Leinster Express Times Past January 2003 Port chef would not wait on Madonna

January 25, 2003

January 25, 2003

Madonna he refused. Mick Jagger, Elton John, Liam and Noel Gallagher, and Michael Caine were among the celebrities he fed.

Now top chef Lorcan Cribbin, from Portarlington, may himself achieve superstar status in the world of haute cusine.

Next week he will, in Lyons in France, represent Ireland in the Bocuse-D’Or. Held every two years, the competition is, in effect, the World Culinary Olympics.

A far cry, indeed, from Lorcan’s days in his family’s cafe, The Corrib, at Main Street, Portarlington.

It was there that as a youngster he developed his interest in cooking. His mentor was Sheila Troy. Sadly, she has since died.

Lorcan’s encounter with Madonna, or, to be precise, with her manager, took place when he was working in one of London’s top restaurants, The Ivy. He takes up the story:

“She booked a table one night for 11 o’ clock for 10 people which we normally didn’t do. But we made an exception because it was her. Half eleven no sign of her. Quarter to twelve no sign. Five past twelve she arrived.

“And I said, ‘Sorry the kitchen’s closed.’ So next morning I was up in the owner’s office. I was told not to do it again.”

Madonna’s reaction? “She wouldn’t be the sweetest,” Lorcan replies laconically.

He is the eldest child of Maureen Cribbin and auctioneer and County Councillor Ray Cribbin. Also in the family are Barry, Brian and Gavin. The latter, too, is a chef.

After completing his secondary education at Rockwell College in Co Tipperary, Lorcan honed his culinary skills in Britain, where he took up residence in 1986.

He returned to Ireland four years ago. He works in The Bang Restaurant at Merrion Row in Dublin. His wife Lorraine is from Castlebar.

For the past month, Lorcan has been training full-time for the Bocuese-D’Or. So far, seventh is the highest position that Ireland has ever achieved in the contest, he says. Twenty four countries, whittled down from 41, are competiting.