As second-generation Irish, Gavin and I decided a few years back to bring together in a single list all the Irish people we'd met over the years of covering this city's hospitality industry. We wanted to celebrate our own heritage through shining a light on all the passionate people from Ireland who work in London's restaurants, pubs and bars.
The list has grown a fair bit since then, covering those working front of house and in the kitchens as well as those writing about and promoting the restaurant world.
In the run-up to St Patrick's Day, we present our fourth annual Murphia List.
Job: Head Chef
Where: The Ninth
Born in Dublin, Kevin trained at Dublin's Patrick Guilbaud's before moving to London and starting at Pollen Street Social and afterwards at Jun Tanaka's The Ninth as Sous Chef. He's been there since the launch, while it earned its Michelin Star and is now the Head Chef. Look out for a collaboration between him and fellow Murphia member, Picture's Colin Kelly, soon.
More: Follow him on Twitter @_THE_REAL_KB_.
Job: Head Chef
Where: The Dysart
Originally from Lisselton, North Kerry, Roux scholar Kenneth has a wealth of experience behind him. In Ireland, he worked at The Shelbourne and Patrick Guilbaud, but since then has worked with Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney and Brett Graham at The Ledbury. For his Roux scholarship internship, he worked across Jean Georges Vongerichten's restaurants in New York. He’s now at The Dysart in Richmond, which was recently picked as one of the most romantic restaurants in the UK by the Times.
More: Follow him on Twitter @kennethculhane
Job: Chef Patron
29-year-old chef Niall may have been born in Scotland, but having lived in Derry since he was nine he's an honorary Irishman. He came to London as a butcher at the age of 19, working for Jack O'Shea at Harrods and from there worked at St John Bread & Wine, Lockhart, Chiltern Firehouse and Belgian restaurant In de Wulf. As the man behind Nuala on City Road, his 2018 claim to fame was opening a restaurant using and inspired by Irish produce. And while the restaurant isn't 'Irish' per se, the bar downstairs very much is, looking for the world like one of the old school shop/pubs you'll still find in rural Ireland. His next project is another London restaurant, Butcher's Bar. So watch this space.
More: Follow him on Instagram @niall_davidson
Job: Chef Patron
Shauna hails from Derry where her family is in the restaurant industry. While a student in Sheffield she was offered a placement at Gordon Ramsay Holdings where she first met Marcus Wareing at the original Petrus. Since then she's worked on the launch team of the Gilbert Scott and in 2017 she and her husband Mark became joint Chef Patrons at Marcus. But her biggest claim to fame has to be working with Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller as a consultant on the film Burnt.
More: Follow her on Instagram @scaithness2
Job: Head Chef
Where: The Five Fields
County Clare born and bred (she goes home EVERY month) Marguerite Keogh apprenticed at Dromoland Castle hotel before skipping over 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.
More: Follow her on Twitter @magschef
Job: Head Chef
From a restaurant-owning family in Midleton, County Cork, Dave 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.
Job: Head Chef
Where: Corrigan’s Mayfair
Aidan was born and bred in Donegal. After training in Ireland including at the award-winning O'Gradys on the Pier in Galway he moved to London where he worked at the Mandarin Oriental followed by Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and at Launceston Place. As Head Chef of the Truscott Arms his Sunday roasts became the stuff of legend. Since February 2018 he's been running the kitchen at Corrigan's Mayfair as Head Chef where they're planning a big push on Irish produce.
More: Follow Aidan on Twitter @mcgeeaidan
Job: Head chef
Where: Manhattan Loft Gardens (restaurant name TBC)
Mayo-born chef Patrick worked at a number of restaurants in Ireland and Australia before arriving in London to work for Anthony Demetre at Wild Honey and then became Head Chef of the Chiltern Firehouse under Nuno Mendes. Early next year, he’ll be launching his own restaurant on the 7th-floor rooftop of Manhattan Loft Gardens- a hotel/loft project from the folk behind the Chiltern Firehouse and St Pancras.
More: Follow him on Instagram @ppowellchef
Job: Head Chef
Rory hails from Dublin where his father owns the well-respected Bistro One in Foxrock village, Dublin. Having moved here six years ago, Rory worked his way through numerous London kitchens including The Canton Arms in Stockwell where owner Trish Hilferty was his mentor. After creating a storm at London opening The Winemakers Deptford which has now closed, he's about to become the head chef at Tom Oldroyd's new restaurant in Hackney.
