From Sea to SOLE
SOLE Seafood & Grill is a restaurant that has a very simple ethos behind it, rooted in seafood sustainability and provenance. Executive Head Chef, Richie Wilson, explains how exactly this food philosophy is applied to the menu and why it is so important to everything they do.
“Our ethos is definitely to serve as much locally-sourced seafood as possible. Sustainability is a big word when used to describe seafood. I think the word we need to really highlight is ‘responsibility’, which is what we have asked of ourselves. To that end, we are really fortunate to be working closely with Bord Iascaigh Mhara and even closer with Kish Fish, who are our main supplier.”
“Our efforts are to get as close to 100% Irish as possible or landed on Irish coasts. We do this by making sure that we are taking it off the right supplier, that it is coming in off the right trawler. They are all under EU legislation as to where they can and can’t fish from, which boxes are open and closed, and we have to take our lead from them. The moment they tell us that a certain box is closed and we can’t get it, then I can’t turn around to them and say, ‘well can you get it from somewhere else for me?’, just to keep it on the menu. The whole idea is that you support those fishermen in what they are doing, under the legislation they have to work under.”
“We will definitely be introducing other fish on the menu throughout the year, but again that comes down to what the local guys can get us. If you can’t be led by the people that know better than you, then you are at nothing. It would be ignorant to do that and it’s bad not to listen to the experts. That’s why we’re working with Kish Fish and listening to them. I am learning so much from them and we are working together to come up with ideas for the menu further down the line. There are so many other options of fish that we can use throughout the year and I am really looking forward to using them all. There are endless possibilities for our menu, it’s really exciting.”
“We do also import some seafood that you can’t get here in Irish waters to offer something different to our customers, for example, king crab. As far as I know we are the only restaurant in Dublin serving this. It’s years since I first saw king crab and I was really excited by it, but it wasn’t until I was in London and had the chance to taste it properly, straight out of the shell, that it amazed me. I knew it was a whole different league, a completely different type of crab. I just think it is gorgeous and something everyone should experience the taste of. In this country we have phenomenal crab, there is no doubt about that. When you pick up those Irish crab claws that are lightly soaked in garlic butter and white wine and you suck the flesh off in little nibbles, and you think to yourself, ‘I wish I could have a bigger bite of that’… King crab does that. It gives you that big bite on a piece of crab that you long for.”
“I have loved crab since I was about six years of age. We used to go to County Clare and eating crab in The Burren was a special experience. I am fully aware of how fantastic the crab in this country is and for some months of the year, we will have that phenomenal crab available here on the menu. We have every intention of serving them in the shells and let customers crack them open and we’ll have smashed them up a little and turned them in some garlic butter to make it easier to get out of the shell. Half the appeal of eating crab claws like that is sucking the flesh off and getting your fingers messy and dipping your bread in the sauce. It’s so good!”Go back