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Louth chef inspired by memories of home as he takes on head chef role at Ashford Castle


Louth native Liam Finnegan has been appointed Executive Head Chef at five star Ashford Castle

Louth native Liam Finnegan has been appointed Executive Head Chef at five star Ashford Castle

Louth native Liam Finnegan has been appointed Executive Head Chef at five star Ashford Castle


Memories of his grandparents growing fruit and vegetables at their Carlingford home have inspired award winning chef Liam Finnegan as he takes on the Executive Head Chef role at the 5-star Ashford Castle.

Liam, who hails from Carlingford said he was “delighted and extremely excited” to begin working at Ireland’s only Forbes 5-star hotel.

Having already worked in a number of prestigious restaurants in Ireland and the UK during his career, including Michael Caine’s two Michelin Star restaurant, Gidleigh Park in Devon and The Castle Hotel, Taunton, which has 3AA Rosettes, Liam is a “self professed advocate of old-school-style cooking.”

Until earlier this year, the Louth man was Group Executive Head Chef for all outlets in the Michael Caines collection, which included three restaurants, a hotel, a central production unit and a patisserie.

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Liam’s philosophy is to “keep things simple and for every dish to be well sourced, simple and perfectly executed.”

“I am delighted and extremely excited to be joining the team at Ashford Castle. From early on in my professional career I have admired Ashford Castle from afar, even more so since the Tollman family took stewardship of the estate. Coming home from the UK with my wife and four young children has given me a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration. I have found myself falling in love all over again with the incredible produce, suppliers and creativity of this land,” said Liam.

“I am really looking forward to building relationships in my new role and honouring the Castle’s wonderful history. I am particularly excited about working alongside the kitchen team, the garden team and local growers / suppliers to build more on the Ashford food philosophy of using local and organic produce. This style has been something close to my heart from a young age having watched my grandparents grow amazing fruit and vegetables in their garden back in County Louth.”

Niall Rochford, general manager of Ashford Castle said: “Liam has trained under some of the best mentors in the world, each with different philosophies and techniques and we know he is bringing something very special to Ashford Castle and our guests,” said Niall Rochford, general manager of Ashford Castle. “Liam’s passion, commitment and enthusiasm are evident as soon as you meet him. He has a real flair for creating new and interesting dishes and menus and we are confident that he will be an inspirational leader to the kitchen teams at Ashford Castle.”

With a career that spans more than 23 years, Liam will take up the mantle of Executive Head Chef from Philippe Farineau who will bid a fond adieu to Ashford Castle after seven years of managing the hotel’s kitchen team.