Michelin Stars Continue to Shine

Chef Rob Krawczyk and Elaine Fleming, Restaurant Chestnut, Ballydehob, Co. Cork.

Ireland Hopping | By Margaret M. Johnson

The 2021 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland was unveiled at a digital ceremony last week, with Dede at the Baltimore Customs House in West Cork the latest Irish outlet to be honored with what is now 18 Michelin Star restaurants. The restaurant, led by Head Chef Ahmet Dede, who was awarded a star himself in 2019 while working at the now-closed Mews Restaurant, also in Baltimore, is the only Irish newcomer to the list. The latest star for the 34-year-old Turkish chef is especially meaningful since he opened his restaurant and operated it as a takeaway during the pandemic.

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Speaking at the ceremony, Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, said, “This has been a hugely challenging period for the hospitality industry and we’re heartened by the number of chefs who called us during the year to ensure we were still going ahead with the Guide and our yearly awards. The Michelin Guide is about promoting the hospitality industry as a whole and we want to shine a light on the hard work, tenacity and commitment of chefs and restaurant teams.”

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Campagne Restaurant, Kilkenny City.[/caption]

Irish restaurants that held their Michelin Star from previous years are the Two Star Restaurants Patrick Guilbaud and The Greenhouse, both in Dublin City, and Aimsir in Celbridge, County Kildare. Elsewhere, other one-star restaurants are Ichigo Ichie, Cork City; Restaurant Chestnut, Ballydehob, County Cork; Chapter One, Variety Jones and L’Ecrivain, Dublin City; Liath, Blackrock Village, County Dublin; Aniar and Loam, Galway City; Campagne, Kilkenny City; Lady Helen at Mount Juliet Hotel, Thomastown, County Kilkenny; Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, County Clare; House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, County Waterford; Bastion, Kinsale, County County; and The Oak Room at Adare Manor, Adare, County Limerick.

Chef Ahmet Dede.

There were also three Irish recipients of the new Michelin “Green Star distinction that highlights restaurants that are leaders in sustainability practices: Kai and Loam Restaurant, both Galway City, and Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites on the Aran Island of Inishmaan in County Galway. Four restaurants joined the list of Bib Gourmand recipients in the Republic of Ireland, an award that recognizes establishments offering good food at affordable prices: Goldie in Cork City; Spitalfields in The Coombe, Dublin City; Volpe Nera in Blackrock, County Dublin, and Table Forty-One in Gorey, County Wexford.

Restaurant Chestnut’s Garden Salad.

In Northern Ireland, three Belfast restaurants retained their Michelin Star status: Eipic, Howard Street; Ox, Oxford Street; and The Muddlers Club in the Cathedral Quarter. Five other Northern Ireland restaurants retained their Bib Gourmand status, three in County Down — Balloo House in Killinchy; Noble, in Holywood; and Wine & Brine in Moira — along with Belfast’s Deanes at Queen’s and Home in Wellington Place. Ross Lewis of Chapter One in Dublin was honored with the Michelin Chef Mentor award 2021, whilst Noble Restaurant in Holywood won the Michelin Service and Welcome Award 2021.

Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page expands this year to “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work or to order a signed cookbook, visit