Conrad Gallagher

Conrad Gallagher
Born (1971-03-12) 12 March 1971
Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland
Education Catering college

Culinary career

Cooking style Irish cuisine

Conrad Gallagher (born 12 March 1971) is an award-winning Irish chef/restaurateur from Letterkenny, County Donegal.

Early life

Gallagher was raised in Hawthorn Heights, Letterkenny, Donegal, where he was educated at Scoil Colmcille and St Eunan's College. In his autobiography "Back On The Menu: My Rollercoaster Life" he revealed how the kitchen was home to him as a child and how he disliked school because of the abuse he received at both institutions. He discussed how the Christian Brothers would grope him sexually.[1]

During his time in St. Eunan's College, he joined a punk band, "Kakistocracy". Inspired by the cooking of his mother and his grandmother, he left St Eunan's at the age of 16 and began training as a chef at Killybegs Catering College. Following his formal training and subsequent work with some of Ireland's top chefs to further hone his skills, Gallagher went on to win four gold medals at Hotel Olympia and the prestigious title of Chef Ireland.[2][3]


While he was offered career launching positions in Ireland, he determined he should go to New York City to further pursue his dream of becoming a world class chef. In New York, he joined the Plaza Hotel. The Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley later recruited him where he spent two years as sous chef under Laurent Manrique. While living in New York he went on to work in Restaurant Daniel and Le Cirque. On Saint Patrick's Day 1996, Gallagher cooked for President Bill Clinton and his guests at the White House.[4]

Gallagher and his brother Keith ran the Metropolitan Bar and Restaurant in their native Letterkenny.[4][5]

Peacock Alley

Gallagher came to fame with his restaurant Peacock Alley, first in Baggot Street, later on St Stephen's Green. For his work in the kitchen there he was awarded a Michelin star between 1998 and 2002.[6]

Court Case

Under financial pressure,[7] he left Ireland to return to New York City, where he married an American citizen and opened a bar, Traffic, at First Avenue and 50th Street in Manhattan. He did not show up for a trial in Dublin in October 2002, saying he could not leave the United States while his citizenship application was pending. He was later found not guilty of all charges at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin, after his arrest warrant was issued in October 2002,[8] having been accused of stealing three paintings, worth €11,000 from Dublin's Fitzwilliam Hotel.[9] He was later acquitted in court for this.[7] The original contract was furnished stating Gallagher owned the three paintings and the jury returned a 'not guilty' verdict less than two hours after it started deliberations.[10] During the trial, the court heard that although Gallagher employed up to 250 people, he had no audited accounts.[11]

South Africa

Whilst living in South Africa, Gallagher consulted for Sun International Group where he was appointed Group Executive Chef in 2004. He operated Geisha Wok and Noodle Bar in Cape Town,[12] where he occasionally hosted live cooking classes.[13] Geisha Wok and Noodle Bar stopped trading in August 2009 when Gallagher decided to move back to Ireland and open Salon Des Saveurs. He was declared bankrupt in South Africa in August 2009 following an application by two companies seeking payment of debts. Two properties and his home's contents were auctioned off to part-pay debts of about €200,000 to a bank and supplier.[11]


The Tasting Room

After planning to return to Ireland during Summer 2009[14] to open a new Irish restaurant, Gallagher and his second wife, former Miss Port Elizabeth finalist Candice Coetzee and their two sons moved to Dublin.[15] His latest restaurant is called "Salon Des Saveurs".[16] His initial return as director of Boutique Restaurants Concepts Ltd. went sour as it is illegal to be a company director in Ireland while considered bankrupt, in or outside Ireland.[17]

According to the Irish Independent, Gallagher ran three restaurants in July 2011: "Salon Des Saveurs" and "The Dining Room With Conrad Gallagher" in Dublin and "Conrad's Kitchen" in Sligo. "Salon Des Saveurs" and "Conrad's Kitchen" are run by Boutique Restaurants Concepts Ltd. and Super Potato Limited. Revenue Commissioners are trying to wind up these two companies.[18]

Gallagher starred in the Head Chef TV shows for TV3 Ireland, where he developed a cooking contest reality show, before moving back to the United States in 2011.[19]

Las Vegas

In April 2013, Gallagher opened PoshBurger Bistro, a gourmet burger restaurant, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The restaurant could not get a liquor license and closed after three months.[20]


