Corrigan’s Mayfair restaurant in London is one of the city’s top eateries, having won numerous awards including the AA’s London Restaurant of the Year and BMW’s Best British Cuisine. Offering a fantastic course to teach you everything you need to know about British and Irish cooking, you will be taught by award-winning chefs with a real passion for local ingredients, careful sourcing and seasonality. Here we catch up with Chris McGowan, the Head Chef at Corrigan’s, who helps to run the cookery classes and gives us an insight as to what makes Corrigan’s so special.
Hi Chris! Please explain for our Experience Days customers exactly what it is you do at Corrigan’s Mayfair?
I’m the Head Chef at Corrigan’s Mayfair, so my normal duties include running the entire brigade, ensuring that everything comes to the pass at the right time and making sure that it’s perfect every time. I also deal with suppliers, train the team and host the cookery lessons.
So, what can they expect to be learning to cook at one of your classes?
The classes are designed to suit all levels, whether you’re a novice or a rather accomplished chef! Our team of chefs will tailor the class to your individual needs, allowing you to progress at your own speed. Our focus is always on seasonal produce. You won’t find strawberries in our kitchen in December! Students can expect to learn about the ingredients, where we source our produce and even information about the farmers – we take great pride in knowing where all our produce comes from.
Please tell us more about your range of classes?
Your experience starts with a glass of champagne and an introduction by your chef to the Richard Corrigan ethos of cooking. Students are introduced to a number of dishes with the end result culminating in a four course lunch. Classes vary seasonally focusing on British & Irish cuisine; students can expect to pick up skills such as bread baking, filleting fish, plucking and roasting game birds, perfecting the perfect pudding and the secrets of a soufflé. To wrap up the perfect day, we hand out a Corrigan’s goody bags containing recipe cards, an apron, a loaf of our famous soda bread and a signed copy of Richard Corrigan’s latest cookbook, to remind you of your time and to inspire you to flex your cooking muscle a little further! The day starts at 9.30 am, with Champagne canapés served prior to lunch at 1 pm.
Why will our readers want to come participate in your classes?
It’s a great day out- something a bit different- and we hope that all our guests come away with a new set of skills.
Of all the dishes served by Corrigans, which would you say is your favourite, if you had to choose?
That’s a really difficult question, but I’d have to say the Wild Boar, with Crab Apple and Sprout leaves.
Okay, a bit about you now; how long have you been cooking for?
I’ve been cooking for over 20 years now; for 9 of those years I’ve been with Richard Corrigan.
We always like to find out a few secrets here at Experience Days … where do you find the best recipes?
I try to eat out at other restaurants when I can, and we get inspiration from Richard and also from our suppliers – when they come through the door with a box of beautiful fish or a brace of pheasants, it’s hard not to get excited and think of a nice dish.
I noticed online a feature about private dining and booking a private room; can tell me more about this?
At Corrigan’s we have three private dining rooms, seating between 2-25 guests, available for lunch, dinner or any other time (receptions, presentations or brainstorms). In addition, the restaurant is available for breakfast and private hire, as are all the other spaces.
Do you have any future plans for Corrigans?
We’re continuing to grow at Corrigan’s with events such as our wine lunches and cookery classes. We’ve also launched a new bar menu which is really exciting: it’s an informal approach and it really works, ideal for people looking to pop in for a quick bite. We’ve also installed beer taps which are really popular.