In the run-up to St Patrick's Day, we proudly present our seventh annual Murphia List, showcasing the Irish talent contributing to the creativity of London's food and drink scene.
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.
Lockdown life: The Dysart has an online shop selling everything from their homemade kombu pickled mushrooms to food from suppliers. There are also weekly changing recipe parcels.
More: Follow him on Twitter @kennethculhane
NEW: Nick 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.
Lockdown life: Tacos Padre is open for takeaway but its shop also offers DIY taco kits for nationwide delivery, as well as salsas, rubs, and cocktails which are all made in-house from scratch.
More: Follow Nick on Instagram @nicholaspfg
Chef Patron: Marcus
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 we're most jealous about her claim to fame when she worked with Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller as a consultant on the film Burnt.
Lockdown life: Marcus have recently begun boxes in collaboration with one of their longest suppliers, Lake District Farmers to bring guests a very special at-home dining experience.
More: Follow Shaun and Mark on Instagram @thefroydenlunds.
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."
More: Follow Bentley's on Instagram @bentleysoysterbar
Chef Patron: Myrtle
From Dublin, Anna Haugh has been cooking for almost 20 years, working in Michelin-starred kitchens under Phil Howard, Shane Osbourne and Gordon Ramsay. Anna opened Myrtle restaurant in Chelsea in 2019, with cousin Daniel Haugh as front of house. At Myrtle, Anna serves food that celebrates her Irish heritage, classic French training and modern European influences.
Anna frequently appears on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch, Royal Recipes and the reboot of Ready Steady Cook. Her current regular feature is on the newly launched BBC One show, Morning Live where she acts as one of the leading experts.
Lockdown life: During the lockdown, Anna introduced Anna’s Bistro, a Parisian inspired premium takeaway and delivery service complete with checked tablecloths and French food prepared by the chefs at Myrtle.
More: Follow Anna on Instagram @haughser
Head Chef: 22 Grosvenor Square
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 hotel and restaurant at 22 Grosvenor Square - which opens at the end of the year - where he's teamed up once again with Alan Christie to run the kitchen.
More: Follow him on Twitter @colinkelly10
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. Over lockdown, she’s taken the opportunity while the restaurant was closed to take time out on the family farm in Ireland, but is looking forward to getting back in the kitchen.
More: Follow her on Twitter @magschef
Chef Patron: Wildflower
Born in County Cavan, Adrian Martin trained in MacNean House and Michelin-starred restaurant, Bon Appetite in Malahide. He opened Wildflower in Camden (Buck Street) Market two weeks before the first lockdown in March last year. Wildflower is the UK's first fine dining restaurant in an upcycled shipping container. Since opening, it’s featured as London's best new openings in 2020 by the Daily Telegraph, The Handbook and here on Hot Dinners. The menu focuses on sustainable practices, foraging and championing quality produce. Wildflower reopens on 18 May 2020.
More: Follow Adrian on Instagram @chefadrianm
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.
More: Follow Dave on Instagram @maccer73.
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 London’s most talked-about restaurant, Chiltern Firehouse.
He's now Head Chef at the highly-rated Allegra, his own restaurant on the 7th-floor rooftop of Manhattan Loft Gardens. This high rise hotel/loft project is from the folk behind both the Chiltern Firehouse and St Pancras. With extensive landscaped gardens it’ll be reopening for alfresco dining on 15 April and they’re promising quite a different menu.
More: Follow him on Instagram @ppowellchef
Clare 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 which 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 this year. Clare and her team at Core were picked to cater for the private wedding reception for the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markel.
She somehow finds time to mentor the next generation of chefs and is Global Ambassador to the Bocuse d’Or UK team as well as judge in the S.Pellegrino World’s Best Young Chef Competition. And she will soon be opening Oncore by Clare Smyth in Sydney, Australia.
More: Follow her on Instagram @chefclaresmyth
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 Lee Johnson scored critical success with their restaurant, Bong Bong's Manila Kanteen when it opened in Bethnal Green, but sadly the bricks and mortar restaurant was a victim of the lockdown. They’ve since relocated to Kreidel in Hoxton (owned by Dublin man Graham Brittain).
