BASTION in Kinsale got over 200 emails in just 12 hours from people looking to reserve a spot in their 50-seat restaurant, after winning a coveted Michelin Star .
Chef Paul McDonald and his wife Helen Noonan of Bastion in Kinsale are still toasting their success after bagging the Star at the awards ceremony in London on Monday night.
They enhanced West Cork’s reputation as a fine dining location after last year’s recipients, Chestnut in Ballydehob and The Mews in Baltimore both retained their Michelin Star status.
Ichiho Ichie in Cork city also retained theirs, making a total of four Michelin Stars for Cork.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Paul, who is originally from Scotland, said that naturally they were delighted with the level of interest after the win. ‘It’s the first Michelin Star in Kinsale and we have been trying for this for at least the past year. There’s no one dish or no one way of doing things that nails it for you, it’s just consistency, having good dishes and balance, which is key,’ said Paul.
‘We got an invite to the awards but they don’t tell you if you are getting a Michelin Star or not so we just had to attend and see what happened.’
Paul said that it had been over 20 years since a West Cork restaurant had a Michelin Star until the success last year of Chestnut and The Mews.
‘It’s great for business but it won’t change the day-to-day running of the restaurant. You’re ticking the boxes at the start to achieve a Michelin Star and because we only do tasting menus, it means we are not pleasing all of our customers, but we do gain a whole set of new customers.’
Within months of opening in 2014, Bastion secured a Bib Gourmand which they retained this week.
Michelin inspectors praised Paul for his ‘pared-back cooking and use of local ingredients.’
Dillons in nearby Timoleague also retained its Bib Gourmand status in this year’s prestigious guide.