Saturday 21 January 2017

Banter and bonding the key for Mount Juliet

Published 08/10/2016 | 02:30

Ken Harker, Executive Chef at the Lady Helen
Ken Harker, Executive Chef at the Lady Helen

Bonding with the team and banter in the kitchen are key to gaining Michelin stars, one of Ireland's leading chefs has said.

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The Lady Helen restaurant in the five-star Mount Juliet Estate kept its star in the prestigious guide this week.

Ken Harker, Executive Chef at the restaurant, paid tribute to his team of chefs and front-of-house staff. He also said there was no particular chef ruling the roost.

"We all influence the menu, we all have a voice," he told the Irish Independent. "The head chef has a say, the sous chef has a say. We all work very well together. We are like a family. We have to be (like a family) - we spend 14 to 15 hours together every day."

Harker, who has been with the Lady Helen for over six years, also said there was room for a bit of fun in between courses too.

"You always have to work as a team," he said. "You can't try to have control over every single detail - otherwise you'd go bananas.

"We take our food seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously," he added.

"We have the radio on in the kitchen, and there is a bit of banter, too."

Irish Independent

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