Richard has appeared on television many times, including stints of BBC2's 'Master Chef', BBC2's Saturday Kitchen, Channel 4's 'Jamie's Kitchen' and BBC's 'Full on Food'. He recently competed in BBC's 'The Great British Menu' and won both his telephone vote heats and cooked for the Queen at Mansion House. He has just signed a large book deal with Harper Collins which will be out next year.
Richard Corrigan’s passion for earthy and uncluttered food has won him international acclaim at his Soho’s Lindsay House in London and this same emphasis on purity of ingredients and honest presentation has wooed critics and public alike at Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill.
As a chef, Richard’s philosophy is firmly rooted in a sense that food should reflect both who we are and where we are, and his cooking draws deeply on his Irish roots. Born in County Meath in 1964, he grew up in a rambling farming family that grew, fished and hunted much of the food that came to the table. One of Richard’s earliest memories was his daily sprint past the beehives, ducking to avoid being stung, while heading into the paddocks to feed the pheasants kept for the shooting season. Churning butter, peeling spuds, hunting wild duck and even slaughtering pigs were all part of his life on the farm.
This affinity with fresh, seasonal food installed a natural confidence in Richard when, aged just 14, he became a trainee chef at a local hotel. Inspired by cooking and with a touch of the rebel about him he packed his suitcase and left his native Ireland for liberal Holland aged only 17. Here he honed his skills in a series of Michelin starred restaurants and met his future wife before moving to London to work with the outstanding Michel Lorrain at the Meridian Hotel in Piccadilly in 1985.
Recognised as a hot young talent Richard went on to become head chef at Stephen Bull’s Blandford Street restaurant, followed by stints at Mulligan’s in Mayfair and then the famous Bentley’s Seafood Bar & Grill where he discovered the pride taken in a good English restaurant by its native customers. Richard then gained his first Michelin star at the famous Fulham Road restaurant in 1994 before moving to the Lindsay House in 1997.
At this elegant Soho townhouse the signature earthy sophistication of his cooking firmly assured Richard’s place as one of London’s leading chefs and rapidly gained him another Michelin star. Many further accolades followed, including an ‘outstanding chef award’ at the London Restaurant Awards in 2000 and Le Gault Millaut naming Lindsay House as one of London’s top five restaurants in 2005.
When Bentley’s came up for sale in 2005 Richard jumped at the chance to own this world-famous oyster bar and grill, for having thoroughly enjoyed working here before, the chance to return Bentley’s to its former glory also held great sentimental value. He recognised that the same values of uncluttered integrity and honest flavours that are the signature at Lindsay House translated perfectly to Bentley’s. In November of that year, following a sensitive refurbishment that kept much of the original arts and craft flavour, Bentley’s once again opened its doors to great critical acclaim.
Richard’s philosophy on food and cooking is best summed up by the title of his first cookbook, ‘From the Waters and the Wilds’, the title of which is inspired by a WB Yeats poem. Almost certainly the most celebrated of Irish chefs, Richard Corrigan remains true to his roots in the rugged countryside of County Meath.