Lockdown life: In between filming live cookalongs, the pair launched a business doing Bong Bong at-home kits and they’re currently working on a range of sauces which will be available online soon.
More: Follow them on Instagram @bongbongshackney
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.
More: Follow him on Twitter @CorrigansFood
Owner: Koya Soho, 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. Koyo Soho was joined by Koya City which opened at the Bloomberg Arcade.
Lockdown life: In addition to joining the delivery market with an at-home meal on Dishpatch, Koya has just launched KoyaMail, their online shop which sends noodles and Dashi out nationwide.
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 Camden, Clapham HIgh Street, and Fulham. And it doesn’t stop there. Garrett has a busy 2021 planned with no fewer than five new openings in the pipeline.
Lockdown life: Having recently taken over the kitchen of the Camden Eye Pub in Camden Butchies have started doing delivery and click and collect while they wait for pubs to reopen. And they’re working on their own delivery/click and collect service, hoping to launch that in the next month.
More: Follow them on Instagram @butchies_london
Robin and Sarah Gill
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. They then opened the critically acclaimed Darby's in 2019 in Embassy Gardens right beside the American Embassy.
2020 was a busy year - it saw them relocate (and rename) The Dairy which is now The 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.
Follow Robin on Twitter: @robingillchef
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
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.
More: Follow them on Instagram @bowling_bird
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 still retains it. Celebrating its 30 year anniversary this year, the restaurant now has a first-floor Chefs Table and Cookery School and has garnered plaudits for its particularly inventive vegan offering. Moore is also behind The Devereux pub, which he runs with publican Tony Bennett, just off The Strand.
Lockdown life: Pied a Terre’s Vegan Feast Box is perfect for vegans or vegetarians celebrating special occasions at home. They also have a gifting website offering hampers, wine boxes and bookable masterclasses for when restaurants reopen.
More: Follow him on Twitter @davidpied
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.
Lockdown life: Over the past two years, Nugent’s company has held a fundraising event at King’s Place in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day. This year, unable to host a live event, they'll be sending out St Patrick's Day boxes with box sales raising funds for The Clink Charity and The London Irish Centre. Meanwhile, Rotunda will be focusing on its new Roasts at Home delivery service.
More: Follow John on Twitter @_JohnNugent
NEW: Ciara 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 photo shoots 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 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.
Lockdown life: Over various lockdowns F Mondays has proved to be a local lifeline stocking all the essentials along with supporting local producers, and doing door to door coffee and pastry runs. Ciara's also taken the time to create their own coffee and milk based soaps for the store (with more products in the pipeline) that have been a sellout success.
More: Follow them on Instagram @fmondayscoffee
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's founder/chairman of Peyton & Byrne with restaurants at the Wallace Collection and National Gallery among others. When you add in his starring role on The Great British Menu, he’s clearly part of the city’s establishment.
In 2020 he teamed up with his old Atlantic friend and mixologist Dré Masso to launch Unknown Pleasures - a range of canned cocktails.
More: Follow Oliver on Twitter @oliverpeyton
Siobhan, Marie and Caitriona Peyton
Cafe owners: Roastery + Toastery
The Peyton sisters have a longstanding career in hospitality, having co-founded Peyton & Byrne with brother Oliver back in 2005. In 2019 Siobhan, Marie and Catriona joined up to open Roastery + Toastery in Camden which - as the name suggests, serves up toasted sandwiches and top coffees. There are plans to open a second branch in Bayswater in May. In other news they’ve got their P&B Bakery Cafes licensed so will be opening in the evening as a wine bar with a short and carefully curated list of natural and low/no intervention wines. And they’re also looking to move into the modern country pub business.
Lockdown life: Over lockdown, both Roastery and Toastery and their Peyton and Byrne Bakery shops have been busy offering takeaways.
