DesMcDonald

Profile

Born in East London, Des McDonald was predestined to go into the restaurant industry, following a long tradition in his family.  After leaving culinary school, he honed his skills and built up his knowledge by cooking in 5-star hotels including The Ritz and the Sheraton Park Tower in Knightsbridge. In 1992 he got his big break with Caprice Holdings working as Head Chef at the legendary Ivy Restaurant.

He enjoyed a very successful 20 years with the Caprice Group, working for the last 12 years in a Managing Director and Group CEO role. He also oversaw the acquisition and running of Soho House Group and Annabel’s Group.

In January 2012 he made the decision to set up on his own, create and develop his own restaurants and also following various requests set up an advisory/consultancy company which has helped clients, revitalising and updating the standards of operation, training, design and overall structure to bring sales, GP’s and covers back in line. Also, enjoying working with new ventures, helping with the concept/design and overall operation both in the UK and Overseas.

In May 2013 Des opened his first solo venture, the critically acclaimed Fish & Chip Shop on Upper Street, N1. Following its success, in February 2014 he launched Holborn Dining Room, a classic British brasserie at London's newest five star hotel, Rosewood London. Next came a new barbeque restaurant concept; Q Grill Chalk Farm. Des also had the opportunity to launch On the Roof with Q, a pop-up roof top restaurant at Selfridges that summer. It was a great success and now transforms seasonally under the vision of Des.

In 2015 Des rebranded his restaurants on Upper Street & Liverpool Street to Vintage Salt, following the success of the Selfridges rooftop pop up of the same name. He has plans to expand his portfolio in 2015/6; to includes more Vintage Salt restaurants and a second Q Grill at Liverpool Street.

Des has also developed a successful advisory business , the team are working on projects in Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Manchester and London.

Des has also developed a successful advisory business , the team are working on projects in Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Manchester and London.

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Evening Standard
“One of the most influential figures on the London restaurant scene, his ambition is global.  He passionately believes the fish and chip shop is “a strong British brand” that can be successfully exported.”

Forbes.com
“Des McDonald has been instrumental in transforming the city into one of the world’s top dining destinations; McDonald knows restaurants from kitchen to boardroom.”

The Independent, John Walsh
“Des McDonald's name is legendary in the food business – the legends in question being Midas and Croesus.”

Financial Times, Nicholas Lander
“His management expertise lies in choosing the right location, the right building and the appropriate style with his designer.”

Stop Press: Reviews, Links & Articles
Evening Standard - The Recipe for Success - Read Article
City A.M.: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
Hot Dinners: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
Zagat: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
London Inside: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
Caterer & Hotel: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
Big Hospitality: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
Finance Channel: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
Past Career, BA Business Life: Profile - Read Article
Lawn & More: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Article
Evening Standard: Interview - Read Article
The Fish & Chip Shop Restaurant: - View Website
London Eating: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Review
Evening Standard: The Fish & Chip Shop - View PDF
The Independent: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Review
The FT: The Fish & Chip Shop - Read Review
Standard.co.uk: Q Grill -Read Article
Allinlondon.co.uk: Q Grill -Read Article
Time Out London Blog: Q Grill -Read Article
EasyJet Traveller Online: Q Grill -Read Article
MSN Food: Q Grill -Read Article
TimeOut.com: Q Grill -Read Article
London on the Inside: Q Grill -Read Article
Square Meal: Q Grill -Read Article
Big Hospitality: Q Grill -Read Article
Hot Dinners: Q Grill -Read Article
Standard.co.uk: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Zagat.com: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
LondonLovesBusiness.com: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Hardens.com: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Hospitality Interiors.co.uk: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
AllInLondon.co.uk: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
View London.co.uk: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Square Meal: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Big Hospitality: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Hot Dinners: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
London-Eating.co.uk: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Elite Traveller: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Caterer & Hotelkeeper: Holborn Dining Room -Read Article
Flight Time: Des McDonald - Read Article
BBC W0rld Service: Podcast 10/10/2014 - Listen to Podcast
Evening Standard: The Fish & Chip Shop, City - Read Article
London Evening Standard: London's most influential people 2014 - Read Article
Vantage Article - Read Article