2022 UnWrapped!

Ireland - Baltimore

Turkish-born chef Ahmet Dede has made himself at home in the coastal town of Baltimore – and the town and its people have in turn taken him to their hearts. A recent move saw him travel three doors up from the now closed Mews restaurant to open dede at the Customs House, and this talented chef has a trusted network of local suppliers, foragers and friends.

Having worked at his uncle’s restaurant in Turkey before he left, Ahmed enrolled on an eight-week course with a local tourism authority in Ireland and got a job in a pizza restaurant while he waited for it to start. While he was there, Irish chef JJ Healey spotted his talent and recommended he pursue it further, and so he began a culinary arts course at the Dublin Institute of Technology, all the while working at Michelin-starred Chapter One for chef Ross Lewis.

Behind the scenes at dede restaurant. Photo by Eray Karaca.

Two years later, the chef moved on to work at two Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, then worked with Mickael Viljanen at two-star restaurant The Greenhouse in Dublin for two years before heading to The Netherlands to work at two Michelin-starred &Moshik. He then spent a brief period working under Jordan Bailey at Maeemo in Norway before returning to Ireland for his first head chef position at Mews.

Within a year, Ahmet and his team had earned a Michelin star for the Baltimore restaurant. Sadly, in January 2020, the owners decided to close the restaurant, and the chef was left to his own devices. Thankfully, one of his stagiaire’s at Mews, Maria Archer, had just bought a new site with her partner in view of opening a café and deli. They offered to house his restaurant in exchange for formal training.

Undeterred by the pandemic, the team opened the restaurant in July 2020, and, evidently on the guide’s radar, received a Michelin star in the 2021 Guide. This year, Ahmet was named Chef of the Year at the 2022 Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year Awards.


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