As second generation Irish ourselves, we wanted to highlight the creative contribution that Irish people make to London’s restaurant industry. And here, for its third year, are some of the leading members of The Murphia on London’s food, drink and hospitality scene.
Born in Cork, Dave had never worked in a kitchen before until just over five years ago when he was encouraged by Oisin Rogers [see below] to chase his dream. That beget his 2012 Burger Breakout popup and led him to open Wahleeah in Fulham (now closed). Ahern's latest venture is his GastroPunk food brand which - bacon ketchup, bacon buffalo sauce and smoked wasabi salt is being launched in Japan later this year.
AKA The GastroGays
The GastroGays food and travel blogging duo are a couple originally from the outskirts of Dublin but based in London for the past four years. Building a brand from the seed of one simple hashtag, the pair publish a diverse mix of food features and recipes, often prominently featuring the best of Irish produce – as well as food-led travel guides. The guys are food columnists for the UK's Gay Times Magazine and regularly appear on TV, in print and on radio, most recently joining the chef line-up on TV3 Ireland's Seven O'Clock Show.
Irish-born Jordan trained at the Ballymaloe Cookery School before working with Skye Gyngell for years at Petersham Nurseries Restaurant. He and his wife Regina Pyo are behind the book Our Korean Kitchen which won Cookery Book of the Year at both the Observer Food Monthly Awards AND Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards last year and has just received an American publication deal. Jordan's latest book 'Healthy Baking' was published a few weeks ago - it's all about sourdough, fermentation and ancient grains.Jordan Bourke on Twitter
Laoise Casey has made a name for herself with her lunch box column for the Evening Standard focusing on the role of cooking to comfort and reassure us. She's started teaching regular cookery classes, Easy Gourmet by Laoise, her old cookery school, Leiths School of Food and Wine "which is an incredible honour" and you'll also find her working as a food stylist, writer and recipe tester.
Dublin-born, but raised in Meath, Corrigan came to London as Head Chef of Irish restaurant Mulligans in Mayfair before moving on to win Michelin stars at Stephen Bull in Fulham and then in his own restaurant Lindsay House. He's now the chef/owner at Bentley's which celebrated its centenary in 2016 and also has the eponymous Corrigan's in Mayfair, which will be opening a cocktail bar with the help of New York's award-winning Dead Rabbit crew this summer.
Food PR - Network London
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 who represents chefs such as Helene Darroze, Simon Rogan and Tom Sellers. Her aim for the year? "To continue learning about the world of restaurant PR and marketing, and to work through my ever growing list of restaurants to try around the UK." Look out for Jessica's brother, Richard Corrigan Jnr on the list next year - he's just joined the team as GM at Corrigan's Mayfair.
Head Chef - 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. Now at The Dysart in Richmond, his food won him plaudits from Marina O'Loughlin who praised the 'significant talent' in the kitchen here.Kenneth Culhane on Twitter
28 year old chef Niall may have been born in Scotland, but having lived in Derry since he was nine he's an honorary Irishman. Brought up on his grandmother's farm, he came to London as a butcher at the age of 19, working for Jack O'Shea at Harrods. Having caught the cooking bug, his next job was at St John Bread & Wine, followed by a stint with Brad McDonald at Lockhart, as senior sous under Nuno at the Chiltern Firehouse and then at In de Wulf in Belgium. His latest project is a new restaurant opening in the London Bridge this year.
Owner - Koya Bar
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 there are plans to open a second Koya Bar in the City this Autumn.John Devitt on Twitter
Owner - Butchies
Bray boy Garrett founded Butchies in 2013 with the intention of creating the ultimate fried chicken sandwich for London's street food scene. In 2016 he opened his full time Butchie's Hatch in Camden and he now has a regular catering gig in the US embassy. Look out for him at the Ideal Homes Show's Eat & Drink festival taking place in London's Olympia later this month. You'll also find Butchies on the festival circuit this summer.
Robin and Sarah Gill
Both from Dublin, this powerhouse restaurant couple are now behind two of the best restaurants in South London not to mention one in East London. 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. They've also opened a pintxos style bar beside The Dairy called Counter Culture.Robin Gill on Twitter
Maitre d' - 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.Code London
MD - Cuisson
Galway boy Paul's first London job was at Gordon Ramsay Holding's Maze. From there he went on to become Head Chef of the late lamented Zucca, also finding time to work at the wine company du jour, Roberson Wine. His catering company, Cuisson looks after the likes of top end brands like Louis Vuitton and Veuve Clicquot but he's also involved in numerous popups, the latest of which, Borough Plates, is a two month residency highlighting the best of Borough Market's produce.Paul Hannagen on Twitter
Executive chef - Bob Bob Ricard
Born in Dublin, Anna’s been in London kitchens since 2005. She joined Gordon Ramsay Holdings working her way around the group, before opening London House for Ramsay in Battersea in 2014. Last year she became executive chef at the popular London restaurant Bob Bob Ricard with its famous Press for Champagne button. She'll be opening their second restaurant later this year. You'll also find her on BBC1's new Royal Recipes series cooking royal food up for Michael Buerk.
Chef/Co-owner - Picture
Kelly is from Tullamore and arrived in London in 2003 having worked in Dublin's L'Ecrivain. He worked with Anthony Demetre for 8 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. Last year they opened a second Picture which will be running a week of St Patrick’s Day specials.
Head Chef - 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 Berkelely before launching The Five Fields in Chelsea with Taylor Bonnyman and quickly gaining a Michelin star.
