Ahmet Dede is chef-owner of dede restaurant, located in the coastal town of Baltimore in the Republic of Ireland. His seasonal tasting menu celebrates the produce of West Cork and also draws on his Turkish heritage.
At what age did you decide that you wanted to become a chef and who or what inspired you?
I decided to become a chef at the age of 25. I had always had a love of cooking, inherited from my family; my mother is a very good cook and I worked many summers in my uncle's restaurant from when I was a teenager and really enjoyed the experience.
Who’s the best chef you have worked for and which other chefs do you admire?
I have worked for numerous amazing chefs and I really admire them all! Each one has their own special qualities so it is hard to say which one I admire most. If I had to choose one, then I would say Mickael Viljanen (chef at Two Michelin-Starred Greenhouse in Dublin) is the best chef I have worked for.
What is your favourite restaurant and why?
Again, there are so many great restaurants, it is hard to narrow it down to one but if I have to, I would say Three Michelin-Starred Frantzén in Sweden. I love the way that they have kept evolving and changing.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Another tough question as there have been many! I would have to say it was in Moshik Roth's restaurant (&moshik) in Amsterdam in 2019, which is unfortunately now closed.
What’s your favourite local ingredient?
Tomatoes from Cape Clear. They are just incredible!
And your favourite global ingredient?
Isot pepper from a city called Urfa in the east part of Turkey.
Where do you get your influences from?
I get my influences from so many different places: chefs, seasons, my farmers and producers.
Is there a dish you could never take off the menu at dede?
It would have to be the West Cork blue lobster kebab accompanied by the spiced lobster bisque.
What’s the best thing about being a chef?
There are so many great things! Every day is a new day and a new challenge. And the best thing is that every day I am in my kitchen, connecting with my team and then, during service, with my customers, seeing them enjoy what has been produced.
And the worst thing about being a chef?
The worst thing is that there are not enough days in the week – you are constantly up against the clock!
And finally, which are your favourite restaurants in the Michelin Guide UK & Ireland?
Greenhouse, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
CORE by Clare Smyth, North Kensington, London
Ikoyi, St James’s, London
Aimsir, Celbridge, Republic of Ireland
Loam, Galway, Republic of Ireland
Dede was one of 17 restaurants newly awarded One Michelin Star in the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2021. See the full list of awards here.
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