The Heights Hotel Killarney
If you’re looking for the height of hospitality, The Heights Hotel in Killarney is the place to go.
Executive Chef, Jamie Cronin, trained under top class chefs in the Institute of Technology, Tralee, before working in Florida for a year, and London for four years.
His experience as a chef is outstanding and he has cooked for the likes of Damien Duff, Ed Sheeran, Example, Ross Kemp, Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, James Blunt, The Black-Eyed Peas.
With a resumé like that, Go Wild Magazine had to catch up with Jamie for a quick chat.
What inspired you to get into the food industry?
It started out when I was 15 as a part time job, during school, in a busy hotel in Tralee. Unfortunately, I don’t have a romantic story about how I got into it; it wasn’t a love of food or anything like that. At that stage, I think the most I would have cooked at home would have been toast!
I remember my break on my first day, texting my mom that it was going great and I loved it. I just found that I took to it very well and it kind of just kicked off from there.
What brought you to The Heights Hotel Killarney?
I was living in London for around four years and was contemplating my next move. Moving back to Ireland hadn’t really been on my mind but I saw The Heights was searching for a Head Chef so I sent my CV over. Around an hour later, I got a phone call from the owner and we had a good chat about where the hotel was and what plans they had to progress it.
Since I came on board two years ago, there have been massive changes in the hotel. All 71 bedrooms have been revamped and the work around the hotel is continuing every day.
On the food side of things, we have a very successful carvery and banqueting trade. Our Carvery has won the best in Ireland two out of the last three years and our banqueting and wedding trade is going through the roof year on year.
The hotel was recently awarded 4-star status which was a big boost for us and we have also been working hard to build our bar food and restaurant trade.
We implemented a Brasserie menu throughout the hotel, which has been very well-received with customers and I think it definitely helps us stand out from your regular bar menus that you see so often in other hotels and in turn has raised business tenfold.
How do you think Irish Cuisine is faring compared to the rest of the world?
I genuinely believe it’s right up there. I have worked in Ireland, The UK and America and can honestly say the standard of food over here is just as good, if not better than abroad.
The quality of food all stems from the quality of produce coming through the doors. You won’t get better meat or dairy than what you can get here on your doorstep. At The Heights, we get all of our meats from local butchers who could literally tell you the name of the animal that you are receiving.
Buying locally has always been a strong part of my ethos, you can’t beat knowing that what you are preparing – be it beef, fish or lamb – came from only a few miles away and, with that, the standard of the product is naturally top class.
What is your favourite kind of food, and what dish do you like to order when you dine out?
Strangely enough, for a chef I’ve always been a relatively plain eater. At home I love cooking simple dishes – roast chicken, homemade curries, stews etc. You can’t beat a good honest meal cooked to perfection, just letting the natural ingredients take over, and I’ve always stood by that.
Address: Cork Road, Ballyspillane, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Contact: 064 6635198