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The Murphia List 2022 - the Irish talent in London's food and drink scene right now

The Murphia 2022 - the biggest Irish names in London food and drink circles right now

Jump to: Chefs  |  Restaurateurs  |  Bars  |  Front of house  |  Producers  |  Media  |  Behind the scenes 

In the run-up to St Patrick's Day, we proudly present our eighth annual Murphia List, showcasing the Irish talent contributing to the creativity of London's food and drink scene.

 

Chefs

Niamh LarkinNEW - Niamh Larkin

Executive Pastry Chef - 45 Park Lane

Niamh's first food memories were drinking unpasteurised milk straight from the cows on the dairy farm she grew up on in Limerick, and eating her grandmother's amazing homemade soda bread. Her first job in hospitality was at the Dunraven Arms in Adare where her weekend duties included covering pastry duty, a job which further inspired her love of baking. Now at the Dorchester Group, she was part of the opening team for their 45 Park Lane hotel where celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck "has given me free rein when it comes to being creative and sharing ideas".

Follow Niamh on Instagram at @niamhlarkin_pastry

 

Max RochaNEW - Max Rocha

Chef Patron of Café Cecilia

Max is the chef and owner of Café Cecilia, an East London neighbourhood restaurant serving simple and European-inspired food. Having previously worked at restaurants such as The River Café and St John Bread & Wine, Max’s cooking takes inspiration from what’s in season around him. Dubliner Max’s greatest influence is the cooking of his mum Odette and the food he grew up with in Ireland. Before setting up Café Cecilia, Max was catering for a number of clients on fashion and art shoots including Burberry and Gucci along with his sister designer Simone Rocha. His new restaurant attracts a similarly well-dressed crowd.

Follow Max on Instagram at @cafececilialondon.

 

kennethculhaneKenneth Culhane

Head Chef: The Dysart

Originally from Lisselton, North Kerry, Roux scholar Kenneth has a wealth of experience behind him. He’s worked for Patrick Guilbaud in Ireland, Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney and Jean Georges Vongerichten in New York. He’s now at the bucolic restaurant The Dysart in Richmond, which has both a Michelin star and three AA rosettes.

Follow him on Twitter @kennethculhane

 

Nick FitzgeraldNick Fitzgerald

Chef/Patron: Tacos Padre 

Originally from Dublin, Nick is also half Spanish - his mother hails from Asturias in the north of Spain. A longtime fan of all things Mexican, his restaurant career eventually took him to Mexico City where he joined the team at Pujol, one of Mexico’s most celebrated restaurants. 

Now he has his own taqueria in London's Borough Market. Tacos Padre is a very modern taqueria with a focus on traditional cooking techniques, exploring Mexico through its different regional cuisines. They change the menu on a regular basis and take in the seasonal produce directly from Borough Market.

Follow Nick on Instagram @nicholaspfg

 

fionahannon2Fiona Hannon

Head Chef: Bentley's 

Born in Bray, Country Wicklow, Fiona came early to the hospitality trade, starting as a kitchen porter in a local hotel during the school holidays when she was 15. She moved to London to work for Richard Corrigan where she took the position as demi-head de partie at Corrigan's much-lauded Lindsay House. From there she helped open Bentley's in Dublin, then Corrigan's Mayfair and is now at Bentley's in London where she is head chef. Referring to her long term working relationship with Corrigan as a 'life sentence', she says he gives her "the freedom and space to get on with my job."

Follow Bentley's on Instagram @bentleysoysterbar

 

annahaughAnna Haugh

Chef Patron: Myrtle 

Anna Haugh began her career in her home town of Dublin working in L'Ecrivain with Derry Clarke. She then moved to London where she worked with Shane Osborne in Pied a Terre,

Philip Howard in The Square, and for the Gordon Ramsay Group.  In May 2019, she opened Myrtle Restaurant in Chelsea. The name Myrtle was inspired by the Irish chef Myrtle Allen,  founder of Ballymaloe House. Anna takes Irish peasant recipes and refines them making them more elegant but still with the heart of Ireland. In Myrtle Restaurant there is a large focus on great Irish produce, music and art. 

