Conrad Gallagher

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Conrad Gallagher
Born (1971-03-12) 12 March 1971 (age 48)
EducationCatering college
Culinary career
Cooking styleIrish cuisine

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

Early life[edit]

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.[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[edit]

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]

New York[edit]

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 [7]. He was accused in Dublin of stealing three paintings, worth €11,000 from Dublin's Fitzwilliam Hotel.[8] 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.[9]In his autobiography, Gallagher describes the proceedings as "a bit of a circus" with days that were "long and painful." [10]

South Africa[edit]

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,[11] where he occasionally hosted live cooking classes.[12] 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.[13]


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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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][better source needed] The Twitter account for Gallaghers on Stanley aka Gallaghers on Stanley Street was opened in May 2016,[26][better source needed] prior to the closure of Gallagher's Restaurant in Cape Town.


Gallagher joined Aura Hospitality & Food Services in December 2016 as Corporate Chef and Culinary Director and was promoted to Managing Director in 2018. [27]
In 2019, Gallagher became CEO of Food Concepts 360, an international food and hospitality company with over 500 employees and outlets covering the Middle East and Africa in addition to Los Angeles and Las Vegas.


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]


  • Conrad Gallagher's new Irish cooking recipes from Dublin's Peacock Alley, 1997, ISBN 1899047298[29]
  • Take 6 ingredients 100 ingenious recipes to create simple, delicious meals, 2003, ISBN 1899047921[30]
  • Back on the menu my rollercoaster life, 2010, ISBN 1906353255 / 9781906353254[31]
  • One pot wonders, 2011, ISBN 085783018X / 9780857830180[32]
  • In 3 easy steps Fabulous food without the fuss, 2011, ISBN 0857830198 / 9780857830197[33]


  1. ^ "Chef's bitter taste of St Eunan's revealed in new book". Donegal Democrat via HighBeam Research. 30 December 2010. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Dmac Media. "Conrad goes home to celebrate 40th". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Conrad Gallagher Cooks Scallops!". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b "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 (20 March 2002). "Gallagher loses his last Irish restaurant". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  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. ^ Lavery, Brian (9 July 2003). "For Hard-Luck Chef, a Break: He Is Acquitted in Art Theft". Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  8. ^ Carey, Mairead (21 May 2003). "Gallagher Stuck in Irish Jail". Irish Voice via HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2012. (subscription required)
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Gallagher, Conrad (2010). Back on the Menu: My Rollercoaster Life. Conrad Gallagher. p. 137. ISBN 978-1-906353-25-4. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  11. ^ Staff. "Cape town's cosmopolitan flavours". London: Retrieved 21 April 2012. (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Cooking live with Conrad Gallagher". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  13. ^ "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". London: Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Conrad Gallagher planning a return to Irish restaurants". Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ "Conrad's new place in best taste". Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  17. ^ Staff. "Conrad Gallagher: chef in a new stew". London: Retrieved 21 April 2012. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Sunday Independent (23 July 2011). "Conrad Gallagher restaurants face winding up order". Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Chef Conrad Gallagher". 18 March 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Conrad Gallagher shuts Las Vegas burger restaurant". 12 July 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  21. ^ Luna, Nancy. "Controversial Irish Chef Coming to O.C". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  22. ^ Luna, Nancy (28 January 2014). "Award-winning chef Gallagher exits Ways & Means". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  23. ^ Shone, Cathrine. iab south africa Retrieved 3 July 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "Gallagher's Restaurant". Archived from the original on 1 October 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)[better source needed]
  25. ^ . Conrad Gallagher Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ . Conrad Gallagher Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "Message from the Board: Chef Finian Gallagher". Aura Lifestyle. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  28. ^ "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 Questia Online Library. 12 January 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2012. (subscription required)
  29. ^ "Holdings: Conrad Gallagher's new Irish cooking".
  30. ^ "National Library of Ireland - Take 6 ingredients". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  31. ^ "National Library of Ireland - Back on the Menu". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  32. ^ "National Library of Ireland - One pot wonders". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  33. ^ "National Library of Ireland - In 3 easy steps". Retrieved 23 March 2014.

External links[edit]