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27th Aug 2019

PODCAST: JP McMahon takes on a stunning Mayo walking trail

Brian Dillon

JP McMahon on a Mayo walking trail

JP McMahon joins us on this beautiful Mayo walking trail and talks about running a Michelin-star restaurant.

The Irish are a nation of storytellers. Our stories are embedded in us, and in our landscape. Tales and Trails podcast is a brand new and immersive audio experience that invites you to walk the Irish countryside with the nation’s most interesting people.

On this episode, we walked a gorgeous Mayo walking trail: the Bothy Loop in Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, Letterkeen, Co. Mayo (Find the full trail guide here).

Our guest is JP McMahon, Michelin-star chef who is famed for his no-holds-barred attitude. We walked one of the most remote and peaceful trails in Ireland together, while JP chatted about the realities of life in the kitchen, emerging food trends in Ireland, and working so closely with his other half (there are difficult days!)

Speaking about his Michelin-star restaurant, Aniar, JP opened up about the pressures involved:

“I didn’t dream of being a Michelin star chef at all. The Michelin star came completely out of the blue.”

“We just wanted to explore the food of the West of Ireland, and then 14 months later the restaurant won a star.”

“Honestly, it’s been up and down since that. It’s been bedlam trying to deal with the pressures of it.”

“It’s an international award so you get a lot of international customers and international recognition, but then you have to live up to that.”

“From the outside, it seems like the pinnacle of everything but people forget that usually for Michelin star dining, you have a lot more staff and a lot less people. We would feed max 36 people on a Saturday so it is a labour of love.”

For JP’s full story, recorded live on the Bothy Loop in Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, listen to the full episode below.

For spectacular sights, invigorating sensations and unforgettable experiences, make your next short break a walking break on the Wild Atlantic Way. Walking Makes your Break.

For more information or to plan your walking break on the Wild Atlantic Way, visit the Tales and Trails hub here.