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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

#MoversandShakers #RuairiBoyce @RuairiBoyce Executive Chef, Croke Park Stadium, Dublin @CrokePark @officialgaa Aramark Sports & Entertainment @Aramark Our Coverage Sponsored by Cosmopolitan Dental, Official Dentist of Whom You Know @GaroNazarianDDS #cosmopolitandental #loveyoursmile

The Best Dentist in Manhattan & Official Dentist of Whom You Know: 

30 E. 40th Suite 1001 

(212) 683-1960 

Dr. Garo Nazarian is a Mover and Shaker, and was the first featured:

Dr. Nazarian, a graduate of Boston College and Columbia Dental School, opened Cosmopolitan Dental in 2006 and has grown his practice to over 2,000 patients. Peachy Deegan is proud to be the second ever. Cosmopolitan Dental strives to surpass all patients' expectations by catering to your dental needs while providing the utmost professional results. Cosmopolitan Dental has been recognized by America's Top Dentists and has earned both the Patients' choice award and the Doctors' choice award. Dr. Garo Nazarian is a proud member of the New York State Dental Association, New York County Dental Society and the American Dental Association. Cosmopolitan Dental loves to make you smile! 
Garo loves sports and is half Irish.


Ruairi Boyce began his career in the culinary world while travelling through France & Germany in 1990. Completing NCCCB 1&2 and City & Guilds of London 706/1&2 with CERT in Dublin, he continued his training with the Hilton International group in London. 

Returning to Ireland in 2000, Ruairi became Head Chef for Madison Avenue Event Services in Rathgar, Dublin. Amongst the many high profile events Ruairi worked on was the wedding of Sir Paul McCartney to Heather Mills at Castle Leslie in June 2002 & the US Ambassador’s BBQ attended by 3,000 VIP guests in July 2002. 

In early 2004, Ruairi took up the position of Head Chef within the MasterChefs Group. He was responsible for the corporate sports & leisure contracts focusing primarily on The Curragh, Punchestown & Leopardstown Racecourses, Thomond Park Stadium, Powerscourt House, and State functions in locations such as Dublin Castle, Royal Hospital Kilmainham and Farmleigh House among others. The clientele Ruairi was responsible for during this time included celebrities, politicians, presidents & royalty. 

Ruairi was also Head Chef at the Annual PGA Irish Open Golf tournament in Baltray Co. Louth in 2004 & 2009, Carton House Maynooth 2005/6, Adare Manor Limerick 2007/8, and Killarney Golf & Fishing Resort 2010/11. 

In 2012, Ruairi joined the catering team at Croke Park in Dublin, Europe’s third largest stadium with a capacity of 82,300, and home of the Gaelic Athletic Association. At Croke Park, Ruairi controlled & catered for the 87 private corporate suites on match days & oversaw the kitchens catering for the high volume Meetings & Events day to day business at Croke Park. Ruairi also oversaw the premium catering for the six month tenure of the Irish Presidency of the European Union. International Prime Ministers, Government Ministers, Presidents & Celebrities were amongst the daily guests catered for. 

In early 2014, Aramark Northern Europe won the catering contract at Croke Park, and Ruairi assumed the role of Executive Chef. Expanding the scope and quality of catering at Croke Park, the team won ‘Best Catering Job’ at the National Hospitality Awards in 2017, and ‘Best Event Caterer’ at the Event Industry Awards in 2018. Ruairi also won a place on Aramark’s coveted inaugural ‘Ring of Stars’ awards in 2015 when a group of 200 employees from a global workforce of 272,000 were selected for outstanding performance. 

In 2018 Ruairi expanded his role to Executive Chef- Sports & Entertainment, adding the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival, Tattersall’s Bloodstock Sales and many more events to his portfolio.   We are absolutely thrilled to present Ruairi Boyce as our latest Mover and Shaker and sing the praises of three of life's greatest subjects: Cuisine, Sports and IRELAND!  Peachy Deegan interviewed Ruairi for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What motivated you to enter the culinary arts? 
Ruairi Boyce: My mother was a great baker and was forever baking. As one of eleven children, food and mealtimes in our house were central to everything. My mother cooked everything from scratch as convenience foods were not so popular and quite expensive at that time. From gutting & scaling fresh fish, plucking & gutting turkeys, we were exposed to real food preparation in our house.
In the early 1980’s my brother became a chef. The stories of celebrities and politicians in that industry intrigued me. I always knew I was not destined for a desk job. After leaving high school I traveled Europe and inevitably ended up as a pot washer in a hotel, later to graduate to food prep and eventually commis chef. I returned to Dublin after 18 months to go to college.

What is your first culinary memory? 
We went on vacation to Bunclody, Co.Wexford. I remember my father shooting rabbits and slinging them over his shoulder. He brought them back to the farmhouse we stayed in where my mother prepared rabbit stew. I saw the whole process from start to finish and developed a real appreciation for food. The stew was delicious too!