In October 2013, Ways & Means Oysters in Orange hired Gallagher as a consulting executive chef to develop the menu for its location in Old Towne Orange.[21] He left January 2014 to launch Vanity Catering and Events based in Costa Mesa. He serves as owner and executive chef.[22]

Cape Town, South Africa

Gallagher and his family returned to Cape Town to open and operate Cafe Chic.[23] Later on he opened Gallagher's Restaurant in Cape Town and that also appears to have closed down as of July 2016. [24]

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Gallagher then decamped to Port Elizabeth where Conrad opened a restaurant named Gallaghers on Stanley aka Gallaghers on Stanley Street in July 2016. By November 2016 Gallaghers on Stanley was also offering cooking classes and selling vouchers for cookery classes in December. [25] The Twitter account for Gallaghers on Stanley aka Gallaghers on Stanley Street was opened in May 2016 [26], prior to the closure of Gallagher's Restaurant in Cape Town.

Bangor, Northern Ireland

In late October 2016 Conrad was advertising for an Executive Chef to head a restaurant in Bangor, Northern Ireland [27]


Gallagher has won two battles with cancer. First testicular cancer and in 2003 "a more serious form", about which he has declined to go into detail.[28]


Gallagher has been accused of shady practices in his restaurants such as failure to pay suppliers and staff. "His love for pre-paid credit cards, where he is able to hide his ill-gotten gains out of sight and reach of creditors and authorities, continues as he amasses a personal fortune at the expense of others".[29]



  1. "Chef's bitter taste of St Eunan's revealed in new book.". Donegal Democrat via HighBeam Research. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2014. (subscription required)
  2. Dmac Media. "Conrad goes home to celebrate 40th". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  3. "Conrad Gallagher Cooks Scallops!". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  4. 1 2 "Top chef Conrad Gallagher finds success is like a souffle – fast to rise but quick to sink", Irish Independent, 16 October 2002
  5. Harris, David (2002-03-20). "Gallagher loses his last Irish restaurant". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  6. The emergence, development and influence of French Haute Cuisine on public dining in Dublin restaurants 1900-2000: an oral history. Part 2 (downloadable), p. 343.
  7. 1 2 Lavery, Brian (9 July 2003). "For Hard-Luck Chef, a Break: He Is Acquitted in Art Theft". Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  8. "RTÉ News: Warrant issued for arrest of chef Gallagher". 15 October 2002. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  9. Carey, Mairead (21 May 2003). "Gallagher Stuck in Irish Jail". Irish Voice via HighBeam Research. Retrieved 11 August 2012. (subscription required)
  10. 1 2 "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". London: Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  11. Staff. "Cape town's cosmopolitan flavours". London: Retrieved 21 April 2012. (subscription required)
  12. "Cooking live with Conrad Gallagher". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  13. "Conrad Gallagher planning a return to Irish restaurants". Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  14. "Conrad's new place in best taste". Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  15. Staff. "Conrad Gallagher: chef in a new stew". London: Retrieved 21 April 2012. (subscription required)
  16. Sunday Independent (23 July 2011). "Conrad Gallagher restaurants face winding up order". Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  17. "Chef Conrad Gallagher". 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  18. "Conrad Gallagher shuts Las Vegas burger restaurant". 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  19. Luna, Nancy. "Controversial Irish Chef Coming to O.C". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  20. Luna, Nancy (2014-01-28). "Award-winning chef Gallagher exits Ways & Means". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  21. Shone, Cathrine. iab south africa Retrieved 3 July 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. "Gallagher's Restaurant". Archived from the original on 1 October 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  23. . Conrad Gallagher Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. . Conrad Gallagher Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. . Conrad Gallagher Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. "Conrad has got cancer..but Irish chef doesn't want sympathy, just to be left alone to get well and make a living.". The People via HighBeam Research. 12 January 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2012. (subscription required)
  27. "Conrad 'The Con' Gallagher Rips Off Again". 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  28. "Holdings: Conrad Gallagher's new Irish cooking".
  29. "National Library of Ireland - Take 6 ingredients". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  30. "National Library of Ireland - Back on the Menu". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  31. "National Library of Ireland - One pot wonders". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  32. "National Library of Ireland - In 3 easy steps". Retrieved 2014-03-23.

External links

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