Chef Q&A: Conor Toomey of Condita

Conor Toomey

Condita burst onto the Edinburgh dining scene in 2018, a passion project from owner and wine expert Mark Slaney and head chef Conor Toomey. We caught up with Conor to see how he’s feeling after the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star

How did you get into cooking?
I came into it a little later than most, but the industry has always been in my blood. My grandfather was a hotelier and my mother was a chef.

Who inspires you in the kitchen?
I don’t know if I would use the word ‘inspires’, as there are many great chefs. But my direct influences are probably my grandfather and Michael Wignall, who I worked with at The Latymer.

How did it feel when Condita was awarded a Michelin star?
I dont really know, it was kind of surreal. We were literally painting walls and moving furniture at the same time the previous year. Now that it’s sunk in, it’s amazing and a real honour to be recognised.

What is the philosophy behind Condita?
For me it’s very much about being as fresh and seasonal as possible, using great suppliers and trying to keep the menu balanced and interesting.

Which ingredients are you excited by at the moment?
This time of year, definitely game.

What is your favourite dish to cook at home?
At home I like things that are easy: stews, pies, things you can put on, cook slowly and enjoy time to yourself.

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