Chef Wade Murphy has worked in some of the top kitchens in London, Chicago, Egypt and of course Ireland and has just been awarded both best chef in Limerick along with best restaurant with 1826 Adare. A wexford native with a passion for food from a young age, there was never really any doubt what career path Wade would follow. Previously of Lisloughrey Lodge and The Lodge at Doonbeg, Wade along with his wife Elaine decided to take a leap of faith in 2013 and open 1826 Adare Restaurant in her native county of Limerick.
Elaine herself has a vast amount of experience in the hospitality industry form Germany, USA and Australia. It was during her time as Assistant General Manager in the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group she met Wade. She returned to Ireland to take up the post of General Manager in the House Hotel, Galway and later the General Manager of HMSHost Shannon Airport.
The marriage of the two backgrounds lends itself perfectly to the award winning establishment of 1826 Adare that they have both worked so hard to create. Wade is also Commissioner General of Euro Toques Ireland, whose main objective is to protect the fine quality and flavours of food and he regularly travels around Ireland and Europe to promote this. We decided to see what the secret to their successful restaurant is and how they manage the work/life balance.
How did you guys meet and how come you chose Adare to open your first restaurant together?
We met in Chicago, Wade was working in the Four Seasons as Restaurant Chef and I was working as AGM in the Fitzpatrick hotel Group. It was a natural progression that ultimately we would open our own place. We had been looking for about 2 years and fell in love with the cottage of 1826 Adare.
How would you describe your work relationship and would you recommend working with your partner?
It is both rewarding and challenging to work with your partner. We would certainly recommend working together, but its not for the faint hearted. On a plus note we get the same Holidays & time off.
How has opening your own restaurant changed your food or service philosophy?
It has enabled us the opportunity to carry out our food/service philosophy, while being “captains of our own ship”, having only to answer to ourselves. Providing excellent produce, cooked with skill in a relaxed environment is our ultimate goal
What do you believe has led to the success of Adare 1826 and where you surprised at winning best restaurant in your first year?
We were both delighted and surprised with the award, but we are only as good as our team. Prior to 1826 Adare, we have both been successful in our own career paths, Wade with food and Elaine in management, we are also have been blessed with an excellent location
With the awards season underway, what are your views on them?
It is great recognition for the entire team to be acknowledged by the industry and peers. We were delighted with the recent awards we received; best restaurant in Limerick and best Chef in Limerick
What are your food guilty pleasures?
Bacon and Cabbage is Wade’s Death Row meal. Apart from that it’s usually anything cooked by somebody else.
Dish you’re most proud of?
Currently it is the scallops dish on the ala carte menu, its the “black pudding granola” accompaniment that Wade believes completes this dish.
Biggest bloopers so far?
Far too many to mention but one has to be asking Munster rugby captain Peter O Mahony what he does for a living???? Ooops
It has to be Bacon in its many shapes and forms. There’s nothing that wont taste better with the addition of a bit of bacon.
Least favourite ingredients?
Cucumbers – they reckon only 3 out of 10 people really taste the true flavour of them and those 3 hate it!!! Wade’s one of those 3!!!
What are your food pet peeves?
Anybody that buys in ready made products. If you don’t make it yourself then you shouldn’t serve it.
What was your most memorable restaurant experience?
Alinea in Chicago. We had an 18 course tasting menu there. It completely blew both of us away.
If you could have dinner with anyone else who would be your fantasy dinner guest?
Pierre Koffmann or Raymond Blanc for Wade and for Elaine says she hasn’t time for a fantasy dinner party!!!!!
Did you notice any difference in trends in Adare compared to Dublin?
Not really. The big trend difference would be that the clientele in the country are not as fickle as city crowds. They’re not always looking for the next new best thing.
Tips for a young chef starting out?
Keep you head down and work hard. Act like a sponge and soak everything up.
What are your hopes for the future?
Continued success for 1826 Adare, health and happiness for us both.
T: +353 (0) 61 396 004