From fine dining at Astral, to the Mediterranean overtones of Sean’s Kitchen, to the hot seat on my show, Executive Chef Sean Connolly certainly knows how to entertain.
By Natascha Moy
Sean Connolly is a scream. He has the cheekiest smile and the most boyish charm, and this was totally evident when he joined us in the studio for last week’s radio show on 89.7FM Eastside Radio. I have been very fortunate to have had some of Sydney’s top chefs on my show this past year and while all of them have been great interviews, none have made me laugh as much as Sean.
Sean Connolly’s award accolade reads like a school graduation ceremony:
Chef’s Hat, 2007 & 2008 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards
Chef of the Year, 2008 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards
One star, Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide 2006, 2007, 2008 2009
Chef of the Year, 2006, 2007 & 2008 Australian Hotels Association NSW Awards for Excellence
Best Restaurant of the Year, 2007 AHA NSW Awards
Best Fine Dining Restaurant in a Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence NSW & ACT 2007
The best of all however is being recognized by GQ as Chef of the Year along with Hugh Jackman (Man of the Year), Baz Luhrmann, (Creative Force of the Year), Daniel MacPherson (TV Personality of the Year) and the late Heath Ledger (Actor of the Year). My understanding is that I was very lucky indeed to have the man in person on my show as he usually only does phone interviews. So, to have him sitting opposite me, managing to almost demolish the entire bag of biltong that Reon Wisenache had brought with him for us to try was a huge coup. Sean loved the biltong and you may well see it on the menu at Sean’s Kitchen one day soon.
Sean is a master in the kitchen and has been the Head Chef of Astral, Star City’s fine dining restaurant since 1995. The food at Astral is imaginative and his superior technique is evident in his dishes. The private dining room, which boasts 270-degree views, and has hosted many celebrities, is where Sean creates his magic. Here he is able to offer a bespoke menu fit for royalty.
Celebrity chef Michael Moore who owns Summit, who we have also had on our show and who is a good friend of Gordon F Ramsay has spent two romantic dinners up on this top-floor private oasis, so it really must be good!
Sean has just embarked on his latest venture called Sean’s Kitchen (see the review click here). This new and challenging endeavour has made him busier and happier than ever. He is master of his own destiny and moves around his restaurants like a magician making sure that everything is in perfect harmony.
His introduction into food as the only boy in the Home Economics class (I did ask if he did this just to get the girls) has placed him on a great path, and as with most of my guests, he thinks he is very lucky, “I never work a day, I just spend everyday doing what I love.”
While being interviewed Sean had a momentary lapse of reason and when teased about his answer he let out a cheeky grin and we all doubled up laughing… definitely not a man to take things too seriously. He is one of my favourites… especially as I am a confirmed chef groupie. I have no doubt that Sean will continue to entertain us with his fabulous food and his easy charm and I look forward to the next installment of his career.
Sean’s Kitchen and Astral are located at Star City, 80 Pyrmont NSW, 2009 (02) 9777 9000