All Hands on Deck: Meet the Team Behind Kepak Chef’s Compass

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Ever wondered what goes into creating the time-saving and profitable recipes from Kepak Chef’s Compass?

At Kepak, we believe it takes more than just skill – it takes a deep understanding of both the culinary craft and the ever-changing tastes of consumers.

But why does having such an experienced culinary team matter? Simply put, their expertise allows us to create recipes that not only taste great but also make good business sense. By staying ahead of trends and understanding what consumers crave, they help us develop recipes that are not just delicious, not just efficient in the kitchen, but also profitable.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to Derek, Seamus, and John; the talented chefs who bring the Kepak Chef’s Compass recipes to life. With collective decades of experience and a finger on the pulse of food trends, these culinary experts know how to transform key simple ingredients into unforgettable dishes that resonate with both palates and market demands.

Derek Conlan

Group Culinary Innovation Manager

“Kepak has afforded me and my team great trust and culinary freedom, we are able to position ourselves as industry leaders in cuisine trends with the skills and knowledge to back it up in our cooking.”

A professional chef since 2007, Derek has embarked on a culinary journey spanning the globe, where he has refined his skills and embraced a multitude of cuisines and cultures.

Among his culinary highlights are cooking for the Danish Royal Family, and VIPs at the Australian F1 Grand Prix. He has also curated unforgettable dining experiences, including running an after-hours Oyster Bar in the Melbourne Aquarium, and preparing meals for the World’s Longest Lunch, hosting up to 1800 guests at a single table!

Although classically French trained, Derek tries try to maintain a solid basis in all cuisines. His latest fascination is Korean (“everything except the pastry section!”).

Try Derek’s favourite recipe from the Kepak Chef’s Compass eBook!

The Gourmet-Tier Doughnut Burger
“Because who doesn’t like a wildcard?!”

View Recipe

Seamus McConaughy

Group NPD Chef

“Being a chef is a matter of pride for me as it meant I got to follow in the culinary footsteps set by my family.”

With a robust background in the culinary arts, Seamus has dedicated over a decade to the hospitality industry, honing his craft and expertise since his formative years. Trained in Classical French cuisine, he has navigated through various kitchen environments, ranging from casual eateries to upscale live fire restaurants, craft beer pubs, and independent QSR establishments. For Seamus, culinary excellence is not only a profession but also a familial legacy inherited from generations of butchers, restaurateurs, and hospitality professionals.

A standout moment in Seamus’s career was his participation in The Big Grill, a renowned Live Fire festival, where he had the privilege to learn from industry luminaries. Specializing in live fire and barbecue cuisine, he is deeply committed to preserving and evolving this culinary tradition. With extensive experience, including four years in the QSR sector, Seamus brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to his role at Kepak.

What distinguishes Seamus’s role at Kepak is the broader impact of his creations. Unlike in traditional kitchens, where dishes reach a limited audience, Seamus’s culinary innovations have the potential to delight and satisfy thousands of consumers. This aspect of his work fuels his passion for pushing culinary boundaries and exploring new horizons. At Kepak, Seamus thrives on the opportunity to leverage his expertise to deliver exceptional culinary experiences to a wider audience, driving innovation and excellence in the food industry.

Try Seamus’ favourite recipe from the Kepak Chef’s Compass eBook!

The Elevated-Tier Cajun Butter Wings
“Something out of the ordinary.”

View Recipe

John Bailey

Innovation & Development Chef

“Being part of a team that’s so passionate about food, and being able to showcase our culinary flair across all areas of the company is something I’ll never take for granted.”

In the realm of culinary excellence stands John, a seasoned professional Chef whose journey commenced with his qualification in 2013. Venturing beyond borders, he has graced the kitchens of a prestigious 3-star Michelin restaurant and adorned various 5-star resorts scattered across Europe and beyond. Immersed in diverse cultures, John’s culinary expertise has been enriched by the exploration of cuisines spanning from Indian to Vietnamese and Chinese.

Throughout his illustrious career, John has had the honor of serving distinguished diplomats, dignitaries, renowned footballers, and television personalities. His expertise lies in Classical French cuisine, where he finds solace in crafting intricate recipes that, upon completion, exude simplicity on the plate, albeit with a touch of culinary finesse. Among his culinary triumphs, John finds particular satisfaction in the art of pasta-making, with a penchant for crafting egg yolk Ravioli that tantalise the palate.

Armed with a professional Chef qualification since 2013, John brings a wealth of experience and mastery to his role at Kepak. What ignites his passion within the company is the camaraderie of a team deeply entrenched in their shared love for gastronomy. Each day, John finds fulfillment in showcasing his culinary prowess across all facets of the company, cherishing the opportunity to contribute to Kepak’s culinary legacy.

Try John’s favourite recipe from the Kepak Chef’s Compass eBook!

The Gourmet Korean BBQ Goujons
“Simply excellent.”

View Recipe

The Kepak Chef’s Compass eBook

  • From simplified classics to exquisite gourmet recipes
  • Discover top tips by our culinary maestros
  • Details and links on the perfect Kepak menu items to maximise your culinary impact

Download the eBook Today

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