Saturday 24 September 2016

Restaurateur Dylan McGrath on the late Paolo Tullio: ‘I felt like he had an underlying responsibility to encourage young Irish chefs’

Published 06/06/2015 | 11:36

Recently, Paolo built his own smokehouse and pizza oven in his garden– mostly by hand
Recently, Paolo built his own smokehouse and pizza oven in his garden– mostly by hand
Dylan McGrath: 'MasterChef ' star

Restaurateur Dylan McGrath has said that Ireland has lost its most dignified and knowledgeable food writer following the death of Paolo Tullio on Friday.

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The Masterchef Ireland presenter revealed that Paolo’s articles always tried to encourage young Irish chefs at the beginning of their careers and his writing was always filled with “integrity”.

“Every time I read one of his articles I felt that he felt he had an underlying responsibility to encourage young chefs. He understood Ireland. He was realistic and encouraging to young chefs and there was a lot of dignity in that. His articles were never about him,” Dylan told RTE Radio One’s Marion Finucane.

The restaurateur revealed that while he lived in London, Paolo’s articles and reviews were the only thing he made sure were posted to him on a regular basis.

“My relationship with Paolo grew over the years.

“I used to live in London and the only supplement that made it across the water was the review in Weekend magazine. When I came home he wrote an article about me and through that we began to build a relationship.”

Tributes have poured in for The Irish Independent food writer, who passed away on Friday after an illness at the age of 65.

INM Group Editor-in-Chief Stephen Rae said: "Paolo was so widely respected and loved by television audiences and our readers alike.

"At the Irish Independent, his loss is tremendous. Paolo was associated intrinsically with 'Weekend' magazine and readers loved him.

"On behalf of all on the newspaper and at INM as a group, we express our deepest condolences to Paolo's family."

Fellow chef Kevin Dundon last night paid his respects to his "fantastic friend".

"He was a great friend of mine," he said. "I ate many a dinner with him and he was a great chef, a great food critic, a great storyteller and a great friend. He will be sadly missed, I just can't believe he is gone."

I am deeply sad to hear of Paolo's passing. First it was Derek Davis, then Bill O'Herlihy, and now Paolo. At my age, it really brings home your mortality," he said. "He was an excellent writer. It takes extraordinary skill to write about a restaurant and do it without being negative.

"I remember fondly the time he recommended me to take his place as a food writer for the Irish Independent while he was away.

"It was just typical of the type of person that he was. He was always so generous and thought of other people."

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