QUICKFIRE Q&A: Seamus O’Donnell, Executive Chef, The Alchemist

Seamus O’Donnell, executive chef

What aspects of your kitchens will you be focusing on in 2020?

Food waste is one of my biggest focus points this year. Creating menus to minimise waste but also looking at alternative ways of how we dispose of waste by preventing it going to landfill.

What is the biggest kitchen challenge you’ll face in 2020?

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The population is rising and there is huge demand for crops that cannot be grown here. Society has grown used to so much being available all year round. Can we increase self-sufficiency? Definitely. There are some very basic things that we are going to have to accept that we will have to import, and we will have to pay more for it.

What will be the big menu development trend of 2020?

We will start to see people move away from red meat and plan their diets accordingly. They will become more flexible with the introduction of vegetarian days in their weeks.

What one factor or criteria will you be looking at from new catering equipment this year?

For new and existing equipment, it is essential that it shows efficiency in terms of gas and electricity as we continue to watch our carbon footprint.

What is on your catering equipment wish list this year?

Giving a chef a wish list is always dangerous! But with the way that my kitchens have all started moving into the tech world in terms of us reporting due diligence to spec books as I endeavour to become paperless, my next move will be to look at kitchen display screens and lose the paper dockets in due course.

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Andrew Seymour

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