Chef Of The Month September 2015: Conor Toomey

Conor Toomey ,
Storrs Hall Hotel

After working in a succession of high quality Hotels and Restaurants I moved over to the UK from South Africa to join Michael Wignall @ Penny Hill Park and Spa.

During the next 6 years the foundations of which my kitchen philosophies are rooted were honed under Michaels stewardship. These values have progressed and developed over the last few years through time spent heading up a young brigade at Coworth Park to now at Storrs Hall.

Since beginning at Storrs in March with the help of a strong young team we have evolved into a tight knit unit that has been rewarded and Im sure will continue to be rewarded in the future. This progression is made easier with the help a company like Althams Butchers supplying quality ingredients with a service and attention to detail that makes for a stress less working relationship.


Veal Sweetbread, Ras el hanout, Crisp Chicken Wings & Pomegranate Reduction.


8 Cumbrian Chicken Wings

500g English Rose Veal Sweetbreads

250g Chicken Skin

1ltr Pomegranate Juice

1tsp Ras el Hanout

200g Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

1ltr Chicken Stock

Fine Sea Salt


Onion Soubise

250g Butter

8 White Onions

65ml Chardonnay Vinegar

120g Maple Syrup

250ml Chicken Stock



  1. Sweat off finely sliced onions in butter until soft and add Maple Syrup and reduce, deglaze with vinegar, puree in a Thermo Mix at 80 degrees celsius add chicken stock to a soft peak consistence and pass.
  2. Salt Chicken Wings for 1 hour and then rinse, Water Bath for 24hrs @ 68 degrees celsius de-bone and press between Grease Proof Paper until cold.
  3. Rinse sweetbreads for 24 hours in cold water, skin and blanch for 1.5 minutes in Chicken stock then vac and Water Bath for 35 minutes @ 65 degrees celsius.
  4. Reduce Pomegranate Juice to syrup consistence.
  5. Remove excess fat from Chicken Skin and place between Grease Proof Paper, weigh down with heavy tray or flat bottom pan and cook @ 165 degrees celsius for 13 minutes until gold brown and crispy.

To assemble

Decorate plate with Soubise, Dust Wings with Raz el hanout and pan fry, sear Sweetbreads until caramelized, sauté mushroom, garnish plate with Pomegranate reduction & top with Chicken Skin Crisp.


You can dine at Storrs Hall Hotel during September with an Exclusive offer, upgrade from The Al a Carte menu to the 7 Course Tasting menu at no extra cost.

You must book by phone by calling Storrs Hall on 015394 47111 and quote Althams when booking.