Wade and Elaine are heading towards a decade in charge of the beautiful 1826 Adare, a thatched cottage that dates back to 1826 and which is one of the prettiest houses in Ireland’s prettiest village. Together, they have shown the ambition and the ability of two seasoned professionals, people who can both pull a team together, and pull together with that team.
Mr Murphy has an unusual back story: whilst most chefs tell fictional tales of having learnt their grá for food hanging on to their granny’s apron strings, Wade Murphy really did learn from cooking alongside his gran, as she would prepare food for the Christian Brothers, and for the rugby club, back in Gorey, County Wexford, and Wade would stand on a bucket, and peel the spuds.
From there, he started at the bottom as a k.p, then slowly and surely worked his way through the kitchen until he was the head chef. All those years of graft and international experience show in 1826, for it's a restaurant where nothing is extraneous: everything Wade and Elaine do has focus, effect and deliciousness. Mr Murphy may finesse some of his food to make it a bit posh – brown sauce with pork belly; smoked bacon jam with chicken liver mousse; steak with caramelised onions and chips – but his secret is that he doesn’t make it too posh, for this is the best style of country cooking: agrestic, soulful, hunger-assuaging; deftly delicious.
Elaine runs front of house with calm assurance, value is great, and it’s all thanks to Granny.