What’s going on friends!? We’re wishing everyone a happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day from the Festival Pass team. In the spirit of the holiday, we are honored to interview a legend of Ireland. A woman with a wealth of experience in the culinary arts, world-renowned chef, Maura O’Connell Foley.
Maura has been in the industry in one way or another, for over 60 years. It was such a pleasure to watch her reminisce about how her career got started, and all of the lovely people that she had crossed paths with along the way. Most of us can’t remember what we had for lunch 24 hours ago, but Maura easily recalls specific details of her fascinating life, and the names of those special individuals that’s helped her throughout the journey, and a journey it’s been. Cooking is in her blood, and we’re ecstatic that Maura took our host Pat Tully through generations of her family’s history, and how the trade was ultimately passed down to her. Maura has been very blessed in her life, and so are we having the privilege to hear her stories.
There’s something to be said about Maura’s determination. Dedicating decades to the mastery of her craft, it’s hard to believe that Maura is almost completely self-taught, and has taken only one brief cooking class in the 1960s. The London-born chef took control of her dreams when she would ask restaurants and hotels if she could work in the kitchen to gain live experience; something she believes there’s no replacement for in the business. After learning from chefs like the great Sonia Stevenson, Maura became a chef and owner of many successful establishments in the beloved town of Kenmare. Some of these places included cafes, grocery stores, and of course, the famous Limetree restaurant, and the Shelburne Lodge, which she and her husband, Tom still runs today.
It’s amazing to listen to someone as revered in her profession as Maura is; especially during Woman’s History Month. What she’s been able to accomplish in one lifetime is astounding. After all the business that have flourished under her care, earning the coveted Michelin Red M, and reviews from the top publications in the world, it still might not be her greatest feat. Maura’s book, “My Wild Atlantic Kitchen” is a culmination of her entire adventure. It’s a recipe book like none you’ve ever seen, with beautiful illustrations and stories. It’s a must-have in every kitchen, so pick one up on Amazon right after you hear this podcast.
St. Patty’s Day is always a fun and highly celebrated holiday. The Irish exude so much love, pride, and culture, that it’s a shame we can’t experience that energy the way we have in years prior. Nevertheless, chef Maura has us covered with her very own Patty’s Day cocktail. After all, Maura says that whiskey is one of the secrets to a happy life.
“Things have changed so much. Now everything is artisan. Anything that’s good, artisan, and that has good ingredients, has gone full circle and survived. That’s what people want now.” - Maura O’Connell Foley
**Catch the interview on Festival Pass Stories! ** https://festivalpass.com/stories
**You can find Maura on: **
**My Wild Atlantic Kitchen’s Website-**https://www.mywildatlantickitchen.com
**My Wild Atlantic Kitchen’s Instagram-**https://www.instagram.com/mywildatlantickitchen/
**My Wild Atlantic Kitchen’s Facebook-**https://www.facebook.com/MyWildAtlanticKitchen/
**The Shelburne Lodge’s Website-**https://www.shelburnelodge.com
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