Crocodile chef heads north to Bartali job

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A top Australian chef who brought brought kangaroo and crocodile to diners in Northern Ireland is moving to the north coast for a new culinary adventure - and to indulge his love of surfing.

Sydney ex-pat Dean Coppard put the Armagh city restaurant Uluru Bar & Grill on the foodie map for its Australian themed menu.

Executive Chef Dean, a dad, husband, mentor and keen surfer, is swapping the food pass at Uluru for a new challenge at Bartali, the rustic Italian restaurant in Portballintrae.

In doing so he is handing over the baton to the Head Chef Mark McGonigle, a chef who has been working under the Uluru brand for 12 years.

Confirming the move, Dean said: Confirming the move, Dean said: “The team of chefs, which I affectionately call the #ulurucrew, have been brought through such a process in the past 18 months.

“My job has been to see the guys through this major transition, mentor them, teach them cooking techniques which I have been using for years, help them develop new cooking techniques and lead Head Chef Mark and his team through the process of running and managing a busy kitchen. I am looking forward to the next stage of my career and of course I’ll be able to squeeze in a bit of surfing.”

Uluru owner Gavin Emerson said: “ Dean’s experience, professionalism and dedication has been instrumental in mentoring Mark and his team. We all wish Dean good luck with his new venture.”

Dean will begin working at Bartali, situated at Seaport Avenue in the seaside village, on August 18. The restaurantserves a mix of Italian and Meditteranean dishes with fish a speciality.

Andrea O’Neill Guest Relations Manager at Bartali Bar & Restaurant said: “We are delighted to have a chef of Dean’s reputation join us at Bartali, where we’re sure he’ll put his own Aussie spin on our beautiful seaside restaurant and bar.

“Dean is a great talent and we can’t wait to have him behind our pass working his magic with the best North Coast fish, seafood and other local ingredients.

“Our menu is in development right now so keep your eyes peeled on our social media for updates.”