Talking meat, BBQ and Holy Smoke with chef John Relihan

Chef John Relihan

Irish chef John Relihan seems most happy when surrounded by swirling smoke drifting up form a shoulder of lamb or rack of ribs cooking on the BBQ. One of the original apprentices of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in London and a top chef at Jamie’s Barbacoa place in the City of London, John is now set to open his own restaurant in the southern Ireland city of Cork this April.

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London
St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London

We caught up with John at the St Patrick’s Day parade in London’s Trafalgar Square. He was sharing a stand with Matt Williams of the Oxford Charcoal company and Debs Ross, who is creating a stir with Turf Sauce based on an original recipe, sweet and tangy sauce and flavoured made with Irish Stout.

Cork, the southern Irish city where John Relihan will open his first restaurant in April 2016
Cork, the southern Irish city where John Relihan will open his first restaurant in April 2016

The clue in the cooking is in the name of his first independent restaurant, Holy Smoke. John says it’s “quite a special place. We have a massive grill … a beautiful smoker, and of course we using Matt’s charcoal. The concept is very simple. There’s no starters, just meat on a tray, some beautiful sides, a couple of simple desserts … and it’s well, just absolutely stunning really.”

John and his brigade at the celebrations
John and his brigade at the celebrations

In this video we hear from John about his love of food and wish him and his team good luck with the opening of Holy Smoke!

Follow John on Twitter … @johnrelihan

Bruce McMichael

I am freelance journalist and published author focusing on food and drink; business startups and enterprise; culture and travel. I have also written about the global upstream oil and gas industry, shipping and current affairs. Based in London, I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur.

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