I hung up my headphones recently and headed to Galway to MC a cookery demo at GMIT’s Foodie Forum. For an hour you could find me alongside fellow West Limericker (by residence only he likes to point out) Chef Wade Murphy of Restaurant 1826 Adare and his second in command for the day, Frank who is a GMIT student.Wade has carved out an illustrious culinary career in establishments such as the Four Seasons in Dublin, London, Egypt and Chicago. Closer to home, he has enjoyed time in the Lodge at Ashford when it was Lisloughry Lodge and also the Lodge at Doonbeg. He is no stranger to Michelin starred kitchens and this is obvious when you see his creations. Wade showed the audience how to make a cured and marinated salmon, a dish that features regularly on the menu at 1826 Adare and definitely one of my favourites. When he had finished there was one (tasting) for everyone in the audience and they were like a swarm of bees as they descended upon some samples and the dish which was served with compressed cucumber (a food which Wade revealed he detests!), radish, avocado and wasabi crème fraîche. Wade talked about the importance of sourcing fresh and seasonal ingredients that are not compromised by lots of air miles. He is the Commissionaire General, that’s head honcho to me and you, of Eurotoques Ireland which supports the philosophy of sourcing top quality local and seasonal ingredients in order to serve foods of flavour, authenticity and provenance.
Since opening 1826 Adare with his wife Elaine less than 2 years ago, they have cleared the boards with fantastic reviews from all the major critics and won numerous awards including the best restaurant in Munster accolade at the 2014 Irish Restaurant Awards and 1826 Adare is listed in John and Sally McKennas’ Guides top 100 restaurants in Ireland. If you haven’t been, put it on your list and keep an eye out for the brick fried boneless half pasture reared chicken, another of my favourites. I’ve also enjoyed Sexton’s Doughmore Bay crab claws in a coconut and chilli Broth which along with the homemade bread put me in danger of not having room for my main of spiced red lentil and vegetable Dahl with cauliflower and onion seed Bhaji, cucumber and mint Raita! Somehow I managed and even squeezed in a bite or 3 of dessert (chocolate, hazelnut and salt caramel brownie with vanilla ice cream, chocolate crumb and popping candy in case you’re wondering!)
If you didn’t get a chance to see Wade in action, keep an eye out for him on RTE’s Today Show. He appears there every 6 weeks or so, usually on a Tuesday, with Maura Derrane and Daíthí Ó Sé.