Please explain to our international readers the definition and level of difficulty involved with NCCCB 1&2 and City & Guilds of London 706/1&2 with CERT in Dublin. 
The NCCCB was a difficult & comprehensive course that CERT ran back in the early 1990’s. A very traditional cookery course focusing on French gastronomy primarily. The City & Guilds 706/1&2 was a British exam & diploma based on the same two year full time course. I wanted to complete the City & Guilds exam alongside the Irish qualification as I knew I wanted to travel and the City & Guilds qualification was more recognised internationally. 

What do you enjoy creating the most? 
Food with a theatrical element. I like engaging with guests & diners. Discussing & educating guests & diners adds another dimension to the experience. 

What do you enjoy eating the most? 
Comfort food. ‘One fork wonders’. I really don’t have much time to sit & eat (unless on vacation), so a hot and tasty Supperbowl of really good beef Bourgignon, a really spicy Indian curry, or absolutely any seafood! 

Did you ever go to Mimi’s Pizza (first food feature ever on Whom You Know - click here to see what they said about Peachy) where Sir Paul McCartney went when he was dating Linda on 84th/Lexington which has sadly closed recently? 
Unfortunately not. It was on my list but I didn’t get there on time. Very sad to see it gone after 59 years. I heard that Bobby Flay used to roll out the dough there many moons ago. 

Did you get to meet Paul McCartney in person? 
Yes I did. A gentleman. 

What is your favorite Beatles song? 
Don’t let me down. I love their performance on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London. It turned out to be their last ever live performance, so there is a tinge of sadness to it. 

I did. Nearly every young boy in Ireland has some involvement with their local GAA club in either one of two codes- Hurling or Gaelic Football. I played hurling for Round Towers GAA Club in Clondalkin in the south west of Dublin County. 

Peachy did a term paper on the GAA when she was a student at UCC and on air with co-anchor Des Curran in their show, POC OFF. Poc is the verb of hitting the ball in hurling for our non-Gaelic speakers. Please explain to the world how awesomely superior Gaelic sports are. 
Incredibly difficult to capture the pre-match apprehension, the atmosphere, camaraderie, loyalty, dedication and emotion. I will leave that to the more qualified scribes! All I can say is that you need to experience it in the flesh to truly appreciate it. That’s one for the bucket list. Any visitors from the US who have witnessed an inter-county match at Croke Park are left with an indelible Celtic mark on their soul. The players (all amateur status) train like professionals, and on any given Sunday, they become superstars. The very next day, they could be back at work in a bank, or as a police officer, or in a hospital. It is a unique sport in that regard. 

For all our readers that may not know Croke Park, you should know it is the historical and excellence-level Irish equivalent of Yankee Stadium. When you arrived at Croke Park, did you change the menu? Why or why not? 
The GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) was formed in 1884 as part of a national cultural revival encompassing literature, language, tradition and of course sport. The grounds at Croke Park were bought by the association in 1913 and was developed over the years. The current stadium was completed in 2005 and is the third largest stadium in Europe. Not bad for an amateur sport! 
Before I came to work at Croke Park, I attended games as a fan. I used my experience as a customer to overhaul the average fans experience. I changed all menus and offerings. Corporate & Premium level menus change from game to game, taking into account the time of year, where competing counties & teams are travelling from, the time of day & weather. 

How do you achieve a balance of modern Irish cuisine with the storied history and tradition of Croke Park to properly execute the best menu? 
Food provenance is central to what we do at Croke Park. You could call it the golden thread that links our operation together. I am immeasurably lucky to have such a fantastic range of fruit & veg growers, cheese makers, Beef, Pork, Lamb & Venison producers right on my doorstep. That’s the great thing about Ireland. Even though I am working in Central Dublin, within 25 minutes I could be standing in a field with one of the farmers we source from. With Ireland’s temperate climate & north Atlantic position, we also experience more than our fair share of rain. The upside to this is the very rich soil & green green grass which ensures we produce the best beef, lamb & dairy in the world. With the best produce, it is easy to create menus linking the story of the farmer/producer, with the region it came from. I very much promote local produce which is in line with the ethos of the stadium & the GAA.

What sells the best at Croke Park in terms of food? 
On match day general public- Burgers, Hot Dogs & fries. Our burgers are 100% ground Irish Beef (all grass fed- our cattle eat nothing else!). Our Hot Dogs are hand made by Ger & Dara Loughnane in Galway to a recipe we developed ourselves. We have a range of menus on Premium & Corporate levels that change match by match, so it’s hard to pinpoint one particular item. One thing is sacrosanct though, and that’s the Roast Beef lunch. I would be lynched if I ever took off the beef. All of this beef is sourced in the South Tipperary region and 100% Irish Hereford. Seafood is also a big seller, and with our location on the east coast (and being an island) we are spoilt for choice with seafood. Lobster from Howth, oysters from Carlingford, mussels from Mullaghmore, Lambay crab, this list is endless. I talk to my fish guy at least twice a day. 

