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Meet our 2014 Chef Team...

Meet our 2014 Chef Team…

On the evening of the All-Ireland Irish Restaurant Awards, our guests will be treated to a Drinks & Canapé Reception followed by a sumptuous 5 course Gala Dinner prepared by a panel of award winning chefs from the 2013 Irish Restaurant Awards.


Introducing our Chef Team for the Irish Restaurant Awards 2014…



Chef Tony O’Donnell – DoubleTree Hilton



Opening Course:

Chef Ian Orr – Browns Restaurant and Champagne Lounge

Best Chef Derry – Irish Restaurant Awards 2013

Head Chef at Browns Restaurant and Champagne Lounge in Derry, Ian is a native of the walled City and it means so much to him to be involved in the success that is ‘Brown’s’ in his own home town.

Tipped as one of Ireland’s top talents, Ian Orr trained under the late Robbie Millar at Northern Ireland’s formative Michelin starred restaurant Shanks before moving to London’s River Cafe and then as head chef at Rathmullan House Hotel in Donegal. Ian has selected and trained his team to maintain his high standards.

Driven by a passion for good local produce and seasonality, over the years his culinary finesse has caught the attention of food writers and experts resulting in several awards and listings in leading food guides. Ian has just been awarded Chef of the Year Ireland 2013 by Georgina Campbell.

He has shown impressive form as head chef at Rathmullan House, and Brown’s already has a confidence and elan about style, service and its cooking that is utterly winning.


Soup Course:

Chef Gary O’Hanlon – VM Restaurant, Viewmount House

Best Chef Leinster – Irish Restaurant Awards 2013

Donegal man Gary O’Hanlon has been delighting visitors to VM Restaurant at Viewmount House since he took charge of the kitchen in 2008.

Originally from Ramelton, (near Letterkenny) Gary previously worked at the Olde Post restaurant Cloverhill and at the Lobster Pot restaurant in Galway Bay Hotel. Prior to returning to Ireland Gary was head chef at “Devlins” restaurant in Boston.

In terms of cullinary style, Gary has fused his knowledge of traditional Irish cooking with the skill he honed in Boston, and brings both to bear on the preparation of fine fresh Irish ingredients. The result is a repertoire of modern classic dishes which never fail to disappoint and have helped to make VM Restaurant at Viewmount House a destination in its own right


Fish Course:

Chef Tom Flavin – Limerick Strand Hotel

Best Chef Limerick – Irish Restaurant Awards 2013

With over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry Tom started his career in Manila where his flare for impressionable presentation of food was born through his vegetable and ice carving training.   Prior to returning to Ireland in 1999 Tom spent time in Singapore, the UK and Australia in a variety of 5* hotel kitchens and fine dining restaurants overseeing banqueting kitchens.  This gave Tom his extensive knowledge of International fine dining cuisine.

Having spent over 10 years in Limerick as an Executive Chef arriving at the Strand Hotel in 2007 Tom has gained much media attention due to his personable nature and understanding of clients forever changing expectations of food offerings, he has had numerous appearances on TV, Radio and in hospitality publications.

Tom prides himself in serving the finest quality of Irish and international cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce with all the food traceable and where possible an emphasis on using locally produced products.


Main Course:

Chef Sunil Ghai – Ananda Restaurant

Best Chef Ireland 2013 – Irish Restaurant Awards

Sunil has already garnered an impressive array of fans and awards for his bold, contemporary cooking style.  The foremost Indian chef in Ireland, Sunil won Food & Wine’s Chef of the Year award in 2009.  Born in Gwalior in central India, Sunil gained experience with the world famous Oberoi group before coming to Ireland to join the Jaipur group in 2001.  He is now head chef of Ananda, Dundrum, and also regularly spends time working with the team at Benares in London under Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar.


Dessert Course:

Chef JP McMahon – Aniar Restaurant 

Best Restaurant Connaught 2013 – Irish Restaurant Awards

Jp McMahon is a chef and restaurateur and is the proprietor & culinary director of the Michelin star rated Aniar, Eat Gastro Pub and Cava Bodega in Galway city.

His establishments may have contrasting culinary styles but they carry the same philosophy – to serve good food using local suppliers and artisan produce; to be Irish and to use Irish. They are committed in supporting their local environment and their local community.

Jp is committed to the educational and ethical aspects of food and runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School. He is committed to buying and supporting the best of local and free-range produce, engaging directly with small farmers. Current chairperson of the Galway Food Festival,

Describing himself as an obsessive educationalist, JP has an interest in nose-to-tail cooking, literature and art and holds teaching as a cornerstone of his work as a chef. Others describe him as inspirational for his passion in organising local events, namely the Galway Food Festival, of which he is chairperson. Jp is an very active ambassador for Irish food, a member of the Good Food Ireland and Euro-toques Ireland and its Food Council as well as a network leader for the global Cook it Raw community project.

Our thanks to