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On my Travels Chef Dylan McGrath gives Suzie Coen a taste of his favourite international restaurants and his top travel hotspots. In 2006, Belfast-born Dylan McGrath came to Dublin to take up the head chef position at Mint Restaurant in Ranelagh, where he was soon awarded a Michelin star. When Mint closed down, he opened a more casual dining experience in the form of Rustic Stone on Dublin’s South Great George’s Street. This month sees the opening of his latest venture, Fade Street Social, a 745-squaremetre building in the heart of Dublin, housing two separately styled restaurants. Dylan is also a co-presenter and judge on the second series of Masterchef Ireland, currently showing on RTÉ Two. TRAVELLING FOR WORK IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE ... I’m just back from a research trip to Barcelona, San Sebastian and London, where I visited 24 restaurants in four days. The highlight was lunch in Le Gavroche in London where I had chef Michel Roux Jr’s signature truffle and squab pigeon dish. MY CULINARY HEROES ARE ... David Chang for his commercial understanding of the business; Pierre Gagnaire for his brilliant talent and artistic approach and Ferran Adrià, who taught us how important time is and how we use it. I DON’T TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO CUT CARROTS ... It’s about presenting possibilities. I believe that if you apply emotion and
repetition and tap into a vision for your team, there’s every chance that you will succeed. THE BEST PART OF MASTERCHEF IRELAND IS ... Watching Irish amateurs develop in a way you didn’t think was possible and witnessing how their confidence builds when they realise how talented they really are. MY LAST SUPPER WOULD BE ... A dish of foie gras cooked in Sauternes. BUT SOMETIMES ALL I WANT TO EAT IS ... Chip sandwiches. With brown sauce. It’s not a regular occurrence, though! IF YOU’RE IN NEW YORK, YOU’VE GOT TO TRY ... Momofuku Ko in the East Village. Owned by David Chang, this tiny Asian
3 Top advenTure sporTs desTinaTions ...
COASTEERING IN PEMBROKESHIRE This unusual activity was invented in Pembrokeshire, where a tradition of legging it over cliffs and jumping into the sea for fun, left, has existed for decades. Don a wetsuit, helmet and suitable footwear and careen your way around caves, lagoons, cliffs and rock pools. tyf.com/coasteering
CRAG CLIMBING IN CONNEMARA Feel the adrenaline coarse through your veins as you hang on to the sheer face of the Mweelrea Massif overlooking the stunning Killary Fjord. Hike into the crag and begin climbing and abseiling different routes at all levels of difficulty under the watchful eye of specialist instructors. delphimountainresort.com
restaurant boasts two Michelin stars, seats just twelve customers and offers a set tasting menu for dinner which usually lasts about ten courses. The food is always delicious. MY FAVOURITE EUROPEAN CHEFS ARE TRUE ARTISTS ... I’m constantly inspired by the adventurous menus at Sketch in London, as conceived by chef Pierre Gagnaire. And if you’re looking for bold, imaginative cuisine, you’ve got to eat at Noma in Copenhagen. What chef René Redzepi brings to the table is incredible – it’s always a great experience, not least because I’m familiar with three of his current top staff, as they used to work for me at Mint. EVERY DISH CAN BE A GOURMET ADVENTURE ... I had a dessert dressed on a table cloth at Alinea in Chicago by chef Grant Achatz himself. He’s so inventive – I love the way he looks at things. I BECAME OBSESSED WITH EXTREME SPORTS IN ST LUCIA ... I was commissioned to cook in a hotel there for a week this summer. And while I was there, I tried everything from scuba diving to paragliding as well as my new favourite, zip-lining, which is basically flying between forest tree tops on wires. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO TO ... Japan. I’m obsessed with learning all I can about Japanese cuisine. I FEEL DESTINED TO VISIT ... South America. At some stage I’m planning to take a couple of months off, grab my ideal travel companion, my younger brother Colin, and head for Brazil and Argentina. From the food to the music to the energy of the people, I’m imagining it will be a sensory overload – but in the best way.
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN VERMONT The historic town of Grafton in Vermont is home to the Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center. A fully comprehensive adventure activity destination, Grafton excels in its mountain biking offering. From flat to steep and single track to expansive, they’ve got some of the best riding in New England. graftonponds.com