Chef John

Co-proprietor with his wife, Ruth, John Kelly is also head Chef at The Riverbank Restaurant.  John has always had a love for cooking which he will tell you started in his mother’s kitchen at a very young age. 

He recalls fondly, baking fairy cakes and sponges under her tutelage. Only a boy of 10, John also remembers helping to prepare freshly picked vegetables for the family’s meals.  Potatoes, carrots, cabbage… they all came from his father’s vegetable garden. And so began an appreciation for fresh local produce, something that is central to all John’s dishes and menus today. 

At the early age of 16, John knew that one day he would own his own restaurant. And so he began his journey. He threw his hat into the professional kitchen with a four-year stint with the renowned chef Nevin Maguire of MacNean House Restaurant in Co.Cavan. From there, he spent four years working in the French restaurant ‘Montmartre’ in Co. Sligo.  Opening a restaurant in his home town of Dromahair was always his dream and finally in 2009 his dream was realised.  John, with his wife Ruth, opened the Riverbank Restaurant which he runs along-side The Clubhouse Gastro Bar in beautiful Dromahair in north County Leitrim. 

John lives in Dromahair with his wife Ruth and their two children Jason and Nicole.