Saturday 17 March 2018

‘I've found plenty of my staff having sex in the restaurant’- Irish Michelin star chef JP McMahon

Restaurateur JP McMahon Picture: Julia Dunin
Restaurateur JP McMahon Picture: Julia Dunin
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Top Irish chef JP McMahon has admitted things can get heated in the kitchen when it comes to his love life.

The Michelin-star winning chef, who owns Galway’s Aniar as well as tapas bar Cava and Eat Gastropub, revealed that he has had sex in one of his award winning restaurants.

Speaking to Hot Press magazine, McMahon said: “I’ve had sex in the restaurant, but never in the kitchen. I've found plenty of my staff having sex in the restaurant. It's funny because once or twice you open the door - it's after hours- and you go 'Oh yeah, sorry... yes see ye later'

“It’s a very bizarre lifestyle. Maybe that’s what attracted me so much to cooking initially, the kind of rock ‘n’ roll element,” he said.

The chef runs the establishments with his wife Drigin Gaffey and the pair have two children together.

McMahon said he was drawn to the excitement of the culinary world, which was “far removed” from his upbringing in Kildare.

JP McMahon
JP McMahon

“It was so far removed from how it was when I grew up. All of a sudden you were in this environment where it’s okay to be drunk, it’s okay to come in hungover,” he said.

The chef received much media attention earlier this summer when he made the decision to close his restaurants for the duration of the Galway Races, citing abusive and rude behaviour from race-goers as the motivation.

“Unfortunately on Ladies Day it just turns into an absolute drunken mess, and you get people wandering around the streets. Aniar has a big window and we get people bouncing off the window in the evening and other people just pissing on the door,” he said.

“It happened before in Cava where someone actually vomited on the doorstep. I know it’s good for the city and you have a load of people in but it seems to be crazy.”

“Customers are not turning up or many are turning up really drunk, and then when you try ringing people to get their credit cards, one of our staff was abused and was told to f*** off, that they wouldn’t give him his credit card,” he said.

“I’d rather feed happy food tourists in November than trying to deal with people who are just looking for a cheap meal and not to experience a good meal.”

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