THE Turkish chef who helped The Mews restaurant secure a Michelin star is now doing take-out in Baltimore.
But Ahmet Dede’s €25 take-out meal – which includes a main course, dessert, salad, bread and ‘a surprise’ treat – is not fast food in the traditional sense.
The special ‘home dining’ menu is available for collection every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but it is also being delivered directly to people cocooning in the area.
The gifted chef is working in partnership with Maria Archer, owner of The Customs House in Baltimore, and together with Fatih Cetinas, they are all sharing the spacious apartment overhead.
When the Mews restaurant closed last year, Ahmet Dede was inundated with offers of work. It was clear that he could write his own ticket.
He returned to Turkey to mull things over, but, in the end, decided there is only one place in the world where he wants to be – Baltimore. After a long, demanding, and award-winning career, Ahmet said he wanted to be his own boss and create the kind of food he wanted to cook.
‘Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, we decided to do a take-away menu that offers really delicious, seasonal food that has been locally sourced,’ he said.
The new restaurant ‘Dede’ – which also has a take-way deli that has become something of a lifeline for local producers – only opened on April 27th but, already, the orders are at max.
Ahmet said his decision to return to Baltimore was simple.
He told The Southern Star: ‘At this stage of my life and career I want to settle here. I have a great connection with the people of West Cork, and Baltimore feels like home. I have no wish to be anywhere else in the world.
‘Here,’ he added, ‘I have freedom to be who I am.’