Celebrity chef Dylan McGrath has revealed that he considered turning his back on Ireland before he made his comeback with his new restaurant empire.
The 35-year-old, who features on the cover of this month’s Tatler Man, has revealed that part of his new masterplan is dispelling the nation’s confusion over their diet by serving up delicious, healthy recipes on a new website.
The Masterchef star, who now runs three restaurants in Dublin, said he loves proving his critics wrong.
“They told me you couldn’t come back from a recession,” said Mr McGrath. “They told me you couldn’t cook on a stone.
“They told me customers wouldn’t cook their own food. Then they told me you couldn’t open two more restaurants in a recession.”
He said he initially felt very let down by Ireland when his Michelin-starred restaurant, Mint, closed its doors in 2009.
He said in the interview with Tatler Man: “I was angry at Ireland. I was quite prepared to let Ireland cook its own fucking food.”
Mr McGrath's relentless quest for a Michelin star in the now defunct Mint was famously documented in a fly-on-the-wall RTÉ series, but Mr McGrath said his fiery personality has mellowed in recent years.
“It’s developing as a human being in a positive way,” he said. “Being happy, being rational, unconcerned with how fine the parsley is chopped.”
He said he now pours his creative juices into running his offbeat, less exclusive restaurants as opposed to getting Michelin stars over the door.
“Mint was a completely different level of food — literally the best of the best,” said Mr McGrath.
“Mint was incredibly formal — very French, very polished, very precious.
“That part of me isn’t allowed to practice anymore. If I want to stay here I’m going to be forced to use my creativeness in a different way.
“Now, with all of the expense removed and all of the formality gone, I’m learning how to do restaurants again, and these new restaurants are more of an expression of who I am.”
The Masterchef star is back on top of the culinary world with his three new eateries in the capital — Brassiere Sixty6, Rustic Stone, and Fade Street Social, which he says challenges the traditional way food is served in restaurants.
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