Surviving in the food business is not for the faint-hearted.
My name is Brian Donnelly, and I started working in kitchens when I was 13. I've been up and down and all over this industry. I came up in the old French school, where we were all just dogs on the line.
How do we survive in this new world? This is my food blog on the restaurant business.
David Chang is right: Ireland doesn't have a food culture. That's how I became an Irish ramen chef. It's time the restaurant business stepped out of its comfort zone.
Chef Brian Donnelly grew up in Co. Tyrone where he spent summers working on his grandparents' farm, drinking raw milk, churning butter and cutting turf. (And no, he’s not that old.)
After a career spent working for some of the UK and Ireland’s most famous chefs, he and his partner opened Bia Rebel Ramen, Belfast's first authentic ramen shop. Inspired by Tokyo’s ramen culture, and by the similarities between the native produce of these two islands, he taught himself to make ramen noodles by watching YouTube videos.
He believes high-quality food should be available to all and not just the domain of costly restaurants. But there are many obstacles in the way. The restaurants will have to be groundbreaking and evolve if they want to survive the many challenges the industry is facing right now.