Chef Interview – Sean Connolly

Dear Blog-Readers, I have today, my very first chef interview. It was very exciting and also nerve wracking at the same time when interviewing the chef. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do.


Sean Connolly is executive head chef of the prestigious Astral Restaurant and Bar and Sean’s Kitchen here in Sydney’s very own Casino, Star City. He is one Sydney’s top chefs and one of Australia’s most recognized chef. His love and passion for Spanish cuisine has got himself one chef hat and was labelled Chef of year by the Good food Guide in 2008.

The man himself, Sean Connolly.

I was very honored to have met Sean for an interview and I truly appreciate his time as he is one very busy man. Getting to know Sean was great, he has a very great personality and you can see that he is really passionate at his work. I hope you readers, will appreciate the interview, as it was a pleasure getting it all organised and written.

Me : You were born in the UK, how did you end up in Australia?

Sean : I used to work on the QE2 when I was 18 and I travelled around the world, for 18 months. One of the most beautiful ports I’ve been to was Sydney. We stopped in Perth, stopped in Melbourne but Sydney was the place that took my fancy.

Me : What made you become a chef, were your parents a huge part of this inspiration?

Sean : I love cooking for people, I love making people happy, I love sharing the joy around on a plate. That was it really, just starting at an early age, 8 or 9 years old cooking with my grandparents. But it turned into a profession, at the age of 12 I was in hotels cooking.

Me : One of your favourite ingredients are sturgeon caviar, why caviar?

Sean : I like its simplicity and how natural it is and the fact you don’t have to do too much to it. It’s that kind of a luxury thing as well for me but generally I would say it’s so beautiful and it’s simple form without having to do anything to it. It’s just gorgeous.

Me : What has been the highlight of your life?

Sean : (Smiles) It has been a lot, been a lot. But I suppose my luckiest run has been working at Star city. Working out here and getting my second restaurant means a lot.

Me : Did you always know that you will be successful or did it come as a surprise to you?

Sean : Yes, I was. Very surprised.

Me : Has being a chef influenced your children’s perspective towards their future career? Do they want to be chefs too?

Sean : I hope no, I hope no. I don’t want them to be chefs. I want them to have nice office jobs. If they want to cook, I would hope they will have a degree in journalism and be like food writers or food journalist.  I think that’s more exciting.

Me : Do they cook very much at home?

Sean : They do, their mothers’ a really good cook. So they learn a lot from their mum and probably inspiration from me.

Me : Favourite Menu on a Sunday lunch?

Sean : Got to be Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, has’nt it. Thats it.

Me : Any favourite restaurants in Sydney?

Sean : If I’m looking for a sandwich, I go to Sanoma Bakehouse. Is it Surry hills, somewhere like that?  If I’m looking for easy going fun Tapas, where I would probably go will be Alira in Pyrmont.  That’s kind of a Middle Eastern, Moroccan style Tapas kitchen that I really love. If I’m looking for somewhere serious to eat and I’m taking people out for a celebration, probably go to Quay Restaurant. Peter Gilmore is a phenomenal chef, I love his cooking.

Me : Do you expect very much when you eat outside?

Sean : I’m pretty easy going but I don’t know. Sometimes I am, sometimes I am not.

Me : Are you planning to get a cookbook anytime soon?

Sean : Yeah, we are getting them coming out in 3-4 months called my Family Feast. It’s a collection of all the Family’s recipes, all the food styling and checked all the recipes through. That’s comes out after the second series of My Family Feast which comes out on the 24th of June.

Me : Any future plans as the time flies?

Sean : Nothing really.  Doing the TV show. Series 3 is coming out; I’m going to start filming that in July. Might do a little book, a more personal book, my own book and……….. that’s it.

Me : Thanks very much Sean, for the interview. Congratulations as well for your two restaurants.

Sean : Pleasure. Thank you.


Astral Restaurant & Bar
Level 17, 80 Pyrmont Street,
Star City Casino, Pyrmont
Sydney, New South Wales
(02) 1800 700 700
Sean’s Kitchen
Level 2, 80 Pyrmont Street,
Star City Casino, Pyrmont
Sydney, New South Wales
(02)9777 9000
Good Food Guide – Chef of the Year 2008
Good Food Guide – One Chef hat for numerous years
GQ Magazine – Chef of the Year 2009
AU Hotels Associations – Chef of the Year 2009
AU Gourmet Traveller Awards – One Star 2009
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