CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver has confirmed he will not be cooking any of the food in the new restaurant he plans to open here later this year.
The Italian-themed restaurant at Dundrum Town Centre will have his name over the door, but don't expect to see the TV star in the kitchen.
"Of course I will be over here for the launch, but I'm not going to pretend I'm going to be in the kitchen -- I won't," he said.
"That's not what I do. I pay for it, I pay people's wages, I choose the right people and really the only thing I do is write the menus, change the senior management and create a culture where people get a 40-quid meal for 17 to 21 quid."
Despite Ireland's straitened times, the 37-year-old said he planned to charge Dublin diners roughly the same as they would pay to eat in one of his UK restaurants.
"Our competitors can do 'buy one, get one free', but we can't do that, as our produce is in a different league," he said.
"People usually spend between £17 and £21 (€20-€26) on a meal in my restaurants, but other diners do £10 to £13 (€12-€16).
"But if they want to hit it hard, they can get four courses for £25 (€30)," said Mr Oliver.
Oliver launched the Taste of Dublin Festival in the Iveagh Gardens last night and said he decided to set up in Ireland because he loved the "spirit" of the Irish.
"But to be honest with you, I think half of your people are working in my restaurants in London," he joked.
He said he was "doing a recce" for the produce, which, aside from ingredients like mozzarella, he planned to source locally.
"You have the right geography. The right grass. The right animals. So no excuses for not having incredible stuff," he said.