THE culinary skills of a Carlow chef and her husband have proved to be a winning combination by scooping an internationally-recognised restaurant award.
Nicola Curran Zammit and her husband Josef have recently been awarded Bib Gourmand status in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2018 for their restaurant, TwoCooks, in Sallins, Co Kildare.
TwoCooks opened up just 20 months ago and Nicola and Josef are privileged to be among eight establishments newly awarded the honour of a Bib Gourmand. The award highlighted restaurants offering ‘exceptionally good food at moderate prices’.
“We are absolutely delighted to receive Bib Gourmand status. It’s awarded to restaurants where the food is very high-end but with good prices. Our restaurant has a casual atmosphere; it’s not stuffy like you can sometimes have with fine dining,” explained Nicola.
For Nicola and Josef the success of their restaurant is a reflection of the love of their craft and the hard graft they are accustomed to in their chosen career.
“We’re both chefs and it’s a tough gig, but it’s something we both love and are passionate about,” said Nicola.
“We’ve worked very hard all over the world in high-end restaurants for other people so it was a no-brainer really to open our own restaurant. We’re very lucky to both be in the industry.”
Daughter of Seamus and Mabel Curran from Cloydagh, Carlow, Nicola’s training in the industry began in the former Beams Restaurant on Dublin Street.
“Betty O’Gorman and the head chef there, Roman, gave me such a fantastic training. I was very lucky to have training of such a high calibre from the very start,” said Nicola.
Nicola furthered her culinary studies in Waterford and subsequently worked as a chef in some exceptional restaurants all over the world, meeting her husband Josef, a fellow award-winning chef, along the way.
“We are truly living our dream. The reality is a challenge, but anything worthwhile does not come easy,” smiled Nicola.