A DUBLIN ICON
Behind every great restaurant is a story, an unwavering inspiration that moves patrons and proprietors alike.
There is a chef working tirelessly to bring ideas to life. There is a host, or in this case a hostess, who organises the team and welcomes their guests with subtlety, an apparent effortlessness to their every move. In no restaurant in Ireland is this more apparent than in L’Ecrivain.
Open since 1989 in the heart of Dublin, L’Ecrivain is iconic. Situated on Lower Baggot Street, it has seen its fair share of footfall over the years, from celebrities to bankers and investors to Dublin natives and countless visitors. In 25 years, they have experienced first-hand Dublin’s growth and expansion, its downturn and its re-emergence.
STANDING THE TEST OF TIME
From the moment L’Ecrivain opened its doors, to gaining its Michelin Star in 2003, chef and owner Derry Clarke has graced the kitchen, turning food into art on a daily basis. Derry is one of Ireland’s most well-loved chefs. He is a long-time advocate of Irish produce and is one of the few chefs that can capture the true essence of Irish cuisine. Part of L’Ecrevain’s success is down to Derry’s passion and genuine love for food. He’s renowned by critics who say “He is a chef capable of extracting every last nuance of flavour.”
As strong as Derry is in the kitchen, his wife Sallyanne is unrivalled in the front of house. She has been greeting guests at the door from day one and is one of Ireland’s most celebrated hostesses. Sallyanne is, in many ways, responsible for the atmosphere that L’Ecrivain is famous for. She has been known to treat her guests like family, greeting them personally and maintaining the comfort and atmosphere that L’Ecrivain is famous for.
While it’s popular to advise against husband and wife partnerships, Derry and Sallyanne are clearly a winning combination. They have created something special in L’Ecrivain. While along with Michelin star status often comes a stigma of stuffiness, L’Ecrivain has been described as focused on delivering pleasure and seeming to specialise in happiness. It’s undeniable that they have found the secret to success.
Times haven’t always been easy for the duo. As many are aware, they were shaken by the tragic death of their son Andrew last year, and that loss has had an astounding effect on the family. Our hearts went out to the Clarkes, and still do. But through the toughest time any family could possibly endure, they have drawn strength and inspired our community.
They’ve talked openly about their loss, allowing Ireland a glimpse of what they’ve experienced. They have spoken to their guests about their experience, and undoubtedly touched many lives through their openness.
They’re also giving back in a big way. Derry is now involved in Console, a national suicide prevention charity. He’s set to participate in the Paris2Nice charity cycle next month, cycling over 700 kilometres and raising nearly €30,000 already. They are advocates for suicide prevention, bringing a sensitive subject to the fore and doing their best to make a difference.
L’Ecrivain is an icon in the Dublin restaurant scene. It’s one of the longest standing Michelin starred restaurants in the country. After years of success and countless satisfied customers, they have deservingly gained many accolades.
To the Clarkes, we salute your unwavering passion to for the food and service you have provided for so many years.