Yorkshire born Sean Connolly is a creative, a businessman, and an affable geezer. A true visionary and one of Australia and New Zealand’s most beloved chefs and restauranteurs.
Sean began his career as a 13 year old unpaid intern at a hotel in Leeds. His 30 + year career and uncompromising drive has since seen him win multiple awards and accolades, release his own cookbook and line of Sean Connolly gourmet products, and star in his own TV series (in NZ & Australia).
Currently Sean heads up an empire of restaurants in Australian and NZ. “Ester” in the QT Hotel in Auckland, Gowings in QT Hotel Sydney, “Sean's Kitchen” in Adelaide, “The Bon Pavilion” in Gosford, “Steak & Co by Sean Connolly” at West HQ, and “The Wild Flower Bar & Dining” in Killcare NSW.
But Sean Connolly is anything but your usual Chef, and his establishments are not your usual restaurants. They all have a common thread – “theatre”. Sean sees himself more like a Film Director, than a Chef:
“Rock ’n’ Roll, fashion and art all excite me, and these influences are reflected in my style and food. In my restaurants, it’s on me to deliver the whole creative experience - design, lighting, ambience, getting the music right - amping up the theatre. Then comes the food. I know that if I get that right...then magic happens”, says Sean.
Regardless of the venue or the menu, Sean’s philosophy on food remains consistent - tradition over trend, provenance, and simplistic creativity.
“My art is about minimalism, the less is more approach is how I roll every day. It's what I don't do to a dish rather than what I do. I don't overwork it. I let the ingredients speak for themselves. Beautiful produce, provenance and the thinking behind the dish is what makes me tick. I build the best kitchens in the world, and I get the best ingredients in the world and then there’s nowhere to hide”.
Simple food, done brilliantly: no foams, no frills, & definitely no flower garnishes.