Three popular Cork restaurants, two of which are in West Cork – all first time recipients – are amongst 14 Irish restaurants awarded a coveted Michelin Star in the 2019 Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland just published.
The three Cork recipients are the Japanese restaurant Ichigo Ichie in Cork City Centre, Restaurant Chestnut in Ballydehob and Mews Restaurant in Baltimore.
The success of Chestnut and Mews underlines the region’s growing reputation as a ‘fine food, fine dining’ destination, celebrated annually in the popular Taste of West Cork event.
Restaurant Chestnut – which looks out upon a monument to famed world heavyweight wrestler Danno O’Mahony at the entrance to Ballydehob village – is a comparatively new establishment on the West Cork dining scene. Occupying the premises of a former character-filled pub, the intimate 18-seater establishment is the creation of Cork-born chef Rob Krawczyk. Inspired by nature, its ever-evolving menu, featuring the best of seasonal ingredients, is said by Rob “to have been influenced by his parents’ strong culinary and artistic heritage” instilled in him when growing up in neighbouring Schull village.
Rob’s partner Elaine Fleming, who runs front of house in the restaurant commented from London on the win: “It’s still sinking in,” she said. “We’re literally only open six months and to get a Michelin Star is such an amazing achievement and honour. We have a great team and we just plan to keep doing what we’re doing!”
Baltimore’s Mews Restaurant is founded on the principle of exploring Irish cuisine through the extraordinary variety of natural ingredients that the region has to offer. It serves a tasting menu based on the best local produce that it sources directly from small farmers, market gardeners, foragers and local fishermen.
Ichigo Ichie (translated ‘once in a lifetime’) and its chef Takashi Miyazaki bring kappou-style dining to Ireland. Extensively trained in fusion teppanyaki cooking, chef Miyazaki combines Japanese culinary craft and art with the best of Irish seasonal ingredients to create exquisite dishes that he prepares and serves, cross-counter, in what he calls ‘a one-to-one environment’.