Two minutes with Patrick Powell, Allegra

Published 17 July 2019

In this week’s Q&A, Patrick Powell, Head Chef at Allegra, sits down with CODE to chat about where he’s looking forward to eating this year, who he deems a rising star and why Seamus Commons has been so influential on his career.

When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality?

My brother in law Jose (who is also a chef) gave me a copy of White Heat when I was 13. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen and immediately wanted to be a chef.

Where and how did you get your start?

I got a job washing pots at the weekend in an incredibly busy restaurant/pub called Crockets on the Quay. I gradually worked my way into the kitchen spending five years there through high school and culinary college.

Sum up your current work life in one sentence.

Busy, busy, exciting, busy, stressful, busy

Who has been really influential on your career and why?

An Irish chef by the name of Seamus Commons. He always encouraged me to push myself and to go work abroad.

What’s next for you?

We are getting very close to Allegra opening this summer – I can’t wait, it is a special place and I’m very excited for people to come and check it out.

What’s your one piece of advice to someone starting out?

Only work in restaurants where you feel like you are learning. If you are not absorbing anything new it is time to leave. Regardless of the restaurant’s reputation.

Where did you last have a great meal?

I went to Black Axe Mangal last week (for about the 50th time). It is so consistent and delicious and there is always something new and exciting to try on the menu.

Are there any openings you are looking forward to?

Flor from the Lyles guys will be great. And I am really looking forward to seeing what Richard Corrigan will do with the old Nuala site. It is a beautiful space.

Where is the most exciting city for hospitality (aside from London)?

San Sebastian and its surrounding area is my favourite place to eat in the world. Hong Kong is also amazing.

Who would you identify as a rising star?

Will Faris who is currently head chef of the Dairy. Super nice guy and a really good cook.

This Q&A was first featured in the CODE Careers Bulletin. To subscribe please click here

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