2016 Award Winners CHEF OF THE YEAR 2016

Dylan McGrath, Taste at Rustic, Dublin 2

Dylan McGrath

Great ingredients have always been the essential the Year rightly credit their local suppliers for the high quality of the basic ingredients that makes for the best possible tastes - and enables them to be great chefs.

Despite a national shortageendorses the RAI’s calls for government support, including the reintroduction of the national training authority CERT - we have some outstanding talent to be proud of in this country, and Dylan McGrath is an exceptional example.

Having scaled dizzy heights in terms of international recognition for his skills as a fine dining chef, he decided on a major change of direction following the closure of his renowned Dublin restaurant, Mint.

Times had changed and he recognised the value of creating informal quality food that would be exciting and accessible to people who would otherwise be missing out on the dining experiences that had become part of everyday life in the boom.

Rustic Stone, the hot stone restaurant that became the foundation of a new ‘empire’, was simple and sensationally successful from the outset. The massive Fade Street Social soon followed and, perhaps because of its size (and despite his culinary expertise being the focus of tv fame as well, on MasterChef Ireland), there was a tendency for him to be seen in the public perception more as a restaurateur businessman than a hands-on chef of late.

But then came the latest exciting new venture, Taste at Rustic. Showcasing food influenced by Japan, Peru and Spain, it harks back to his brilliance at his first restaurant, Mint. The fine dining formalities are gone, but the exquisite food and magical flavour combinations - and particularly his memorable fish cookery - remind us why he’s one of Ireland’s most exciting chefs.



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