Thomas Connolly :: CHEF'S ROLL :: The Professional Chef Network

Thomas Connolly

"It was in Seattle that I set out to make direct relationships with the local farmers. I developed a farm-to-table menu, constructed from local ingredients, sourced at local farmers markets, as well as from a small green house I constructed within the restaurant.” Now, he brings it to San Diego.
Yellowfin Tuna at Stone Brewing Liberty Station
EVENTS
12th Annual Flavors of San Diego: American Liver Foundation: Flavors of San Diego is a culinary experience that goes beyond the traditional gala providing guests with the unique experience of having a top local chef prepare a multi-course dinner tableside. The evening showcases the signature dishes of our 30+ culinary experts and takes you beyond the usual restaurant fare. Unleash your inner “foodie” and experience a distinct evening of dining while helping to fund the research, education, and advocacy efforts of the American Liver Foundation.
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Garden at Liberty Station. San Diego, CA
Chef
Piatti Restaurant & Bar. Seattle, WA
Executive Chef
Plantation Gardens. Poipu, HI
Executive Chef
Paragon Restaurant & Bar. San Jose, CA
Executive Chef
San Francisco, CA
Sous Chef
Chive. San Diego, CA
Line Cook
Harbourside Hyatt. Boston, MA
Lead Line Cook
SKILLS & EXPERTISE
BOH operations
Kitchen management
Leadership
Menu development
Recipe development
Sous-vide
P&L management
Homemade pasta
TV/radio guest appearances
GALLERY
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Thomas Connolly
Thomas Connolly
San Diego, CA
United States

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Garden at Liberty Station
Executive Chef


Chef Tom Connolly’s culinary training began while he was in high school, working in a busy seafood house in Boston, MA.   Even while cleaning pots, pans and scrubbing the hot fryers, Tom began to hear the call of a lifelong career in the kitchen.  As he made his way out of dishwashing and onto the hot line, he quickly learned to embrace the orchestrated chaos of restaurant life. While his love of kitchen life continued to grow, Tom moved on to a position with the Hyatt Harborside in Boston, where he was able to fine tune his culinary skills and learn more about what he calls the “focused side of cuisine”.  After a couple of productive years at the Harborside, Tom moved out west to San Diego where he worked in a number of restaurants, including The Kensington Grill and Chive Restaurant.

While working under the leadership of Chefs Hanis Cavin and Henry Freidank, Chef Connolly learned a great deal about the San Diego restaurant scene that would bring him back to join the Stone Brewing Company team years later.Before leaving Southern California, Tom also experienced a short stint at Lila’s Restaurant in La Jolla prior to its closing. It was the work he did in that short amount of time that inspired Tom more than anything else in his career. He describes his time there as his “first true experience with utilizing fresh local, seasonal products.  Chef Dancer’s focus and flavor combinations changed the way I was to look at food from then on.”  With his new market-driven point of view in tow, Chef Connolly headed north to San Francisco at the end of 2000 to join the Moana Restaurant Group and run the kitchen at Paragon Restaurant

Another pivotal point his career, Chef describes his experience in the Bay Area as formative in the creation of his own personal cooking style: “Working side by side with renowned chefs like Maximillian DiMare and Spencer O’Meara, I began my own creative process.  Through diligence and hard work I began to notice more opportunities opening up.  I was offered advancement within Moana, to spearhead the opening of the newest Paragon in San Jose’s historic Hotel Montgomery as opening Executive Chef.”   With Tom at the helm, Paragon San Jose earned the title of “Best New Restaurant of San Jose”.  

Constantly working to improve and hone his culinary repertoire, Chef then moved to the Island of Kauai, at the 
Plantation Gardens Restaurant, where he learned to fuse Asian flavors with European technique; experience that further influenced his personal culinary style.  
Most recently, Tom moved to the Pacific Northwest to take on the role of Executive Chef at Piatti Restaurant in Seattle, WA.  He says that “it was here that I set out to make direct relationships with the local farmers.  I developed a farm-to-table menu, constructed from local ingredients, sourced at local farmers markets, as well as from a small green house I constructed within the restaurant.”  Finally, back in his adopted home of San Diego, Tom has brought the knowledge accumulated from his diverse culinary background into the kitchen at Stone World Bistro, where he is once again running the show!