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PhillipGleesonMy two human alarm clocks, Amy and Luke wake me up at 7am religiously on a Sunday morning on my day off work from running the kitchens as Head Chef in Killashee House Hotel. A sluggish start always on my first day off after a long week looking after wedding and leisure guest at the hotel but it’s great to be off.

A notoriously quiet person in the morning, I’m not one for small talk as I get the kids breakfast, as my mother always reminds me when telling stories about my youth. It’s a funny thing watching your own grow up in front of you. My girl Amy is nonstop questions about everything and anything and is like clockwork when looking for her food. My boy Luke is like his dad, very quiet, studying his breakfast, he can nearly turn it into a tasting menu the amount of times he gets up and leaves and returns to eat more. I am a slow starter food wise so it’s a few cups of tea a morning before I usually take a run or Pilate’s class and off to the shops for the papers.

My wife, or as she refers to herself lately as “the chefs widow”, has her Sunday morning ritual of soft poached eggs, brown bread and something I think she is addicted to - salmon gravlax with mustard dressing.

After a late breakfast we usually try to spend time with the kids in the park, swimming or cycling before meeting up with our families. My Dad who is retired is easier to meet up with during the week but my Mam who still works is always harder to get some time with. I find spending time with family and the kids good for my head space as its good to keep in touch with your surroundings and with those who are important to me and have played a part in my development.

The chef’s widow loves having me home as she refers to my days off as having restaurant food cooked for her. But today is one of those rare days I have a table booked in what is our favourite place to go in Dublin city at the moment, Fade Street Social.

First things first, I’ll drop the kids off to their Oma and Opa (their Dutch grandmother and Irish grandad) in Cabra were they are treated like royalty, then it’s off into town to do some shopping before dinner. It’s a great feeling going to town for some shopping and early drinks on a Sunday.

We head into Powerscourt first and then onto Grafton street where I usually tend to head to a bookshop to flick through anything new and exciting in the cookery section. I have to be careful of the clock as I could spend all day looking through cookery books and also autobiographies, as I love to read about people and what they have done, successful or not. Monique will spend her time going through nearly every possible shop only to return to the first shop and buy what she was originally looking at!

I love walking around Dublin as it always reminds of my time working there as a chef and there is always a good vibe to the place.

A pit stop in Hogan’s bar for a few pints after being brought through lots of shops with Monique and then off to the tapas bar for food at Fade Street Social.

I love going to FSS as there is a great sense of a night out and a great buzz and vibe from the place no matter what night you go. This place is serving really good food without all the fuss of fine dining. We enjoy tapas of soft shell crab, pork belly, lobster and tuna ravioli. We have a few deserts to share, with the high light being the banoffi pie.

We finish off the evening with a drink in the roof top garden and then make our way home conscious not to over step the mark with the babysitter and arrive just in time for Match of The Day to watch my team spurs hopefully win.

An ideal day out.

Phillip is Head Chef at Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare



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