My Weekend: I'm nearly always working...

Dervilla O’Flynn is head chef at Ballymaloe House. Here she talks about her career, how she likes to recharge her batteries, and her busy winter season ahead
My Weekend: I'm nearly always working...

Head Chef at Ballymaloe, Dervilla O'Flynn. Picture by Christopher Michel

TELL us a little bit about yourself:

I am from Dublin and came to the Ballymaloe Cookery School for a summer, which confirmed what I had hoped for, that I wasn’t just avoiding doing my homework by cooking most afternoons, but that I loved cooking. After completing the course there, I stayed as a teacher for about four years, which was a fabulous grounding for my career.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

I am nearly always working, but if I’m off, we cook for family or eat out and walk by the sea after dinner — just us and the dogs.

Lie-ins or up with the lark. Which is it for you?

I’m usually up with the lark to get my daily ordering in early to get the first dibs at the fish etc for the day.

Ballymaloe House head chef Dervilla Flynn. Picture: Joleen Cronin
Ballymaloe House head chef Dervilla Flynn. Picture: Joleen Cronin

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

I work nearly every weekend, so of course!

If money was no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Amsterdam, which is full of great restaurants and of course art galleries.

I’d love to go to Prague and visit some old friends that I always threaten to get out to, but never do.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

Home — Dublin with my sister, dad, and friends. When there, I love walking into town and soaking up city life, as we live in the countryside in Cork.

Dervilla O'Flynn, Head Chef at Ballymaloe House with Darina Allen.
Dervilla O'Flynn, Head Chef at Ballymaloe House with Darina Allen.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

When possible, at their houses or ours, or for a Guinness in the pub in Ballycotton.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Sea swimming for the great fun with friends, and being in the water is really invigorating.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter, do you have a signature dish?

Be entertained — I’ll take the night off please and thanks!

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go-to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

The Glass Curtain and Goldie for fantastic night-time food. The Crawford Gallery Café and Good Day Deli for day time.

Sunday night comes around too fast. How do you normally spend it?

After our busy Sunday lunch service, I try and go for a swim before dinner and relax.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7am to get the weekly orders going for the restaurant.

Anything else you are up to right now...

We’re busy at Ballymaloe House getting ready for the winter season. We have lots of fantastic events coming up in the coming months.

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