In 1971, JOHN DESMOND left Ireland to spend three years as Assistant Food and
Beverage Manager in the Bristol Kempinski in Berlin. He then moved to Paris where
he trained as a chef in the Ritz Hotel and the famous Taillevent restaurant. He
continued to work in well known restaurants before his appointment as Professor de
Cuisine at the renowned École de Cuisine La Varenne Paris. At the same time,
John developed his own cooking school business and an international dinner party
service. He has written Ma Cuisine, his own series of cookery books, designed a
kitchen scraper and consults on kitchen layout.
In 1971, following a two year hotel management training course, ELLMARY
FENTON worked at The Great Southern Hotel Kenmare (now known as The
Park Hotel). She then went on to work in hotels and restaurants throughout Europe
and the United States. In 1984, Ellmary graduated with a degree in French and Italian
from University College Cork and followed this a year later with a Higher Diploma in
Education. On her return to Paris, she was appointed manager of the Obelisque
restaurant in the prestigious Hôtel de Crillon.
John and Ellmary married in 1976 and returned to Ireland to start Island Cottage,
Heir Island, in 1989.