Most influential Irish people on the London food scene revealed
Annual Murphia List includes 13 new names among its 50-strong cohort of industry leaders
A street food trader who secured a £350,000 investment on the BBC TV show My Million Pound Menu, and two sons of the late broadcaster Terry Wogan who run a pizza restaurant chain, are among 13 new entries in the fifth Murphia List, released today.
The list, which is published annually just before St Patrick’s Day, identifies Irish people working in London who have made significant contributions to the hospitality and food and drink sectors. There are 50 people included this year, up from 45 last year.
The Murphia List is compiled by siblings Catherine and Gavin Hanly. The pair co-founded the eating out guide and restaurant review website Hot Dinners in 2009. It is being launched at a party at Number Six at the Marylebone hotel in London on Monday evening.
Restaurateurs, chefs, front of house staff, drinks industry personnel, food and drink producers, media, behind the scenes workers and “ones to watch”, are among those included.
Sinead Campbell, originally from Co Mayo, is among five new additions in the restaurateur category. Campbell and her partner Lee Johnson secured £350,000 funding from Charlie McVeigh of the Draft House pub group, to expand their BBQ Dreamz Filipino street food concept.
Mark and Alan Wogan, together with Ry Jessup, run the Homeslice pizza group which has six London outlets. Mark was previously executive chef at The Groucho private members’ club, and his brother and co-director Alan runs the business side of their joint venture.
Husband and wife Simon and Cairene Whiteside, who have opened Roe, a fish restaurant at Pop Brixton, a creative space in south London, also make the restaurateurs’ list. Simon and his fellow Dubliner Barry Wallace started out with a market stall selling fish and chips, and went on to open fish restaurants in Brussels and in Camden Town.
There are four new additions to the chefs’ listing, led by Anna Haugh from Tallaght, whose Myrtle restaurant, named in honour of Myrtle Allen, is due to open in Chelsea early next month. Haugh intends to import and showcase Irish produce in the restaurant – her first as an owner – and describes her cooking as “modern European, with a focus on French technique”.
Another new addition is Fiona Hannon, from Bray, who is head chef at Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s seafood restaurant. According to Hot Dinners, Hannon jokingly describes her long working relationship with Corrigan as “a life sentence”, and says he gives her “the freedom and space to get on with my job.”
Colin McSherry, head chef at Gridiron, a grill room within the Como Metropolitan hotel, and Tom Mullin, head of operations at Pizza Pilgrims, where he looks after menu revamps and chef training, also make the chefs’ list.
There are two new additions from the drinks industry. Aaron Wall and Ciarán Smith opened their Irish cocktail bar, Homeboy, in Islington last December. Wall is a former Bacardi brand ambassador and Smith is a graduate of the hotel industry, having worked at the Shelbourne in Dublin, the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Dorchester in London.
According to Hot Dinners, Gearoid Devaney is one of only 220 Master Sommeliers and the only one who is Irish. The Belfast man is a wine importer, restaurateur and recently opened Trade Soho, a members’ club for hospitality industry.
Richard O’Connell, who was born in Limerick and trained as a chef in Galway, has been working in kitchens in London for almost three decades, most recently as executive chef at Tom’s Kitchen. He now operates as restaurant industry consultant.
There are three people named as “ones to watch” and they are Dave Ahern, a chef now working on a line of food products called Gastro Punk; Matthew Carter-Burwell, who is senior group press manager at Caprice Holdings, and Stephen McGonigle, a mixologist working at Head & Tails bar in West Hampstead.
Well-known names who retain their places on the list include chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan, whose PR executive daughter Jessica also makes the list in the media category; food writer Diana Henry, and Great British Menu judge Oliver Peyton, who is chief executive of Peyton & Byrne.
Two chefs who retain their place on the list have major restaurant openings coming later this year. Robin Gill, who owns The Dairy, Sorella and Counter Culture with his wife Sarah, will open Darby’s on the 10th floor of Embassy Gardens, a Ballymore Group development in Nine Elms.
Darby was the nickname of Gill’s late father, the musician Earl Gill. The restaurant will have a bakery onsite, an in-house butchery and charcuterie space, and a grill for cooking over-fire.
Patrick Powell, formerly head chef at the Chiltern Firehouse, will open Allegra in the Stratford Hotel, which is housed within the Manhattan Loft Gardens skyscraper. Sky gardens at the restaurant will feature vegetable and herb beds, outdoor seating and views over Olympic Park.
The Murphia List 2019
Kevin Burke – Head chef, The Ninth
Kenneth Culhane – Head chef, The Dysart
Shauna Froydenlund – Chef patron, Marcus
NEW: Fiona Hannon – Head chef, Bentley’s
NEW: Anna Haugh – Chef patron, Myrtle
Marguerite Keogh – Head chef, The Five Fields
Dave McCarthy – Head chef, Scott’s
Aidan McGee – Head chef, Corrigan’s Mayfair
NEW: Colin McSherry – Head chef, Gridiron
NEW: Tom Mullin – BOH Operations, Pizza Pilgirms
Patrick Powell – Head chef, Allegra
Rory Shannon – Head chef, Duke of Richmond Public House & Dining Room
Clare Smyth MBE – Chef patron, Core by Clare Smyth
NEW: Sinead Campbell – Street food trader, BBQ Dreamz
Richard Corrigan – Chef patron, Corrigan Collection
John Devitt – Owner, Koya Soho, Koya City and Koya Ko
Garrett Fitzgerald – Restaurateur, Butchies
Robin and Sarah Gill – Restaurateurs and chef, The Dairy, Counter Culture, Sorella
Brian Hannon – Restaurateur, Super 8 Restaurants – Smoking Goat, Kiln, Brat
Colin Kelly – Chef/co-owner, Picture, Portland Street and Marylebone
John King – Restaurateur, Bowling Bird
David Moore – Founding director, Pied à Terre
John Nugent – CEO, Green & Fortune
Oliver Peyton – CEO, Peyton & Byrne
NEW: Simon and Cairene Whiteside – Restaurateurs, Roe
NEW: Mark and Alan Wogan – Directors, Homeslice
Patrick Dardis – CEO, Young & Co Brewery
NEW: Gearoid Devaney – Club founder, wine importer and sommelier, Trade
NEW: Aaron Wall and Ciarán Smith – Directors, Homeboy
Front of House
Joanna Hughes – Shop manager, Quality Chop House
Darren McHugh – General manager, The Ledbury
Alex Muir – Restaurant manager, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square
Oisin Rogers – Publican and restaurateur, The Guinea Grill
Garreth Walsh – General manager, The Marylebone
Evin O’Riordain – Founder, The Kernel Brewery
Darragh O’Shea – Owner, O’Shea’s Butchers
Steve Ryan – Food photographer – co-founder, Root + Bone and 40FT Brewery
Jessica Corrigan – Senior account manager, Sauce Communications
Diana Henry – Food writer and broadcaster
Niamh Shields – Food and travel blogger, freelance writer and author
Joe Warwick – Food writer and broadcaster, World Restaurant Awards
Behind the scenes
NEW: Richard O’Connell – Restaurant consultant, Seasoned Consultancy
Noel Mahony – CEO, BaxterStorey
Sinead Mallozzi – CEO, Sketch
Charlie McCarthy – Cocktail consultant and editor, A Drop of Irish
Paul McKenna – Managing director, Red Branch Hospitality