Brian Walsh, Downstairs Restaurant
Wicklow born Brian Walsh (30) began his culinary career at a young age while still in secondary education. He realised that he thrived in a professional cooking environment, and this spurred him on to do Professional Cookery in DIT Cathal Brugha Street. During his time there, he represented Ireland on the Junior Irish Team for The Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg , where they won Gold for the hot kitchen and Silver for the cold kitchen. He also competed in ScotHot, The Junior World Culinary Grand Prix, where he and his team became Junior World Culinary Champions.

While still in college, he took an internship with the two star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, and The Four Seasons Hotel. After completing his studies, he moved on to Duzy’s of Glasthule for 2 years before moving on to a prime position in the Halo Restaurant, in The Morrisson Hotel. But it was his time in the Michelin starred Mint Restaurant in Ranelagh, where he learned to command a kitchen, and honed his skills as a chef. He spent three years there before its untimely closure due to the economic downturn.

From there, he moved on to become head chef at Valparaiso Restaurant in Monkstown, owned by Paul Foley. The two built up a solid working relationship, and went into partnership in November 2010, opening Downstairs Restaurant together in Clontarf. The restaurant has had a very successful two years, and has received excellent reviews from renowned food writers. In October 2012, Brian and his Downstairs team were proud to be awarded a Bib Gourmand by the esteemed Michelin Guide. Michelin describe Brian’s cooking as refined, honest, balanced cooking which shows respect for natural flavours.