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Stylish soiree as Patrick launches book on 30 years of French food

PATRICK GUILBAUD took centre stage at a stylish soiree in his Michelin-starred restaurant last night.

The great and the good descended on the Merrion Hotel for the launch of his new book -- Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud: The First Thirty Years -- which chronicled all his eatery's highs and lows since first opening in 1981. Veuve Clicquot and canapes were the order of the day as the Merrion's co-owner Lochlann Quinn launched the book.

Patrick quipped how the "only thing that hasn't changed over the years was my strong French accent".

Attendees included his good pal, RTE broadcaster Eamon Dunphy (left) who celebrated his nuptials to Jane Grogan at the southside restaurant in September 2009. "I knew Patrick before he came over to Ireland. I've known him a good time, over 30 years, we're good friends," he said. He also explained how he won't be joining the 'green army' and heading over to Tallinn for the Euro 2012 play-off on November 11. "I'm doing it for RTE and the panel never travels."

Other attendees included celebrity snapper Barry McCall, who took the photographs for the new tome. He explained how they started shooting for the book last January and all the dishes were seasonal to get a good variety.

"It's a very calm kitchen in Guilbaud's. It's not like other places where there's lots of shouting going on. They did offer me some of the dishes to eat after I photographed them but it could be 8am in the morning sometimes and you wouldn't feel like eating foie gras," he said.

Combining over 40 recipes and testimonies from celebs like Bono and Paul McGuinness, proceeds from the €50 book will go towards the Irish Hospice Foundation.