Executive Chef Spotlight: Sean Flaherty, C.E.C.
Sean Flaherty’s career started at the early age of 15 as a dishwasher at The Lodge at Woodcliff in Rochester, New York. Knowing he wanted to be a Chef, Sean started vocational training his senior year of high school where he competed in the VICA skill Olympics and took first place in Culinary Arts. By the time he had left for culinary school at Johnson and Wales University, he had worked his way up the ranks to become the Lodge at Woodcliff’s Buffet Chef. While in Providence Rhode Island attending college, Sean continued honing his skills working at Hemenway’s Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar as well as Café Nuovo.
Upon his return to the Rochester area, Sean worked at The Daisy Flour Mill for a short time before landing his first Executive Chef position at Age 24 taking the helm of Eaglevale Country Club. As part of the Gateway Group, He also was Executive Chef at Cutlers at The Memorial Art Gallery and Thendara Inn and Restaurant in Canandaigua, New York.
In 2001, Sean decided it was time to step down as an Executive Chef to learn a new way of cooking and execution. Sean was recruited to join the award winning culinary team at The Genesee Valley Club, a Platinum City Club ranked 13th in the nation. While at the club, Sean became an active member of The American Culinary Federation and traveled around the country competing in ACF sanctioned events where he received many medals including gold. After 5 years, Sean then moved on to become the Catering Chef at The Del Monte Lodge and Spa, The #1 rated Renaissance hotel.
In 2008, Sean was hired as Executive Chef at Shadow Lake Golf & Racquet Club, soon after receiving his Certified Executive Chef certification in 2011. In 2013 Sean received Employer Of The Year Award by the Rochester Area Employment Network Inc. for his work with an employee who was disabled. Sean has also been nominated for ACF Rochester Chef of The Year on several occasions which he competed for in 2014, 2015 and will be competing again in 2017.
Sean believes in using seasonal fresh ingredients, sticking to contemporary presentations and staying true to classical technique and preparation. He leads his staff by example pushing himself to constantly strive for perfection and try each and every task slightly different to achieve a better result. “I would not be where I am today without being pushed to my fullest potential by each and every Chef I’ve worked for. I owe that back to everyone who is part of my team."