tell me something about Ashford that people might not know?

I used to have a bedroom in the castle! It was downstairs from where the Sales & Marketing offices are today. I shared a room with three other staff members.

What makes Ashford so special?

The view of Lough Corrib and the surrounding area are second to none, you can see for miles and miles on a clear fine day. I must mention my team, we work together as a family unit and I thank them for being so welcoming when I began my career at Ashford. 

What does a typical day at Ashford look like for you?

I prepare and cook the most important meal of the day: breakfast. It is a special meal because it is the last meal the guest will eat before they depart from the Castle. I try to make the experience memorable for them and over the years, many guests have returned due to our outstanding customer service.

What is your favourite part of your role?

A chef’s job can be challenging more recently due to special dietary requirements and I like to satisfy our guest's requests to the highest standard.

I also meet so many interesting people. including new members of staff from all over the globe. It makes my job more interesting as well as creating an incredibly diverse workforce.

What do you do to relax when you are not working?

To relax, I like to go for a swim or cycle/walk in the fresh air of the countryside. I also like to watch the GAA from time to time when Mayo is playing.

What three words would you use to describe Ashford?

Unique, unforgettable, indulgent.

What is the proudest achievement of your time at Ashford Castle?

The awards we won for our breakfast and the recognition of my 25 years of service last year at the Castle. I cannot believe I have been here that long, it feels like only yesterday that I began my career here!