The opening of The Merrion Hotel in October 1997 was the perfect opportunity for Executive Chef, Ed Cooney to return home to his native Ireland in triumph.
He began his career at the Rockwell hotel school in County Tipperary, before spending the early part of his career gaining experience at some of Scotland and England’s finest hotels and restaurants, including achieving The Taste of Scotland Restaurant of the Year award at The Triangle Restaurant, Glasgow. He worked as Premier Sous Chef and subsequently Executive Chef at the celebrated Craigendarroch Hotel and Country Club, Royal Deeside, where The Oaks gourmet restaurant held the Michelin Red M; and latterly moving south to join The Regent Four Seasons, London, now known as The Landmark Hotel as Executive Sous Chef.
Responsible for the cuisine served at The Cellar Restaurant and The Cellar Bar, located in the original 18th-century wine vaults of the property, Cooney also oversees the property’s Private Dining Rooms, Drawing Rooms and Room Service.
Ed Cooney has embraced his role as Executive Chef at The Merrion and achieved numerous awards for the hotel, including two ‘AA Rosette’ awards in 2012 and ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ in the Restaurant Association of Ireland Awards in 2011 for The Cellar Restaurant. He has also undertaken several culinary tours of the USA as well as becoming a popular guest chef on TV. His cuisine is classical in structure but inspired by seasonal Irish ingredients.
“I’ve always had the instinct to work with indigenous local producers. Meeting them in person and seeing what they do, whether on land or at sea, you see what they’re about, the passion they put into their produce. Without quality raw materials the end product will never measure up.”