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.
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.
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.”
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