GM - Goodman City
Hired off Gumtree as a barman, King rose through the ranks to become the genial GM of Goodman's City branch, presiding over bankers redistributing their wealth through epic work lunches and dinners. John's boss Dave Strauss describes the Carlow native as "the worst drinker ever - no capacity at all" - adding affectionately that "EVERYBODY loves him."
Chef - The Walrus Room
Dublin-born Simon has worked both front of house and in the kitchens in restaurants from Boston to Bordeaux. He is currently doing a residency at The Walrus Room in Battersea and can be found this summer doing masterclasses at Taste of Dublin and Abergavenny Food Festival. Right now he's working on a unique Oyster pop-up this summer - he won Bord Bia’s Best Dressed Irish Oyster Competition 2017 for his ‘Blown Oyster’ featuring seaweed butter, mustard, miso and fresh ginger.
Head Chef - Scott's
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.
Head Chef - Pied a Terre
Andy is from restaurant stock - his uncle Neil is Executive Chef at Donnybrook Fair. Originally from Tallacht, he moved to London in his 20s and was, for three, years the youngest Michelin-starred chef in the city at the head of L'autre Pied. Two years ago he was made Executive Head Chef of the Michelin-starred Pied a Terre on Charlotte Street.Andy McFadden on Twitter
Chef Aidan McGee was born and bred in Donegal. After training in Ireland he moved to London where he worked at the Mandarin Oriental followed by time at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and at Launceston Place. Having won plaudits for his work at The Truscott Arms he's currently consulting at the Wellington pub in Fulham while he waits to open his own place. That's on the cards for 2018 - and will focus on Irish produce.Aiden McGee on Twitter
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.
Born in Ireland to a family of restaurateurs, Paul started as a pot washer in the family restaurant. He moved to Seattle then London eventually opening Sushinho. In 2013 he joined the former CEO of Caprice Holdings, Des McDonald, helping open Holborn Dining Room and Q Grill. Last year he set up his own company, Red Branch Hospitality, which consults on restaurants in the UK, Ireland and USA. They're planning on launching their own places from next year.
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. Moore was born in Monaghan and got his first taste of the trade working in his mother's hotel. This year sees Pied a Terre putting on a week-long celebration of Irish food for St Patrick's Day with dishes ranging from Irish Hereford beef tartare to Guinness and anise bread.David Moore on Twitter
Partner - Bán Poitín
Along with partner Cara Humphreys, Mulligan has made a name for himself as an independent Irish distiller of Poitín - which is made at the Echlinville distillery in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, from locally sourced ingredients including potatoes, malted barley and sugar beet. And when he's not out on the road hoofing his own spirit, he's down in a former public toilets in Kentish Town creating cocktails at the wonderful Ladies & Gents bar.
NEW: Alex Muir
Restaurant Assistant Manager - La Dame de Pic London
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.
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. In the past year the company has expanded to Sea Containers on London's South Bank running the event, meeting and private dining spaces in this instantly recognisable building.
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. Now Kernel beer is stocked in restaurants all over London from Hawksmoor to Shake Shack. Pop down to the market on a Saturday to buy the beer and have a chat.
[Photo: The Evening Brews]
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 everyone from Mikael Jonsson at Hedone to Jose Pizarro 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.
Founder/Chairman Peyton and 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 all over the capital from St James’s Park to the top of the National Portrait Galley which has just had a major makeover. When you add in his starring role on The Great British Menu he’s become part of the city’s establishment.Oliver Peyton on Twitter
Head chef - Chiltern Firehouse
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 before moving to Chiltern Firehouse. If you were really lucky you'll have caught him cooking for the Bloodshot supperclub at The Dairy where the Irish menu included a Murphy’s ice-cream sandwich. See below for details of where he'll be cooking on St Patrick's Day weekend.Patrick Powell on Twitter
Aged just 16 Relihan's career in the UK was set when he applied successfully to Jamie Oliver's Fifteeen foundation, leaving his native Kerry. He stayed with Oliver to take part in the TV show Jamie's Chef before working for St John and then Chris Cosentino in San Francisco before becoming Head Chef at Barbecoa. He opened Holy Smoke in Cork last year but also consults for London restaurants and will be cooking for Bord Bia in Trafalgar Square on the day of the London parade.
Publican and restaurateur
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, last year he took the helm of the historic Mayfair pub The Guinea Grill. Described as "genial and velvet-clad, a modern master of the front of house," by the Mail on Sunday's reviewer Tom Parker Bowles, Sligo-born Osh would be Kevin Bacon in the London/Irish version of the Six Degrees game.
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.
Head Chef Winemakers Deptford
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. He's now at new London opening The Winemakers Deptford - a wine shop with a restaurant attached.
Food Blogger - Eat like a girl
Niamh seems to know everyone of note on the food and drink scene in London. A Londoner for over 15 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. Niamh is working on her second book, Project Bacon. It features bacon eclairs and that's all we needed to know.
General Manager - 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 2009 he reopened The Kensington following extensive renovation and in 2011 joined the team at The Marylebone as GM.
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 it was he who 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 (he's currently working on a 2018 edition). Joe likes to keep busy - he's also restaurant critic for Soho Radio and working on a series of burger residencies for Hackney's Patty & Bun.
Barry Wallace & Simon Whiteside
Owners - Hook
Simon and Barry grew up on the same road in Dublin but did not meet until they were in London. Their first venture was 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 huge success, and from there opened Hook Camden Town selling sustainable fish and chips.
This is a list of all the interesting Irish folk we know about, but that said we're almost certain to have missed some out. So if you think someone should be on the list, email us here and we'll see about adding them before we hit St Patrick's Day.