More: Follow them on Instagram @roastery.toastery
Mark and Alan Wogan
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.
Lockdown life: Reacting to restrictions during the pandemic they launched nationwide delivery of cook-at-home 'Take & Bake’ Homeslice pizzas and have a thriving delivery business in London too.
More: Follow Mark Wogan on Instagram @markwogan13.
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.
More: Follow Gearoid on Instagram @gearoiddevaney
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.
More: Follow Gibney's London on Instagram @gibneys.london
NEW: Joseph 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.
More: Follow them on Instagram @cellarboysbrewery
Aaron 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.
Lockdown life: They’re about to launch a new venture The Bottle Cocktail Shop which will bring world-class ready to drink bottle cocktails to your door alongside amazing beers, wines and spirits.
More: Follow Homeboy on Instagram @homeboybars.
Front of House
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. Now back in London, he's fronting operations at Daffodil Mulligan and Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill.
More: Follow Richie on Instagram @richiecoggs
General Manager: Allegra
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 and then moved next door to run Counter Culture, before opening Sorella in Clapham as the bar manager.
In the summer of 2019, he joined chef Patrick Powell's pre-opening team as manager of Allegra in Stratford and was on the 2019 CODE magazine's 30 under 30 list. Last year he was promoted to General Manager. This spring, the team at Allegra are planning to run a month-long, casual pop-up restaurant on their 7th-floor rooftop to celebrate the restaurant's reopening. They’ll be inviting chefs and restaurants that don’t have outside space to come and cook with them until indoor dining resumes.
More: Follow Conor on Instagram @conor_daly_49
NEW: Fergal 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.
Operations Manager - MJMK
Having studied at University College, Dublin and The Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Dublin-born Darren is Operations Manager of MJMK, currently overseeing Santiago Lastra’s Kol alongside other new restaurant projects. He previously worked as General Manager of The Ledbury as well as at 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 writer working in theatre, film, television and radio.
NEW: Shane 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.
More: Follow Shane on Instagram @corkageandcraic.
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. During his tenure at The Guinea, he brought the pub to commercial and critical success. Now also in charge of its sister pub, The Windmill, he revamped the boozer, opening a silver service restaurant, which has received rave reviews.
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. He is now getting ready to open again; expect a raucous (but covid-compliant) summer on Bruton Place. Rogers has many strings to his bow - when not running between his two pubs you can find him pulling shifts as a chef on the grill. He is also founder and organiser of the Scotch Egg Challenge, now in its tenth year.
General ManagerKimpton Fitzroy London
Dublin-born Garreth Walsh began his career in hospitality in Dublin before moving to London, where he re-launched and managed The Kensington and The Marylebone hotels for The Doyle Collection. Late in 2019 he became General Manager of the newly launched Kimpton Fitzroy London in Bloomsbury, where he'll be overseeing some exciting updates to the hotel’s events, food and beverage spaces this year.
More: Follow Garreth on Instagram @garrethwalsh
Where: 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 and managing meal kit deliveries at Sola, Victor Garvey’s Soho dining room which gained its first Michelin Star this year.
More: Follow Joe on Twitter @joewarwick
Co-Founder: Crab Communications
The middle child of Richard Corrigan, Jess entered the PR side of the London food world under the tutelage of Maureen Mills at Network London. In January 2019, Jess 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.
More: Follow Jessica on Instagram @jesscorrigan1
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 2022.
NEW: Orla Hickey
Group Communications Manager - Maybourne Hotels (Claridge’s, The Connaught, The Berkeley, The Maybourne Beverly Hills)
Orla hails from Ballyhooly, Co. Cork and began her career in hospitality at Shannon College of Hotel Management gaining a degree in Commerce and International Hotel Management. After a brief stint at The Conrad, Brussels, Orla joined Claridge’s in 2009 as Receptionist Supervisor. She moved to the Food & Beverage side of the hotel in 2012 before joining the PR team of London’s most glamorous hotel group in 2014.
More: Follow Orla on Instagram @orlamhickey.
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, which will be published in May.
