I grew up in Killarney a small town in the southwest of Ireland. I attended Rockwell College of catering for a brief time, trained under German and French chefs in Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Island of Jersey off the coast of France. I emigrated to The United States in January of 1982 and worked as Head Chef at The Corrib Pub and Restaurant in Boston, Mass. for a period of 14 years. I found my way to Charleston, SC in 2003 and opened The Bluerose in May of 2004.
I came from a strong Irish family with deep roots in Irish culture and history. My parents Kathleen and Christy Doherty were two of the hardest working people I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. To this day, I consider Mom and Dad to be my greatest mentors and inspiration.
Most mornings my Mother woke early to milk the cow, make the butter and bake to her heart's content in the small kitchen at the back of the house. Mother opened Round Tower Cottage Café, named for the ninth century round tower in the field behind our house. From the late '60s Mother sold her home baked breads, scones and tea sandwiches along with hand-knitted sweaters, mittens, scarves and hats.
I have the fondest memories of getting up in the morning to the seductive smell of rhubarb and apple pies, scones and breads wafting from her busy kitchen. My mother was awe-inspiring, as I watched her mix handfuls of flour with a pinch of this and that.
It took many years of my hand at baking to imitate my mother at the kitchen table. Mother passed away on April of 2006. I am glad to report that I have mastered some of her great breads, pies and scones. Thanks Mom.
My Dad on the other hand spent most of his time outside the house, working a full-time job with the Irish Railway Company also known as C. I. E. for 51 years. Pops would come home from his shift and would take a quick nap, smoke his pipe by the fire and read the daily newspaper, and then his real passion began for the day. Dad produced all the vegetables, fruits. beef, pork, eggs and chicken for our table for many years that fed a family of five children and two adults all from a mere six acres of land. I have yet to meet a man who had such pride and respect for the land. Pops was an avid gardener not just with fruits and vegetables but he would also produce a rainbow of beautiful flowers, shrubs and bushes that surrounded our 165 year old cottage in some of the most spectacular flowerbeds I have ever seen even to this day. He also tried his hand at growing Blue Roses but alas, he was not to succeed.
Dad passed away in March of 2007. I think, if Dad were alive today, he would agree that this Bluerose Café is as much his and Mom's success as it is mine.
Today the Bluerose continues to grow in West of the Ashley, Charleston S.C. As much as I may be credited with creating the Bluerose, it takes 14 dedicated, kind , hard-working people to continue with its success. I remain humbly grateful to share such a great experience with these people on a daily basis.
You’ll be sure to get a fine Irish Cead Mile Failte (a hundred thousand welcomes) when you visit the Bluerose.