Huge changes are afoot at Chapter One, one of Dublin’s best-loved and best-known restaurants. After almost 30 years, Ross Lewis is handing over his chef’s apron to Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen, who is departing The Greenhouse restaurant, where he has held two Michelin stars since 2019.
The restaurant will now be co-owned by the Finnish chef and becomes Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen.
Ross Lewis is one of Ireland’s most popular and influential chefs. With Ross in the kitchen, Chapter One has held onto a Michelin star for 15 years. Earlier this year, the restaurant was the winner of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2021 Chef Mentor Award. “The impact Ross has had on Irish restaurants over the years is clear to see,” said the Michelin Guide about Ross winning this year’s Chef Mentor Award, “and very much an ongoing phenomenon.”
A 30-Year Journey
“Words cannot remotely describe the three-decade journey I have been on,” says Ross Lewis, “and the incredibly valuable contribution from staff, past and present, some of whom have been long-serving, cannot be measured. The team is looking forward now to a new challenge. Irish customers are the best in the world — full stop — and we have been extremely blessed with their patronage.
“I feel the time is now right to step away from the Chapter One kitchen to allow for a new creative energy to build on the foundations of the last 29 years’ work. Although this moment is bitter-sweet, I am also excited about welcoming Mickael to Chapter One — he is a hugely talented chef who is ready to become chef-patron. Freeing myself from the Chapter One kitchen will allow me to focus my culinary gaze on my Italian restaurant, Osteria Lucio on Clanwilliam Terrace, which I plan to upgrade over the coming year.
A New Adventure
Ross and Mickael’s partnership sets an exciting new tone for the continuing story of Chapter One, a restaurant which has garnered awards and praise from critics at home and abroad.
“After much consideration I have decided to do what I have been dreaming of for a long time,” says Mickael Viljanen, “and work for myself. I am happy to be investing in Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen and there is great comfort in the fact that Ross will stay on as a partner to help ensure the new establishment runs perfectly. We are refurbishing the restaurant, somewhat reducing covers to focus on the food and service in exceptional detail.
“My main focus now though is to get my head down in the kitchen and prepare to welcome back Chapter One customers, alongside guests who have followed me over the years, as well as anyone who loves a great, accessible dining experience, from the four corners of this island.”
Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen will reopen as soon as government restrictions allow, and all valid Chapter One vouchers will be honoured, with an additional one-year grace period.