More: Follow him on Instagram @rorys100
Where: Core by Clare Smyth
Born on a farm in Country Antrim, Smyth left school at 16 to begin her career - early jobs included working for Terence Conran at Michelin House and as Head Chef of St Enodoc Hotel. In 2002 she came to work for Gordon Ramsay, five years later she was appointed head chef of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay - the first female chef in the UK to run a three Michelin-star kitchen. In 2015 she was awarded a perfect ten score by the Good Food Guide - the first female chef to do so in 15 years. Her first solo restaurant, Core, opened in Notting Hill in the summer of 2017
More: Follow her on Instagram @chefclaresmyth
Job: Chef Patron of Corrigan Collection, which operates Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Corrigan’s Mayfair and Dickie's Bar in London, as well as a 100 acre hunting lodge Virginia Park Lodge
Dublin-born, but raised in Meath, Corrigan is one of the powerhouses of the Irish in London’s hospitality industry running Bentley's in Piccadilly and the eponymous Corrigan's in Mayfair which is this year celebrating its 10th birthday. Corrigan’s estate, Virginia Park Lodge in Cavan is a passion project which also provides weekly deliveries of vegetables, fruits & herbs to his London restaurants & Dickie’s Bar.
More: Follow him on Twitter @CorrigansFood
Bray boy 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 and wife Emer opened their first permanent restaurant, in Shoreditch. "Packing in the desk job to start Butchies four years ago has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made," says Garrett.
More: Follow them on Instagram @butchies_london
Where: Koya Bar and Koya City
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. Koya closed its doors in 2015 when chef Junya Yamasaki returned to Japan, but the bar is still going strong and it's now been joined by Koya City which opened at the Bloomberg Arcade in the City last year.
Robin and Sarah Gill
Job: Restaurateurs and chef
Both from Dublin, this powerhouse restaurant couple are now behind two of the best restaurants in South London, The Dairy and Sorella. Robin earned his stripes working at La Stampa in Dublin before heading to The Oak Room under Marco Pierre White followed by an extensive period with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. In 2016 they opened the snack bar Counter Culture beside the Dairy and Robin's also had a stint as a judge on MasterChef Ireland. For 2018, they're planning their first central London restaurant - their most ambitious restaurant to date.
Follow Robin on Twitter: @robingillchef
Where: Super8 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 direector. From there he teamed up with Ben Chapman to open the first Smoking Goat in Denmark Street and they now co-own Kiln, the new Smoking Goat in Shoreditch and are backing Tomas Parry's new restaurant Brat.
Follow Smoking Goat on Instagram @smokinggoatbar
Where: Picture Portland Street and Marylebone
Kelly is from Tullamore and 15 years ago moved to London ‘for one year’, having worked in Dublin's L'Ecrivain. He worked with Anthony Demetre for eight years and ended up as Head Chef at Wild Honey which was awarded a Michelin star after 6 months. He's now co-owner (along with Tom Slegg and Alan Christie) at Picture on Great Portland Street, which got its Bib Gourmand eight weeks after opening and this year celebrates its 5th birthday (look out for birthday specials throughout the year) and Picture Marylebone.
More: Follow him on Twitter @colinkelly10
Where: 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.
More: Follow them on Instagram @bowling_bird
Job: Founding Director
Where: 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. Last year he was a consultant for Noizé, the French restaurant opened by Mathieu Germond, former co-owner and restaurant manager of Pied á Terre. Pied a Terre will be putting on a week-long celebration of Irish food for St Patrick's Day.
More: Follow him on Twitter @davidpied
Job: 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. The main restaurant The Rotunda is the key beneficiary of Nugent’s company-owned farm serving up beef and lamb with impeccable farm to fork credentials. The company also runs the event, meeting and private dining spaces at Sea Containers on London's South Bank and John also makes time for his work as chairman of Kings Cross based food and sustainability charity, Global Generation.
More: Follow John on Twitter @_JohnNugent
Where: 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's now founder/chairmen of Peyton and Byrne with restaurants at the Wallace Collection and National Portrait Gallery among others. When you add in his starring role on The Great British Menu and his new TV show Restaurant Rescue he’s clearly part of the city’s establishment.
More: Follow Oliver on Twitter @oliverpeyton
Simon first set up shop with his fellow Dubliner Barry Wallace on a market stall in Dublin selling Mackerel Fish & Chips. Six months later they ended up with a restaurant in Brussels, which turned out to be a huge success, and from there opened Hook Camden Town in 2014 selling sustainable fish and chips. Last year, Tom Kerridge declared it one of the three best fish and chip restaurants in the country on the BBC’s Great British Takeaway programme. With Barry now back in Dublin, Simon has just redesigned the restaurant and menu, expanding its fish and seafood offering.