Behind the scenes
NEW: Molly 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. After joining the team running Taste of Dublin she relocated to London to work on Taste festivals around the world. In 2018, she set up MIAM Management, a multi-functional agency which produces and directs events such as Meatopia, but also represents and manages chefs including Lee Tiernan, James Cochran, Brad Carter, Freddie Janssen and fellow Murphia Lister Robin Gill.
Towards the end of 2018, she took over as the Event Director of Meatopia, bringing together more than 70 of the world’s best live-fire chefs to cook at Tobacco Dock. 2021 looks to be particularly exciting as the event returns after a tough year out.
More: Follow Molly on Instagram @mollyhutchinson
NEW: Fiona 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.
Lockdown life: Over lockdown, Leahy inspired legions of London singletons with her exquisitely laid table-for-one pictures on Instagram.
More: Follow Fiona on Instagram @fionaleahydesign.
Food & Beverage Manager: Claridge's
Born in Sixmilebridge, County Clare, Jim Lyons was destined for a career in hotels,attending Shannon College of Hotel Management to gain a degree in Business and International Hotel Management. On graduating he went straight into top-flight hotel life, joining the Ritz Carlton Powerscourt as part of the pre-opening team in 2007. After extensive travels across South America, Jim joined Claridge’s in 2009 as In-Room Dining Supervisor. Since then he's worked across the Food & Beverage department of the hotel as Events Operation Manager, Deputy Foyer & Reading Manager before becoming Claridge’s Food & Beverage Manager in 2018.
More: Follow Claridges on Instagram @claridgeshotel
Chief Executive: BaxterStorey
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 companies, they provide food at universities and banks right through to fashion houses and historic venues. Noel, who originates from Kilkenny and trained with Trust House Forte, has been working in hospitality since 1984 arriving in the UK in 1987. He also helped build their Chef Academy whereby top chefs like John Campbell and Monica Galetti mentor BaxterStorey's culinary talent.
Lockdown life: During Covid Noel co-ordinated the resources for the FEED NHS campaign providing millions of meals to frontline workers.
More: Follow Noel on Twitter @noelmahony1.
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, Sinead couldn't make last year's Murphia party because she was dining at Buckingham Palace with the Duchess of Cambridge who is Patron of Place2Be - the charity sketch supports (and has raised a lot of funds for).
Lockdown life: Sketch launched Sketch at Home, an online shop and delivery service aiming to transport Londoners in lockdown “away from the banalities of everyday life”. Its success has kept staff at work and their kitchens buzzing 7 days a week.
Business Development Manager: WSET
A veteran of the London on-trade, Charlie’s main focus this past year has been supporting the hospitality industry in the UK, Ireland and further afield with a range of programmes providing free WSET spirits qualifications to furloughed bartenders. When not busy expanding the delivery scope of Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Charlie also consults for the Irish food board, Bord Bia. Recent projects include working with Irish alcohol brands on export plans, and he is currently developing a plan to support Irish brands in their strategic planning beyond the current seismic shifts.
More: Follow A Drop of Irish on Instagram @adropofirish
NEW: Anne McHale
Wine Consultant and Master of Wine
Born in Belfast to wine-loving parents who founded the first-ever student wine society in Queen's University, Anne naturally gravitated towards a career in the London wine scene. After ten years working in wine education for the prestigious Berry Bros. & Rudd, Anne made the move into the hospitality world in early 2016. She established her own consultancy and began working with Irish hotel group The Doyle Collection, expanding the scope of the group's wine vision in their bars and restaurants in Ireland, the UK and the US, winning several accolades for the group including Best English Wine List at The Coral Room.
More: Follow Anne on Instagram @annemchalewine.
