Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard all about The Woollen Mills Eating House on Dublin’s Ormond Quay – one of the great restaurant openings of the summer. It’s owned by Elaine Murphy, the pioneering chef and owner behind Dublin institution The Winding Stair restaurant.
Image Interiors & Living caught up with Elaine to get the lowdown on everything from the new Irish cuisine to beloved cookbooks and mixology secrets.
THE COOKBOOK I SEEM TO GO BACK TO TIME AND AGAIN is David Thompson’s big, beautiful, and very pink, Thai Food – it’s amazing. Having said that, Elizabeth David’s and Alice Waters’ books, which are not just about food but about art, cooking and life, are also superb.
WHAT DO I COOK FOR MYSELF AT HOME? At the moment, very little. I’m so busy, with three new openings in train, so am getting home seriously late. I love pasta though (my current favourite is artichoke, lemon, olive oil, chilli, garlic and Parmesan… yum) but recently it’s been mostly cold cuts, cheese and chutneys.
MY LAST MEAL ON EARTH WOULD BE THAI OR VIETNAMESE. Pho or massaman with some rice and betel-nut leaves and green papaya salad.
I’VE CALLED MY NEW PLACE AN EATING HOUSE because I want it to feel local, Irish and accessible. It’s not a posh eatery; it’s a place to grab a plate of honest food. We serve platters of Irish ham, fresh crab, delicious salads, roast rib of beef and a fabulous array of freshly baked breads from our inhouse bakery. It’s in The Woollen Mills building, which is pretty amazing, as it rises up over four floors with a roof terrace looking out over the Ha’penny Bridge.
NEXT UP FOR ME IS THE OPENING OF TWO MORE NEW EATERIES. The Legal Eagle (to open by the Four Courts) will be a proper English gastro-pub but with Irish sensibilities. We will serve our own craft beer, crab open sambos, offal, pies, slow-cooked meats and an open grill. There will be a stripped-back, no-nonsense feel to the space, with plain wooden tables. After that, we will be cracking on with The Washerwoman in Glasnevin, bringing neighbourhood, family-friendly dining to the north suburbs of Dublin with a decent, affordable wine list and take-out options for the nearby Botanic Gardens.
WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT INTERESTING, SMALL OPERATORS CONTINUE to have a chance to shine. I’d like to see more food trucks and street food in the city. The recent tightening of the laws and guidelines around ‘open flame’ cooking is a real shame, as it prohibits mobile gas units and stifles creativity.
Dont’ miss The Woollen Mills’ delicious gin, nettle and thyme cocktail here.
Check what The Woollen Mills are up to on Facebook.