James Devine, National Chef of the Year 2017, to leave EIPIC to launch first restaurant

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd December 2016

Chef James Devine, who was crowned National Chef of the Year 2017, has announced plans to leave EIPIC, which holds a star in the Michelin Guide UK, to pursue a solo venture.

James, who is currently the sous chef under Danni Barry at Deane’s EIPIC in Belfast, told The Staff Canteen his last working shift will be on December 31 when he will move on to pursue other ventures including his own solo restaurant which he plans to open in Belfast sometime within the next couple of years.

Speaking exclusively to The Staff Canteen, James said: “I'll remain with the group on some basis, but priority is getting my own thing together.

“I plan on working on my own project with immediate effect, although I plan on researching the venture thoroughly and a realistic opening date would be closer to 2018.”

>>> Read more from James Devine here

For his first solo venture James wants to focus on different tastes with a priority being on the welfare of the staff rather than the customers.

He said: “The quality of staff and the quality of work life balance will be central to running the place.

“I would like to create a concept I can replicate multiple times and to do this I will need good staff, I think that's the only way a business can grow.”

Despite being offered a place at Queens University Belfast to study law, James took a year out to pursue a career in hospitality instead. During this time James worked as a kitchen porter at a local restaurant and later became head chef at the Black Cat Restaurant and Deli on the Green in Dungannon as well as working part time as a college lecturer. He is currently the sous chef at Deane’s EIPIC under Danni Barry, who is one of an elite group of female Michelin-starred chefs in the UK and only the second female chef ever in Ireland to gain a star. 

>>> Read more of the latest news here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd December 2016

James Devine, National Chef of the Year 2017, to leave EIPIC to launch first restaurant