Richard Cor­ri­gan

The Meath-born chef and restau­ra­teur on ditch­ing work to see Ir­ish band A Lazarus Soul, and the al­lure of Rotterdam

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKET - SHILPA GANA­TRA

Cur­rent favourite book

When I feel like laugh­ing, I read

Kurt Von­negut. Right now, I’m read­ing The Crimean War: A His­tory, by Or­lando Figes. I picked it up in a char­ity shop in Muswell Hill and I’m en­joy­ing it. I like any­thing to do with his­tory – it de­fines the past and the fu­ture. I’ve al­ways had an in­ter­est in it, com­ing from Ireland. I like to know why, what, and how, es­pe­cially how con­flicts could have been avoided.


There’s a place called Lignum – Latin for wood – in Loughrea, Co Gal­way, by a young boy called Danny Africano. He’s Ital­ian-Ir­ish and he’s hand-built a restau­rant down in the coun­try­side. It’s this sleek, Ja­panese-meets-Scan­di­navia-meets-ru­ral Ireland restau­rant, with bed­rooms at­tached [open­ing in 2020]. I mean, come on, hats off. It’s un­be­liev­able. Ireland has come a long way for me to visit a place like that, which I did a month ago. The food was mod­ern Ir­ish and all cooked on wood – a bit like we do in Daf­fodil Mul­li­gan in London. I try to avoid places with lots of cour­ses, so it’s the only one I’ve gone to in years. I drank some amaz­ing wines too. It’s the fu­ture. I was hum­bled by ev­ery­thing.


Who’s that Scot­tish mad b**tard from BBC Ra­dio 4? Frankie Boyle. Be­cause you can never be too provoca­tive as a co­me­dian. Ev­ery­thing is up for dis­cus­sion, and it’s only com­edy. When we take com­edy se­ri­ously, we need our head ex­am­ined. We’re all there to be ridiculed, so let the co­me­dian ridicule ev­ery­body. Let’s all not get all Nazi Ger­many.


I like Char­lie Tyrrell, he’s Ireland’s lead­ing ab­stract boy. I com­mis­sioned two pieces from Char­lie for Vir­ginia Park Lodge and asked him to hang it on the wall. There’s noth­ing like com­mis­sion­ing a paint­ing and get­ting the pain­ter to hang it him­self. And I like Alan Parker, who some­times does por­traits, but looks at na­ture won­der­fully. I just com­mis­sioned a piece from him of wild salmon. We’ll hang it in Bent­ley’s in London. Alan has a paint­ing of me some­where but I told him to keep it, and maybe give it to some­one when I’m not on this earth. I’d never ask for a por­trait – it’s the high­est form of self-in­dul­gence. I don’t ever in­tend to let it hap­pen to me.


I’m lis­ten­ing to two al­bums at the moment, both are Ir­ish at its best. One of them is Lankum’s The Live­long Day; the other is A Lazarus Soul’s The D They Put Be­tween the R & L. A Lazarus Soul have only done a cou­ple of gigs in Ireland this year and I went to see both of them: All To­gether Now, and I flew in to Dublin last Thurs­day even though it was in the mid­dle of a dis­as­ter be­fore the open­ing of Daf­fodil Mul­li­gans. Brian Bran­ni­gan has to be one of the best song­writ­ers liv­ing in Ireland. It’s un­be­liev­able that they can’t get air­play in Ireland, it’s out­ra­geous.


I lived in Rotterdam and Am­s­ter­dam for years be­fore I lived in London, and I loved them both. Rotterdam is my favourite be­cause it’s gritty, in­dus­trial and it’s cre­ative. I’m still half Dutch in my head. If you ask me a ques­tion, it might not be the an­swer you want, but at least it’s a good, straight an­swer, and the Dutch are bril­liant at that. I lived in Delf­shaven, in a top-storey room right across a Pil­grim’s Church. I looked out on to the top of the kerk, and I used to go there ev­ery New Year’s Eve as the won­der­ful Rotterdam Phil­har­monic would play a New Year’s Eve con­cert there. It was a most beau­ti­ful in­tro­duc­tion to clas­si­cal mu­sic.


My kitchen draw­ers and full of bits and bobs, and even though I know I’ll never use them, I can’t al­low my­self to throw them out. When I was look­ing for things to take into Daf­fodil Mul­li­gans, I found a bat­tery-op­er­ated mini whisk. I mean, f**k me, that’s un­be­liev­able. What was I think­ing. It must have been from the days when you needed froth on top of ev­ery­thing.

Dazed and Con­fused ( Richard Lin­klater, 1993)

A ter­rific com­ing-of-age film that helped launch many of the key tal­ents in 1990s in­de­pen­dent cin­ema. Matthew McConaughe­y, Ben Af­fleck and Parker Posey are there among the dope smoke.

Dirty Danc­ing ( Emile Ar­dolino, 1987)

The very model of a film that ini­tially played to mod­est hur­rahs be­fore hard­en­ing into an in­de­struc­tible cult. Pa­trick Swayze and Jen­nifer Grey are a cou­ple for the ages.

Dolemite Is My Name ( Craig Brewer, 2019) Ed­die Mur­phy con­firms he’s still got it (and a bit more) in this busy, hi­lar­i­ous biopic of the Blax­ploita­tion pi­o­neer Rudy Ray Moore.

The End­less ( Justin Ben­son, Aaron Moor­head, 2017)

Who? What? Where? Justin Ben­son and Aaron Moor­head pile on the puz­zles as two men re­visit the cult that mucked them up as chil­dren.

En­ter the Dragon ( Robert Clouse, 1973) The film that in­tro­duced Bruce Lee to his widest au­di­ence is a lu­di­crous post-Bond me­lange of es­pi­onage and evil mega­lo­ma­nia. But noth­ing can de­tract from Lee’s charisma and mar­tial gifts.

Ev­ery­thing You Al­ways Wanted to Know About Sex* ( Woody Allen, 1972) Nom­i­nally an adap­ta­tion of a best­selling self-help book, Allen’s real aim is to pas

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