How often do you change the menu at Croke Park and what prompts a change? 
Public areas generally stay the same season by season. We ramp up the offering as the season progresses & matches become more competitive and serious. Soup & hot sandwiches in winter. Barbeques in summer. 
Premium & corporate change with each match day. 
Outside matches, Croke Park runs a significant Meetings & Events business. This ranges from conferencing, product launches, expos, award ceremonies, anything really. For this, I have a completely different menu pack & brochure. The demographic at meetings & events is markedly different to match days, and the menus reflect that. We become a little more adventurous, exploring food theatre, service styles, and international cuisine. We get to play! Change is ongoing. You could go stale very quickly unless you change up & adapt. Competition is fierce in this market, so you gotta keep up! 

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
Anyone with a vision & great focus. There are so many out there. People like Sir Richard Branson, Marco Pierre White, and Bill Gates. 
I honestly think it is more deep-rooted than that though. My parents did a remarkable job raising 11 children in difficult circumstances (yes, I have 3 brothers and 7 sisters!). As I get older I appreciate the values & standards they instilled in all of us, the belief that we could achieve our goals, and the acceptance and understanding of failure on the road to achieving that goal. 

What are you proudest of and why? 
My team here at Croke Park. They have consistently thrived & exceeded themselves in every aspect of what we do here. Their dedication, determination, loyalty and friendship is unique. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
Food travel South East Asia

What honors and awards have you received in your profession? 
Some are very old from competitions I competed in when I was very young, but more recent ones are- 

Aramark Ring of Stars 2015 

Best Catering Job- Irish Hospitality Awards 2017 

Best Event Caterer- Event Industry Awards 2018 

What one word best describes you and why? 
Honest. If you are not honest with yourself & everybody else, all other aspects of your life and career will suffer. 

What do you take your sense of identity from? 
My family, heritage, country. 

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
Anywhere for breakfast. Breakfast in NY is the best in the world. There are a few spots though- Beauty & Essex on Essex Street on the Lower East Side is a ‘must-stop’. 

And Ireland? 
Spanish Point looking over Valentia Island, by Cahirciveen in Co. Kerry. The seafood freshly landed on the quay, straight into the kitchen and onto the plate! 

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
Eataly on Fifth Avenue 

And Ireland? 
Fallon & Byrne or any Avoca Store 

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why? 
Comedian Frankie Boyle- His humor is the closest thing to kitchen humor in mainstream comedy. He could keep us entertained on long days!

What is your favorite drink? 
Dingle Gin & Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic 

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
I normally cater for cocktail parties as opposed to attending them. It’s not really my scene, and I am more comfortable in my whites out back.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
Daniel. Daniel Bouloud on the Upper East Side. 

And Ireland? 
One Pico on Dublin’s Molesworth Street, Fade Street by Dylan McGrath, or Ross Lewis’ Chapter One

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? 
The Bobby Gold Stories- Anthony Bourdain. 

And Ireland? 
McCarthy’s Bar - Peter McCarthy. An English journalist touring Ireland with a vow to never pass a bar with his name on it. A great insight of the rural pub culture in Ireland. 

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
POTUS- So I could defuse all the volatile relationships & get the world leaders to chill out.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
Chrysler Building- It’s timeless! 

And Ireland? 
A bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin. A target of the famous Dublin wit, the names of well known statues & bridges always have a hilarious substitute. Of course, these bridges are named after major historical figures with a heroic military, literary or humanitarian contribution. I wouldn’t be worthy of a brick in comparison to these legends!

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
All the walking! 10 miles a day. 

And Ireland? 
Playing at Croke Park in the Junior Schools Championship as a 12 year old. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
Exploring Chinatown 

And Ireland? 
Having a pint of Guinness in McDaids, Brendan Behan’s favorite bar in Dublin. 

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
Anthony Bourdain- A great storyteller, chef & all round nice guy. 

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
Instrumental in developing a system of procurement and waste management ensuring Croke Park producing 0% waste to landfill. 
Brought up four delightful children!

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan? 
Overrated- Central Park 
Underrated- The cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 

And Ireland? 
Overrated- Temple bar, Dublin 
Underrated- Cliffs of Moher 

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite​ column and what do you like about it? 
It’s really the Movers and Shakers! Love the John Aidan Byrne profile and interview. I can associate with him coming from Ireland and admire him for orchestrating his own success, coming from a relatively humble background to the dizzy heights in his field in the US.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
I speak fluent Irish (Gaelic)

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 

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