A list of all the places serving Murphys? I’m more of a Guinness person anyway
Don’t be silly. The Murphia List is a ‘celebration of the creative contribution made by Irish people to the London restaurant scene’ that is put together by restaurant website Hot Dinners.
Aha, much more useful. Nicely timed for St Patrick’s Day...
That seems to be the idea. Now in its sixth year, Hot Dinners gathers the great and good from the Irish hospitality world - plus a few hangers on - to recognise their achievements and drink as much Irish stout and whiskey as they possibly muster.
Sounds a good craic. And who topped the list this year then?
It doesn’t work like that - trying to rank people from very different backgrounds operating in very different fields would be a thankless task, so the list is instead broken down into seven different categories in which people are named but in no particular order. The categories are: chefs, restaurateurs, bars, front of house, media, behind the scenes and producers.
OK, but there can’t be that many Irish people working in food and drink in the capital, can there?
You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t). In the chefs category alone there are 12 entrants, including names such as Clare Smyth, Anna Haugh, Patrick Powell and Richard Corrigan, and a further 18 people in the restaurateurs category (Brian Hannon, David Moore, Robin and Sarah Gill to name a few), proof enough that the Irish hospitality contingent is alive and well in the capital and behind some pretty brilliant establishments.
I’ve heard of all these people. Any new names on this year’s list?
Yes indeed. New entrants include Adrian Martin, chef-patron of the newly-launched Wildflower at Camden’s Buck Street Market and restaurant owners Aoife and Johanna Ledwidge, the duo behind J+A Cafe. There’s also Conor Daley, restaurant manager at the brilliant Allegra, where fellow Irishman Patrick Powell rattles the pots and pans.
So, anyone in particular to watch out for?
There are some pretty big names in there, but some who might not be on your radar but should be include Sinead Mallozzi, CEO of Sketch, which was awarded its third Michelin star last year, and also Sketch’s deputy director of operations Alex Muir. And then there’s the shy and retiring character that is Oisin Rogers, he of fabulous Mayfair boozer-cum-steakhouse extraordinaire The Guinea Grill. Rogers recently took on the role of overseeing the nearby pie-focused pub The Windmill and, as organiser of The Scotch Egg Challenge, is the go-to guy for proper pub food and drink in London (Wagyumafia paid The Guinea Grill a visit earlier this month during their whistle-stop tour of London).
See the full Murphia List 2020 here