Limerick-based Master Chefs, one of Ireland's largest catering companies, has planted its first vegetable crops at its new farm in Ballyneety, County Limerick. 

The first phase of planting will yield a range of vegetables including carrots, parsnips, turnips, broccoli, kale, leeks, cabbage, and potatoes as Master Chefs attempts to become a "farm to table" company. 

Master Chefs, which boasts a team of 160 chefs and hospitality professionals around Ireland, will now look to craft "exciting menus" centered around homegrown ingredients.

Found by Pat O'Sullivan almost 30 years ago, Master Chefs is currently bidding to become a carbon-neutral business, resulting in O'Sullivan being shortlisted for the National Food Hero at Ireland's National Restaurant Association Awards on Monday. 

"We’re so excited and inspired to have reached this milestone in Master Chefs," O'Sullivan said in a statement following the launch of the new Master Chefs farm. 

"Our vision has always been to serve the ultimate food menu to all of our clients with the freshest and best quality ingredients. Now with our own farm, we can watch our crops grow organically and be 100% confident that we’re serving the absolute best to our clients.

"It’s always been our ambition to be at this juncture and it also solidifies our strategic objective of being a closed circle carbon neutral, zero-waste business, we grow, compost, and fertilize which makes Master Chefs very unique." 

The 2023 Restaurant Association of the Year Awards took place in Dublin's Clayton Hotel on Monday, May 15. O'Sullivan has already been named Limerick's Local Food Hero for 2023 and said he has an "insatiable drive to always be the best". 

"I absolutely love what I do and the development of the farm is another milestone on our journey."