Richard is undoubtedly the most established and well known Irish chef in the UK. He has opened numerous restaurants, gained Michelin stars, is the author of two recipe books, cooked for the Queen and regularly makes appearances on radio and television; notably winning Great British Menu three times. Richard runs Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill off Piccadilly, Corrigan’s Mayfair, and Bentley’s Sea Grill at the internationally renowned Harrods Food Hall in Knightsbridge. In addition Virginia Park Lodge in Co Cavan, Ireland, was acquired in January 2014, a beautiful country lodge suitable for rural retreats, leisure pursuits and weddings.
Richard has cooked all his life and he is a vehement supporter of British and Irish produce and small independent suppliers. Richard’s chefs only use wild game, wild sustainable fish, and produce such as butter, cheese and charcuterie is sourced from mostly from family run independent businesses in the Britain and Ireland. Bread is made in the restaurants bakeries and salmon is smoked on Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill rooftop; in short everything where possible is made from scratch in-house.
Of his cookbook top 10, Richard notes: "Anyone who knows my love of the ‘art of cooking’ will also know my obsession for the books on the subject, my libraries in Mayfair, Bentley’s and on my estate at the Virginia Park Lodge are a daring and assorted collection of cookbooks from around the globe. My wife could attest to my infamous ‘few more minutes’ on a book stall, Hatchard’s or even a flea market as I cannot pick up one of these culinary treasures without running my fingers on the pages and flick quickly through one or two of the recipes that many times inspire me instantly. The truth is, I am a culinary bibliophile and I am not ashamed to admit it, I love modern technology and online recipe databases but there will always be a bookshelf in our home."
Gaining one, two, or three Michelin stars is an achievement that chefs like to shout about. ckbk is home to numerous cookbooks from chefs in the UK who have won stars themselves or played lead roles in Michelin-starred kitchens. Here is our field guide to those stellar cookbooks.
One of the country’s first cookbooks aimed to demystify the secrets of the stove to the domestic readers. A Victorian Nigella Lawson if you want... The infamous Mrs Beeton’s book of household management was closely modelled on it, if not a little ‘borrowed’ in places.
This book took Irish cuisine and celebrated it. Previously it had seemed one of necessity rather than pleasure, but this liberated the way people looked at our simple cuisine - based on uncomplicated produce rather than dextrous pastry swirls.