Sean Connolly has been a chef for over 30 years and is one of Australia’s most recognized and respected chefs. From working on the QE2 cruise ship, to starring in his own 13 part SBS food series, Sean Connolly has had an extensive career. We found out where his passion for food came from and his plans for 2014.

1. Where did your passion for food come from?

It’s actually that cliché that all chefs say about cooking next to their grandmother growing up… that’s really where it all started for me.

2. Best childhood foodie memory?

I loved making cakes when I was younger. I even bought my mother a cake recipes book as a birthday present, but actually I was the one who used it!

3. Tell us a bit more about being a chef on the luxurious QE2 cruiseship – what was that like?

It was very special to be part of that and at the time, I didn’t realise how special it was. It was a lot of hard work but travelling the seven seas and the world before the age of 20 was incredible – looking back it was the making of me, I suppose. I met some fantastic chefs, had a lot of good times, and fell in love with caviar – it was hard not to when one third of the world’s caviar was served on the QE2!

4. What do you think has been your greatest achievement to date?

My two greatest career achievements to date are The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room and The Grill in Auckland. It’s too difficult to choose between the two, it would be like choosing between children, I love them both equally.

5. You’ve just opened up Parlour Burger in the city – where did the inspiration for that come from?

Well, we’ve been selling a truckload of burgers in The Morrison and we noticed it’s near impossible find a reasonably priced, good quality burger elsewhere in the city so we decided to fill that gap in the market and open a dedicated burger bar. Parlour Burger.

6. Any big plans for Sean Connolly in 2014?

An Italian restaurant in Auckland called Gusto in late January 2014. Filming a new TV show in Australia and launching duck fat before Christmas.

7. Top 3 ingredients you can’t live without?

Duck fat, sea salt, and chilli.

8. Where do you love to EAT in Sydney?

One place I really want to revisit soon is The Bridge Room. Ross Lusted is an awesome chef.

9. Where would you have a DRINK in Sydney?

Martinis at The Roosevelt in Potts Point.

10. When you’re not busy cooking, where do you like to PLAY in Sydney?

If I’m not hanging with the family, I do like to go running along the coastal path from Coogee to Bondi with my mates.