1 Michelin Star Chefs: John Kelly, head chef, The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet

The Staff Canteen

John Kelly is head chef at the one Michelin starred, The Lady Helen Restaurant at Mount Juliet Estate.

John Kelly trained at the Dublin Institute of Technology on Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin. He graduated for the second time with an honours degree in Culinary Arts in 2002.

Lady Helen at Mount Juliet

The Lady Helen Restaurant at Mount Juliet, Kilkenny

Mount Juliet Estate, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.

Tel: +353 56 777 3000

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.mountjuliet.ie

Executive chef: Ken Harker

Head chef: John Kelly

Restaurant Manager: Aga Kubinska

Sommelier: Maria Pelonero

Facebook: Mount Juliet Estate

Twitter: @mountjuliet ‏

Instagram: @mountjulietestate


In his final year of college, John won the Knorr Young Chef of the Year competition and was awarded a scholarship to Tetsuyas in Australia, one of Sydney’s top restaurants. He worked at Tetsuyas for a month in the summer of 2016.

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John Kelly

Previously, John also staged at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck for three months. In addition to this, he spent two summer seasons in France at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Le Candille, in five-star hotel Le Mas Candille. In addition to this, John worked for five years at Ireland’s only two Michelin-starred restaurant, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in The Merrion Hotel.

He first joined The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet in 2012 and was promoted to head chef in August 2016, working alongside executive chef Ken Harker.

The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet was first awarded a star in the Michelin Guide 2015 and it has retained this accolade since. It currently holds 3 Rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide 2018.

The Lady Helen Restaurant

The Lady Helen Restaurant is the main restaurant in the Mount Juliet Golf & Spa Hotel, named after the previous owner of the estate, Lady Helen McCalmont. It boasts impressive views of the gardens and the River Nore. It seats 50 and has additional private dining capacity for up to 80 guests.

What the guides say

Michelin Guide

Restaurant James Sommerin, Michelin star restaurants, Michelin Guide 2018

AA Restaurant Guide

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Food Style

John describes his food style as “Concise, modern French based cuisine”, but many of the ingredients are sourced from local suppliers, or grown in the vegetable and herb gardens on the Estate.

Dishes include Kilkenny rose veal, served with celeriac, parsley, chanterelle mushroom and truff and king crab mussels with a rouille and rockfish sauce. The signature tasting menu is priced from 85 Euros per person.

Hobbies and interests

Outside of work, John enjoys hunting with his two red setters and being from Kilkenny, he has a keen interest in hurling.




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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th April 2018

1 Michelin Star Chefs: John Kelly, head chef, The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet