Champagne day for restaurateurs named as our creme de la creme
HE has cooked for Madonna, Tony Blair and Gwyneth Paltrow -- and now chef Ian Orr, of Browns restaurant in Derry, has been named the country's top chef in the 2013 Georgina Campbell Awards.
Mr Orr, who previously worked at London's River Cafe and Rathmullan House in Co Donegal, told the Irish Independent that he is attracting plenty of southern customers to his three-year-old restaurant.
Husband-and-wife teams fared well at the awards, with Eileen Dunne and Stefano Crescenzi scooping a special award for their contribution to Irish hospitality.
Sushi scooped the ethnic restaurant award for another couple, Michel Piare and Anna van Exel from Holland.
Their tiny Michie Sushi bar in Dublin's Ranelagh has proved such a hit that they're planning to open a second outlet in Dun Laoghaire next month.
Restaurant of the year went to The Greenhouse, a newcomer to Dublin, which is run by Eamonn O'Reilly. He lured last year's chef of the year, Mickael Viljanen, from Co Clare to Dawson Street.
However, while O'Brien Chop House, in Lismore, Co Waterford, scooped one of the awards. its owner has confirmed it will close at the end of the month.
Justin Green said its remote location had made it difficult to get enough customers. He added, however, that his Ballyvolane House in Fermoy, Co Cork was doing well.
Ms Campbell said it was heartbreaking to hear the news about one of her "favourite restaurants".