Eddie Attwel is Head Chef of Eccles Hotel. Situated in lush West Cork chef Eddie, a keen forager and grower of his own produce, uses this to create incredible culinary dishes. After joining the team at Eccles, Eddie immediately installed a polytunnel to grow fresh produce to use in his kitchen. He finds the best and local suppliers to deliver high quality food daily. Growing his own and sourcing fresh and local produce, Eddie ensures that any dish that passes through his kitchen is of the highest quality.
Tell us what inspired you to cook and what age you started?
Early memories of cooking was clearing the big table in our house on a Sunday evening and starting pie production with my parents, The school bus either dropped me at my aunts bakery where my mother worked or to the Café my parents later ran. After school treats came at a price….. work. So that’s how the interest began.
What is your favourite food memory?
Eating a monster oyster, on a kayak, in the rain with a strong sea breeze…..no salt required.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your menus?
The seasons give their own inspiration, visually and by smell. We watch the seasons closely through our kitchen garden and tunnels.
Have you any suppliers/ producers that stand out to you and why?
Bumblebee Flower Farm in Drimoleague. Fresh produce and ethically produced is what West Cork is about and Mags Riordan showcases the natural seasonal beauty. Ballymakenny Farm, Maria Flynn has elevated and changed the face and accessible variety of amazing heritage potatoes. Chefs now have a choice of great seasonal potatoes and variable in texture, pigment and flavour.
How do you stay motivated and relevant within your role?
Myself and the chefs are heavily involved and run the garden here. The motivation comes from the joy of letting guests not only taste but see the produce for themselves.
What is your ultimate food indulgence?
Making a chocolate and foie gras terrine as a commis – couldn’t overindulge but a great memory getting to sample the scraps.
What are your favourite restaurants, who are your favourite Chefs?
AOC Copenhagen do a memorable and unreal meal. Waterside Inn and the roux family – thanks to them many of the great chefs have come from or been through their kitchens.
Your job is undoubtedly both physically and mentally demanding, do you have an outlet that helps you refresh & re-energize your mind and body?
The bay out the front of the Eccles hotel. There is no better place to switch off on a kayak, take in nature and also discover ingredients – providing its not too choppy!
Tell us what you love about working in your current role and why it is the right fit for you?
This role took me out of my comfort zone. At a stand alone restaurant you are at criticism for one meal, ensuring a guests breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a completely different scenario but rewarding. “You’re only as good as your last dish”.
Any tips for the home cook?
Cook what you enjoy. Attempt something you love to eat but think you cannot cook. This will give you the drive to try more.