Notorious Chef Conrad Gallagher opens new restaurant in St Francis Bay, after leaving trail of debt in SA, USA and Ireland!



It’s not often that an Irish or any other international newspaper would take an interest in the opening of a restaurant in a holiday town in South Africa, or contact me about this news, requesting my reaction. The Irish Sun did so last week, and published its story two days ago.

I have written about Chef Conrad Gallagher’s  shenanigans before, when it became known that he did not pay his rental in the beautiful Breda Street Café Chic building in Cape Town, nor his staff, nor cake supplier Charly’s Bakery. He left in a hurry, only to return to Port Elizabeth, with a similar manner of escaping payment, leaving unpaid debt.

Café Chic reopens with slick service, excellent cuisine, hands-on but controversial Chef Conrad Gallagher!

Gallagher appears to have settled down in St Francis Bay with his family, having opened Off the Menu Food Emporium & Deli . He opened Bistro Vin De Boeuf there this week. The Irish Sun reported the news, with stern warnings from myself, Jacqui Biess, owner of Charly’s Bakery, and the owner of the former Breda Street restaurant building.  On his website Gallagher has announced the opening of Peacock Alley, his second restaurant in St Francis Bay, in December 2022, a most unusual advance notification.  Gallagher also is an international restaurant consultant, runs a Chef Training school in Johannesburg, while his wife runs a restaurant recruitment agency.  Misleadingly he refers to himself as a Michelin Star chef – South Africa does not have the Michelin star restaurant rating system, and Michelin stars are awarded to Restaurants and not to chefs!  I know of only one current supplier to Gallagher, on a strict upfront payment basis.


The Irish Sun article follows below:

DEBT-dodger Conrad Gallagher opened his new restaurant amid dire warnings that he will rip people off again.

Businesses left out of pocket by the runaway chef have issued a stark warning about the latest comeback, declaring: “Do not supply him ever.”

The Irish Sun revealed how the notorious celebrity carver has recently launched two new businesses in South Africa after cooking up a trail of destruction across three continents.

Disgraced Gallagher has moved around the US, Ireland and South Africa, leaving a string of unpaid suppliers in his wake.


“I would urge people to be wary of Conrad Gallagher. No business could afford his tricks with the financial pressures of Covid.

“I didn’t know he was back in business in South Africa until the Irish Sun informed me. He sneaks in quite quietly. He lived very well when he was here last time, fancy cars and lifestyle.

“And I must say he is not dreadful at food, it wouldn’t be the case that you would go to his place and it would be dreadful food or anything. But he is just dishonest, evidently.”

Gallagher says he has stocked up Bistro Vin De Boeuf in St Francis Bay with “the finest” food and wine for this week’s opening. But Ms Biess issued a message to firms considering supplying the infamous chef.


She declared: “My warning is do not supply him ever. Unless it is cash, unless you literally get cash in your hand on the day.”

South African restaurant reviewer and writer Chris von Ulmenstein also told the Irish Sun of her shock at Gallagher being back in business.

Ms von Ulmenstein said: “My reaction to the news about the newest restaurant opening is one of shock and horror.

“Gallagher is notorious and has not had one successful restaurant operating in South Africa, leaving debts in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, not only unpaid supplies and  rental, but also staff salaries.

“St Francis Bay is a holiday town, and I can presume that he will ride the summer season from mid-October until Easter, and the same pattern of closing down and leaving the town with debt is likely to repeat itself.

“Thank you for alerting me to this.”


GALLAGHER rose to fame with Dublin restaurant Peacock Alley, where he was awarded a Michelin star between 1998 and 2002.

He then opened Ocean seafood bar in Dublin’s Charlotte Quay, as well as Lloyd’s Brasserie, Christopher’s and Conrad Gallagher’s Shaftesbury Avenue restaurant in London in 2001, but all failed due to financial problems.

Gallagher has travelled around the US, Ireland and South Africa in various roles over the last three decades, leaving doomed diners, unpaid bills and local suppliers reeling in his wake.

Conrad then hosted Celebrity Head Chef on TV3 in 2011 before his return to Dublin which saw him open Salon des Saveurs and Conrad’s Kitchen in Sligo.

In July 2011, Revenue filed winding up petitions against companies behind Salon des Saveurs and the venture in Sligo.

They were then closed over a €166,000 tax bill.

The Irish Sun has spoken to several suppliers in South Africa who say they have been cleaned out by Gallagher.

Blaming bad luck, not understanding the local market and not being a “perfect person”, he said he was working towards clearing the debt and had already made major inroads in doing so.

Gallagher admitted he did business with Charly’s Bakery when he owned Sundance, and added that he had “no idea if I still owe them money”.


Today The Irish Sun has posted a follow-up article about Gallagher dodging staff payment in Ireland.


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide


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