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Temp Head - amp gt Kevin Thornton

>Kevin Thornton

Thornton's Restaurant, 128 St Stephen's Green

"Without realising it, I had been preparing for a career involving food from a young age. I worked summers in the gardens of the Cashel Palace Hotel as a young teenager and was fascinated by the transformation of raw materials into dishes. I also worked in an abattoir and remember being really interested the first time I saw a cow's four stomachs.

"I have great memories of bread baking in the AGA and also fondly remember my mum's stews with homemade dumplings. I also helped my uncle James on his farm in the summer, shooting and picking strawberries. And I remember my dad killing the goose the week before Christmas – showing me how it was done and then teaching me how to make the stuffing, stuffing the cavity and sewing the bird up on Christmas Eve.

"I think the first meal I cooked was when I was home on a weekend from college. My uncle John was calling to the house and I cooked a dish involving beetroot and ratatouille.

"After college I went to work in London and from there travelled across Europe. It was during that time I realised how much I enjoyed my work. It allowed me to travel and I was also lucky enough to work with some great people that inspired me.

"I think the biggest influence is what's being cooked at home. I can't say I have ever been influenced by TV chefs."

www.thorntonsrestaurant.com, tel: 01 478 7008