Jonathan Keane joined the team as Head Chef in 2012 and since then has served an array of innovative dishes daily, utilising ingredients grown on the estate and suppliers. Jonathan is the co-founder of Slow Food Mayo and a member of Euro-Toques International.

What is your role at the Lodge at Ashford?

I am the Executive Head Chef.

What was your background before you worked at the Lodge at Ashford?

I completed my training at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology before gaining experience in some of the West of Ireland’s best hotels and restaurants; Adare Manor, Cashel House, O’Grady’s, The Blackberry, and Byrne’s Restaurant to name but a few.

What was your first experience of the Lodge at Ashford?

I was first approached to take over the kitchens of the Lodge by Wade Murphy, who had built up a great reputation for the then Lisloughrey Lodge. On my first visit to the property I was struck by the beautiful woodlands surrounding the property, this shaped my approach to foraging and using wild foods prominently on my menus

Tell me something about the Lodge people might not know?

The Lodge was once the house of Ashford Castle's General Manager. Now it is a 64 bedroom hotel!

What makes The Lodge special?

The people, the hospitality, and genuine warmth.

What does your typical day at the Lodge look like for you?

A very busy day. Cooking breakfast, general admin, cooking lunch, gardening and foraging for fresh ingredients, cooking dinner/banquets. All in a day's work.

What is your favourite part of your role?

Pushing for improvement one step at a time!

What do you do to relax when you are not working?

Watch football or forage and cook!

What three words would you use to describe the Lodge?

Relaxed, friendly, busy!

What is your proudest achievement of your time at the Lodge?

During my time here, The Lodge has won numerous awards for food and hospitality, but my proudest achievement is my three amazing children with my wife Anna.