New Chef, New Menu
We are delighted to welcome a new chef to the team, Alan Murphy. Alan’s first endeavour was developing a new menu, uniquely suited to Lee Valley. He describes the menu as being ‘all about freshness and quality and Irish products’
The menu is traditional, classic cooking with a modern twist. The dishes are very Irish with a hint of European influence, using all local products from Cork county suppliers, from the butcher to the fishmonger to the fresh produce. Not only are the ingredients fresh, every dish on the menu is cooked fresh to order… nothing is precooked.
A love for cooking was instilled in Alan from a very young age. He used to cook with his Grandma – fresh scones and hand-cut fries. He started at the age of 13 as a kitchen porter, and a year later was offered an apprenticeship. In other words, Alan has been a chef for 32 years! To look at him, you’d peg him to be much younger – likely due to the fact he runs 100 mile adventure races and does 15 – 20 miles every morning before work.
His career started in Longville House in Mallow, and he has worked in such establishments as Greenes, The White House in Kinsale, The Eviston in Killarney, and most recently, Barry’s in Douglas.
We asked Alan what his preferred tastes are. “I love Italian. I’m classically french trained, but over the years I’ve picked up on the Italian and even Asian influences that have seeped into Ireland. I love fresh herbs and fresh pastas… I like three or four ingredients on a plate. Nice, fresh flavours. Fish is my favourite.”
(Speaking of fish, we highly recommend the fresh Atlantic cod fillet with mixed bean and chorizo ragout… it’s delicious)
We asked Alan about his plans for the future at Lee Valley. “I’d like to step it up a bit with every menu. All I really want to do is make customers happy. I don’t think about the future, just about today. I want to make sure everybody is happy today. Did they leave thinking ‘wow, that was great?’ That’s what I aim for. I’m looking forward to working with the Keohane family. They’ve been very welcoming. I hope that everybody enjoys the food.”