Anna has worked on numerous television shows for the BBC, she is the resident chef on the breakfast show Morning Live. She did two series of Royal Recipes and two series of Ready Steady Cook and has been a guest judge for Master Chef and Hell's Kitchen. Anna is a regular guest and occasional presenter on Saturday Kitchen.

Follow Anna on Instagram @haughser

 

Colin KellyColin Kelly

Head Chef: The Twenty Two

Hailing from Tullamore, Kelly began his career at Dublin's L'Ecrivain before deciding to move to London 'for one year'. That was 16 years ago. In that time, Kelly spent eight years with Anthony Demetre, where he became Head Chef at Wild Honey; he then, alongside Tom Slegg and Alan Christie, opened the highly rated Picture restaurant on Great Portland Street and Picture Marylebone (both now closed) and later, he was Executive Chef at the Corrigan Collection. Kelly is now head chef of a new Mayfair hotel, restaurant and members' club - The Twenty Two - which opens in April - where he's teamed up once again with Alan Christie to run the kitchen.

Follow him on Twitter @colinkelly10 

 

Marguerite KeoghMarguerite Keogh

Head Chef: The Five Fields

County Clare born and bred Marguerite Keogh apprenticed at Dromoland Castle hotel before heading across the water to London. For five years she worked alongside Marcus Wareing - first at Petrus and then at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley before launching The Five Fields in Chelsea with Taylor Bonnyman and quickly gaining a Michelin star.

Follow her on Twitter @magschef

 

Dave McCarthyDave McCarthy

Head Chef: Scott's

From Midleton, County Cork, Dave caught the restaurant bug working in a family-run restaurant and moved to London when he was 22 to work at The Ivy. He stayed there for two years before moving to Harvey Nichols to work for Henry Harris as Chef de Partie. From here he moved to J Sheekey under Tim Hughes where he worked for nine years. In 2006 he was in the team that helped to relaunch Scott's and has been Head Chef here since 2009.

Follow Dave on Instagram @maccer73.

 

Patrick PowellPatrick Powell

Head chef: Allegra

Mayo-born chef Patrick says his early inspiration for cooking came from his grandmother and her vegetable garden. He apprenticed at Dublin’s Michelin-star restaurant L’Ecrivain and worked at top Melbourne restaurant Cutler & Co before landing in London where he worked for Anthony Demetre at Wild Honey and then spent four years as Head Chef of the Chiltern Firehouse before opening his own restaurant Allegra at Manhattan Loft Gardens in Stratford.

It's been a busy 12 months for Patrick who, as well as cementing Allegra’s impressive reputation in "this new metropolitan centre", collaborated with developer and hotelier Harry Handelsman on their third project together, when he oversaw the menu development at the recently opened Booking Office 1869. To celebrate his Irish heritage, Patrick is also hosting two St Patrick's Day dinners on 9th and 10th March, where he will be showcasing a traditional Irish feast presented over seven courses.

Follow him on Instagram @ppowellchef

 

Clare Smyth MBEClare Smyth MBE

Chef Patron: Core by Clare Smyth

Born on a farm in Country Antrim, Smyth moved to England at the age of 16, building a career that included working at Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monaco and with Gordon Ramsay for 13 years. She was the first female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK and Core - her own fine dining restaurant in Notting Hill, received its third Michelin star last year. How she managed to find the time to cater for Harry and Meghan’s private wedding reception is anyone’s guess. Her current challenge is running two restaurants on two hemispheres - the opening of Oncore in Sydney was set back by the pandemic but finally threw open its doors in November 2021.

Follow her on Instagram @chefclaresmyth

 

 

Restaurateurs

richardcorriganRichard Corrigan

Chef Patron of Corrigan Collection, which operates Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill, Corrigan’s Mayfair and Daffodil Mulligan in London, as well as the 100-acre Virginia Park Lodge.

Dublin-born, but raised in Meath, Corrigan is one of the leading forces among the Irish in London’s hospitality industry, running Bentley's in Piccadilly and the eponymous Corrigan's in Mayfair. In 2019 he partnered with John Nugent and Tony Gibney to open Daffodil Mulligan in Old Street. All three of his restaurants are supplied with vegetables, fruit and salads from Corrigan’s Irish estate, Virginia Park Lodge in Cavan. Next up? He’s heading to North London, opening a restaurant at Camden Market; “It is going to be something really very special.”

