Meet Our Chefs: Keiran Delaney
When it comes to being a great chef, it’s all about attitude according to Chef Keiran Delaney. Sure, a bit of talent might help, but for Keiran, being a chef is about having the right mindset – not having an ego and having a willingness to pass on knowledge to others.
Growing up in Campbelltown with a mum who didn’t really enjoy cooking didn’t stop food from playing an important part in Keiran’s early life. While meals were never an extravagant affair, Keiran always took every opportunity to help in the kitchen. He vividly remembers big family gatherings where he took great delight in barbecuing fresh oysters. From a small start, he began to develop a real passion for cooking but it was from watching a TV show that featured a world-class chef that pushed Keiran to take his cooking career to the next level:
“I think I owe a little bit to Jamie Oliver’s show, Fifteen. This was a show that got kids off the streets and gave them a career. It gave me the confidence that I could become successful if I worked hard enough.”
Keiran found himself surrounded by passionate chefs in what he deems an “average kitchen”. It was the second year of his cooking career and it was the type of environment that could only spur him on. Average was not enough – his dream was to the best chef that he could be so that he could work in the best kitchens.
The ambition stuck and as Keiran’s skill increased, he was able to work and gain invaluable experience at some of Australia’s most highly-regarded restaurants such as Hayman Island, Sean’s Kitchen, Tetsuya’s and Sixpenny, to name a few. Keiran’s experience in a wide variety of kitchens is the reason he has never classified himself as a specialist in any one distinct cooking style:
“I love cooking everything. I think that it’s important not to stick to one style and to try to learn how to cook different styles. This helps you become a well-rounded chef. My wife is Colombian, so right now I’m enjoying South American food.”
He believes that the best thing about being a chef is being able to meet new people from all over the world and learn about their different cooking techniques. Keiran enjoys the continual learning process that keeps him evolving as a chef.
The downsides? Although he loves his profession, Keiran knows first-hand the kitchen can be a dangerous place. One moment that he will never forget is having a pan of fish oil spill over his arms two years ago. As he puts it simply, “It was not fun.”
Undeterred, Keiran has continued to forge an enviable career for himself. Today, with a wealth of experience under his belt, he is a versatile and highly adaptable chef.