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“Just Ask!” is a public awareness campaign that aims to encourage consumers when eating out to look for information on where the food (particularly meat) on their plate comes from, and encourages chefs to provide this information on their menus. The programme supports both large and smaller artisan suppliers, encouraging both Irish diners and visitors from abroad to support restaurants that are in turn supporting their suppliers. The Bord Bia “Just Ask!” Restaurant of the Year Award is chosen from the year’s winners selected for the Guide’s monthly e-zine.
There have been some superb “Just Ask!” winners over the years, and none better than Wade and Elaine Murphy’s charming restaurant in Adare. Wade, a Euro-Toques chef who lives the philosophy and takes enormous pride in showcasing the best of local produce, also loves keeping his customers informed.
A statement on the menu confirms that all beef, lamb, pork & chicken is born, reared and slaughtered in Ireland and his valued suppliers are meticulously detailed, with many name checked on dishes too. Delicious starters may feature Doughmore Bay crab from Doonbeg fisherman Charlie Sexton, for example, while Kerry Hill lamb and free range pork from Garretts butchers in Limerick are staples among the main courses, which also feature exceptional poultry including pasture reared chicken from The Friendly Farmer of Athenry, and Skeaghanore duck, from West Cork.
Superb fresh fish and seafood comes from CS Fish in Doonbeg, Co Clare, and specially created vegetarian tasting platters include produce from Bally Salad and Clancy Lewis in Limerick and the famed Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms of County Cork.
A well chosen and informative drinks list includes a good sprinkling of Irish names across spirits, beers and cider too - and, as with the excellent cooking, the difference is in the taste.
An exemplary winner, this former Commissioner General of Euro-Toques is the embodiment of the principles of that organisation and the Just Ask programme - a great role model for young chefs.