Follow him on Twitter @CorrigansFood

 

Sinead Campbellsinead campbell

Restaurateur: Bong Bong's Manila Kanteen

"Growing up in Ireland has always been a huge inspiration for me," says Sinead, who's from a farming family background in Galway. "However we wouldn't be where we are today without the support and influence of Lee's mother Leah. She introduced me to Filipino food 15 years ago and we've never looked back." Sinead and her partner Lee Johnson scored critical success with their restaurant, Bong Bong's Manila Kanteen when it opened in Bethnal Green before moving to its current home at Seven Dials in Covent Garden where its crispy pork with Lechon sauce is unmissable.

More: Follow them on Instagram @bongbongshackney

 

John DevittJohn Devitt

Owner: Koya

Former city boy (and Dubliner) John learned his trade in the kitchen with Giorgio Locatelli at Zafferano and front of house at Pengelley’s. He opened Koya in 2010 after being inspired by a Parisian restaurant devoted to the udon noodle, having cunningly spotted that London was undersupplied in decent noodle joints. Koya Bar followed pretty smartly after and both developed an almost fanatical fan base. Koyo Soho was joined by Koya City which opened at the Bloomberg Arcade. And now, Koya have opened a little sister called Koya KO in Broadway Market in East London, with a fully online menu for takeaway and delivery.

 

garrett2Garrett Fitzgerald

Restaurateur: Butchies

Originally from Bray, Garrett founded Butchies in 2013 with the intention of creating the ultimate fried chicken sandwich for London's street food scene. In November 2017 he opened his first permanent restaurant, in Shoreditch. Since then, he's opened further sites in Victoria, Earls Court, Clapham High Street, and Fulham. Butchies' next opening will be in Ealing, two days after St. Patrick’s Day and they also have a restaurant opening in the Borough Yards development this summer.

Follow them on Instagram @butchies_london

 

Robin and Sarah GillRobin and Sarah Gill

Restaurateurs and chef: Bermondsey Larder, Sorella, Darby's and Zebra Riding Club/Birch

Both from Dublin, this powerhouse restaurant couple are now responsible for a boutique group of restaurants across South London. Robin earned his stripes working at La Stampa in Dublin, The Oak Room with Marco Pierre White and under Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. Their first restaurant, The Dairy in Clapham, was a massive success and led to the opening of Sorella and Counter Culture in the same area. In 2019 they opened the critically acclaimed Darby's in Embassy Gardens right beside the American Embassy along with a bakery and grill in Brentford; Rye by the Water.

Next up was a new modern bistro, Bermondsey Larder. Plus, Robin realised the dream of a lifetime at new lifestyle hotel Birch, in Hertfordshire where he now has a bakery, two restaurants and three bars - all led by the terroir, farm and kitchen garden on their doorstep. 2022 is shaping up to be another big year for the pair with their Parisian-inspired wine bar, Bottle + Rye, opening in Brixton in the spring.

Follow Robin on Twitter: @robingillchef 

 

brianhannonBrian Hannon

Restaurateur: Super 8 Restaurants - Smoking Goat, Kiln, Brat

Dubliner Brian Hannon came to London as a graduate working for Bass where he worked for 18 years, eventually running over 400 sites. He then spent two years as Selfridges Food & Restaurants director. From there he teamed up with Ben Chapman to open the first Smoking Goat in Denmark Street and they now co-own Kiln and Smoking Goat in Shoreditch. He also co-owns Shoreditch's hot restaurant Brat together with Tomas Parry and Chapman.

Lockdown life: In 2020 the team opened Brat X Climpsons Arches, after the first lockdown, as an outdoor restaurant to save and create jobs. It’s been a huge success, creating 30 new jobs in the pandemic and is now a permanent fixture in London Fields. Hannon is also a founding board member of the Soho Business Alliance, helping to bring Al Fresco dining to Soho.

Follow Smoking Goat on Instagram @smokinggoatbar

 

johnkingJohn King

Restaurateur: Bowling Bird

King, who hails from Carlow, began as a barman at Goodman before working his way up to the position of GM at Goodman City for five years. Then he decided to head out on his own in 2017 to open his own restaurant, Bowling Bird, with wine wholesaler Joseph Pelosi. After three years in business, they've gained a reputation for serving some the best steak in the area, along an extensive wine list of over 300 choices including some very rare California offerings.