More: Follow Hook on Twitter @hookcamden
Front of House
Job: Assistant General Manager
Where: 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. Last year he became Assistant GM at Corrigan’s Mayfair overseeing the launch of Dickie's Bar. This month he became Assistant General Manager of Corrigan Collection. A keen oenophile, Richie's planning to take his WSET Level 3 & his quartermaster sommelier degree this year.
Job: Maitre d'
Where: 34 Mayfair
Gina, who works front of house at Caprice Holding's grill restaurant, took her first London job at J Sheekey as a waitress, staying there for eight years. She's worked her way through other restaurants in Richard Caring's company including Scott’s, the Ivy and Dean Street Townhouse before being part of the opening team for 34 back in 2011. "Gina runs the room with great authority but with great charm" says one glowing TripAdvisor reviewer.
Job: Shop manager
Where: Quality Chop House
Roscommon-born Joanna's first jobs in the business were working at Supernature and the Rose Bakery in Paris. She then did a stint at Ballymaloe and Sheridan's in Galway with some time in Italy in-between. From Sheridan's she moved to the famous London cheese shop La Fromagerie and is now fronting the Quality Chop House shop in Farringdon.
Where: The Ledbury
Dublin-born Darren worked his way up to his current position running the front of house at The Ledbury via Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and Adam Byatt's Trinity Restaurant. What's less well known is that he also used to be an actor and you'll spot him alongside Daniel Day Lewis in both My Left Foot and In the name of the Father. For 2018 he'll be helping orchestrate the major refurbishment of the restaurant which is planned for later this year.
More: Follow Darren on Twitter @darrenlmchugh
Job: Restaurant Manager
Dublin-born but raised in Doolin County Clare in West Ireland, Alex started his career in London at Four Seasons London at Park Lane at their Italian Restaurant, Amaranto. From there he moved to the Mirror Room at Rosewood London before taking on a role at Nathan Outlaw's The Capital London. In 2016, Alex returned to Four Seasons to join the pre-opening team at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square to launch La Dame de Pic London, the first UK outpost from French Michelin Star Chef Anne-Sophie Pic. At the end of 2017, he became Restaurant Manager at the hotel's Rotunda Bar and Lounge.
Job: Publican and restaurateur
Where: The Guinea Grill
Rogers became a legendary fixture of the London scene during his tenure at The Ship, Wandsworth. The occasional dining companion of Standard critic Fay Maschler, in 2016 he took the helm of the historic Mayfair pub The Guinea Grill which made it into the Top 50 Gastropubs list this year for the first time. Described as "genial and velvet-clad, a modern master of the front of house," by Tom Parker Bowles, Sligo-born Osh would be Kevin Bacon in the London/Irish version of the Six Degrees game. The Observer Food Monthly last month picked him as one of the 50 things they love in the world of food right now.
Job: General Manager
Where: The Marylebone
Dublin-born Garreth, a graduate of Cathal Brugha Street, is General Manager of The Marylebone hotel, part of The Doyle Collection, a carefully curated collection of eight Irish family-owned luxury and urban hotels. Garreth has held a number of roles in London since 2000, including hotel openings in Chelsea and Kensington. In 2011 joined the team at The Marylebone as GM which attracts stars like Kendall Jenner and Kate Hudson when they stay in London.
Follow Garreth on Twitter @garrethwalsh
Behind the scenes
Where: Young & Co.'s Brewery
Dublin-born Dardis came to London at the tender age of 19 where his first job was working in the bar for Courage Brewery. Working his way up through the industry via Whitbread, Guinness and Marstons, he joined Young’s in 2002 and was made CEO in 2016. Priding himself on allowing each Young's pub to be individual and not identikit, he's built an empire that's as well known for its Scotch Egg Challenge as the legendary Guinness brunches for St Patrick's Day at the Ship in Wandsworth.
Follow Patrick on Twitter @dardisp
Dublin-born Simon has worked both front of house and in the kitchens in restaurants from Boston to Bordeaux. Having won Bord Bia’s Best Dressed Irish Oyster Competition 2017 he's now set up a street food company called Rocks specialising in Shellfish and BBQ seafood for which he's seeking a permanent site. Rocks will be launching a weekly oyster party in partnership with Texas Joe's BBQ in Bermondsey this Spring.
