The Pressure Cooker
Achieving a Michelin star takes much more than incredible culinary skills. The cooking must be flawless every single day a restaurant opens its doors. And it's not just the cooking. Even though it's an unwritten rule, the comfort of the restaurant, the service, the crockery, the cutlery, the glassware, the wine-list and the atmosphere - all play a huge part. Getting it right is expensive and requires an obsessive dedication to consistent perfection. The commitment required to earn a Michelin star is so incredible that only four restaurants in Ireland have achieved that status. Now though, there's a new contender.
Dylan McGrath is one of the most exciting and talked about chefs in Ireland. The 29-year-old is the head chef at Mint Restaurant in Ranelagh. McGrath is a driven man. He is ambitious, determined, innovative, hot-tempered, bad-mouthed and very intense. He is incredibly passionate about his work and undeniably a very, very talented chef. Image magazine food critic Domini Kemp has described him as a "creative genius," while Mint Restaurant has been described by Image magazine and Hotpress as "a place of worship" and a "gastronomic playground." Ross Golden Bannon from the Sunday Business Post said: "It is a long, long time since a meal actually haunted me in the way a beautiful painting or a thoughtful book might."
This one off programme is an intimate portrayal of a hugely skilled culinary fanatic. It will capture the incredible determination and tunnel vision of one man in pursuit of his goal. The main narrative is driven by the achievement - or not - of the Michelin star but along the way there are many other sub plots and themes: the huge risks and challenges of running such a high cost business; how a West Belfast boy with no reference points for fine food can become a top chef; how Dublin has changed in culinary terms and whether or not we can actually support more high end restaurants like Mint. Contributors include critics Tom Doorley, Ross Golden Bannon and Helen Lucy Burke; Michelin-starred chef and restaurateurs Ross Lewis, Derry Clarke and Sally Clarke.