Four special awards were announced at the unveiling of the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2021 on 25th January. The winners of these awards were chosen by the Michelin Inspectors under the following categories:
• Chef Mentor
• Young Chef of the Year
• Welcome and Service
The Chef Mentor Award is sponsored by Blancpain luxury watches. It was won by Ross Lewis of Chapter One restaurant, located in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.
Ross grew up in Bishopstown, Co.Cork and studied Dairy Science at University College Cork, before moving to London to learn the trade of a chef. He started out at Peter Langan’s Odin’s, followed by a stint at Dolphin Brasserie. After that came a move to Switzerland to work at Le Chat Botté, situated in the Beau Rivage Hotel.
Aged 24, Ross returned to Ireland to work as Head Chef at Old Dublin restaurant. Just three years later, in 1993, he opened Chapter One in North Dublin with Martin Corbett (who has since retired) – winning a Michelin Star in 2007 and retaining it every year since.
The stylish basement restaurant enjoys a loyal local following thanks to its old-fashioned hospitality and modern Irish cooking. Ross is a passionate advocate of small Irish producers and has established close relationships with many of them over the years, showcasing their ingredients in his boldly flavoured dishes.
Ross’ vast experience has allowed him to pass on his wealth of knowledge about cooking and Irish produce to younger chefs coming up through the ranks, acting not only as a mentor but also as a friend to a host of chefs.
Chefs who have worked at Chapter One and been mentored by Ross include Keelan Higgs of Michelin-Starred Variety Jones in Dublin, Damien Grey of Michelin-Starred Liath in Dublin, Garret Byrne of Michelin-Starred Campagne in Kilkenny and Ahmet Dede of Michelin Starred dede in Baltimore. Other chefs to have gained from his knowledge include Eric Matthews, Chris Fulham, Cathal Leonard, Killian Durkin, Peter Everett and Andy Turner.
The impact Ross has had on Irish restaurants over the years is clear to see – and very much an ongoing phenomenon.