Michelin Star Mews ‘not sustainable’ in long-term

January 22nd, 2020 7:10 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Chef Ahmet Dede with proprietors Robert Collender and James Ellis celebrating a Michelin star for their resturant Mews in Baltimore on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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‘BRAVO’ and ‘thank you!’ were some of the responses to the news that the Michelin-starred restaurant Mews in Baltimore has closed.

The ‘bravo’ is a non-literal standing ovation acknowledging Robert Collender and James Ellis’s brave impulse in opening the Mews, a ‘pop-up’ restaurant, in 2015.

The ‘thank yous’ have poured in from locals and former patrons who applauded the owners – and their remarkable chef Ahmet Dede – for ‘giving it their all’.

After the shock of the news last week that the innovative eaterie was closing, it’s believed that Ahmet now plans to open his open his own restaurant in the village.

One woman, Hazel Jane Lyons, praised the owners for ‘putting West Cork on the culinary map’ after Mews – and the Chestnut restaurant in Ballydehob – secured a Michelin star in 2018.

‘I am,’ she said, ‘extraordinarily proud of you for showcasing our beautiful little part of the world. Bravo and thank you.’

The decision to close the restaurant permanently was announced by Robert Collender on the Mews Facebook page last week.

Robert acknowledged: ‘Our uncompromising approach from the start – using only ingredients sourced direct from local farmers, market gardeners, fishermen and forages – made an immediate and somewhat unexpected impact.

‘We built a small but truly dedicated team and a tasting menu, which elevated the local ingredients to a new level.’

Robert described all they had achieved as ‘the greatest pleasure of my working life so far’, but he reassured Mews fans that he has no plans to move elsewhere.

‘West Cork has very much become my home,’ he said, ‘and I look forward to the future here and projects new. Absolutely no regrets!’ Robert acknowledged that the restaurant’s resources had always been ‘very tight’. ‘It was clearly unsustainable in the long-term.’


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