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Jamie to serve up 'comfort food' at new Dublin restaurant

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New venture: Jamie Oliver says ‘Ireland has some of the greatest produce in the world, we can’t wait to show it off’ at Chequer Lane in Dublin, which opens in April. Photo: PA

New venture: Jamie Oliver says ‘Ireland has some of the greatest produce in the world, we can’t wait to show it off’ at Chequer Lane in Dublin, which opens in April. Photo: PA

New venture: Jamie Oliver says ‘Ireland has some of the greatest produce in the world, we can’t wait to show it off’ at Chequer Lane in Dublin, which opens in April. Photo: PA

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has decided the Irish restaurant scene is ripe for expansion as he plans to open a new restaurant in Dublin in April.

The move comes despite the closure of 22 of his outlets in the UK last year. The chef's UK restaurant group went into administration last year, with all but three of his restaurants shutting with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

However, Oliver is set to open a new restaurant on Exchequer Street that will focus on "comfort food".

It will be his second Dublin outlet, after he opened Jamie's Italian in Dundrum in 2012.

The new restaurant, called Chequer Lane, will seat 100 diners and will create 30 jobs.

It is already hiring for the positions of head chef, sous chefs, managers as well as hospitality roles.

Speaking about his new venture, Oliver said: "Chequer Lane will celebrate some of my favourite comfort food and the menu will be packed with big, hearty flavours and simple, seasonal ingredients. The food I really love to cook and diners love to eat.

"Ireland has some of the greatest produce in the world, we can't wait to show it off."

The menu will focus on "the best of great Irish produce, from fresh rock oysters straight from the bay, beef cooked using a (Japanese) robata grill, and monkfish and scampi".

The restaurant will be a departure from the chef's usual pasta dishes and will work with independent food suppliers, including Gilligan's Farm in Co Roscommon, and its fish and oysters will come from Hook Head in Co Wexford and the Dublin-based Kish Fish.

Chequer Lane will also serve David Llewellyn's cider, from north Co Dublin, and Des McSwiggan's Hope Beer, from Kilbarrack, Dublin.

Affordable

Oliver's franchise partner Gerry Fitzpatrick said: "Chequer Lane will be a fantastic addition to Dublin's bustling restaurant scene.

"Diners can expect the very best of delicious and affordable Irish food and drink in a welcoming environment in the heart of Dublin city."

Oliver's UK restaurant group, which included 22 Jamie's Italian outlets, as well as the Fifteen and Barbecoa restaurants in London and a Jamie's Diner at Gatwick Airport, went into administration last year.

Speaking at the time, the celebrity chef said: "I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.

"We launched Jamie's Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that."

Irish Independent