CORK city’s newest chef superstar revealed this morning that he had 140 bookings for his restaurant within an hour of being awarded a Michelin star.
Takashi Miyazaki said he feels “fantastic” this morning after his restaurant Ichigo Ichie was one of three Cork restaurants granted the award along with west Cork eateries Mews in Baltimore and Chestnut in Ballydehob. They were the only Irish restaurants added to the 2019 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland.
The awards were announced in London last night. It brings the number of Irish restaurants with Michelin stars to 14 and they are the first awarded in Cork since 2001 when one was held by Kei Pilz’s Shiro in Ahakista.
Director of the guide, Rebecca Burr, singled out Cork for particular praise when assessing this year’s list.
“The inspectors have also seen exciting things happening in the Republic of Ireland this year, and much of it in County Cork,” she said.
“There’s a lot of ability in Ireland right now. As everyone knows, the produce is stunning and it’s great to see chefs injecting such passion and personality into their food,” she added. Kaiseki restaurant Ichigo Ichie was described as having “exquisite dishes” and its combination of Japanese culinary craft and Irish ingredients was credited as the reason it made the list.
“Extensively trained in fusion teppanyaki cooking, chef Miyazaki combines Japanese culinary craft and art with the best of Irish seasonal ingredients to create exquisite dishes that he prepares and serves, cross-counter, in what he calls ‘a one-to-one environment’,” the guide said.
Baltimore’s Mews Restaurant’s exploration of Irish cuisine through a variety of natural ingredients ensured it was one of two west Cork eateries on the list.
The guide said: “It serves a tasting menu based on the best local produce that it sources directly from small farmers, market gardeners, foragers and local fishermen.”
Chestnut, in Ballydehob village, was described as a “neglected pub” transformed into a “delightful restaurant”.
“Occupying the premises of a former character-filled pub, the intimate 18-seater establishment is the creation of Cork-born chef Rob Krawczyk,” the guide said.
“Inspired by nature, its ever-evolving menu, featuring the best of seasonal ingredients, is said by Rob ‘to have been influenced by his parents’ strong culinary and artistic heritage’ instilled in him when growing up in neighbouring Schull village.”
Ballymaloe House held a Michelin star award between 1975 and 1980, while Arbutus Lodge had two spells with a star in the ’70s and ’80s.
The only other restaurant in Cork to have held one was Ballylickey House run by George and Christiane Graves in 1975.