White sees red over Munier's rival eaterie
Published 26/02/2012 | 06:00
He was his peacemaker on TV's Hell's Kitchen.
But relations between Marco Pierre White and his former maître d' Nick Munier, below, went nuclear this week.
It's happened after Marco told Brendan O'Connor on RTÉ's Saturday Night Show that he had stopped talking to Munier after he left him to open rival Pichet Restaurant.
"I didn't know he was opening a restaurant until I got a phone call from Dublin. Everybody is entitled to do what they have to do, every fledgling has to leave the nest, and you have to respect that . . . just be honest.
"You should sit Nick where I am sitting, and ask him the questions next week," said Marco.
Nick Munier won't be on RTÉ tonight, so The Diary gave him a grilling instead.
"I am an honest person," Nick told me. "I did tell Marco. I had a coffee with him one morning in 2009 and told him I was toying with the idea of opening my own restaurant but he wasn't necessarily listening.
"I hadn't signed any deal in Dublin so I didn't go into more detail because I didn't want to jinx it. And I didn't want to be told, 'don't do it', which he did, advising me to stay where I was with him.
"Later, I offered him an olive branch by telling him to come see us in Pichet but he never came. That was the last conversation we ever had," Nick told me.
Nick had previously helped Marco set up Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse & Grill on Dawson Street, which continues to do good business, as does Nick's Pichet restaurant on Trinity Street.
Although it's unlikely you'll spot either men in the other's establishment anytime soon.
Further reading: we recommend Nick's autobiography Boiling Point, My Life in the Restaurant Game by Nick with Esther McCarthy.