It boils down to hard work

by Aisling Kennedy

JOHN Wyer, owner and head chef at Forest Avenue in Dublin, is one of the hardest working men in the food industry. Running a restaurant is no easy task and Wyer works 14- and 15-hour days to ensure his restaurant serves the highest quality food to its customers.
He took time out recently to talk to the Gazette about a day in his life.
Wyer explains that he usually gets up at about 6.30am, cycles 10 minutes to work and is at Forest Avenue by 7am.
He said: “I don’t have anything to eat in the morning, I just have a glass of water. My wife, Sandy who runs the restaurant with me, usually arrives at about 10am and she always brings me breakfast.
“She usually picks something up on her way in like scrambled eggs and orange juice and we have our breakfast together.”
Wyer explains that once he gets into the kitchen in the morning he starts making the breads for lunch service and he also starts to prepare stocks for the day by roasting bones.
“The food deliveries start coming in at about 7.30am which I always check, and then the rest of the team will start to arrive at 8am.”
At 11am the front of house staff make coffee’s for everyone and Wyer then heads upstairs to take care of the admin side of things by ringing suppliers, making sure everything has arrived for lunch, and planning the dinner menu for that night.
“That’s my down time, it’s just time I need away from the kitchen where I can focus on creating and organising,” he explains.
Wyer then heads back downstairs to prepare for lunch which begins at 12 o’clock and is usually a very busy service with between 20 to 30 people served daily.
Once lunch is over, Wyer then cycles home for a well-earned break at about 3.30pm.
Despite being a culinary genius, Wyer tends to make himself sandwiches and salads for lunch and he explains that once he finishes eating he has a power nap.
“That’s my new thing now. I set my alarm for 20 minutes and I doze off. That little sleep revitalises me and I’ll take a nice shower when I wake and I’m very much ready to go again by 4.45pm.”
Wyer then cycles back to the restaurant where he makes sure everything is set up for the evening dinner service and he cooks from 6pm to 10pm.
As the last part of the day, Wyer then calls his local suppliers to order in produce for the next day.
“I’m usually home by about 11.30pm/12am and I’ll have some food, a glass of wine and I’ll sit on the couch and have a chat about the day with my wife. The main thing is that we both unwind after the day so we usually just watch some TV and then head to bed.”
Forest Avenue is on Sussex Road, Dublin 4. For more information log onto

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