Follow them on Instagram @bowling_bird

 

David MooreDavid Moore

Founding Director: Pied à Terre

Moore was born in Monaghan and got his first taste of the trade working in his mother's hotel. Having worked everywhere from The Box Tree in Ilkley to Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, when Moore opened Pied à Terre in 1991 he achieved almost instant success - the restaurant won its first Michelin star 13 months later and retains it to this day. Celebrating its 30 year anniversary last year, the restaurant now has a first-floor Chefs Table and Cookery School and has garnered plaudits for its particularly inventive vegan offering. During lockdown they developed an at-home vegan feast service which is still doing great business.

Moore is also behind The Devereux pub, which he runs with publican Tony Bennett, just off The Strand.

Follow him on Twitter @davidpied

 

John NugentJohn Nugent

CEO: Green & Fortune

Having learned his craft as MD of Corrigan Restaurants and at Searcy’s, Dublin-born Nugent was clearly the right man to take over the catering at King’s Place when it opened in 2008. There he runs the riverside restaurant, Rotunda, King's Place Events and the Green & Fortune Cafe. Across town at Sea Containers, he has a restaurant, bars, event and roof terrace spaces and his company is behind the hospitality, conferencing and cafe operation at Central Hall Westminster. He’s also a partner with Richard Corrigan and Tony Gibney in Daffodil Mulligan and its downstairs bar, Gibney's London. 

After a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic John is once again running his sell-out St. Patrick’s fund-raising lunch for the London Irish Centre and The Clink charities.

Follow John on Twitter @_JohnNugent

 

Ciara O'Shea and Ken NallyCiara O'Shea and Ken Nally

Owners: F. Mondays 

Born in Tipperary to a family of butchers (her brother Darragh is also on this list), Ciara is a makeup artist by trade - she's worked with folk like Madonna and Jaden Smith. But the pandemic put paid to photoshoots and travelling, giving her time to refocus on the grocery and coffee store she and husband Ken opened in Brixton six years ago. F Mondays has a stellar reputation in Brixton for being a great place to - when restrictions allow - sit and have a quiet natter with friends over a coffee. Ken is from Wicklow and grew up on his dad's trout farm in Annamoe, where he learned early about running a business. When it came to opening F Monday’s he had a clear idea of what he wanted it to be, great coffee and delicious simple products like their famous toasted sandwiches.

Follow them on Instagram @fmondayscoffee

 

Oliver PeytonOliver Peyton

CEO: Peyton & Byrne

Born in Mayo, Peyton’s practically an honorary Londoner having been a restaurateur here since the early 90s, revolutionising the scene with The Atlantic in which Hot Dinners lost many an afternoon to the loose concept of the ‘working’ lunch. He is founder/chairman of Peyton & Byrne which runs the oh-so-Instagrammable restaurant at the Wallace Collection. He was also - until this year - a long-standing judge on The Great British Menu.

Follow Oliver on Twitter @oliverpeyton

 

alanandmarkwoganMark and Alan Wogan

Directors: Homeslice

The sons of the late, legendary Sir Tel, Alan and Mark Wogan, their pizza business Homeslice, has gone from strength to strength since it moved from street food status in 2013 to the six-strong restaurant group it now is. They have also founded plant-based food company Symplicity Foods in partnership with Neil Rankin, supplying a number of restaurant groups including Dishoom, Bleecker Burger and Soho House group and cook-at-home kits. The sibling duo both bring different talents to the table - Mark used to be executive chef at The Groucho and Alan runs the business side of things for the group.

Follow Mark Wogan on Instagram @markwogan13.

 

Pubs, bars and cafés

James HennebryNEW: James Hennebry

Co-founder Rosslyn Coffee

Kilkenny-born James Hennebry began his career in the music industry with Live Nation before swapping his late nights for early mornings and moving into the world of speciality coffee. Having honed his skills in Melbourne, James relocated to London to work for Caravan Coffee Roasters. In 2018, alongside his business partner Mat Russell, James launched Rosslyn in the City of London which has gone on to become the busiest speciality coffee shop in Europe and was recently listed by the Financial Times as one of the Best Independent Coffee Shops in the World (the only UK entry). They've since opened a second shop at London Wall with a third site due to open this spring at Tower42.

