New Executive Chef Ryan Stringer appointed at top Belfast restaurant James Street

Acclaimed chef Ryan Stringer has returned to Belfast to take the lead as Executive chef at Belfast’s award-winning, fine dining restaurant, James St.

Previously Executive Chef at the ground-breaking ELY group of wine bars and restaurants in Dublin, the Dungannon native returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in over a decade with exciting plans ahead for the celebrated restaurant.

One of Belfast’s most renowned and well-loved restaurants, James St., which is owned by culinary legend Niall and his wife Joanne McKenna, first opened in 2003.

Since then, the entrepreneurial pair have been credited with helping to drive Belfast’s thriving hospitality scene after growing their restaurant portfolio to include James St. Bar and Grill in 2011, Hadskis in 2014 and earlier this year the hugely popular Cookery School located in the stunning surrounds of Waterman House inside the bustling Cathedral Quarter.

Stringer has already been working at the flagship James St. restaurant since late last year and is excited about bringing his own style and passion for food and wine to the menu in 2022 as part of this new appointment.

Stringer acknowledges the legions of loyal customers who are so important to James St. and reassures that their beloved classic dishes will not be going from the menu anytime soon. However, he is keen to inject his own experiences from ELY, as well from his stages at Raymond Blanc’s world-famous Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford and at Copenhagen’s 108 restaurant, the affordable sister to world-renowned three star Michelin restaurant “Noma.”

From his years in ELY, he has a love for matching great wine with exceptional food and he is excited for James St customers to enjoy the same.

He is looking forward to his next chapter as he returns to his roots, this time with a whole new wealth of knowledge and influences to draw upon.

“I’ll definitely be taking my experiences in Ely with me to James St. I was there for over a decade and it shaped me. It was part of me for so long. I’m really excited to bring all the experiences I’ve had back home to Ulster with me in my new role,” Ryan said.