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'Chefs can't take heat here – the best have left'

The country's youngest Michelin-starred chef claims our best talent has moved abroad.

Oliver Dunne (36), owner of Bon Appetit in Malahide, is opening a new city centre restaurant this August but is bemoaning the lack of chefs.

"There used to be a stage where I put out an advertisement looking for a chef and I was inundated with responses," Oliver said.

"Now I get very few responses, and no responses at times.

"It's one of those trades that allow you to travel and so people have decided to go away. So it's very hard to get good chefs now."


He also believes the economic climate is hitting his industry, with chefs afraid to leave their place of work for fear of not finding work elsewhere.

"A lot of restaurants have closed, so any good chefs have stayed in place and are not moving as much.

"When you get somebody good, you hold on to them for dear life because you don't know when you are going to find the next one," he said.

Oliver has been running the award-winning Bon Appetit for seven years, and while business is "booming" he is looking forward to his latest venture on East Essex Street in the city centre.

"Myself and Rory Carville and doing it together, so it's Ireland's first restaurant with two Michelin chefs.

"It's going to be fun – it should be open in August," Mr Dunne said.

"It's going to be massive renovation with investment and huge job opportunities.

"The concept is going to be small plates of food – it's going to be really cool and funky."