Find Robin Gill on social media
Few chefs can claim to have quite the impact that Robin Gill has had, especially in such a short amount of time. He feels synonymous with London’s casual fine dining scene, but in truth, Gill has only been a big name in the capital for a decade or so. Such was his meteoric rise and with the overwhelming success of his debut restaurant, The Dairy in Clapham, it feels as though Gill has been on the scene for decades.
Dublin-born Gill spent his early career learning alongside some true heavyweight chefs (Marco Pierre White at The Oak Room, and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir, to name a couple) before expanding his horizons in kitchens in Italy and Scandinavia. He returned to London with a dream of opening his first restaurant in his local neighbourhood of Brixton, but he found opportunities hard to come by. ‘I’d worked at a couple of good places, but when you’re looking at starting your own business, landlords don’t care who you’ve worked for,’ he explains. A chance meeting with a landlord in Clapham opened the door, and that site became The Dairy - a restaurant that defined the Nordic-flecked, produce-focused fine dining movement that has become commonplace in London today.
Gill also has a reputation for nurturing talent, and his restaurant empire grew as he looked to provide new opportunities for talented chefs. Dean Parker is an excellent example - the one time head chef of The Dairy then became head chef of The Manor (Gill’s second restaurant) and would go on to open lots of sites for Gill before opening his own restaurant, Celentano’s in Glasgow.
Today, Gill owns an array of restaurants - The Dairy is sadly closed and much eulogised, but its spirit lives on in restaurants like Maria G’s, Bermondsey Larder, Darby’s and Bottle and Rye.