Kinsale Restaurateur Heads Up National Organisation
Writes JJ Hurley
Mr. Liam Edwards had the honour and distinction of being recently elected as the President of the Restaurants of Ireland Association at a function held in Ashford Castle, Co Mayo.
Appointed to head-up the organisation of over 2,500 members, it will come as no surprise to many as he’s shown tremendous leadership during his tenure as Chairman of Kinsale’s Good Food Circle, over the past five years, in what were very challenging times.
No stranger to the food industry, his parents, Jimmy and Paula have run one of the town’s iconic restaurants, since 1971, where Liam cut his teeth at an early age in the family business.
Initially, he studied at CIT in Cork – completing his bar management and food training on the Cork campus, before heading off to sharpen his culinary and catering skills across Europe, returning home to take charge of the family business, along with his siblings Maeve and Kevin.
Describing himself as an individual who has a strong passion and love for the food industry, he’s hoping to bring these two things to the position, particularly at a time when the industry faces a number of challenges.
The first of which is a lack of experienced staff, particularly chefs, causing great anxiety to many restaurant owners up and down the country.
The Kinsale restaurateur points to a need to change the perception in the industry of long hours in the kitchen and bad tempered head chefs, with Edwards claiming such practises have long been confined to the dustbin of history.
In addition, he also points to the urgent need for the government to retain the lower rate of VAT as well as providing a level playing field between the off licence and the bar/restaurant industry.
Outside of the challenge the position will bring, he also said: “I am deeply honoured to be nominated for the role for what will be a vey busy year.”
Of course, he’s very grateful for the support of his wife, Niamh and his three sons, Jamie, Daragh and Aidan, who keep him well grounded, particularly on the GAA field, were he’s recently began coaching his sons at underage level.