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We sat down with the dad of old-cool, QT Sydney’s Creative Culinary Director, Sean Connolly, to hear firsthand about fatherhood and family memories.
Sean, you’re a dad to three wonderful kids – is there a special dish that you like to cook together?
We all love to make chocolate fondants; the kids each have the family recipe. They all have different eating habits, passions and styles, but when they are in the kitchen cooking together, there is a natural dynamic which flows together. It’s lovely to watch.
Sounds like just the right amount of kids in the kitchen! What are ways you like to connect with your kids now?
We share inspiration with each other across Instagram and text. We’re constantly in touch. We all share ideas and pictures of food, music and cars, as well as ridiculous memes – which may or may not reflect our lives in some small way.
My daughter Eliza has an honours degree in ceramics and textiles so I’m constantly sending pottery ideas to her.
Kiera has a degree in nutrition, so I send food and diet stories to test her bandwidth. She’s very good at debunking it all for me.
Toby is an apprentice hairdresser and an emerging artist with a crazy passion for music, so we are constantly swapping songs. He’s like his dad. I love curating the playlists for Gowings, and sometimes send to Toby for his thoughts too.
What’s a funny memory you share with your kids?
Toby cutting his own fringe at 5 years old… the night before a wedding we were attending in London.
When Eliza was convinced she could carry a very large lemon tart fresh-out-of-the-oven, which she then dropped on the floor. Unfortunately for our friends, it was five minutes before bringing it to someone’s house as a gift.
And Kiera’s dress-ups were legendary! Especially her detective sleuth outfit.
And Sean, tell us about your dad. What are some fond memories you have?
My dad was an engineer turned lecturer, with a double degree in engineering and education.
Whilst I didn’t realise at the time, my dad John was truly a modern man, a forward thinker and an adventurer.
He loves food, wine and travel. We would spend many long hot summers in France eating, drinking and meeting new people.
I still remember dad making his first beef bourguignon, he sparingly splashed red wine over the beef like it was gold dust. Wine wasn’t a big part of a traditional Yorkshireman’s repertoire.
I bet between you and your dad, you’ve mastered beef bourguignon now. You’re very musical and creative – is there a piece of music you feel resonates with how it feels to be a dad?
‘My name is Sue’ by Johnny Cash. It‘s about giving your son a girl’s name so it would make him strong enough to fend for himself.
I became a chef in the 70’s, and that began with home economics. It was a rarity to have a boy in a class full of girls, the same thing is happening to Toby now, it was definitely a steep learning curve for me.
My father taught me to never be scared of speaking up. Never be scared of having an opinion. Never give up on your dreams, as they will come true. Be fearless.
The song is also special to me as it’s our touring song on long drives, we all know the words.
Lastly, best dish in Gowings to treat dad to?
Our 1.2 kilo Bistecca is the wow for dads, with the cheese trolley to follow, oooplah!!!
Wow dad this Father’s Day, make a reservation on 02 8262 0064 or book online.
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