Sean Connolly is a man of many talents. His humble demeanor, generous nature, witty sense of humour and award winning talent in the kitchen and on screen has carved his career to become one of Australia’s most celebrated celebrity chefs.
His stellar career has seen him: at the helm of hatted restaurants, hosting award winning TV shows in Sydney, documentaries in New Zealand and cooking for some of the most influential people in the world. Recently he has started consulting on a number of new exciting food and wine ventures in Sydney as well as charming the socks off anyone he comes into contact with.
Sean’s passion for cooking started in his hometown of Yorkshire at the age of 13 but it’s where his passion has taken him over the years that is so interesting. In 2011 Sean, together with SKYCITY Auckland opened the doors to a multimillion-dollar restaurant in New Zealand called “The Grill by Sean Connolly”.
As if the challenge of setting up a new restaurant wasn’t enough. A six-part documentary called “Under The Grill” was filmed and watched by 1.6 million viewers, which is a hefty 39% of the entire country. This documented Sean’s journey, armed with a four million dollar budget and a 100 day deadline he was challenged to create a world-class restaurant from scratch.
In 2009 Sean hosted the award winning 13 part series on SBS called “My Family Feast”, a celebration of Australia’s love of multicultural food and family life. The show has since won best TV show at the 2010 Australian Food Media Awards, plus best TV series for food and wine culture at the world TV Food & Wine Festival.
The “My Family Feast” cookbook released to coincide with the launch of the series won best Celebrity Chef cook book in the world at the 2011 Paris book fair, beating international stars like Nigella Lawson.
From 1995 to 2010 Sean was the Executive Head Chef at Astral, situated at the top of the former Star City Casino. He steered Astral to receive five consecutive chefs hats from 2007 – 2011 and in 2008 Sean launched his namesake restaurant called Sean’s Kitchen in the same venue to much acclaim.
His passion for food, his clear technical ability and his easy social manner have seen him a favourite amongst charity event planners and he has undertaken many fund raising activities for organizations from The Benevolent Society to Table4Ten (supporting prostate cancer).
We expect his star to continue to rise. As Joanna Savill so eloquently remarked when naming Sean Connolly; Chef of the Year at the 2008 Sydney Morning Herald Chef of the Year Awards
“Blessed with sound technical wit, imagination and the intelligence not to try to hard, Connolly continues to entertain and please… and sheer bloody talent ensures that his star will continue to rise”.
Inducted into the Australian Hotel Association Hall of Fame after winning Chef of the Year four years in a row
Chef of The Year, 2008 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards
Chef’s Hat, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards (Astral)
Chef of the Year, 2008 GQ Man of the Year Awards
One Star, Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2011 (Astral)
Chef of the Year, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009, Australian Hotels Association NSW Awards for Excellence
Best Restaurant of the Year, 2007 & 2010 AHA NSW Awards (Astral)
Best Fine Dining Restaurant in a Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence NSW & ACT 200