Chef Aidan Chadwick Discusses His Career So Far

By Emily Hourican
Chef Aidan Chadwick Discusses His Career So Far


This article was originally published in the Winter 2021 issue of Hospitality Ireland Magazine, in December of 2021.

“I served my apprenticeship in the Mirabeau restaurant in Sandycove, the Royal Hibernian Hotel on Dawson Street, and the Berkeley Court Hotel in Ballsbridge. I also worked in the Ritz Hotel in London, and also with the famous chef-entrepreneur Mark Hix in the City of London. I spent many years in Australia, cooking in some fine seafood restaurants, from Andy Peaston and Jessica’s to Bennelong, in the Sydney Opera House.

“On returning to Ireland in the early nineties, I started a bespoke catering company called Unique Dining. I literally cold-called all around Dublin, starting from cooking a dinner for two guests in a private house in Donnybrook to catering for a thousand guests in Dublin Castle, cooking up a storm in private house parties to movie premieres, fashion shows and product launches, to opening up many of the commercial blocks in the IFSC.

“Just prior to the massive ‘Celtic crash’, as we know it, I had the contract for No. 6 Kildare Street, which is the Royal College of Physicians – where I catered for corporate events and weddings – which was also so popular, as it was an amazingly unique venue. Also, I was involved with Eddie Irvine, who owned Cocoon. I had a catering contract with him, and this was also a great place for launches, etc. I also had little coffee shop in town, called Peckish, for business drop-off lunches, etc., so – as you can imagine – I was extremely busy.

“Over the years, I appeared and cooked on TV3 live, showcasing what we could do for our valued customers, such as my much-talked-about mini-meals. I was also interviewed twice on Down to Business, on Newstalk, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Just give me a mic, and I can tell you some amazing stories, as I have cracked open oysters for the amazing [Greek singer] Demis Roussos, danced in the kitchen with Fred Astaire, and spoke a little Shakespeare with Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier at the tender age of 16, to name but a few.”


What, for you, is the most important thing in cooking?

For me, the most important thing is sourcing fresh local produce – you cannot beat fresh fish, meat and vegetables. As an island, we, as a nation, do not eat enough fresh fish. Fish is filled with Omega 3 fatty acids and is rich in Vitamins D and B2. Fish is also so rich in calcium and a great source of minerals such as iron and zinc, which we all need to keep us healthy. To ensure we have a healthy diet, we should really eat fresh fish at least two times per week, and fresh fruit and vegetables every day.

What trends do you see emerging in food over the next year or two?

Well, street food, for sure, has really blossomed in Ireland. It is amazing and exciting for so many people and companies to have set up food pods during the pandemic.

Street food with a flair has made its presence in this country, so I, too, purchased a food pod and named it Unique Catch, selling scampi with a twist; fresh haddock and hake in the most delicious crispy beer batter, served with fresh, hand-cut chips; truffle fries topped with fresh Parmesan; and, of course, my beautiful seafood chowder and home-made treacle brown bread – please see Instagram for pictures and videos. I just think my food pod is an added bonus for me as a caterer, as I can offer this as an extra service to my clients. As it can be used for private parties, it is so simple: I just drive it into your garden, plug it in – as it is electric – and away I go, cooking to my heart’s content.

Aidan Chadwick Catering - Ham wine grapes cheese biscuits photo.

What is the most challenging part of your job at the moment?

The logistics of the event, and also ensuring that I deliver amazing food of the highest quality, using the best ingredients, so that my clients are experiencing the wow factor at their event.

What is the most rewarding?

I love that question! The most rewarding thing that springs to my mind is that each and every time my client looks me in the eye and tells me that I went above and beyond their expectations – not just in fine food and service – as in, that I alleviated any worries that they might have had as the client, hosting a party, because myself and my team did everything to perfection and went above and beyond – especially as they are in the comfort of their own home, and that they got to enjoy their own party.


How do you relax – hobbies, etc.?

Relax – I wish! We – as in my wife, Karen, and myself – have a very needy Cockapoo called Mr Fluffy Teddy, and he loves his walks, so we spend our time out in Dun Laoghaire walking with him, and we also love to swim out there. We live beside the Ticknock Hills – I can honestly say I know every forest and field up there. We have family and friends in Kinsale and spend every spare moment there, as it is one of the gourmet capitals in Ireland, and we truly love to sample dishes from all the amazing restaurants there – so much so, we have booked a cheeky getaway over Christmas, to catch up with friends and family.

Read More: Hospitality Ireland Winter 2021: Read The Latest Issue Online!