Diners at the new 'Chef's Table' in Dublin's Chapter One

A leading Irish restaurant is now offering diners the opportunity to eat meals in its kitchens.

Dublin's Chapter One restaurant last week invited sittings for a new Chef's Table at its Michelin-starred establishment where customers can savour super­ior cuisine after witnessing the preparation of its food.

According to co-owner Ross Lewis, the innovation came about as a result of the public's growing fascination with chefs and kitchens.

"The most common question I get from people when I go anywhere is 'How does the kitchen work?' Or 'How do you put out the food at the same time?' People have become fascinated in Ireland over the last five or six years with celebrity chefs and their kitchens and that's why we decided to do this."

A Chef's or Tasting Table is not an entirely new development, with a number of high-end establishments in the US and the UK offering diners the same experience.

However, this is the first time a Dublin restaurant has decided to give foodies the same sort of access. Having invested substantially in a complete makeover of Chapter One's restaurant and kitchen, the Cork-born chef says he is only too happy to let customers see both sides of his establishment.

"We did a very serious job on our kitchen in terms of design and it seemed a nice idea to put a table in now. It's an exciting innovation and we find we're always rewarded when customers see we are putting the money back into the business."

Seating six and made from one piece of solid volcanic rock, Chapter One's Chef's Table also offers diners unique interaction with their award-winning chefs.

"We'll be telling them about the food, who supplies it, what's being cooked and what flavours they should be looking for in their dishes. They'll see their own food prepared and really experience a restaurant kitchen."

Lewis said that, regarding the restaurant's new open-kitchen policy, staff were happy to let customers in.

"We've always worked professionally so there's no extra effort. We keep a spotless kitchen at all times," he said.