Saturday 16 December 2017

Celebrity chef's new restaurant hit by hiccups

Ken Sweeney

THE return of celebrity chef Conrad Gallagher to the world of Irish cooking has been delayed by a day after his new restaurant failed to open on time yesterday.

Due to open at lunchtime yesterday, Salon de Saveurs on Dublin's Aungier Street remained closed to the public last night. However everything at the new eaterie, now rescheduled to open later today, looked in place with tables set out for dinner. It was a testament to the hard work of the 38-year-old chef and his staff because when the Irish Independent called to Salon de Saveurs earlier yesterday, it found the restaurant without furniture and a menu from Darwin's -- the restaurant which previously traded on the premises -- on display outside.

Gallagher himself was friendly and upbeat, vowing to get the job finished.

"We've had calls all day from people making reservations. We would hope to have people in here by the end of the day," Gallagher told the Irish Independent. However, it was not to be as the only visitors to the chef's new establishment during what should have been his first day were suppliers delivering food.

A source at the restaurant last night blamed the delay on last minute "hiccups" but promised the restaurant would be open tonight. Ten years ago, Gallagher was the most celebrated chef in Irish cooking with two Michelin stars under his belt at age 27.

There followed a high-profile court case in which he was acquitted on a charge of theft of paintings, and a period in South Africa which ended when he was declared bankrupt there last summer.


Returning to Ireland, Gallagher said he didn't flee South Africa to escape business problems, but decided to move home to put his two children into Irish schools. Gallagher said his previous business problems taught him simplicity is best.

He said: "This new restaurant, 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."

Irish Independent

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