Tony Keogh is the head chef at Dublin’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, Cornucopia.
Tony Keogh has been working as a chef for the past 20 years, with 16 of them spent in Dublin’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, Cornucopia. Owned by Deirdre O’Mara Mc Cafferty, who along with David Norris was one of the founding members of Ireland’s first gay rights organisation, the SLM, in 1973, Cornucopia has been serving up great food on Dublin’s Wicklow Street since 1986.
1. The gayest thing about your restaurant?
Our wonderful Czech chef, David – he’s the queen of the kitchen!
2. Your ideal party of five, living or dead?
Mahatma Gandhi, Miyoko Schinner, Charles Bukowski, Terrence McKenna and Irvine Welsh. If anything, the conversations would be very interesting.
3. Your favourite place to eat, other than your own, in Dublin?
Dublin is definitely upping its game in the food stakes these last few years. My favourite place at the moment by a long shot would have to be Veginity. I love their style, their food is fantastic and the fact you can bring your own wine is a plus.
4. If you weren’t a chef what would you be doing?
I would be a psychologist, for sure. In fact in running a busy kitchen, a degree in psychology would be a definite bonus.
5. What/Who or Where is rocking your world in restaurants right now?
Berlin is where it is happening at the moment food-wise, for me. There are over 60 vegan restaurants that have popped up in the last seven or eight years. In terms of chefs, I tend to drift, but at the moment it is Rich Landau. I really like his simple yet refined approach to cooking plant-based food.
6. What does the future hold for dining?
As the population grows, our present approach to food production will have to change significantly and rapidly, otherwise we will be in hot water very quickly. People, particularly younger people, are becoming much more aware of this and of what they are eating. These trends have the meat and dairy industries running scared. So these industries will need to diversify to survive and I think that this will happen sooner rather than later. More and more farmers are moving away from dairy and are switching to arable production.
Cornucopia, 19-20 Wicklow St, Dublin 2, www.cornucopia.ie
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