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Neil Connolly - Doc's Restaurant

Neil ConnollyFrom the Kennedy family kitchen to Orlando
Orlando, Fla. - Neil Connolly has earned multiple awards and honors in a culinary career that has spanned more than 40 years, including more than a decade as the personal chef for Sen. Edward Kennedy. Now the distinguished chef is preparing his creative cuisine at Doc’s Restaurant.

With more than three dozen culinary medals and awards to his credit, Connolly has prepared cuisine at upscale restaurants, country clubs and private galas. Yet it was a family gathering at a house on Cape Cod where he encountered one of his more memorable experiences.

Of course, the gathering was no ordinary event. And the siblings, children, grandchildren and elders surrounding the table did not compose the ordinary American family. Connolly was sticking 103 candles atop a cake for Rose Kennedy at the esteemed family’s estate in Hyannisport.

From his time at the Kennedy estate, Connolly has a plethora of intriguing tales of festive family gatherings and grand galas for heads of state, athletes and entertainers.

Connolly never attended culinary school, instead honing his craft in professional kitchens at restaurants, hotels and private clubs for more than 40 years. But his list of achievements are many.

At the Culinary Olympics in Germany, Connolly earned four gold medals and a perfect score in the world competition. He was named a Distinguished Visiting Chef at Johnson & Wales University, sharing the honor with elite chefs like Paul Bocuse, Jacques Pepin, Madeleine Kamman, and Emeril Lagasse. He was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs, Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, Verband der Koche Osterreichs, Landessektion Tirol Innesbruck Austria, and the Honorable Order of the Golden Togue Society.

The Boston native implements his New England influence with Florida’s bounty of fresh ingredients at Doc’s Restaurant, the sophisticated dining destination across the street from the Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Many dishes are prepared using the same recipes Connolly developed when he was the Kennedy family chef. Cape Cod Clam Chowder and Lobster Stew are two examples. So are dishes like the Grilled Filet Mignon and Maine Lobster Tail, clams, mussels and halibut; and desserts such as soufflés.

Doc’s represents Connolly’s first restaurant venture. His son, Sean Connolly, played baseball and graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, which brought Connolly to the Orlando area frequently.

Doc's Signature Trio

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