We’d always known that kitchens can be fast and furious places, but, Jaysus, this evening up at the Horse & Hound was all a bit Vin Turbo Diesel.
Having just finished interviewing new executive chef Ben Dineen at the Bellevue Restaurant there, the idea was to quickly whip up a few fancy-pants dishes for our photo shoot.
Before the rush began.
And then, without warning, the rush began. With a vengeance. And all the way up to 11.
It was incredible to watch, as Dineen and head chef Peter Grundy, along with commis chef Adi, began cooking up 10 starters and 10 main dishes. All at the same time.
Having begun preparations at 6am, making sure their stations had all the fresh spliced, diced and sundried ingredients needed for the restaurant’s spanking new menus, it was incredible to see multiple orders being prepared simultaneously, Dineen going Full Metal Apron as he oversaw each individual dish’s progress from pan to plate.
It was akin to watching someone spin a full set of dinner plates. That just happen to be on fire.
Naturally, as each delicious dish suddenly appeared – still reeling and steaming from its whirlwind creation – bejiggers, the oul’ tummy barely had time to rumble before the food was whisked away by Naimi or Rebecca to some lucky Bellevue patron.
Not that Ben or Pete would be strangers to such bonkers busy. Having moved here from Australia back in 2012, Pete spent time in Box Burger and Druid’s Glen before working under chef Paul Sharkey at Bellevue for 17 months. When the latterhit the roadagain in May of this year, Pete was promoted to head chef.
As for the bould Ben, a childhood obsession with cooking led to an apprenticeship under Derry Clarke at Dublin’s Michelin-starred L’Ecrivain before a move to the Conrad hotel in Tokyo, and Gordon Ramsey’s Michelin-starred restaurant. An interlude between the two as a chef on a a 33m-motoryacht led Paul to a decade on the Carribean seas, feeding the rich and infamous. Branching out with his own ventures – including leasing and running the Exuma Palms Hotel in the Bahamas – eventually led this Newcastle lad back home.
Withnew menusalready created for the Bellevue, and this first night getting off to a rollicking start, we were lucky enough to catch Ben 10 minutes before that hurricane of orders landed…
You can check out the new Bellevue Restaurant menu here, and then, go book yourself a table by hitting option 1 on 012874642. Today.