As the name Eire might suggest, our story begins in Ireland where a young chef with a passion for putting smiles on people faces with honest, hearty, flavoursome fare, dreams of faraway places that offer opportunity for those who are brave and willing to toil.
Having graduated from the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology with qualifications in Professional Cookery (Specialising in French Cuisine) Stephen Lowery gained valuable chef experience in many of Galway’s finest hotels. He joined the Panel of Chefs of Ireland, successfully competing in national cooking competitions and rose to the ranks of Head Chef, at the tender age of 24.
So it is with a special blend of Irish tradition and French flare for creativity and turning food into art, that our Executive Chef and Eire co-owner Stephen, set off to a slightly larger island called Australia to share his passion for food and to make his mark in the world of fine cuisine.
Upon settling first in Melbourne, the café capital of Australia, Stephen began working in popular restaurants and hotels and as fate would have it, met his now partner and Eire co-owner, Zoi Kokoti, an Aussie girl with close family ties in Adelaide, the city of festivals and fine food and wine.
The Birth of Eire Café
For family reasons, Stephen and Zoi moved to Adelaide and decided to take charge of their personal destiny and create their own café, so Eire Café was born.
Not wanting to create just another café in Adelaide, Eire Café was born in March 2013 to showcase Stephen’s talents as an executive chef in a way that would excite food lovers with a celebration of fresh, quality, seasonal, Australian produce, with a unique Irish/French Mediterranean influence, in a bright, friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
The Case of the Missing Pies
Ironically, pies were never on the original Eire Café menu, an omission Stephen (nick named the Red Chef because of his red beard) would soon discover to be a glaring one, when a regular customer of the café, under previous name and ownership, hurled abuse at Stephen and his pie-free menu.
New to front of house, Chef Stephen was keen to learn first- hand, the needs of his new client base, and was informed in no uncertain terms (the exact language cannot be used here) that unless savoury meat pies were put back on the menu, his new business was sure to fail.
So challenged rather than deterred, Stephen made his rather confrontational advisor a promise, “come back this time tomorrow and I’ll have a pie made especially for you”. Now given that all breads, stocks, sauces and desserts at Eire Café are made on premise under his watchful eye, Stephen drew on his chef training and native flair for comfort food and made a pie by hand, the likes his pie loving customer had never seen nor tasted before.
So began the story of Eire Pies, hand-made Australian artisan pies with French finesse and an Irish heart and soul, and all thanks to an angry tradie!