Former head chef of the three-Michelin-starred Maaemo, Jordan Bailey, is opening Aimsir at Cliff at Lyons in Ireland.
Aimsir, which means weather in Irish, will focus on local produce and will open at the County Kildare property this autumn in a space which is being extended and renovated, part of which used to be a cookery school.
Cornwall-born Bailey previously worked at Maaemo in Oslo, Norway, and was formerly sous chef at Simon Hulstone’s Elephant restaurant in Torquay, Devon, and a chef de partie at Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham. His wife Majken Bech Christensen, who previously worked at Paul Cunningham’s two-Michelin-starred Henne Kirkeby Kro, will oversee the restaurant as front of house manager.
The menu will feature local ingredients such as Atlantic seaweed, razor clams, sea snails, Boyne Valley white goat’s cheese, Killahora Orchards ice wine, wild boar from Ballinwillin, asparagus and heritage garlic from Drummond House and Ballymakenny Farm heritage potatoes. Herbs, vegetables and fruit are grown in the estate’s own walled gardens and polytunnels.
Bailey said: “I’m really looking forward to only using ingredients picked and sourced from the island’s larder. That ‘limitation’ is welcome because that is what’s going to provoke new thoughts and ideas and will help push us to be more innovative when creating new dishes at Aimsir.
“We’ll be looking back at how this island supplied and provided for her people, the forgotten cooking methods, heritage ingredients and recipes, using those to shape the food at Aimsir. Our restaurant will not be re-inventing old recipes but using them as a source of knowledge and a rich vein of inspiration.”
Bech Christensen added: “I’ve been lucky enough to work in some places where I found the service inspiring – comfortable, welcoming and professional but still personal. I’m excited to develop the Aimsir style of welcome when we open this autumn.”
Aimsir at Cliff at Lyons will serve a tasting menu with an optional drinks pairing drawing from other cultures and a wine list focusing on small producers as well as classic vintages.
With a separate bar that has its own menu of drinks and snacks, the main room in Aimsir will have an open kitchen at the heart of the space. Designed in partnership with BusbyWebb to be relaxed and comfortable, Aimsir will feature rich materials such as wood, marble, brass, brushed concrete and herringbone parquet.
A colour palette of cool blues, greys and silvers as well as pinks and mauves will suggest the sky and sunrise. Table settings will use pieces by Irish potters, wood-turners and knife-makers, and the main restaurant space will have a feature ceiling paying tribute to the isobars on a weather map.