Michelin star chef will let the customers do the cooking

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DYLAN McGRATH, the chef behind Mint in Ranelagh, has opened a restaurant on Dublin’s South Great Georges Street.

Customers at Rustic Stone will be able to cook their own food on specially made stones heated to 300 degrees.

It’s all a far cry from the chef’s former fine-dining venue in Ranelagh. The story of Mint, which won a Michelin star only to close its doors within a year, was a microcosm of the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger.

McGrath’s pursuit of the most coveted award in the restaurant industry was made into a television series and, when he finally won his star in January 2008, the chances of the little restaurant ever closing seemed remote; but close it did, in April last year.

McGrath is now back with his new concept, which he hopes is in keeping with the times. He said the closure of Mint had taught him one valuable lesson above all: “I’ll never rely on truffles and foie gras to pay the bills again.”

He said the high prices he charged at Mint were justified, given the quality of the ingredients and the staff.

“If I was ripping people off, I’d still be in business. The recession killed us.”

Rustic Stone opened last night. Starters range from €3.50 for green olives and grapefruit to €10.95 for a full serving of tandoori chicken wings.

Mains start at €16.95 for a hamburger, rising to €62 for a T-bone for two.

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