Follow James on Instagram at @rosslyncoffee@rosslyncoffee@rosslyncoffee.

 

Gearoid DevaneyGearoid Devaney

Founder: The Black Book

Gearoid left his hometown of Belfast 20 years ago to immerse himself in the world of wine - initially working in the vineyards of Bordeaux and as a sommelier in one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants in both London and Paris. Now director of Burgundy specialist importer Flint Wines, Gearoid is also co-owner of Cabotte, a Burgundy-centric restaurant in the City and recently opened The Black Book, a wine bar on Frith Street in Soho. One of only 220 Master Sommeliers, and the only Irish one, Gearoid also sits on the Board for the Court of Master Sommeliers, setting exam papers, teaching courses both in Europe and Asia and guiding the next generation of sommeliers through the rigorous exam programme.

Follow Gearoid on Instagram @gearoiddevaney

 

Cormac GibneyCormac Gibney

Bar Manager: Gibney's London

Born and bred in Dublin, Cormac was literally born into the hospitality industry, specifically above his family pub, Gibney’s of Malahide. Cormac spent his teenage years helping his family in the pub before moving to New York in 2016. Here Cormac expanded his drinks knowledge and mixology skills while working at Pier A Harbour House and CASK. In 2018 he moved back to Ireland where he was appointed Assistant Bar Manager of Gibney’s. In November 2019, Cormac moved to London to become Bar Manager of Daffodil Mulligan, and now Gibney’s London. The launch of Gibney’s London marked the family's first international outpost since its opening in 1937.

Follow Gibney's London on Instagram  @gibneys.london

 

joseph ryanJoseph Ryan

Publican: The White Hart

Originally from Clonakilty, West Cork, Joseph Ryan moved to London to pursue a career in banking with his childhood friend Seamus Travers. The pair were 27 when they opened their first pub, Hoxton’s Howl at the Moon. Over the past decade, it’s forged a reputation as a place to enjoy live Irish music and sporting events. Since then Joseph’s opened craft beer trailblazer, the Fox, in Dalston and The Bear in Camberwell. In 2017 Joseph and his brother Paddy opened the craft beer pub and live music venue The White Hart Beer House & Kitchen in Peckham. Joseph and Paddy are also owners of Cellar Boys Brewery.

Follow them on Instagram @cellarboysbrewery

 

Aaron Wall and Ciarán SmithAaron Wall and Ciarán Smith

Owners: Homeboy, The Bottle Cocktail Shop

Ciarán and Aaron, owners of Homeboy Bar in London, have gone from strength to strength since opening their first London bar in 2018. They’ve been nominated for Best New International Cocktail Bar and Top 10 Best International Cocktail Bar Europe and - fighting talk this - say they pour the best pint of Guinness in London. The pair are set to open their second Homeboy Bar in Embassy Gardens which will see them offering all-day food alongside their great cocktails.

Follow Homeboy on Instagram @homeboybars.

 

Front of House

Richie Corrigan murphia listRichie Corrigan

Operations Director: The Corrigan Collection

From an early age, Richie Corrigan has had hospitality in his blood - working at father Richard Corrigan's restaurants during his school holidays - doing everything from pot-washing & prepping at Michelin-starred Lindsay House to being a waiter at Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill. Following a stint as Assistant GM at Corrigan’s Mayfair overseeing the launch of Dickie's Bar. he moved to Hong Kong where he worked as Restaurant Manager of Belon the year it got its first Michelin star. Back in London, he's fronting operations at Daffodil Mulligan and Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill.

Follow Richie on Instagram @richiecoggs

 

Conor Daly murphia listConor Daly

General Manager: The George

Greystones-born Conor moved to London after finishing his Economics degree at Trinity College, Dublin. Having worked in hospitality throughout school and college the decision to move to London came after a meal at Robin Gill's The Dairy in Clapham ended up with a job offer. He worked at The Dairy before opening Sorella in Clapham as the bar manager. Next up was two years alongside chef Patrick Powell as manager of Allegra in Stratford.

