Fingal Independent

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Fingal culinary legend Terry McCoy hangs up his apron

One of Skerries' finest chefs and restaurateurs, Terry McCoy of renowned restaurant The Red Bank, has hung up his apron to enjoy a more relaxed way of life, but as he tells The Fingal Independent in the days following his retirement, he will greatly miss the satisfaction of serving the people of the seaside town his culinary delights.

Terry and wife Margaret McCoy first opened the doors of The Red Bank in December 1983. Terry had experience in the hospitality industry as a chef in France, Germany, Switzerland and the USA, while Margaret had worked in the hotel business in Ireland. Such a background lay the foundations for a thriving business, and from the start, was a sure recipe for success.

Looking fondly back on his days working tireless in the restaurant, Terry tells of his decision to retire, and just how much he'll miss running The Red Bank: 'I'll be 74 next birthday, and I've been working since 1964, so I thought maybe now would be the time to take a rest.

'Business was very good, but the problem I had was that I wasn't able to get chefs who could do the type of work I did.

'There's probably 5,000 too few real chefs in Ireland at the moment, and it's probably going to get worse.

'So the last two years I was doing everything myself, and I could only do so much because I was getting older, so I said it was time to get a young man and his partner in to take over.'

The ingredients for The Red Bank, Terry says, were sourced only from fishermen and farmers across north county Dublin, ensuring only the finest of produce was used.

Fish being a mainstay of the dishes served at The Red Bank, Terry says he had a great relationship with the local fishermen in Skerries and Balbriggan.

He says: 'We offered mainly seafood, that's what I really liked to cook, fresh fish from the harbour and fresh vegetables.

'I think what made the restaurant stand out was the quality and freshness of the food, the hospitality we offered, and I would like to think the food was special too. It was somewhere where people came for special night, so that you'd come down for maybe a three-course meal and stay for three hours or more rather than just in and out.'

Describing the atmosphere in The Red Bank, Terry says: 'I would say the restaurant was very friendly, warm and progressive Irish.

'It was a family run business, so we were always there to welcome the customers and have a chat. It was myself and my son Ross running the show, so we dealt with the hospitality side of things.'

Terry says that although he'll really miss running The Red Bank, the time has perhaps come to step down and enjoy some much deserved rest.

He says: 'I loved what I did and it's going to be a big wrench to stop, but you have to recognise that time moves on and that you can't keep doing what you love doing all the time, because it catches up on you.

'I'll really miss it because I loved what I did. That's why I could work seventy or eighty hours a week and didn't have a problem with that. Work is something that you don't enjoy, but what I did was not work and enjoy it...'

Terry would like to thank the farmers and fishermen of north county Dublin, his staff, and of course, his loyal customers who frequented the restaurant over the years.

The Red Bank Restaurant will be taken over by former Chapter 1 head chef Cathal Leonard along with his partner Sarah Ryan.

Cathal, who hails from Rush, will bring his own array of recipes to the restaurant and will be renaming it Potager - as in kitchen garden.

The new look restaurant will open in March 2019.

All outstanding gift vouchers for The Red Bank will be honoured at Potager.

We wish the local culinary legend that is, Terry McCoy the very best in his retirement and the new team behind Potager, the very best of good fortune in the new venture.

Fingal Independent