Monsicha Hoonsuwan catches up with Chef Sean Connolly, known for his produce-driven restaurants in Australia and New Zealand, ahead of the World Gourmet Festival.
Published on Aug 4, 2015
Foodies down under can't get enough of celebrity chef Sean Connolly's bold, earthy style. He calls himself a "purveyor of damn fine food," and the critics agree: kitchens he's helmed have pulled in a total of three Chef Hats, the Aussie equivalent of Michelin Stars, and his five restaurants spread across Sydney, Adelaide and Auckland are always packed. He's even the host of his own TV show, Sean's Kitchen. Yet, his food philosophy is refreshingly minimalist. After 15 years prepping molecular dishes at Sydney's perpetually hatted Astral (The Grill by Sean Connolly in Auckland is his other ever-awarded eatery), Connolly decided he was fed up with foam and wanted to pursue a more produce-driven approach. The result: meat on the bone or in the shell, charred or grilled, and served with fresh seasonal harvests. "This is what real food is all about," he says. "The older I get, the simpler my food gets." Connolly's latest opening, Sean's Kitchen in Adelaide, holds a collection of his favorite recipes, including "grandma's carrots," a salty sweet fuss-free tribute to his late granny. "I let my produce speak for itself," he says. Still, humble is by no means predictable. Connolly is experimenting with a Japanese-inspired take on Gallic fare, which he'll be serving in Bangkok at the World Gourmet Festival (Siam Bangkok. anantara.com; September 7-13) next month. "It's going to be a challenge, but that's why I get out of bed every day," he says. "I love it."
Catch Chef Sean Connolly at the World Gourmet Fair September 7-13 at the Anantara Bangkok.