Paula Stakelum

From the start of her career, Paula decided to focus on pastry because she felt that it allowed her to be extremely innovative in her use of colour, design and flavours. Upon arriving on the Ashford Estate in 2010, she realised how endless the possibilities were.  

In 2015, Paula was promoted to Executive Head Pastry Chef and in 2018 she became the Resort Executive Head Pastry Chef.  This motivated her to be even more imaginative, taking her inspiration from natural ingredients available on the estate. This saw the conception of our “Estate Pine Chocolates,” using pine tips collected from the Ashford woodlands and “Wood Sorrel” to capture the essence of the estate on a plate. These concepts led her on a chocolate journey to find the very best chocolate for the guests. Our partnership with Valrhona proved successful in many ways and along with the full support of the General Manager of the resort resulted in her being the first Irish pastry to partake in the World Valrhona championships in New York.  

This collaboration has also seen the new creation of “Legend,” Ashford Castle’s own chocolate blend, now available throughout the estate.