Q & A with Sean Connolly, Chef, The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room

Sean Connolly

Most of us will recognise Sean Connolly as the Executive Chef at The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room.  But the truth is, this is just one of his global ventures.  Hailing originally from Yorkshire and commencing his cooking career when he was just 13, Sean has won numerous cooking accolades over the years.  Today, he is well and truly embraced as a ‘celebrity chef’.

We caught up with him to get his take on the top spots to eat and drink in Sydney.

Q:  Where do you go to get a great cup of coffee (or tea if you’re not a latte lover)?

Definitely Single Origin Roasters.

A bunch of crazy cats that are thumping out some of the best coffee in the country. For them, coffee is not an interest it’s a religion.

Q:  If you could only eat one last meal on this earth, where and what would it be?

 I would be happy to eat Duck Fat Fish & Chips with mushy peas at The Morrison.

I know it sounds strange eating in your own restaurant but it’s when I sit there in the window looking out on to George Street that those flavours take me back to my childhood.

Q:  Please share with us your 5 all time favourite bars or restaurants.

  1. Kitchen by Mike intrigues and inspires me. The quality of his produce and his foodie style has created a wonderful business through cooking quality produce.
  2. Nomad -Nathan Sassi. I met Nathan 5 years ago when I was writing an article on him for Jamie’s Magazine. He’s a fantastic chef, very talented and I don’t know any chef who understands the art of using spices as well as he does.
  3. Rockpool Bar & Grill. Everybody is doing burgers but no-one makes them like Neil Perry. Neil is simply a living legend.
  4. Peter Doyle of est is one on the greatest chefs of Sydney. His food is simple and beautiful.
  5. LOX STOCK & BARREL in Bondi. What a great place; quality salads, quality buzz, quality coffee… and the Ruben sandwich is the best I’ve eaten outside of NYC.

Q:  If you had visitors in town, where would be the first place you would take them to drink and/or dine?

It would have to be Icebergs Dining Room and Bar.

Q:  Where do you buy your produce in Sydney?

You’ll often see me wandering around the weekly market at Havericks Meats, Banksmeadow on a Saturday morning. They have great restaurant quality meat there for wholesale prices and you can also pick up Pepe Saya butter and Artisan Salt. Or, I pop down to the Sydney Fish Markets to pick up some fresh mud crabs.

Q:  What inspired your passion for food and what does food mean to you?

My mother Margaret and grandmother Esther were my inspiration in the kitchen. Whilst my friends were playing rugby after school, I would rush home to bake and listen to Esther’s stories. Their love in the kitchen is what drives me and my passion in the kitchen today. I fell in love with cooking over 30 years ago and it has been a life long passion.

Q:  What do you want your ‘food’ legacy to be?

I would like to pass down my recipes and passion to my children.  A dozen recipes that we all love to cook and dishes they can pass down to their children.

Q:  Please tell us an interesting fact not many people know about you!

I have a penchant for brick laying. I picked it up 15 years ago when I went to Bondi High School for an adult education weekend. I was preparing myself to become an owner-builder in my spare time while still cooking. Ever since then I have been known to stand back and admire people’s handy work. Brickwork is an art form!

You heard it here first folks!

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