Following a successful career at some of Canada’s top hotels and restaurants, Fergus O’Halloran moved back to Galway in 2004.
He was heavily involved in all aspects of the design, planning and philosophy of luxury boutique Galway hotel The Twelve, in Bearna, of which he is now Managing Director.
Originally from Galway and a University of Galway philosophy graduate, O’Halloran continued his education in Switzerland where he graduated from Les Roches Hotel Management School. He then moved to Canada, beginning his career there with the Four Seasons in Toronto. Afterwards, Fergus moved on to manage Chiaro’s in Toronto’s landmark hotel, The King Edward. Under his guidance Chiaro’s became Toronto’s top fine dining destination. He then moved to Canada’s west coast, where he managed the food and beverage operation in Canada’s top boutique hotel, The Wedgewood in Vancouver City.
Before returning to Ireland, he spent two years in Whistler where he successfully opened and established the restaurant of the number one ranked Fairmont Chateau Whistler in British Columbia.
Passionate about both food and wine, Fergus O’Halloran graduated as Canada’s top Sommelier in 1997 from The International Sommelier Guild of Canada, and is noted for his exceptional food and wine pairings. Since his return to Ireland, he has garnered eight Wine Spectator Awards for ‘The Most Outstanding Wine Lists In The World’.
Fergus has a tremendous passion and belief in food tourism and in showcasing local ingredients and skills. His other passions are scuba diving, sports cars, music and needless to say, wine.
An important member of the local hospitality community, Fergus also contributes significantly to the national conversation and direction of the hospitality sector – he is a director and chairperson of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, the Western Tourism Forum, the Irish Hotels Federation and Galway Tourism Committee, a Failte Ireland Irish Food Ambassador and a director of the Galway Food Festival. He is currently working on the set up of a culinary food trail for the region.
Martin O' Donnell
Martin trained and worked in many of Galway's and Ireland's finest restaurants before taking up the position of Head Chef for The Pins Gastrobar and Bakery at The Twelve.
After his successful opening of The Pins it quickly became one of Galway's top casual eateries and a formulae which many other new bistros have since tried to emulate.
A winner of 'The Best Gastro-Pub in Ireland and numerous other accolades, The Pins is a great success story. In the Summer of 2010, Martin took on the role of overall Head Chef in order to bring his talents to West Restaurant at The Twelve. Under his skillful execution, West has gone on to being a finalist in the 'Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland' and has won a Gold Medal Finalist award for 'Best Bistro in Ireland'.
West's motto is 'true to the region, true to the season'
During this time West has also been awarded two culinary rosettes for creative excellence. Just this year, The Pins was acclaimed with its first culinary Star Rosette from The Automobile Association's Food Academy.Mckenna's Guides has listed West in The Top 100 Irish Restaurants and Martin has been dubbed as 'one of Ireland's hottest chefs to watch out for'.
With a style of cooking based on healthy food- simple and fresh and with a twist - Martin's focus is on using local Galway producers who are passionate about excellent products.