John Relihan Executive Chef for KSG was passionate about food at an early age. This then developed into a career path when he decided he wanted to be a chef. Aged 16 he applied successfully to the Jamie Oliver foundation in London for training and went on to complete his course at the famous ‘fifteen restaurant and college’.
He then went on to be selected for a scholarship to the States to train with Chris Cosentino in San Francisco cooking old style and new Italian food, which focused on head to tail, curing a range of meats, whole animal cooking hunting and foraging.
After working in America John returned to take part in Jamie Oliver’s TV show called “Jamie’s chef” where he was giving the opportunity to open his own restaurant in Essex and had to do many challenges and business plans on the TV.
Thereafter he worked at the famous St John Restaurant with Fergus Henderson who was one of the first British pioneers of the same genre.
After two years at St. John’s John travelled to America again and ran the restaurant as a sous chef with Chris while Chris Cosentino was become a celeb chef within America after doing iron chef America, iron chef Japan and his own TV show within America.
Relihan eventually returned to the Oliver stable and became head chef at Jamie Oliver’s BBQ Smokehouse restaurant in London, called Barbecoa, which has become the city’s finest advocate of cooking ‘low and slow’ in many different fire methods. In that time, he was privileged to work with the likes of Adam Perry Lang and learnt from the finest styles of cooking Bbq and grilling. After 6 years in the heart of London running the restaurant and foodie festivals John returned to Ireland and opened Holy Smoke Restaurant in Cork, which in its short time of opening has garnered national and international acclaim.
In June 2016, John was honoured to be selected by Failte Ireland, the Irish Tourism Board, to be one of Ireland’s top Food Ambassadors and to promote the finest Irish produce both at home and abroad, this November John travelled to Copenhagen Denmark with Failte Ireland doing research for Ireland, John will be working closely with Failte Ireland’s (wild Atlantic way, Ireland’s ancient East and visit Dublin) During 2016 John was the headline chef for St. Patrick’s day in Trafalgar square for Bord Bia and organised 5000 portions of the finest Irish food for the festival.
In September 2016 John was a guest chef and travelled to São Paulo Brazil to cook over fire at the world-famous festival called Churrascada and then travelled South America and in August 2016 was the headline chef at “the big grill festival” in Dublin.
John has extensive media experience.
As well as various demos, he has taken part in a TV show called Jamie’s Chefs and he has been on numerous radio shows including The Last Word with Matt Cooper (Today FM), one of Ireland’s top radio slots. He created his own festival in his hometown called the Duagh Summer Festival which was based on Fire, food and culture and brought 50 people in from around the world, and in 2012 was nominated to run with the Olympic torch for fifteen restaurant and Jamie Oliver and also had a role on Eastenders TV show carrying the Olympic torch the same time.