Jean Christophe Novelli is set to open his first Irish restaurant, 'Novelli at City Quays,' this April in the new AC Hotel Belfast, owned by the Marriott group. Belfast local, Jim Mulholland takes up the mantle of 'grand chef'. We spoke to them both as they prepare for the launch.

Jean Christophe Novelli's vision for the restaurant is "To provide customers with an authentic Mediterranean dining experience whilst at the same time paying homage to our Belfast location with locally sourced produce. Jim has many links with Irish producers and it is something he is passionate about. I can't wait to explore the beef, seafood and dairy industries and am looking forward to creating the menus with him. It’s important not to overdo it when you are dealing with great produce. It should speak for itself. Irish and French cooking is technically different in many ways but to combine the two will be fantastic. It is a very exciting time for the food industry in Belfast, it is one of the most prolific, vibrant and innovative cities at the moment."

Jim adds, "I have long been a devotée of Jean-Christophe and to be working with him, here on my home turf, is an absolute honour. I look forward to bringing some local flavours and flourishes, as well as the best of Northern Ireland produce, to his Mediterranean table"

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For more information on Jean Christophe Novelli and Jim Mulholland read our interview, 'The Dish,' here.