Interview with John Quigley of Red Onion

John Quigley red onion

We recently caught up with John Quigley, Owner and Chef at Red Onion restaurant on West Campbell Street, Glasgow.

How did you get into the cooking scene?

I started as a waiter in the soho London restaurant scene in the mid 80’s and ended up cooking one night when the chef didn’t show up. I then very quickly had the opportunity to run my own deli style kitchen in a wine bar called “Andrew Edmunds” and by 22 I was the youngest head chef in the Good Food Guide.

What made you decide to make it a career?

I enjoyed cooking more than anything, the oppurtunity to travel, the hours, the creative side, the buzz from service the feedback etc.

Best piece of advice for someone wanting to get professional?

Best advice is to start working in a thriving creative kitchen which cooks fresh food and explains the process.

Best cooking experience?

Too numerous to mention as I was a touring chef to Guns n Roses, Bryan Adams, Paul McCartney and much more, there were some good times and let’s say unusual working conditions.

Recently did an alternative Burns Supper in Glasgow which was challenging but a big success and great fun.

John Quigley red onion

Greatest accomplishment in your career?

Opening and maintaining Red Onion for 10 years is a pretty good accomplishment.


What’s the biggest change you have seen in the Glasgow eating scene over the years?

Glasgow restaurant scene is bigger, more diverse and better, there are more smaller chef patron restaurants and more attention is on the proper sourcing of things and consequently supporting Scottish suppliers.. Also great value for money.

Worst dinner guest?

…… Morrissey.

If you weren’t a Chef, what would you do?

Studied art so may have been painter but do enjoy photography as well.

Favourite dish to cook for yourself?

Love a proper steak n chips.

Check out our previous visit to Red Onion.

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Mrs Foodie aka Emma loves to snuggle with Fred and Cleo, sleep and read.

Can be found with gin or a pint in hand.

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