Stars in their eyes: Two Cork restaurants honoured with Michelin stars

Ahmet Dede and Vincent Crepel saw their restaurants in the Rebel County earn a two-star and a one-star nod from the Michelin Guide
Stars in their eyes: Two Cork restaurants honoured with Michelin stars

Ahmet Dede and Vincent Crepel

There are three Michelin stars coming to Cork, with one new addition to the culinary scene gaining its first star while another is elevated from one star to two.

“This is for Ireland and this is for Turkey,” an emotional Ahmet Dede proclaimed at the Michelin star ceremony in Silverstone Circuit, England upon being awarded a second star for Dede At The Customs House in Baltimore, Co Cork. The restaurant was among three institutions to be awarded two stars this year.

In a recent review for the Irish Examiner, food writer McNamee said Dede had elevated his cuisine and was deserving of two Michelin stars.

“With an entirely Turkish team in the kitchen, Dede has moved beyond the deferential eye over the shoulder to culinary traditions of his adopted Irish home, instead confidently surging forward with his own genuinely original Hiberno-Turkish fusion, further enhancing modern Irish cuisine,” McNamee wrote.

“His trademark precision and technical nous are still evident but his cooking is now flush with the exuberant vitality of a chef mining his soul on the plate. Overall, it is another level again; might we now be entering two-star territory at Dede at the Custom House?” 

 Chef Ahmet Dede in Baltimore, Co Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan
Chef Ahmet Dede in Baltimore, Co Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan

Terre at Castlemartyr Resort and its chef patron Vincent Crepel were among 20 restaurants receiving their first Michelin star. Terre is a 38-seater standalone restaurant sited in the ‘old house’ of Castlemartyr and opened in late 2022 with the ambitious aim of achieving two Michelin stars. Crepel worked in several renowned international restaurants, including the three-Michelin-star Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain.

“Gaining one star after such a brief period of time is a source of immense pride to me and my team at Terre,” Crepel said after the announcement.

“It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this level so quickly. It is a stunning and early reward for achieving our goals for Terre. I have been a devotee of the Michelin Guide since the very start of my career so to be awarded one star as chef patron is simply amazing, an achievement I have long hoped for.” 

In his review of Terre for the Irish Examiner earlier this month, McNamee said its three-hour ‘culinary journey’ was “top-notch, easily Michelin star level” but noted: “Two stars is another story.” 

Vincent Crepel, Terre at Castlemartyr Resort
Vincent Crepel, Terre at Castlemartyr Resort

He added Crepel’s dishes “could be from a fine dining menu anywhere in the world — and capturing a sense of place is the ultimate grace note of the very finest cooking. Terre is not currently the equal of the other already two-starred Irish restaurants for whom a sense of place is instinctual.” Terre’s tasting menu costs €180pp (€210pp from April 1) and a wine/beverage pairing costs €110/€220.

Elsewhere, the Michelin Welcome and Service Award is winging its way to Dublin city after being presented to manager Declan Maxwell and his team at Spitalfields pub in the Liberties.

Maxwell said he tells his staff to welcome customers as if they were guests in their own homes. “I always say you should treat customers like you're bringing them into your house for a dinner party. You have them there, looking after them, friendly service. Apart from the welcome, there's always somebody there to say goodbye when they’re going at the end of the night.” 

Michael Deane of Eipic in Belfast earned the Mentor Chef Award. he said the restaurant is “going from strength to strength” and it is important to nurture young talent in the industry.

“In the words of Thomas Keller, it's important that we make the next generation better. Without that, we don't have anything,” he told the ceremony.

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