Limerick's talent and produce are making Ireland one of Europe's rising culinary destinations. Discover Michael's story.
Michael Tweedie is the Michelin Starred Head Chef at Limerick’s Oak Room at the luxurious 5* Adare Manor Hotel, one of the world’s finest hotels.
“Kitchen life is a very unique life, and once you are fully involved in that, its somewhere you never want to leave. Cooking just felt very natural for me and I enjoy it. I enjoy the banter, the team effort. Honestly, there are no words that can describe the kitchen life for me.
I guess I started when I was 15. My older brother was a chef as well and he taught me for two years back in Devon. Now I'm a Head Chef, and I guess the team drive us forward. They are the ones who go, ‘Chef, let's try this, let's try that’, and again it comes back to just being a team effort.
We have some great produce in this county. There are so many suppliers popping up now, especially in Limerick. Everything is local really in Ireland, but its nice to see that now Limerick is getting artistan producers, and there's a lot more to come from Limerick in the next couple years.
Limerick is the first place I've really felt at home. The first thing that brought me here was the job to Limerick, and once I came down I fell in love with the county. I don't have any ambition to leave Limerick. Eventually when I go and do my own thing I will set up in Limerick City and there's some great opportunities in Limerick I think and, as a county, we’re only going to get better.
We've seen over the last couple of years that Ireland is now getting recognised for its food. I think Limerick, in a couple years’ time, will be up there with the rest of them, and I'm really looking forward to being a big part of that as well.
I probably take at least two students a year from LIT. We have two college people in the kitchen at the moment and when you go into the college you can see the future of the students there. You can see their passion, their hunger, exactly what I had when I was an 18 year old student. We're very fortunate to have that college in the city.
We won the first Michelin Star in Limerick. For me now Limerick will always have that special place in my heart because I've achieved my goals I set out as a 16 year old scruffy chef.”