Managing Director: Red Branch Hospitality
Born in Ireland to a family of restaurateurs, Paul’s first major role was leading the opening team for Sushinho in Chelsea. In 2013 he began consulting agency Red Branch Hospitality and worked with Des McDonald to open Holborn Dining Room at the Rosewood hotel. Red Branch Hospitality have worked on various projects for the Irish-owned Doyle Collection; repositioning their restaurant and bar business across the UK, Ireland and the USA. The team has since expanded to add a creative studio, allowing them to oversee brand and concept development, design, websites and social media strategy as well as a learning and development team. Consultancy clients have included the Intercontinental Hotel Group, Poon’s, Selfridges Group and Lock studios.
Lockdown life: During the pandemic Red Branch Hospitality has been working on exciting new projects including an under-development TV series and the creation of an investment fund that aims to identify and develop exciting concepts both locally and on a global scale.
More: Follow Paul on Twitter @armaghpmckenna
Deputy Director of Operations: Sketch
Dublin-born but raised in Doolin, County Clare in the West of Ireland, Alex started his career in London at Four Seasons London at Park Lane. From there he moved to the Mirror Room at Rosewood London. In 2016, Alex re-joined the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square to launch La Dame de Pic London, the first UK outpost from French Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic. During this time, he also completed and obtained a Master of Studies in Social Innovation from the University of Cambridge. He started the role of Deputy Director of Operations at sketch in January 2020. He says that he is thoroughly enjoying the varied nature of the job and working with the team, as well as getting to know each of the unique spaces within this historic building.
Managing Partner: Pizza Pilgrims
Tom is from County Derry, where he first discovered a passion for food in his parents’ business. He moved to London in 2013 where he met brothers Thom and James Elliot, founders of Pizza Pilgrims, and found a shared obsession for Neapolitan pizza. He helped open their first pizzeria as head chef and evolved his passion into creating and nurturing the culture of working in hospitality. He has helped grow the business throughout the years since and is now a Managing Partner.
Lockdown life: One of the first businesses not only to launch but grow the delivery market, Pizza PIlgrims’ Pizza in the Post has been a runaway success. “In a time of fear and uncertainty, we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in. Lots of adaption, lots of zoom calls, but surprisingly a lot of fun, it felt like we were a start up again!”
More: Follow Tom on Instagram @mullin_tom
Restaurant consultant: Seasoned Consultancy
Born in Limerick and trained in Galway, Richard has worked on the London food scene for 28 years, starting at The Landmark under Andrew McLeish. He launched both Chiswell Street Dining Rooms and The Jugged Hare in the City and for the past few years has been Executive Chef at Tom's Kitchen. Now he's branching out on his own, offering advice to those in the industry through his Seasoned Consultancy.
More: Follow Richard on Instagram @richard_o_connell
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.
Lockdown life: Empirical’s cans have been the drinks to be seen with on walks and in parks. With ingredients like young pine cones and oolong tea, they’re definitely a bit different and they’re about to launch their third flavour. Another new project is Empirical’s hot sauce which goes on sale with Natoora imminently.
More: Follow James on Instagram @barrelagedgoggin
Simon Lamont and (NEW) Phil Coulter
Owners: Rocks Oysters
Having shucked oysters everywhere from Dublin to the Dordogne via Boston and Capetown, Simon Lamont's last position, pre lockdown was as Head Chef of the oyster bar at the Hoxton's high rise restaurant Seabird. Now he's focusing on his own business, Rocks Oysters - running it alongside Derry man Phil Coulter (ex Head Chef at Wright Bros).
The business is an online oyster shop, wholesaler and event company based out of The Lordship pub in East Dulwich. You'll be able to order seafood and produce boxes, with an Irish focus, for delivery in London (and eventually Nationwide). And they plan to pop up at street food markets too. It's also going to be a great way to try lesser known Irish oysters "the stuff that normally goes straight to Paris, Dubai and Beijing".
More: Follow them on Instagram @RocksOysters.
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.
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.
More: Follow them on Instagram @osheasbutchers
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 (when we’re not in lockdown) and he's also been a supporter of the Murphia List party.
Lockdown life: Over lockdown, the brewery has expanded its delivery radius and now sends out beer nationwide. The taproom has outdoor seating for 200 people which means it’ll be open from 12 April.
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