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Meet the Chef Team

Meet the Chef Team

The RAI are proud to introduce this year’s stellar team of top chefs from around the country who will be preparing a 6 course meal for over 800 guests at the All Ireland Awards final on the 25th of May in the DoubleTree by Hilton, Dublin

Anthony Duggan – DoubleTree by Hilton (Canapés)

Originally from Rosslare Co. Wexford, Anthony started his career in Kelly’s Strand Hotel where he  completed a 4 year apprenticeship in tandem with Cert. From there London beckoned and a stint in the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington for three years before returning to Ireland to take up a post with the five star Adare Manor and following that a position as Sous Chef with the Three Rosette Hibernian Hotel.

Anthony then went on to begin his career as a Head Chef with Masterchef when they opened their first hotel venture The Atlantic Coast Hotel Westport followed by the opening of their first restaurant Fado at the Mansion House (now Fire).

A journey to France was to see Anthony spending a year honing his skills in a patisserie just outside Paris. On return to Ireland he then took up the position of Executive Head Chef at the renowned Mount Juliet resort in Kilkenny, a position he held for five years before taking on the role of Executive Sous Chef at Dublin’s five star Shelbourne Hotel. 2015 has seen Anthony take on the role of Executive Chef at another of Dublin’s finest hotels, The DoubleTree by Hilton.

DoubleTree by Hilton, Dublin


Frankie Mallon – An Port Mór (Starter)

Frankie Mallon’s style of cooking is rustic meets quirky. He loves big, gutsy flavours and his forte is seafood. He has wanted to cook for a living since tasting fresh eels he caught from Lough Neagh while staying at his grandmother’s house as a child. He learned how to skin those eels at the age of 8 and devoured them straight from the pan. He’s worked his way up through the ranks in kitchens in such as Paul Rankin’s Roscoff’s; the Tara Hotel in London’s Kensington; the Bahnhof Buffet in Bern, Switzerland and Cap Vernet in Paris.

Frankie has been in Westport for nearly 20 years now. His skill in cooking seafood was further honed at the Towers Bar and the Shebeen. In 2009, he opened An Port Mór. It’s named after Irish translation of his hometown of Blackwatertown, Armagh.

Think signature creations that you won’t find anywhere else like Crab Cakes in a Seaweed Polenta and Coffee, Almond and Black Pepper Bread. This is a true West of Ireland restaurant but with a Mediterranean feel. It might be raining outside, but inside will always be warm and welcoming.


Kevin Aherne – Sage, Midleton (Soup)

Kevin Aherne and his restaurant SAGE in Midleton, Co. Cork have become synonomous with all things local. The fact that the majority of his acclaimed dishes are solely created using produce from within 12 miles of his restaurant’s front door demonstrates his commitment to defining and showcasing what sourcing locally really means.

Since opening SAGE at the age of 24, Aherne has received critical acclaim and was awarded Best Chef in Munster at the 2014 Restaurant Association Awards. His commitent to local empowers rather than curtails his culinary talents and he is constantly re-inventing the traditonal staples of the Irish larder.


Brian McMonagle – The Brewer’s House (Fish)

Brian started on his path at Killybegs catering college in 1996 at the age of 17. From Letterkenny, his first head chef job was at Arnolds Hotel in Dunfanaghy at 21. On a visit to his sister in the West – he fell in love with Galway and O’Gradys On the Pier where he took up the post as head chef winning many accolades at a national level.

He returned to Letterkenny in 2011 for a brief period before he found himself in the quiet and picturesque village of Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone on the steps of The Brewer’s House. He immediately saw the potential of the place and set about building a kitchen and menu based upon his principles of great taste from great local produce through his passion for local and seasonal produce.

Over the course of the past three years he has built up a fantastic reputation at The Brewer’s House, which has seen him gain many awards including Best restaurant in Northern Ireland, Best Chef in Ulster and RAI Best Gastropub in Ireland in 2013. Suddenly the picturesque village is not so quiet with people travelling from near and far to sample Brian and his team’s ever-changing menu and specials at The Brewer’s House.


Stephen Gibson – Pichet (Main)

Stephen Gibson was born in Dublin & grew up in Donegal. He studied in the highly respected Killybegs Regional College, where he completed the Professional Cookery course.  After graduating, Stephen spent the next 9 years travelling around the world, cooking in kitchens from France, where he worked in the Parisian food store “Fauchon” (brasserie & Michelin Starred restaurant) to Australia, (a spell in Café Otto Sydney) after which he spent almost a year working with Paul Flynn in La Stampa in Dublin, before taking the opportunity to cook on the QE2 for 12 months in 1998.

In London a spell with Nico Ladenis at 90 Park Lane, was followed by a two year stop in Gothenberg Sweden at Fiskekrogen. One further year cooking in New Zealand & Stephen returned & settled in Ireland. He spent the following 5 years as Head Chef in Dublin’s L’Ecrivain Restaurant, until 2009 when he opened Pichet on Trinity Street Dublin, with his business partner Nick Munier.

Within its first year on the Irish dining scene, both Pichet, and Stephen have been short listed for many awards, and, were proud to be awarded a Bib Gourmand by the esteemed Michelin Guide. Stephen has also been mentioned on the top ten chefs to watch in the 2010 Bridgestone Guide


Billy Whitty – Aldridge Lodge (Dessert)

Chef/Owner Billy Whitty of Aldridge Lodge Restaurant & Guesthouse has won numerous national & international awards over the years, most recently he was named Yes Chef magazine chef of the year 2015, the restaurant received a coveted Michelin Bib gourmand in 2007 and has retained it every year since. Billy comes from a family with strong roots in both fishing & hospitality which has had a big influence on his style and food philosophes, his father is a lobster fisherman and his grandmother ran a hotel in the village. Having had no formal training he opened his first restaurant at the age of 22 and 4 years later he opened Aldridge Lodge which celebrates 10 years in June. Simple ingredients delivered with eloquence would best describe his food.

Our thanks to