From 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
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
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.
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
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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