1 Michelin Star Chefs: Gareth McCaughey, chef owner, The Muddlers Club

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th December 2019

Gareth McCaughey is the chef owner of The Muddlers Club, one of three Michelin-starred restaurants in belfast.

Born in Co Tyrone, Donaghmore in 1977, Gareth originally trained as a pastry chef, returning to Ireland to help open James Street South with Niall McKenna.

He then took on a head chef positon at Barking Dog, spent two years as the sous chef of Michelin-starred OX restaurant with Stephen Toman - who he met at James Street - before he left to open The Muddlers Club. 

The Muddlers Club

 

1 Warehouse Ln, Belfast BT1 2DX

Telephone: 028 9031 3199

Website: https://www.themuddlersclubbelfast.com

Reservations:  resdiary.com

Opening hours:

Tuesday-Saturday   

12–2:30pm, 5:30–10pm

Sunday-Monday 

Closed

Twitter: @TheMuddlersClub

@gdog193

Instagram: @muddlersclubbelfast

@garethmccaughey

Facebook: @Themuddlersclubbelfast

The restaurant

The Muddlers Club, inconspiciously located in a back alley in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter - was named after a revolutionary secret society linked to the United Irishmen that met in the area in the 1790s.

The 52-cover modern bistro and cocktail bar was two years in the making, but got off to a booming start, winning two awards in the Irish Restaurant Awards within six months of opening in 2015.

It has since won several more, as well as featuring in the Good Food Guide and receiving a commendation in the Irish Food and Wine Awards 2018.

The location itself gives it a gritty edge, aided by the graffiti on the facade.

Inside, the open kitchen, atmospheric lighting, dark colour schemeand well-stocked bar add to the restaurant's informal ambiance. 

Food at The Muddlers Club

The city centre restaurant is one of a handful of restaurants switching up the city's dining scene, embracing a casual approach to fine dining. 

At lunchtime, customers can choose between a la carte or tasting menu, but the evening is tasting menu only. The offering is changed according to the seasons and what the chef's handful of local suppliers have to offer.

At £55 (or £50 for the vegetarian version) a wine flight costs £35, or £50 for a 'prestige pairing.' The restaurant's cocktail list is extensive, many reminiscent of 1930s-era bars during the US prohibition. 

 

 

What the guides say

Michelin

 

 

The chef's approach to food is simple: he takes good, local ingredients and makes them shine. 

His beginnings as a pastry chef mean that unlike many restaurants, dessert isn't an afterthought at The Muddlers Club. 

Specialities include Antrim beef with carrot, short rib and bone marrow; scallop with artichoke and parmsean; halibut with bisque and greens and yuzu with earl grey and white chocolate.

Local food critic Allison Morris said she visited the restaurant on several occasions since it opened in 2015, but that somehow its already high standard had been raised when she returned in 2019. 

She said: "There is a maturity to Muddlers now, a confidence in cooking simple ingredients in an expert way that only a chef comfortable in his own skin can pull off."

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th December 2019

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Gareth McCaughey, chef owner, The Muddlers Club