Restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud awarded French Legion d’Honneur

Paris-born chef, who has two Michelin stars, receives the accolade for 45 years of service

French restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur award for his work as a French citizen in the fine dining industry.

Restaurant manger Stéphane Robin said it is a “great accolade and a fabulous achievement” for the Dublin restaurant on Merrion Street and its owner.

Paris-born Patrick Guilbaud received the award for his “45 years of service” as a chef and restaurant owner, the Legion d’Honneur said.

The award is the highest honour that can be bestowed by the French government, and is typically rewarded to French citizens.


Mr Guilbaud's restaurant, established in 1981, is currently the only one in Ireland with two Michelin stars. It moved from its former premises at St James's Place off Baggott Street to the current surroundings at the Merrion Hotel in 1997.

The award comes after new accounts filed by the restaurant’s Becklock Ltd show accumulated profits increased from €356,256 to €444,295 in 2014.

Mr Robin said that although turning a profit is key to running a business, it is not the most important thing to the restaurant.

“For me, it’s never a question of figures, it means that the food is more consistent, the quality is there, the response from the people’s expectation is there,” he said. “It means that we really increased the quality and are coming closer to the third Michelin star.”

Every year some 3,000 French citizens and a few dozen foreigners are awarded the red ribbon and badge of the Legion d’Honneur.

More than 92,000 people have received it since it was established over two centuries ago. Recent Irish recipients include Irish Times Paris Correspondent Lara Marlowe, former EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Michael d'Alton, an Irish veteran of the D-Day Landings in 1944 .