Richard Corrigan understands the ‘farm to fork philosophy’ better than most, having been brought up as one of seven children on a 25 acre farm in County Meath, Ireland. In his 2008 book, ‘The Clatter of Forks and Spoons’, Richard Corrigan remembers his upbringing in rich detail; the hardships and hard work of running a farm, but also the sense of adventure and awareness of nature that such a setting can instil into a child – traits he has carried through to his career as a chef.
Richard left Ireland aged 17 and spent four years cooking in the Netherlands before progressing to become Head Chef of Mulligan’s in Mayfair. His first Michelin star was awarded when he was Head Chef of Stephen Bull’s Fulham Road, London restaurant in 1994. He went on to open Lindsay House in Soho, London, and won a Michelin star there in 1997. Richard bought and refurbished Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill in 2005, a famed old oyster and seafood restaurant just off Piccadilly.
His flagship fine dining restaurant, though, is Corrigan’s Mayfair, which opened its doors in October 2009 to wide acclaim. The restaurant was named London Restaurant of the Year 2008/2009 by the Evening Standard, awarded AA London Restaurant of the Year 2010, and gained the Highest New Entry in the Square Meal National Restaurant Awards (Number 5).
His rural upbringing informs his approach. Prime ingredients are dealt with skilfully and knowingly. Corrigan can do simple cooking; with distinct sylvan undertones, and refined gastronomy; with remarkable creativity and artistry. Dishes to be found on the menu at Corrigan’s Mayfair include well sourced primary ingredients with intriguing accompaniments - Milk fed veal cutlet with truffle gnocchi and Braised pork with endive, pickled cabbage and rose petals are two worthy examples.
Over recent years, the success of his restaurants and the accessibility of his cooking has allowed Richard Corrigan to enjoy a healthy media profile. He has made appearances on everything from Saturday Kitchen to Something for the Weekend and also hosted his own show on Irish television station RTE – Corrigan Knows Food.
‘I enjoy doing it and it definitely helps raise the profile of your restaurant. But it must not take over the day job,’ he told Caterers Search.