My First experience of a kitchen was not the usual story of a chef being called to the grill.
At the age of just 15 I began in the lowly position of porter at a local hotel, Silverwood, in my hometown of Derrymacash, Co Armagh; a beautiful part of the world on the banks of Lough Neagh.
During the long hours at Silverwood I was drawn in to the working world of the kitchen and I could see how the chefs worked together so tightly, like a football team playing a match every service. Watching how they coped with the pressures of every busy weekend service, I knew I wanted to be part of that world. Soon enough I was in my whites as a budding Commis Chef, holding a knife, standing side by side with the rest of the chefs. It was my new life and I’d found a second home.
My abrupt exit from education was a surprise to my family who could never understand why someone would want to work crazy hours, every weekend with no social life! People on the outside have to understand that this job is your social life; it’s a second family and new way of doing things, for me it was a new life.
I have been fortunate and had the pleasure of working in some of the best kitchens and with some of the most talented chefs in Ireland over the past 16 years. I’ve learnt different styles, techniques and methods of cooking and what it takes to be successful in this industry: strength of character.
We live in a country full of the best products in the world and I want to show this at Locks through my passion for cooking. My food philosophy is not to over complicate dishes; allow the natural flavours of seasonal ingredients to shine through. The aim is to deliver memorable meals that make the guest’s experience as enjoyable as possible while retaining the authenticity of the locally sourced produce.
Monika will be well known to regulars at Pearl Brasserie where her effusive and warm demeanour is a welcome that guests look forward to.
Monika comes from historic Pomerania in northern Poland; she made Ireland her home in 2010 and began working in Pearl Brasserie in 2011 working her way to managing the restaurant and in 2014 she was rewarded with the job of leading the front of house at Locks.
She is available to assist with any enquiry concerning reservations for group or individual dining, intimate weddings and menus.
Monika looks forward to welcoming you to the new luxury look Locks Brasserie this year.