John Howard was probably Ireland’s first celebrity chef when he and his wife, Catherine, opened up Le Coq Hardi in Dublin’s Pembroke Road back in 1977. It was located just about the right distance from the center of political power, and emerging business and banking centers, which guaranteed his restaurant as a rewarding business. It also didn’t hurt to have a young Minister for Finance as a loyal patron.
Great Chefs showed up one morning in May of 1999 to tape Chef Howard for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the World television series. Le Coq Hardi was known for it’s great food, expensive wine and where the captains of industry dined on lavish expense accounts mixed in with a little hanky panky.
In early 2000, he retired, sold the premises to a wine company, and moved to Spain to consult to Bord Bia and Great Southern Hotels.