Now he’s part of top London restaurant group JKS for whom he opened The Cadogan Arms in Chelsea. Right now his days are spent in Fitzrovia, where he’s working at The George, another popular pub that’d been closed for many years and where JKS are due to open Upstairs at The George next week in a collaboration with Michelin-starred chef James Knappett.

Follow Conor on Instagram @conor_daly_49

 

Fergal LeeFergal Lee

GM: The Wolseley

Fergal first came to London in 1996 after graduating from the Galway Hotel School in Ireland. He worked within Forte Hotels for several years before joining O'Neill's Bars as a manager in 1998. Fergal joined J. Sheekey in 2001 and then moved to The Wolseley's opening team in 2003 as a Head Waiter. Having worked his way up to Restaurant Operations Manager, he opened The Delaunay as Assistant General Manager in 2011 and was appointed General Manager there in January 2013. In December 2018, Fergal returned to Piccadilly and The Wolseley in the role of General Manager.

 

Shane McHughShane McHugh

Wine Buyer/Group Head Sommelier: Goodman/Zelman Meats/Beast

Roscommon native, Shane, came to London in 2014 after a brief stint in New York and started in wine with a job at Vinoteca, which followed a tour de force working for Jason Atherton, Gordon Ramsay & Adam Handling. In 2019 he headed over to steak restaurant Goodman in 2019. He was promoted to buyer in early 2020 and is now overseeing the wine lists, operations and group buying for all six of the Goodman restaurants.

Follow Shane on Instagram @corkageandcraic.

 

oisinOisin Rogers

Publican and restaurateur: The Guinea Grill 

Described by the Evening Standard as ‘equal parts soft tailoring and good humour,’ there is plenty more to the Sligo-born landlord of Mayfair’s Guinea Grill than his velvet blazers and fondness for the craic. He has managed to make The Guinea a cult destination for Guinness after Irish influencer The Guinness Guru said he poured the best pint in central London. 

During the pandemic, he managed to keep the atmosphere in his pubs alive and secured the old Pizza Express chain across from The Guinea after the chain went into administration. Guinea Express was a typically innovative solution to the social distancing legislation. This was such a success that he has kept the restaurant across the road for the foreseeable future, with guests in two Guinea restaurants. That’s a lot of lamb chops grilling. Rogers has many strings to his bow - when not running around Bruton Place keeping everything going you can find him pulling shifts as a chef on the grill. He is also founder and organiser of the Scotch Egg Challenge.

Follow Osh on Twitter @mcmoop and Instagram @mcmoop

 

Joe Warwick murphia listJoe Warwick

"Flambé consultant" - Sola, Soho

Joe Warwick is from County Down. He’s lived in London for the last 25 years and writes about restaurants, food, drink, travel and – very occasionally – other things.  As a journalist, he has worked in print as a restaurant critic and magazine editor, on radio as a reporter for the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, and on TV once suffered as a judge on Celebrity Master Chef. ‘Where Chefs Eat’, his bestselling international restaurant guide and iOS app is currently in its third edition.

With The World Restaurant Awards, which he launched in Paris in 2019, on hiatus he’s been keeping busy by flambéing front of house at Sola, Victor Garvey’s Soho dining room which gained its first Michelin Star last year.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joewarwick

 

 

The producers

Dee RettaliNEW: Dee Rettali

Owner - Fortitude Bakehouse

Artisan baker Dee was born in North Cork but has lived and worked in London since the late Eighties, developing award-winning businesses like Patisserie Organic and the Fernandez & Wells group. In 2018 she opened her own bakery, Fortitude Bakehouse, a craft bakery in Bloomsbury where her groundbreaking techniques include using sourdough in cake making and fermenting cake batters for incredible depth f flavour. A keen traveller - she spent many years travelling throughout Morocco and the Middle East amassing a wealth of knowledge on traditional baking practices. Dee has just published her first baking book Baking with Fortitude which has been shortlisted for the prestigious André Simon awards.

Follow Dee on Instagram @fortitudebakehouse.

