Friday 24 March 2017

Celebrity chef Gallagher makes a comeback with new bistro

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

CELEBRITY chef Conrad Gallagher returns to the Irish culinary scene this Thursday when he opens a new restaurant in the capital.

Ten years ago, he was the celebrated foodie with diners paying handsomely to try his Michelin-starred cooking.

Now that the Celtic Tiger's long gone he is ready to try something different.

The menu at Salon de Saveurs on Aungier Street in Dublin, where signs went up yesterday, offers recession-friendly prices to diners.

Dublin's first tasting restaurant will have prices starting at €24 for a range of courses.

The premises was formerly home to Darwins restaurant.

Mr Gallagher outlined his plans for the restaurant last November. "I'm going to run it as my own shop. Run it tight and keep everything small. The overheads are low and hopefully creativity and the uniqueness of my cooking will prevail -- that's what I'm hoping for."

Unimpressed by celebrity cooks permanently absent from their eateries, the Donegal man says he plans to be "hands-on" in his new establishment

"I'm rolling back the clock 15 years, in that I'm going to be there all the time.

"I have gone full circle a couple of times and what I have learnt is that if you keep it small and tight, you have one place and you run it well -- being dishwasher, doorman, cook and host -- you have a much better chance," he said.

The chef moved back to Ireland last September with his wife Candice Coetzee and two young sons after the collapse of his Geisha Wok and Noodle bar in Cape Town, South Africa.

He was personally declared bankrupt and his assets were auctioned off to pay off debts of around €187,000.

Irish Independent

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