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5 Minutes With… Conor Halpenny, Square Dundalk

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Meet the talented, hard-working restaurant owners and chefs behind the sea louth scenic seafood trail in our new series, ‘5 Minutes With…’. First up is Conor Halpenny, head chef at Square in Dundalk and one of the most talented young chefs in the country. At the tender age of 23, Conor was awarded the prestigious Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year.

Name: Conor Halpenny

Job Title: Head chef

Restaurant Name/location: Square, Dundalk

Describe the style of your restaurant: Casual, refined, seasonal and locally sourced food in an intimate setting.

What is your restaurant’s main USP/best feature? Locally sourced food cooked simply, served in a relaxed style.

Where did you grow up, and how has that shaped you as a chef? I grew up in Ardee, started my training in Dooley’s of Edmonstown. Then onto Conor Mee in Courthouse, before stints in Tankardstown and Chapter One, where I won Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year in 2017, before opening Square with Conor Mee and Charlotte Carr.

What are the ingredients you couldn’t be without? Salt, butter, cream.

What is your favourite seafood? I love cooking scallops, crab and fish like brill and monkfish.

What sea louth seafood dishes can be found on your menu currently? Dunany crab with fennel, kohlrabi and buttermilk tempura monkfish cheek, Carlingford Oyster emulsion.

Mouth-watering seafood special at Square

What is your favourite thing to do/place to go in Louth? I love our coastline, going for a walk with the dog on our many beaches, stopping off for a coffee on the way. Visiting some of our award-winning local producers, also!

Square was named one of The Sunday Times/McKennas’ Guide 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2020, and Conor was highly commended in the Best Chef Leinster category at the recent Food&Wine Restaurant of the Year Awards 2021.

Sample the freshest and tastiest local seafood at one of over 40 participating sea louth restaurants. Order a local seafood dish and keep your receipt, which counts towards one of your sea louth passport restaurant stamps. Collect two restaurant stamps and 10 of the 14 scenic viewpoint stamps to complete your passport and exchange for an exclusive sea louth memento.

Keywords: sea louth, scenic seafood trail, restaurants in Louth, seafood in Louth, Irish seafood, food tourism, foodie, foodie destination, Ireland

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