Job: Chief Executive
You may not have heard of BaxterStorey, but the odds are that you've eaten in one of their restaurants or cafes. As one of the UK’s leading independent food service management company, they run the food at universities and banks right through to fashion houses and Premier League football clubs. Noel, who's been working in catering since 1985 helped build their Chef Academy whereby top chefs like Tom Kitchin and Mark Hix mentor BaxterStorey's staff. They also have various restaurant investments too - working with chefs like Monica Galetti to get their restaurants off the ground.
Place of work: 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 two Michelin-starred restaurant - she oversees more than 8500 guests through the doors every week and was credited by owner Mourad Mazouz as being the restaurant’s saviour when it first opened.
Job: Cocktail consultant and editor
Where: All About the Cocktail, Drinking Trends
Although he trained as an actor, Charlie's biggest stage is the world's cocktail scene on which he's been creating waves for years. A former UK brand ambassador for Hendrick’s Gina and current Global Cocktail Consultant for Tullamore Dew whiskey, he travels a lot for work as MD of All About The Cocktail but one of his favourite annual events are Cocktails in the City and London Cocktail Week. Born in West Cork, he's now based in London, but regularly returns to Ireland whenever he can.
More: Follow Drinking Trends on Twitter@drinkingtrends
Job: Managing Director
Where: Red Branch Hospitality
Born in Ireland to a family of restaurateurs, Paul was on the opening team for Sushinho. In 2013 he joined Des McDonald, helping open Holborn Dining Room and Q Grill. In 2016 he set up his own company, Red Branch Hospitality. They've been working on various projects for the Irish owned Doyle collection - recently launching the Coral Room in Bloomsbury and the Marylebone Cocktail bar in the Marylebone hotel. Red Branch Hospitality's first bar and restaurant in central London will be opening late 2018 with a distinctly Irish flavour.
More: Follow Paul on Twitter @armaghpmckenna
Where: 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.
Where: 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 everyone from Mikael Jonsson at Hedone to the Shangri-La hotel at The Shard, supplying the best meat to the restaurant trade as well as serving up at O’Shea’s counter on Druid Street by Maltby St Market at the weekend.
More: Follow them on Twitter @osheasbutchers
Job: 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, which throws an epic St Patrick's Day party every year.
Job: Account Manager
Where: Sauce Communications
The middle child of Richard Corrigan, Jess entered the PR side of the London food world in early 2016 under the tutelage of Maureen Mills at Network London. She's now moved to Sauce Communications where her account clients include chefs Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Tom Brown and Michael Caines.
More: Follow Jessica on Instagram @jesscorrigan1
Job: 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 she worked on many of Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall’s series. Following parenthood - and a Leith’s cookery course - she started writing about food and is now the author of 11 acclaimed cookery books. Her latest is How to Eat a Peach of which Nigella Lawson declared, "I couldn't love anyone who didn't love this book."
Job: Food & travel blogger, freelance writer and author - Eat like a girl
Niamh seems to know everyone of note on the food and drink scene in London. A Londoner for over 16 years, she hails originally from Dungarvan in Co Waterford but you’ll be hard-pressed to catch her in the UK. She’s a total globetrotter, always on the go in search of new food inspiration. In 2017 her blog was voted Best Food Blog by Good Housekeeping and also Great British Food Magazine.
Job: Food Writer and broadcaster
Joe Warwick was born in Strangford and raised in Northern Ireland and knows EVERYONE in the London restaurant industry. As former Editor of the UK's Restaurant Magazine he came up with the concept of the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. A respected author - his book Where Chefs Eat is a brilliantly useful collection of restaurant tips from world-class chefs has just published its third edition. You'll also find him reviewing restaurants in a regular slot on Soho Radio and compering the annual Scotch Egg Challenge.
More: Follow Joe on Twitter @joewarwick
Ones to watch
Colin McSherry - with a CV that includes The Ledbury, The Fat Duck and the Clove Club, McSherry was Head Chef for the launch of Nuala on Old Street. We can't wait to see what he does next.
Anna Haugh - Latterly Head Chef at Bob Bob Ricard, Anna has broken out on her own and is currently looking for a site for her own restaurant.
Dave Ahern - former pop up chef, Ahern is now working on a line of food products called Gastro Punk , featuring a Bacon Ketchup and a Bacon Buffalo Sauce.
Laoise Casey - food writer Laoise is currently influencing what we eat as a development chef at M&S.
Matthew Carter-Burwell - brought up in Dublin, Matthew is now Press Manager at Caprice Holdings, looking after restaurants like Scott's, The Ivy and J Sheekey.