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I haven't made a profit in over three years - Derry

RENOWNED Irish chef Derry Clarke has revealed that his Michelin-starred eatery L'Ecrivain has not made a profit in three years.

The celebrity chef said his main concern was simply staying afloat and keeping staff employed and he remained upbeat.

"I had a meeting with my accountants talking about next year. We were analysing the business and it's the same advice. Just keep it ticking over, keep the overheads down, pay your bills as best you can," he said.

"Obviously if we get hit by anything more outside of here then we're in trouble again, but for now we're doing okay. We're ticking over and we feel if we're near to breaking even we're doing well."

Derry said he had noticed a change in the past few months pointing towards a more optimistic future.

"We're three years into the recession which is difficult to believe. But it's a lot different now than it was two years ago. It's much better," he said.

"We're living it and because we're in it we're just getting on with it. I think we happened to get used to it and things are starting to slowly turn on the business side of things."

Derry added that when the recession hit he and wife Sallyanne who runs the restaurant with him, had to decide whether to stay in the business or walk away.

"We had a fair bit of capital put aside. We were lucky we had it and we decided to put it into the business."