About Gerard Meade
My passion for food began while baking soda bread and making apple pies with my mother at nine years of age as well as devouring all things cookery on TV and in magazines. It was then really ignited while on a school trip to Paris at twelve seeing, smelling and tasting foods that tickled my taste buds like never before. With a farming father and a schoolteacher mother who loved cooking I knew I had the right recipe for a life in food.
I first worked in a professional kitchen washing pots for a single weekend in 1981 aged just 14 while on holiday in Galway while visiting family there. The following summer I got my first actual job serving tables at my local hotel in Navan, as there was no free position going in the kitchen. The year after however in 1983 with my foot firmly in the door of the hotel, I finally got into a chefs uniform and have never looked back.
After finishing school then in 1985 aged 18 I went off to college for two years of professional cookery training and after qualifying I stayed in Ireland for another year before heading off to hotel school again, but in France this time and staying on for a summer of work while there in 1988.
Then it was over to London for a couple of years, Australia for a year, a bit of Canada and Belgium too along with five more years in France. I eventually returned to Ireland and worked in hotels, restaurants, event catering and industrial catering as a head chef.
Finally it would be some teaching, writing, restaurant inspecting and consultancy work advising start up food businesses on everything from kitchen design to health and safety, recruitment, recipes and menu design all the way up to opening nights for pub, restaurant, cafe and venue clients.
These days I am happily retired from day to day professional cookery after more than four decades in catering but still occasionally work in training and advising. For twenty years until 2021 I also wrote for a weekly newspaper as both a restaurant critic and food columnist. This has now evolved online into a digital format and still called Meade’s Menu about my news and views on all things food.
A JOURNEY IN PICTURES
People and places that have played a pivotal role in my food journey so far.
Click on images for the full stories.