Sunday 23 November 2014

Celebrity Chefs' ventures in Irish Kitchens

Published 07/05/2014 | 13:19

Rhodes D7 restaurant Dublin, pictured was Gary Rhodes. Picture Jason Clarke
Gary Rhodes opened a super restaurant on Dublin's Capel Street which bore his name.

Celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna has announced she is leaving the food court at Arnotts department store (Clodagh's Kitchen restaurant in Arnotts remains open). We take a look at other celebrity chefs who have ventured into Irish kitchens. 

 

1. Gary Rhodes D7, Capel Street

The UK celebrity chef opened a super restaurant at the height of the boom on Dublin’s Capel Street.

Hoping to attract commuters off the newly built Luas that passed outside, the mezzanine and heated outdoor area was a popular spot in the hot summer of 2006.   

However the restaurant struggled to fill their tables, and  shut its doors for renovations in 2009, failing to reopen again.

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2. Jean Christophe Novelli at La Stampa

Chef Jean Christophe Novelli was one of the first to take up his place in a Dublin kitchen when he became chef at La Stampa in 2005. 

However, after much debate about how much time the ‘guest chef’ was spending in the restaurant, The Hell’s Kitchen star cut his apron strings with the Dublin restaurant scene 10 months later.

The kitchen and dining room, once described as one of Europe’s finest, was taken over by Waterford chef Paul Flynn of The Tannery and renamed Balzac. 

 

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3. Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt

 

Gordon Ramsay didn’t attend the original launch of his restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow in 2007, but he and wife Tana came for the relaunch in 2011. 

The acclaimed restaurant overlooked the Sugar Loaf Mountain and was the F Word’s chef’s first and only restaurant in Ireland. 

The five star hotel was sold last year and rebranded as the Powerscourt Hotel, to have association with the nearby Powerscourt Estate and Gardens. The Ramsay restaurant is no more and the restaurant has also been rebranded as Sika under Irish chef Peter Byrne. 

 

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4. Jamie’s Italian, Dundrum Town Centre

The 37-year-old  described the opening of his  branch of Jamie's Italian at the Dundrum Town Centre two years ago as a "dream come true".

 On two levels with an open kitchen, it mirrors his Covent Garden branch, with soft industrial retro decor and subway tiling.

A popular spot for post shopping tucker, critics have given it the thumbs up, with Sunday Independent food writer Lucinda O’Sullivan’s predicting: “ I don’t think Jamie will be exiting Dublin anytime soon.”

 

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5. Marco Pierre White, Dawson Street and Donnybook

 

The three-time Michelin star chef earlier this year  opened his second Irish eatery, Marco Pierre White Courtyard Bar & Grill in Donnybrook. 

A sister restaurant of his city-centre Dawson Street establishment famed for its steaks, the celebrity chef said at the opening:  "It's not trying to be a Michelin-star restaurant. It's a neighbourhood restaurant."

 

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6. Richard Corrigan, Bentleys, St Stephen’s Green

The Irish chef and owner of Bentley’s in London attempted to replicate the success on home soil.

 

Corrigan, who's thought to have had around a 30pc stake in the Stephen's Green restaurant he opened in 2008 - insisted it was a case of 'too many cooks' when he broke ties with the oyster bar.   

 

"There's a lot of competition on the restaurant scene in Dublin. It's just piling in, piling in, piling in the whole time," he told one interviewer.

 

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7. Nick Munier, Pichet

Long before Masterchef Ireland, Nick Pichet was a familiar face on TV as the maitre d' to Marco Pierre White on Hell’s Kitchen. 

After 10 years with White, he moved to Ireland and opened Pichet with his wife Denise. 

The restaurant featured in an reality show that followed Munier  opening the restaurant in recessionary Ireland.  He still runs the Trinity Street establishment today.

 

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 8. Dylan McGrath, Mint, Rustic Stone, Fade Street Social

The TV chef, who now cooks for Beyonce and Jay Z, admits he used to sleep in the kitchen of his restaurant Mint.

The Ranelagh eaterie closed, despite earning him a Michelin star, and since then he has gone on to open two successful and very different restaurants in Dublin’s quadrangle of George’s Street, Rustic Stone and Fade Street Social. 

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