Conrad Gallagher talks about rise and fall of his all-star culinary career

Conrad Gallagher

The former Irish Michelin Star winning chef, Conrad Gallagher has unveiled his autobiography: “Back On The Menu: My Rollercoaster Life”.

Gallagher began writing the book in 2003 while he awaited trial over the alleged theft of paintings from the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin, which he was later acquitted for.

He recently finished his memoir which he said he wrote to: "to give my side of the story. I think people mature a lot in their 30s", adding wistfully: "If I'd known in my 20s what I know now . . ."

His book gives a detailed account of the rise and fall of his career, from being honored with a Michelin star at the young age of 27 to being declared bankrupt at 38.

The chef also talks opening about being twice diagnosed with testicular cancer and the brutal month he spent in prison in the U.S.

He described the reckless borrowing he did for his first Dublin restaurant  Peacock Alley as “having to rob Peter to pay Paul” .

He also writes about the historic Christmas party bill of over $40,000, hiked up by the Anglo Irish Bank employees.
Despite the hardship, this year the star chef opened up two restaurants, Salon des Saveurs in Dublin and Conrad's Kitchen in Sligo.

"Sligo has its glitterati too. It's a great town. There's a lot going on for it," he insists.

The rogue chef has made quite the comeback from his days in prison in the U.S., he admits he is still a perfectionist: “If you're OCD like me you'll worry that the tablecloth isn't properly ironed even when it is." In his book he writes: "I used to spend my days shouting . . . the tomatoes weren't red enough, sauces weren't smooth enough, bread wasn't crispy enough.”

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