He worked through the ranks at Mews Restaurant in Baltimore where he achieved a Michelin star in 2018.
Leaving Mews, his dream of owning his own place was about to come true at The Customs Huse in Baltimore... then the Covid pandemic arrived.
Ahmet changed tack, hatched a new plan and opened up a dynamic restaurant/take away/deli/coffee shop, going back to basics and casual dining to survive.
The Cork chef shares the story of his culinary journey with Mark Moriarty in the next episode of Beyond The Menu on RTE1 on Wednesday at 8.30pm.
Ahmet’s philosophy is about wild, local Irish ingredients served in a relaxed style with a Turkish twist.
Six months into his new business at The Customs House, and there was a Michelin inspector sitting outdoors in the garden area, eating Ahmet’s paired back, casual menu.
You guessed it... they awarded him another Michelin star!
Almost by necessity and accident, Ahmet had developed a style of dining during Covid that paid off with a star. He has no plans to go back to the formal fine dining restaurant he once imagined, he’s all about bringing top end food to the casual diner.
When Ahmet was 17, he was working in his Uncle Ali’s restaurant in Kusadasi, south-west Turkey, and credits hos mother with sparking hs interest in cooking.
“I love living in West Cork, it;s so relaxing,” he says.
Read an interview with Ahmet Dede, and see his recipe for turkey Christmas dinner, in the Holly Bough, on sale now.