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Square’s Conor among chefs set for Killarney charity fundraiser

Conor Halpenny
Conor Halpenny is one of a number of chefs who will be at the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder.

Chef Conor Halpenny, the Ardee-born head chef of Dundalk’s Square Restaurant is among a number of Ireland’s best young chefs heading to Kerry in September, in aid of a very worthy cause.

Halpenny along with Jason Nolan of Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder in Killarney, Dan Guerin of Cush in Ballycotton and Andrew Ryan, formerly of Ashford Castle Hotel in Mayo have lent their culinary expertise to the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder to provide a special four-course tasting menu.

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Money raised on the night will go towards the Kerry Specialist Palliative Care unit in Tralee, which is renowned locally for the services and support it offers those in its care and their families.

The event is the brainchild of Nolan. “I approached my good friend Conor Halpenny about being involved in a tasting evening and especially for the year that’s in it, we thought it would be a great way to highlight some fantastic Irish producers, encourage consumers to dine out and of course do this all with raising money for a great cause,” he said.

“This year to date has been very challenging for everyone and its services like the Kerry Specialist Palliative Care unit that will be need the extra funds.

Tickets for the event, ideal for anyone considering a staycation in Killarney next month, are priced at €100, which includes a cocktail on arrival. They go on sale this coming Wednesday August 19 and must be purchased in advance. Anyone interested can contact [email protected] to register your interest.

Square restaurant, located on Magnet Road in Dundalk just off Market Square, was named as one of the 100 Best Resturants in Ireland by The Sunday Times in their annual list earlier this year.

It opened its doors in the town on May 22 last year and has since established itself as one of the finest restaurants in the North East.

n November 2017, Conor was named the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year at Dublin’s Intercontinental Hotel, beating off hot competition from five other chefs from around the country to claim the prize, at the second prize of asking.

The then 22-year-old, who worked as a chef-de-partie at Chapter One Restaurant at the time was previously a finalist back in 2015, when he was working at Slane’s Brabazon restaurant, located at Tankardstown House.c

Conor, from Nicholastown and a former Ardee Community School pupil, spent time working locally in Dooleys as a youngster before he studied professional chef training at Crumlin College and worked at Tankardstown since March 2015  – working closely with Head Chef Rob Krawczyk. He has also spent time at two Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants – Downstairs in Clontarf, Dublin and The Courthouse in Carrick.

In 2016, Conor spent time working at the three Michelin star Royal Hospital Road restaurant in London.

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