Cornucopia has evolved and changed over it’s 30 years. This would not have been possible without it’s array of staff with their wealth of knowledge and passion. From Head Chefs developing exciting new recipes to volunteers working for dinners, Cornucopia thanks them all. It is a truly unique thing to be a ‘Cornucopian’. The dictionary describes a ‘Cornucopian’ as being someone who believes there is an abundance of resources available to us. That definitely relates to the restaurant’s founder who has an ability to not only manage, organise and pay generations of staff but to also respect, inspire and see them grow.
Many of our current 50 part-time and full-time staff members have been with Cornucopia for over 10 years. Many have left to experience the world and have come back to work again with new insights and recipes to share. Many visit year after year. One of our managers began life as a kitchen porter; the writer of our cookbook began as a waitress; and many of our chefs are self taught and began their vegetarian chefing careers chopping vegetables in a corner of our small kitchen space.
Deirdre McCafferty is our owner and proprietor. She established Cornucopia on Wicklow Street with her late husband Neil in 1986 and has had a hands on involvement in Cornucopia since the day it started. Prior to starting Cornucopia she graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1975 with a degree in Sociology and in 1979 achieved a Master’s in US Women’s History from Goddard College Vermont in the USA. While living in the USA she worked for two years as Fitness Director for the Women’s Athletic Club in the Boston YWCA and for two years in the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, Ma. (now located in South Florida) as their Director Of Education. She has a keen interest in nutrition, vegetarianism and veganism, fitness and health, living–foods, environmental issues, compassion in world farming and ethical business.
Our Kitchen team
Tony Keogh – Head Chef, has been working as a chef for 20 years. He began his career while paying his way through college when studying liberal arts. He has been with Cornucopia since 2002. It is here he honed his skills and developed his repertoire. He became head chef in 2006. He is interested in all elements of vegetarian cuisine, and is particularly interested in working with new ingredients and developing recipes with unusual combinations and flavours, while maintaining the standards of recipes both new and traditional within Cornucopia. He runs our kitchen with efficiency and energy and is an enthusiastic team leader.
Our chef team also includes Josef Koutecek, David our talented salad and mains chef; Eamonn Reddington our breakfast and salad chef extraordinaire; Eddie Eriksson our wonderful Swedish chef; Lily Twoomy, a skilled baker and exquisite chef, she currently juggles chef’ing and studies in history and politics; Stephen Heaney, magically goes from baking to salads to breakfast seamlessly and always with a smile on his face and a pep in his step; Croatian chef, Harry Mihalkjovic enthusiastically mans the evening counter! Our chef team is assisted by many and varied prep staff. Thanks for all the chopping and peeling everyone!
Our Kitchen porters
Our Kitchen porters, who hail from every corner of the globe including China, Poland and South America wash and scrub, sweep and mop and run up and down the stairs from morning to night. Without the work of kitchen porters (in every restaurant in the world) everything grinds to a halt – these are the unsung hero’s of the restaurant world!
Our Counter team
Our supervisors are a talented and inspirational bunch; Elaine’s witty ways keep us entertained as she supervises and continues her studies criminal psychology; Catriona mans the ship on a Sunday having spent a long week doing her HDip in primary teaching; Tabitha efficiently watches over the floor while often working her magic with her flair and detail for attention; Maureen, a talented artist, studying make-up artistry in her spare time; Roberta charms us all with her kind nature; Elvio is practical, efficient and loyal to his team; Gabrielle exudes his natural charisma onto both staff and customers and Kate is so sweet and delightful you may not even need a cake.
All of our counter staff enjoy meeting new and regular customers. As many of our staff have seen Cornucopia change over the years so have our customers and we all look forward to the next stage. Thanks to all the counter staff who have kept our customers happy and feeling welcomed over many years.
Our Office team
Dairine McCafferty – General Manager & Director
Dairine has worked her way up through the ranks over the years, from working on the counter to supervising through to job-sharing the role of General Manager and ultimately stepping into her mothers shoes as Director of the company. Her hard work, dedication, love of people and food make her a natural and capable successor to the family business. Not one to shy away from hard work, she has proved herself to be as popular with the staff as she is with the customers. Mixing her studies in Nutritional Health with her work here, she provides a detailed and comprehensive staff training programme to keep our staff as knowledgeable as possible!
Danielle Serpico – Manager, HR & Head of Communications
Danielle joined the team in 2010. Being of half Italian/half Irish descent and growing up in Rome, she has always been surrounded by good food and has a sincere love and respect for it. Therefore, it was not surprising that after first studying Art in Dublin, at the age of 21, her passion for food and the warm ambiance that encompasses eating among friends took over and in 1994 she opened a popular and much loved Pizzeria in Greystones called ‘The Pizza Mill’. This was followed by ‘Serpicos’ Italian Restaurant in 2001 and ‘The Bakery’ Restaurant in Wicklow in 2006. Upon meeting Deirdre and having frequented Cornucopia many times due to her passion for healthy food, she was delighted to join such a well suited institution that fitted so well into her lifestyle. Firstly as the full time General Manager for several years and more recently since 2016 transitioning into a part time role to coach, motivate, assist management and mentor the team.
Perry Lynn – Assistant Manager
Perry, our vibrant Assistant Manager and Financial Controller hails from Glasgow and is ‘an institution within an institution’. He has lived in Dublin for over 20 years and is known to many of our customers as he worked locally in Cafe Fresh and the Metro Cafe. He smoothly manoeuvres between the counter, staying on top of orders and ensuring all our financial systems stay tip top! It’s hard to keep up with this fast-paced Scottish character!
Elaine and Roberta mix their hard work, talent and commitment for Cornucopia and it shows. They are well respected and liked amongst both their peers and customers and add the invaluable edge needed to keep such a fast paced business flowing smoothly. With Roberta’s charm and Elaine’s quick thinking we are in safe hands.