A passion for the sea
By SeafoodSource staff
30 August, 2012
Having spent much of his working life in Ireland, award-winning chef Joery Castel speaks English with an almost perfect Ulster lilt. He currently runs The Boathouse, a seafront restaurant along County Down’s beautiful coast.
The restaurant was recognized this year as the Best Restaurant in County Down, and Castel was named the best chef in Ulster.
Seafood is Castel’s passion. “I grew up surrounded by mussels and lobsters,” he explains, having been raised in the southern Dutch coastal town of Vlissingen. “I’ve always been interested in food. As a wee fellow, my first question was always, ‘What’s for dinner?’ I wanted to be a chef, but my parents initially tried to talk me out of it, pointing out the long working hours, poor pay and non-existent social life — all of which turned out to be true!”
Nonetheless, Castel stuck at it, working as a porter in a hotel in Holland and enrolling in culinary school, where he worked five days a week. This gave him a broad experience with a change of restaurants every year. Working with other chefs on a daily basis enabled him to see what could be done with food, and ignited his interest in fine dining.
“Five years in school, five different restaurants. These experiences set me up for the rest of my career,” he says. After working in various restaurants around Holland, in 2001 he found a position at Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Ireland, a stunning estate set in 1,000 acres. Since then, Castel hasn’t looked back, opening The Boathouse in July 2008 with his brother, Jasper. The restaurant is situated in an old harbor master’s building overlooking the marina.
Click here to read the full story which ran in the August issue of SeaFood Business magazine >
30 August, 2012