Chapter One rewrites recipe for success

CHAPTER ONE has turned the page on another success story, with the fine dining Dublin venue voted best restaurant in Ireland by the Restaurant Association of Ireland for the third year in a row.

The Michelin-starred restaurant, co-owned by Ross Lewis and Martin Corbett, has won the equivalent of the Booker Prize for food a total of five times.

The restaurant, which opened in February 1992 in the basement of the Dublin Writer’s Museum on Parnell Square, won the best restaurant award in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

RAI chief executive Adrian Cummins said Chapter One continued to be nominated as the best restaurant because of its attention to detail, excellent quality and service, atmosphere and the use of local produce.

Chapter One head chef and co-owner Ross Lewis was chosen to prepare last week’s state banquet at Dublin Castle for Queen Elizabeth II.

Artisan butcher McCarthy’s of Kanturk, Co Cork, whose Boar’s Head black pudding was included on the menu for the banquet, was awarded the title Local Food Hero.

This year’s best chef award went to Michael Vijanen, Finnish head chef at Gregans Castle, a luxury hotel in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare.

Gregans Castle also won the award for best customer service and best hotel restaurant.

Entries for the awards have doubled since last year, with 6,000 nominations submitted for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastropubs, hotel restaurants and local food heroes.

RAI president Brian Fallon said the awards cast a spotlight on Ireland’s hottest restaurants and chefs.

“They have become a byword for quality, class and achievement – the awards everyone wants to win,” he said.

Guests attending the awards ceremony in the Burlington Hotel in Dublin last night were treated to a five-course menu prepared by winning chefs from each of the five regions last year.

The awards process runs over a four-month period, and nominated restaurants face rigorous scrutiny from the consumer, regional judges and a mystery guest visitor.

The awards were briefly interrupted by a group protesting against wage cuts in the restaurant industry.

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