Meet our Chefs – Robbie McCauley
Here in Doolin, you can experience fresh, locally inspired dishes during your visit. Dine like a local and enjoy the tastes of the wild Atlantic and Burren region. Doolin is a culinary hub and is home to some great local restaurants, cafés, eateries and B&B’s.
Our culinary experiences are fueled by passionate chefs who work in our hospitality businesses. Nowhere else in Ireland will you find such attention to detail and variety of flavours.
In the seventh of our series of Meet the Chefs, we meet Robbie McCauley of Homestead Cottage. Homestead cottage offers a new dining experience in Doolin. Since opening last June, the restaurant has been picked as one of the Michelin inspectors favorite new restaurants. It has appeared in the food pages of the Irish times, Irish independent and more. Homestead Cottage should be on your bucket list when you visit Doolin.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into professional cookery?
I have been working in kitchens since 16 years of age, at 17 I was lucky to be accepted on the royal academy of culinary arts scholarship, I moved down to London and completed a 3 year apprenticeship at the royal automobile private members club on Pall mall. There, I was part of a brigade of 65 chefs, learning everything from the bakery, pastry kitchen and multiple restaurant kitchen. While in London I was lucky to spend time in the kitchens on the square and Ledbury both 2 Michelin star as well as the Ritz, the Goring and Claridges. After 4 years in London I moved back to Edinburgh to work at 1 Michelin star restaurant, Number 1. In 2013 I moved to Ireland when I have stayed since being at Gregans castle and Champagne in Kilkenny.
Tell us about where you work in Doolin and your favourite thing about your job.
At homestead cottage we are very lucky to be able to focus on what we want to serve with a changing tasting menu on offer in the evening . Favorite part of my job is being able to work directly with producers to work together for something special, we grow a lot of the vegetables which we serve at the restaurant ourselves so we really move with the seasons, at the moment we are moving more into game with venison, partridge, mallard and pheasant all going on the menu over the next few weeks.
What is your favourite dish to make at work and why?
At the moment with the shift to winter I love cooking venison. We are lucky to source all of our venison from East Clare and South Galway. We serve either sika or fallow at the moment we are serving it with celeriac from our garden cooked in a hay crust, heritage kale & fermented elderberries. It was recently chosen by the Michelin guide as one of there favorite dishes they had tried in October.
Tell us about your favourite local produce.
Favorite local produce around us here is probably Burren beef. We try to use more smaller breeds, such as Shorthorns, Hereford or Angus as they will be better marbles. The diet of these animals in the Burren with the flora and fauna is what really sets them apart.
What is your favourite thing about Doolin?
The people and the producers. We are lucky to get to work directly with so many.
Find more information on Homestead Cottage Restaurant here.
Meet the chefs of Doolin on our Instagram Reel here.
Be sure to explore the rest of our website to find out more information, or to plan your next visit to beautiful Doolin in County Clare.