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E88: Evolve to Survive in Business: Niall McKenna, Chef Proprietor at Waterman House


Niall McKenna is the Chef Proprietor at Waterman House, Belfast, which is the latest addition to the James Street restaurant group he founded in 2003.


Niall has been in the kitchen since he was fourteen years old. He worked in London for 12 years and trained with the best in the industry. He has opened multiple restaurants in Belfast and has been recognised for food and service excellence by the Michelin Guide, the Waitrose Food Guide, Food & Wine Magazine, and the prestigious Georgina Campbell Awards.



Since 2019 Niall has embarked on his biggest project to date, Waterman House, consisting of a Cookery School, event spaces, tasting rooms and a restaurant.


In 2014 Niall launched his own Chef Apprenticeship scheme, dedicating time, energy and passion to passing on his knowledge and skills to a new generation of future cooks. This Apprenticeship is for 16-24-year-olds and is in collaboration with Belfast Met.




Niall has featured in many local Television programmes from Great British Menu, winning the opportunity to cook for Prince Charles and Camilla, alongside a weekly recipe column in The Irish News.


First and foremost Niall is about the people. The people who come into his restaurant, the people who work in his restaurant and the people of Belfast.


In this episode he shares his learnings from his time in London and how he has incorporated them into his businesses. Mentors have helped him immensely over the years therefore he shares who they are and gives tips on how to seek mentors out.


Niall isn’t afraid of change or moving from something that isn't working so he shares tips on how not to be a busy fool.


With his apprenticeship running for nearly ten years, Niall talks about why he started it, what’s involved, and its benefits.


He ends the conversation with what he thinks the future of hospitality looks like.


An episode not to miss!


E88: Evolve to Survive in Business: Niall McKenna, Chef Proprietor at Waterman House



Check out the episode here:



To find out more about Niall and what he does, you can visit the following links:



The Digg Podcast is brought to you in partnership with Timely Careers





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