Guess who is cooking? Chefs swap roles and restaurants

Can’t get a reservation at Chapter One? Like to try Nathan Outlaw’s food without travelling to Cornwall ... read on

 

Chefs are often restless souls, seeking outlets for their creativity. Perhaps that’s what is behind the explosion in residencies, pop-ups, and guest chef appearances at restaurants all over the world.

More than 40 top rank chefs swapped lives, identities and restaurants in a worldwide event organised by the Gelinaz chefs’ collective last year and also in 2015. Hundreds of diners made reservations in the participating restaurants, not knowing what chef, from René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen to David Thompson of Nahm in Bangkok, would be cooking their dinner.

The Gelinaz Shuffle, as it is known, has been a great success, but unfortunately no Irish chefs took part. However, Irish Times columnist JP McMahon of Aniar restaurant has launched Chef Swap Irish-style.

Starting with Ross Lewis of Dublin’s Chapter One, a series of high profile chefs will be cooking alongside McMahon in his Galway restaurant, bringing with them their culinary identity and their restaurant’s ethos. The programme kicks off on Saturday, February 18th, when Lewis will bring “the flavours of Chapter One” to Galway.

On Saturday, March 18th, Sasu Laukkonen from the Michelin one-star Chef & Sommelier in Helsinki will be in the Galway kitchen. He will be followed by fish specialist Nathan Outlaw, who has restaurants in Cornwall and London, on Saturday, April 29th. Syrco Bakker of Pure C restaurant in the Netherlands will cook in Aniar on Saturday, June 24th.

On each date, diners can book at table for a 10-course dinner (€110) that will represent both chefs and both restaurants.

JP McMahon said: “The purpose of Chef Swap at Aniar is to bring different chefs to Aniar in order to showcase their food and philosophy. It’s wonderful to open our Chef Swap programme with renowned Irish chef Ross Lewis. Ross has been at the forefront of Irish cuisine for 25 years.”

The element of surprise may be missing from Chef Swap Irish-style, but it’s not all one-way traffic. On Friday, February 24th, JP McMahon will travel to Cork, to join chef Bryan McCarthy in his kitchen at Greenes restaurant on MacCurtain Street. “Collaboration is key for the progression of Irish food,” said McMahon, whose second book, 10,000 Years of Food in Ireland, is due out later this year.

This week McMahon was in Canada, to take part in a worldwide chef exchange as part of Dine Out Vancouver, and next month he travels to San Sebastian to speak at a conference at the Basque Culinary Centre.

To make reservations for any of the Chef Swap dinners at Aniar, see anniarrestaurant.ie

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