Meath restaurant wins best chicken wings in Ireland gong
Meath restaurant La Bucca has won the prestigious “Best Chicken Wings in Ireland” award run by the Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1.
A shortlist of the top 10 venues with tasty chicken wings was whittled down to a final three who were invited to the radio studio for a hotly contested chicken wing tasting showdown.
This “wingdown” featured guest celebrity judges Nick Munier, maître d’ and restaurant manager of Hell’s Kitchen and Masterchef Ireland fame, and Gearóid Farrelly, a household name on the Irish comedy scene, joining D’Arcy in deciding who deserved the delicious accolade.
Chef Petar Petrov brought enough wings, supplied locally by Manor Farm in Meath, along with dips, celery and other wing accompaniments to feed a small army.
La Bucca restaurants have opened in Ashbourne (2004), Ratoath (2007) and Dunboyne (2010) offering quality casual dining and Mediterranean cuisine.
The brand certainly seems to be on a winning streak, having earned either the Best Restaurant or Best Casual Dining in Meath honour for four straight years at the Restaurant Association of Ireland Awards.
Owner Russell Bailey said: “This award is particularly pleasing given the amount of focus we place on purchasing only the best available grade A Irish chicken wings.
Our wings come from Meath, Cavan and Monaghan chicken farmers for two reasons: firstly, we like to support our local farmers and secondly, they’re the best wings on the market as proven by our award.
"All the farmers that we purchase from are Bord Bia certified and as a result have to conform to the standards laid down by its Assurance Scheme.
This of course increases the cost of production but it’s worth it if the end product results in the best chicken wings in Ireland!”
A graduate of Bournemouth Catering College, Bailey has close on 30 years experience in the food and catering industry.
He has worked on two round the world cruise liners and was Food and Beverage Manager at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in York and Cambridge before embarking on a 12 year career with Pizza Express, known nationally as Milano.
During this time, Bailey managed several restaurants and project managed the opening of 25 outlets in the British Isles. After opening nine Milanos in Ireland, Bailey left to establish his own La Bucca eateries.