Oliver Dunne: his Bon Appétit restaurant has kept its Michelin star

There's no letting up when you have a Michelin star to keep. Ask top chef Oliver Dunne of Malahide's Bon Appétit restaurant. The surprise Michelin star of 2008, Oliver maintained the honour for 2009.

"People mistakenly believe you have to have waiters in tuxedos to get a Michelin star. It's rubbish. What's required is three consistent courses at an exceptional level and the ability to cook well 365 days of the year," Oliver told The Diary.

The consistency is needed, Oliver says, because the Michelin men are never far away.

"They have 12 Michelin inspectors covering Britain and Ireland who come over here for three-week stints. Working ahead of them is a team of researchers who have clippings of every new restaurant opening, which means these guys know where they're going. The inspectors would visit my restaurant about five to eight times a year which means it's a consistent review," said Oliver. He hasn't been busier since he started offering three courses for €50 at his north Dublin eatery.

But has Oliver ever met a Michelin man?

"Oh yes, once a year they will announce themselves on an inspection and ask can they speak to the chef and down they go to the kitchen. I've met two of them so far, who were just normal nice English guys. It was great to have a chance to sit down and talk to them and ask them all the questions."

Still only 32, Oliver probably knows all the answers already having worked his way up learning from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, of whom he says he is still fond of. "Gordon is a really nice guy. He's seen as volcanic because he was the first chef on TV with a fiery temper but he's quite straightforward really. He'll say, 'put that over here' and if you don't – well, you hear about it."