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New Head Chef enjoys a culinary challenge

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HEAD CHEF: David Lee, Head Chef at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa, with Niall Coffey (General Manager).

What does a Head Chef do during his first week at the renowned five star Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa - host a sell-out dinner - feeding over 100 of the town’s local residents.
Recently appointed Head Chef, David Lee, joined the well-known team at Aghadoe Heights just in time to launch the second in a series of three dining experiences, known as ‘The Taste of Aghadoe’. A full house, of predominantly local guests, came together at the start of the month to enjoy a mouth-watering elegant dining experience at an equally attractive price point. The three themed evenings were added to the dining calendar in order to encourage local guests to experience the wonderful array of dishes on offer at the 2AA Rosette Lake Room restaurant.
“Sometimes there is a misconception that hotel restaurants are for hotel guests,” David said.
“We want the whole town of Killarney, and surrounding areas, to know that we are open for business and that our Lake Room restaurant and Heights Lounge and Piano Bar are wonderful dining options for any night of the week.”
Interestingly enough, David took a U-turn on his planned career path after discovering that his Biochemistry course was not ticking all the boxes when it came to job satisfaction. While working part-time in a city centre restaurant, David was instantly enamoured by the addictive energy and charismatic buzz of the kitchen. This, coupled with warm childhood memories of his nan’s incredible cooking and homemade stews, was the beginning of David’s career as a chef.
David enrolled at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London, possibly the most prestigious and respected cookery school in the United Kingdom, which boasts an impressive alumni of well-known celebrity and TV chefs, including Matt Tebbutt, Lorraine Pascale and Gizzi Erskine.
While living in London, David spent his time working in the sophisticated and edgy neighbourhood of Knightsbridge, where he refined his skills in classical French bourgeois cooking and then onto Soho, under Chef Director Ben Tish in Ember Yard, where he gained invaluable experience in the concept of live fire cooking.
David moved on to Chess Club, a distinguished private members’ club in Mayfair where he worked under Executive Chef, Jackson Boxer, and spent his time fulfilling the culinary desires of some the world’s best-known faces.
Bringing his talents back to Ireland, David joined the team at Dunraven Arms in Limerick, working closely with the Murphy family. The establishment is renowned for their outstanding food quality and was featured in the very first Michelin Guide of the United Kingdom and Ireland in 1911. They were since honoured in 2011 with a commemorative special edition.
But it’s not all about cooking. When away from the heat and intensity of running a five star kitchen, David enjoys fishing and running and is an avid fan of music. Given that his family are such an important part of his life, David was delighted to further his career in Ireland and be living close to home.
Although having grown up in Cork, David admits that he is excited about living in neighbouring Kerry. He has fond memories of times away with loved ones in Killarney and this made his decision to relocate to The Kingdom “a no brainer”.
Apart from the stunning scenery, David sees Killarney as a hugely significant hub for hospitality and has big plans for the culinary scene at the much loved Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have David leading our fantastic team of chefs and we look forward to seeing what plans he has for the dining experience at Aghadoe Heights,” General Manager, Niall Coffey, said.

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Are you getting enough sleep?

By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating a […]

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By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness

We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed.

Incorporating a routine helps to bring direction and structure, and as Craig Ballantyne so wonderfully put it in his book ‘The Perfect Day’; “Structure = Freedom”.

In our childhood, we became accustomed to a bedtime routine. In fact, those of us who are parents go to great lengths to create this routine for our own children, knowing the benefits it brings. However, as we moved into adulthood, that same routine was thrown out the window by the demanding world of school and full-time work.

Sleep and health are locked together. When we improve our sleep, we have better energy, mood, and recover easier from exercise. When we sleep better it helps us to make better nutrition choices because sleep regulates our hormones. Yet it’s one of the first things we sacrifice in order to get through our full to-do list. Whatever these or our end goal is, jeopardising our health seems to be counterproductive and also just a little crazy! Why is it that as adults we stray so far away from one of the very foundational rituals that can keep us feeling grounded?

So how much sleep do you need? About six to eight hours is good but the exact number depends on the person. No matter who you are, you’ll feel worn out if you don’t get enough.

Here are some suggestions to help you achieve greater balance and a sound night’s sleep:

Limit caffeine:

It takes a long time for caffeine to get out of your system, so avoid it late in the day. Typically, have your last caffeinated drink 10 hours before your bedtime.

Be active:

Physical activity reduces stress and improves sleep. One exception is not to do a hard workout right before bed as it might be tough to wind down for a while afterwards.

Unwind early:

Turn off screens well before bedtime. Bright screens can mess with your body’s sleep mechanisms, so turn off TV’s, tablets and smartphones earlier in the evening. Take the dog out, brush your teeth, get into your pyjamas, and get into bed before the time you want to be asleep.

Brain dump for the next day:

Spend 5-10 minutes each night writing a list of to-do items to ensure you hit the pillow feeling organised and in control.

Set out your clothes the evening before:

This small task can save you a lot of last-minute rushing. Take the extra five minutes now when you have it.

Cool, dark and quiet:

When it comes to sleep, you want it cool, dark and quiet. Adjust the temperature or get a fan going, hang some blackout curtains and try to reduce any noise near your bedroom.

Buy an alarm clock:

This will help you to avoid being distracted by notifications should you wake and check the time in the middle of the night. Set an alarm right now for tonight. When it goes off, start your evening routine so you get into bed on time for a good night’s sleep!

Here at Activate, we promote and encourage balance to ensure we are living a happy and healthy life. Sleep is one very essential and key component of this. We hope these tips help you get some much-needed rest! When you combine great sleep with sound nutrition and solid training, you’ll feel amazing and make more progress toward your goals.

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Kerry Stars “pursuing dream to build own sports centre”

By Sean Moriarty Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser. The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds. However, the project remains […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser.

The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds.

However, the project remains on the long finger as the club has been concentrating on the safety of its members throughout the pandemic.

The delay prompted Cllr Donal Grady to ask Kerry County Council if it had any plans to build houses on the site.

Mr Grady asked the question in the context of making sure the land did not go to waste and not in opposition to any plans by Kerry Stars.

“The site referred to was originally identified as a potential site for development as a specific sports facility. That project has not materialised,” a Council official said.

“Kerry Stars had been in contact with Kerry County Council regarding use of the site, and it was expected that further communication would be received from them in the very short-term. As yet, Kerry County Council is awaiting further communication and will liaise directly with the Kerry Stars group before we can give consideration to use of the lands under the ‘Housing for All’ housing plan.”

However, Kerry Stars chairman John Spillane said they still “have every intention of pursuing our dream of have our own sports centre”.

“The location makes perfect sense, it is the sports hub of Killarney and all the clubs there could help and learn from each other.”

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