This Much I Know: Chef Adrian Martin

This Much I Know: Chef Adrian Martin

Growing up in Cavan, I always loved cooking.

But I never thought that I’d become a professional chef.

When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I’d always had to work weekends and after school, in primary and secondary, in the family business which my dad owned [a hardware/grocery shop] until I got a job in kitchens.

I worked for a while cleaning toilets, floors and stacking shelves in SuperValu Ballyconnell. It wasn’t the most glamorous work in the world. Then I ended up working in Maclean House [with NevenMaguire] for six years. That job put me through college and made me realise that I wanted to become a chef.

My media break came as a complete fluke. I was working as product development chef for the Craft Butchers Association when I was asked to go on what is now Virgin Media’s Six O’Clock Show, on my 23rd birthday. I’ve been a regular on the show for the last five years now.

If I had the chance to cook for anyone in the world, I’d love to cook for my grandmother Annie Sheridan. Sadly I cannot do so, as she’s no longer alive. She baked and cooked for all of us as we were going up, and I’d love to be able to return the favour.

I was a very outgoing as a kid with an awful amount of energy to burn which meant I did as many sports as possible, everything from surfing to skateboarding. I also did all my grades up to grade eight in Drums and taught them for a while at home. Drums are amazing as you can get all your anger out on them.

My biggest fault is that I cannot switch off from work. I’m the worst for having a work/life balance and I think I get it from my dad. We are almost always working and even when we aren’t working we are talking about it. I have burnt myself out several times where I’ve ended up just having to stay in bed for a couple of days. It’s something I really need to work on.

I’m always early for everything. Like waiting in the car half an hour beforehand early. I just find I’m much more organised that way. I hate being late as it throws everything off.

The trait I most admire in other people is general soundness.

My biggest challenge to date is opening my own restaurant. It’s taking such a long time and is quite stressful. I’ve spent all year looking at places to rent and looking for the right location.

If I could be reborn as someone else for a day I’d be Tom Delonge the guitarist of Blink 182 and Angels and Airwaves. I’ve always admired him.

If money wasn’t an issue I’d buy a house for my future family.

I find arguing and bullying on social media the most irritating thing in other people. Social media can be a horrible place and I find people get so consumed by it. Get on with your lives people. There’s a big world out there to explore.

One thing I didn’t learn in school, which I wish I had done, is how to deal with my tax returns. I waskicked out of business studies in school but wish I’d learned more about that side of things.

My greatest fear is large dogs. I got bitten by one years ago as a kid.

I’m an owl, not a lark. I’m a real night person, it’s when I become most creative.

I do believe in life after death. I think there is something after this.

So far life has taught me not to take it all too seriously. Sometimes people can get consumed with negativity by something that’s on their minds. Just remember that whatever your problems are, there is always someone else who is worse off than you. Respect others and spend as much time with loved ones and family. We are only here for a short while.

Adrian Martin is taking part in Taste of Dublin: Festive Edition, from November 28 to December 1, when the RDS will be transformed into a cosy indoor festive feast for the senses with food from Ireland's top restaurants, demos from Ireland’s top-tier chefs and themed workshops and tastings galore.

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