Chef Adrian Martin credits his Cavan roots for inspiring his new restaurant menu.
The Bawnboy boy opened a restaurant called Wildflower on Richmond Street earlier this week.
He told Dublin Live: “We opened on Wednesday night, it’s been crazy but there’s been a great response from guests and I’m very happy it’s finally open, there’s a sense of relief there.
“I started working with Neven Maguire at Blacklion when I was 14.
“For me food is all about memories and when I go to a restaurant I like to be reminded of something. So our job here is to trigger memories, most Irish people know their grandmothers very well. cooking in the kitchen at home and going to visit them on Sundays.
“We had a tradition of visiting my grandmother in Bailieborough and everything would have been home baked like apple pie, fresh bread, everything.
“We have a few dishes dedicated to that. Our sourdough bread smells like Guinness because that’s what my grandfather used to drink.
“My grandmother made butter, so we make our own too. She used to sit down to churn the cream and strain it, she was trying so hard years ago to cook and I love it.
“So when I eat bread, it reminds me of when I was a six-year-old sitting there and all the smells around me.
“We had a French lady and we had a pork dish, she was crying at the table and said her father had died and that’s exactly how he cooked. It really touched all the staff.
“I kept my Cavan accent well and I still go to all the GAA games, I don’t miss any. I was in Carrick last week and Breffni recently too.
“I have family from Kingscourt based in Dublin, my uncle and aunt, we always meet and stay together. I always stay true to my roots, Cavan is the most relaxing place. I always go home to my parents most weekends and I switch off, doing the laundry is the best part.
Although he cooked from an early age, Adrian was embarrassed to do home economics in school and regrets the decision.
He said: ‘I went to school in Ballinamore. I was scared for my life to do some home economics in case I got bullied so I kinda kept it a secret when I worked in a restaurant I never told anyone about it guys.
“Those at school found out I was a chef when I did Six O’Clock when I was 23. I wanted to do Home Ec and would love for them to make it mandatory. It covers a wide area of knowledge for kids, they learn to cook, kitchen layout is so important to know too, how it works too, how to cook efficiently.
The Wildflower Restaurant combines old world charm with a contemporary menu and sustainable philosophy.
Adrian’s mission is to provide food the way nature intended, with an emphasis on sustainability, foraging, fermentation and quality local produce, and offering a passion for gastronomy in a relaxed atmosphere.
He said: “We use SSI, Sustainable Seafoods Ireland for all our fish. For example we get scallops but they dredge the ocean and disturb the habitats it would harm reproduction which is an unsustainable practice but we source from vendors who go out twice a week and dive off the coast bay.
“Cod is one of the least sustainable fish because of overfishing and a lot of it goes to landfill, but we get line caught cod, it’s a lot more expensive but it’s more sustainable.
“We have an all-plant-based full vegan menu, we find foraged foods. There’s a lot of things growing in the hedgerows back home in Cavan and that’s where I’d pick them, all the forest areas, the areas around the lakes have all the ingredients on the menu.
“I have a piece of land at home and we are planting organic food there so that we can have vegetables from the garden.”
You can visit Wildflowerrestaurant.ie for more information or stay up to date with the latest news by following Wildflower Restaurant on Instagram here .
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