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interview • November 3rd, 2021

Interview with Rob Krawczyk


Meet Rob Krawczyk, chef-owner of restaurant Chestnut in the coastal village of Ballydehob (West Cork, Ireland). This location is a perfect gateway to the Mizen peninsula and along the coastline you’ll find plenty of hiking and cycling routes. Showcasing subtle flavours and stunning preparations, chef Rob was awarded a coveted Michelin star. We caught up with the prize-winning chef to talk about his love for seafood and why he doesn’t follow any gastronomic trends.

Rob, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I grew up in West Cork, just ten minutes down the road from my restaurant,  in a small village called Schull. I began my career in cooking later in life and I have been working within the industry for the past 14 years. I opened up my own restaurant in the heart of beautiful West Cork in March 2018 in a wonderful small village called Ballydehob. Six months after opening, I was awarded my first Michelin star.

How would you describe your cooking style?

My cooking style is very much about letting the ingredients be the focus on the plate. I use only the finest local seasonal ingredients in my cooking, and the seasons very much direct the ingredients that I use at any given time of the year. My father's Polish heritage has also been a huge influence: I have incorporated pickling, fermenting, curing and preserving methods in my cooking style. Nature and the surrounding landscape inspire me and my resulting plates are very natural and organic in presentation.

It would be seafood. Anything and everything seafood. I just adore it!

Rob Krawczyk


What's your favourite dish to make?

I have always loved seafood and we are located just a short drive from the coast. My favourite dish has been with us on the menu since we opened, which is a mussel dish using beautiful organic local mussels from Roaring Water Bay. The dish is called "Mussels with seaweed and tapioca". It evokes memories of my childhood eating fresh seafood with my parents. 

What is your favourite ingredient to work with?

It is difficult to pick just one: I’m so spoiled for choice due to where I am based, as I’m surrounded by incredible produce from amazing producers.

Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?

Lisheen Greens by Bradley and Dee are one of our vegetable suppliers who are based here in West Cork. They grew wonderful vegetables and their passion for it translates into their produce.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?

At present, like so many fellow restaurateurs, operating a restaurant during a world pandemic has been very challenging. We’re very determined to continue operating and are strongly focused on getting back to welcoming our lovely loyal guests back in to dine with us once more.

Which gastronomic trend are you most excited about?

For me, I don't follow culinary trends. I like to be true to my own style, develop and evolve food that reflects my culinary heritage and surrounding landscape.      

If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?

It would be seafood. Anything and everything seafood. I just adore it!

Thank you, Rob.

Book your table at restaurant Chestnut

Enjoy the incredible Irish cuisine by Michelin star chef Rob Krawczyk. You can book your lunch or dinner at restaurant Chestnut (Ballydehob, Ireland) through our website.

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