 

james goggin empirical spiritsJames Goggin

Head of Sales: Empirical

James first entered the hospitality world in his hometown in Carlow, working in bars and clubs from the age of 16. But it was New Zealand where he properly fell in love with the industry, running top bars, winning cocktail competitions. Returning to London, after a short bartending stint at Happiness Forgets in Hoxton he became an ambassador for drinks distributor Maverick Drinks, training up hundreds of bartenders in the process. He judges whisky, gin and rum for the IWSC, World Drinks Awards and Spirits Masters and is a keen advocate of Irish spirits on the US bar scene.

He now heads up sales at the category-defying Danish distillers Empirical which has just launched its third flavour Can 03 which features carob, fig leaf and lemon myrtle for a winning combo.

Follow James on Instagram  @barrelagedgoggin

 

Simon Lamont and Phil CoulterSimon Lamont and Phil Coulter

Owners: Rocks Oysters

Dublin-born Simon Lamont and Derryman Phil Coulter’s Rocks Oysters has had another busy year establishing itself as a boutique oyster wholesaler and events company, focusing on low yield independent farms from Britain and Ireland; supplying some of London’s most exciting restaurants. True to their streetfood roots they popped up and collaborated at Meatliquor, the National Restaurant Awards, Meatopia & Maison Francois.

You can find them shucking London’s briniest at Canopy Market in Kings Cross every weekend. The online Rocks Shop is launching this spring with the aim of delivering the raw bar experience for Londoners at home with interactive oyster masterclasses and hands-on workshops planned.

Follow them on Instagram @RocksOysters.

 

evinEvin O’Riordain

Founder: The Kernel Brewery

Indisputably one of the leaders of London’s modern craft beer scene, Evin arrived in London in 1999 from Waterford. For years he worked at Neal’s Yard Dairy before setting up his own cheese shop at Borough Market. A trip to New York inspired him to start homebrewing which led to opening his brewery in an arch at Druid Street by Maltby Street Market back in 2009. Now he's producing around 7600 barrels a year and Kernel beer is stocked in restaurants all over London from Andrew Edmunds to Hawksmoor. Kernel also has a popular taproom in Bermondsey just a few doors down from their brewery.

Follow them on Instagram @thekernelbrewery 

 

Niall DavidsonDarragh O'Shea

Owner: O’Shea’s Butchers

Darragh is the 8th generation of his family involved in the meat business, which originated in Tipperary back in 1789. Today he works with some of the top restaurants in London, supplying the best meat to the restaurant trade as well as serving up to the public at the Apollo Business Park in Bermondsey and online from their new website. The butchers specialise in ethically sourced meat, particularly dry-aged beef, whether from their own farm in Perthshire or other like-minded suppliers in the UK and Ireland.

Follow them on Instagram @osheasbutchers

 

Steve RyanSteve Ryan

Food Photographer - Co-Founder of Root + Bone and 40FT Brewery

Steve Ryan is a food and drink photographer from Kilkenny. Based in East London since 2010, he shoots both commercial and editorial photography for clients such as Guinness and Jamie Oliver. In 2014, he founded the independent food magazine Root + Bone, which distributes 30,000 copies to restaurants and bars throughout London. Having found a love for making beer with his housemates, in 2015, he co-founded 40FT Brewery in Dalston which has recently soft launched a restaurant and bar, alongside their popular taproom, with Acme Fire Cult.

Follow Root + Bone and 40FT on Instagram @rootandbone and @40ftbrewery and Steve on Instagram @_steveryan_

  

 

Media

Jessica CorriganJessica Corrigan

Co-Founder: Crab Communications

The middle child of chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan, Jess entered the London food world through the media angle. In January 2019, she launched her own PR agency, CRAB Communications, with friends Tess Berry and Tom Rogers. Jess and her team work with a range of food businesses and chefs including; Philip Warren Butchers in Cornwall, Blacklock, Paul Ainsworth, Homeslice, Tommy Banks and Mark Birchall, to name a few.

Follow Jessica on Instagram @jesscorrigan1

 

dianaDiana Henry

Food writer and broadcaster

Born in Northern Ireland, Diana's been cooking since the tender age of six. In her early career as a TV producer - during which she took a year out to do a Leith’s Diploma Course - she worked on many of Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall’s series. Following parenthood, she started writing about food and is now the author of 12 acclaimed cookery books. Her latest book - From the Oven to the Table - was an instant bestseller. She is currently working on her new book, North, due to be published in 2024 and, as the cookery writer for The Telegraph, shares the most amazing recipes in the paper every week.

