Great British Menu 2021 finalist Phelim O’Hagan to open inaugural restaurant in Derry, Artis

The Staff Canteen

“Every young chef’s dream [is] to open their own restaurant,” said Phelim O'Hagan in an interview with The Staff Canteen. Now his dream is becoming a reality with the opening of his new venture, Artis.

Artis will open on November 27th at the Craft Village in Derry's city centre. Situated in the Northwest of Northern Ireland, Phelim hopes it will bring a new high-end dining experience to the area, “[as] high-end dining is relatively sparse, especially in [Derry]”.

Bringing fine-dining to Derry

A partnership with his first head chef Raymond Moran of Soda & Starch, the pair are hoping to help transform the Craft Village into a food hub by combining Soda & Starch’s offering of outdoor dining and fine dining at Artis, “where you’re made to feel special from the moment you walk in [the] door.”

With this being his first restaurant, The Great British Menu 2021 finalist described how he’s looking to show his own unique cooking style which emphasises and promotes Irish produce at every opportunity.

Showcasing local producers is at the heart of the chef’s ethos, focusing on the fact that, in his opinion, Ireland has “some of the best produce in the world”

The restaurant will rely on the use of hyperlocal ingredients, as the chef has a close relationship with nearby farmers for vegetables, hunters for wild game and fishmongers for seafood. This, he said, will mean that the menus at Artis will “adapt to the food and the produce that we can get on a weekly or seasonal basis.”

Great British Menu

Reflecting on his experience of taking part in Great British Menu this year, the chef spoke about how, despite not getting as far as he hoped, it was “a great platform for me, for people to see me and my cooking style and I’m sure it will work wonders with the restaurant.” 

The competition, he continued, was harder than he expected, and to have won the regional finals was “an amazing feeling and an amazing achievement.”

“To say I wasn’t confident beforehand would be wrong, but it certainly boosted my confidence,” he said.

“I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but it most certainly was a steppingstone.”

While the competition was no doubt a great help for him to get Artis off the ground, the chef didn’t want to rush the project.

“I wanted do something that felt right, and having that right feeling was a confidence boost in itself, when you know you’re onto something special.”

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th November 2021

Great British Menu 2021 finalist Phelim O’Hagan to open inaugural restaurant in Derry, Artis