Belfast Telegraph

Dutch chef Castel to head up Belfast's Saphyre kitchen

By Rachel Martin

Dutch chef and former restaurateur Joery Castel is to take the reins as head chef at Belfast fine dining spot Saphyre.

The south Belfast restaurant is owned by interior designer Kris Turnbull and is mentioned in the Michelin Guide.

Joery comes to the job shortly after he announced he would close his successful fine dining restaurant in Bangor, Co Down .

The chef, known for his seasonal dishes and use of local produce, founded the restaurant with his brother, Jasper, eight years ago, but decided to call it quits after Jasper left to spend more time with his family.

The Boat House made headlines as the first restaurant in Northern Ireland to make it on to the Times' Top 100.

Speaking at the time, Joery said it was with a "heavy heart" that he decided to close.

His next challenge, Saphyre, opened in the grounds of the former Ulsterville Presbyterian Church three years ago. The church building was turned a high-end interior design studio and restaurants Saphyre and The Vestry opened beside it.

Nicola McLarnon, company director, said: "It was as if the stars aligned - Joery was looking for his next challenge and our head chef decided to go travelling at the same time, and it comes as the studio celebrates 10 years.

"We have a lot planned for the new year and we are really excited about having Joery on board.

"I have great admiration for Joery. He was very successful in his own business and I am pleased he saw an opportunity for his next stage in Saphyre.

"People are really excited about him coming to Belfast - already we've had a lot of messages from customers about it."

Joery will replace current head chef Patrick Rowan. The restaurant is also looking for a new sous chef and pastry chef.

Belfast Telegraph