Follow Diana on Twitter@dianahenryfood and Instagram @dianahenryfood

 

Niamh ShieldsNiamh Shields

Food & travel writer and cookbook author - Eat like a girl

Niamh seems to know everyone of note on the food and drink scene in London. A Londoner for over 18 years, she hails originally from Dungarvan in Co Waterford. She’s a total globetrotter (when not grounded by a pandemic), always on the go in search of new food inspiration. As well as her award-winning blog Eat Like a Girl (which has received gongs from The Observer Food Monthly, Good Housekeeping and Great British Food Magazine), Niamh has a podcast, Fingers in Pies.

Niamh’s first book, Comfort & Spice, was published in 2011. Her second, Bacon the Cookbook is now on sale and she’s currently working on the 10th Anniversary Edition of Comfort & Spice.

Follow Niamh on Instagram @eatlikeagirl or Twitter @eatlikeagirl

 

 

 

Behind the scenes

ClaridgesNEW - Paddy McKillen

The Maybourne Group

Writing any biography about property developer and hotelier Paddy McKillen is always a tricky task given the lengths to which McKillen has gone to stay out of the limelight. But the Belfast-born businessman's management of the glamorous trio of grande dame hotels in London - Claridge's, The Berkeley and The Connaught - means he firmly belongs on this list. Over the pandemic, the hotels led the way when it came to showing support for the city's frontline workers. And now that things are reverting to normal they're all emerging with exciting new projects - a hot new patisserie at The Berkeley and a huge scale extension at Claridge's.

 

Molly HutchinsonMolly Hutchinson

Founder - MIAM Management, Event Director of Meatopia

Molly grew up in Blackrock, Dublin. Her first job after leaving school was in a local wine shop which gave her a taste for the hospitality industry. A few years working on Taste Festivals led her to setting up MIAM Management, a multi-functional agency which represents and manages a growing roster of chefs including Lee Tiernan, Brad Carter and fellow Murphia Lister Robin Gill among others. 

Molly also produces and directs Meatopia, the annual live-fire celebration in Tobacco Docks.  Meatopia brings together over 70 of the best chefs to cook one-off dishes over fire and takes place every September.

Follow Molly on Instagram @mollyhutchinson

 

fiona leahyFiona Leahy

Founder: Fiona Leahy Design

It's a long way from growing up in Tipperary to creating memorable parties for London's fashion set but hospitality has always been in Fiona Leahy's family. As a child, she helped out in her parents' hotel in Cashel where her father was the chef. After running off to New York where she worked for stylist Patti Wilson, she returned to London in the early 1990s becoming assistant creative director at Garrard. Since then she's become famous herself for the events she's thrown for others - not least the wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson at Gurteen Castle in Ireland. Now she's most likely to be found curating the most exquisite tablescapes at an event in Claridge's or Daphne's.

Follow Fiona on Instagram @fionaleahydesign.

 

Sinead MallozziSinead Mallozzi

CEO: sketch

With a background in hotel management - at one point she was the youngest and only female London hotel General Manager - Sinead, who's from County Clare, moved into events when she created London's first ice rink whilst working for Somerset House. Now as CEO of the sketch empire in London - including its three-Michelin-starred restaurant - she does charity work for the charity the restaurant supports, Place2Be, and also for Hospitality Action. During lockdown she wrote a coffee book on sketch, having studied the archives of the building and collected anecdotes, short stories and interviews with people over the  21 years she’s worked there. The book will be released in April 2023.

 

 

Rising stars

Conor Bartley - The Bottle Cocktail Shop. Conor is currently the Rooms Division Manager at the St Pancras Renaissance hotel and also co-founder of The Bottle Cocktail Shop and has spent the best part of eight years working for some of the busiest hotels in London.

Aaron Flynn - New Lounge Manager at Claridge’s. Having trained up at top Irish hotels Dromoland Castle and Adare Manor, Aaron - nephew to Sinead Malozzi from Sketch - has now risen to the ranks of Assistant Bar Manager at Claridge’s and is definitely one to watch.

 

The Murphia 2022 - the biggest Irish names in London food and drink circles right now

 

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