The food scene in London has developed rather rapidly. When Richard received his first Michelin star in 1994 at Stephen Bull on Fulham Road, the area felt almost suburban. Shortly afterwards in 1997, Richard opened Lindsay House in Soho, and people thought he was crazy to open a restaurant in such a location. We recently caught up with Richard to find out why he’s glad he ignored the naysayers and stuck it out in the capital.
‘Now there is an expansive range of great places right across the city, just waiting to be discovered. There’s something for all budgets, on a spectrum that ranges from fast food all the way up to fine dining.
‘Behind all of this wonderful activity, there lie the real heroes: the producers, fishermen and foragers. In recent years, more independent and artisanal businesses have opened and people have become more interested in where our food comes from. For all the excitement about London’s eating out scene, it is the funnelling of this wonderful produce into the capital that is the real thrill for me. For every ingredient eaten there is a network of individuals making a living from supplying what you are eating. Not only does this mean that we’re involved in a sustainable economy, but also that we’re embracing food as a major focal point in life.
‘This ethos of using sustainably sourced ingredients is something that has been implemented at Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill and Corrigan’s Mayfair. I have an estate in Ireland, Virginia Park Lodge, which comprises three polytunnels full of fruit, vegetables and herbs. This produce is used in our two London restaurants and the quality speaks for itself. When not travelling between London and Ireland, I’m attending food-related festivals and events like Taste of Cavan or judging the BBC Food and Farming Awards. These events are a great way to discover and celebrate the region’s offerings.’