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Chris Galvin

12 May 2005
Chris Galvin

Overall ranking: 70

Chef ranking: 8

Snapshot

Chris Galvin is executive chef-director of the Wolseley, the all-day, European-style café-brasserie that opened in London's Piccadilly in September 2003. It's the latest project from Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the masterminds behind some of London's most popular restaurants including the Ivy and Le Caprice.

Career guide

Galvin, who was born in 1958, started his career as a chef at London's Ritz hotel before heading for New York in the late 1980s where he opened a new branch of Ménage à Trois for Antony Worrall Thompson.

Galvin returned to London to work at L'Escargot and the Lanesborough hotel before joining Conran Restaurants in 1995. While serving as head chef of the new Mezzo restaurant in Soho under John Torode, Galvin also helped launch Bluebird in the King's Road in May 1997.

In October 1997 Galvin became chef-patron of Conran's new Orrery restaurant in Marylebone, where he also oversaw the launch of Almeida in Islington in 2001. In December 2002, Galvin became chef-director for the Conran Restaurants Group.

He joined the Wolseley as executive chef-director in August 2003.

What we think

Galvin has won enormous respect from his peers for the quality of his cooking, his ability to manage large operations, his reliability, and his dedication to staff training.

Galvin played a major role in consolidating the profile of the diverse Conran restaurant empire in London. When he joined, the 650-seat Mezzo was the largest restaurant in Europe. Orrery was intended to be the North London Bibendum, but it soon surpassed its role model when Galvin won Conran its first and only Michelin star in 2000.

Galvin's discipline and thirst for self-improvement were highlighted that same year when he became one of a select group of chefs to gain a BSc degree in international culinary arts, having studied part-time while steering Orrery into the Michelin Red Guide.

As chef-director of Conran Restaurants, Galvin developed restaurant projects and collaborated with chefs across the group to devise new menus and concepts. His mentoring skills - which saw his Orrery head chef André Garrett win the 2002 Roux Scholarship competition - also came to the fore as he built up the group's new chef development programme.

The Wolseley has already gathered a clutch of accolades from Harpers and Moet, Time Out, the AA, and Zagat readers (who have voted it their eighth favourite restaurant) and the 200-seat restaurant is widely expected to surpass Corbin and King's earlier successes in the popularity stakes.

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