Food: Is the Past the Future?
At FutureFest Oliver Peyton will explore whether we really sell new food ideas to people or do they just want to fall back on what they are familiar and comfortable with?
Oliver Peyton is the founder and chairman of Peyton and Byrne and a renowned restaurateur whose restaurants are recognised as much for their impressive design as they are for the quality of their cooking.
Oliver oversees the restaurants and cafés for the majority of London’s famous galleries and parks and Peyton and Byrne now lead the way in public space dining. He is also one of the judges on BB2’s Great British Menu and the author of two cookbooks. He was awarded an OBE for his services to the hospitality industry.
Born in September 1961 on the West Coast of Ireland, Peyton came to London while he was still a student. He ran two successful nightclubs in the Eighties, The Can in Brighton, and RAW in London then hit on the idea of creating a premium drinks importing company. He masterminded the UK distribution of Absolut vodka, Japanese beer Sapporo and a number of other brands, revolutionizing the UK drinks industry and creating the ‘Super Premium’ spirit sector that was to kick start our cocktail culture.
Peyton moved into restaurants in the early Nineties, with the opening of the Atlantic Bar & Grill. Famous for its art deco interiors and modern British menu, the restaurant was an overnight success and was followed closely by restaurants Coast, Mash, Isola and the Admiralty at Somerset House. Then in 2004 Peyton took on a new challenge with the opening of the eco-friendly and architecturally innovative Inn the Park in St James's Park. Setting the trend for offering a menu that was organic, seasonal and completely British, this opening marked a new direction for the business.
Seeing a gap in the market and a real need to change tourist perception of British food, Peyton actively targeted opportunities within some of Britain’s biggest national institutions and in 2006 opened The National Dining Rooms at The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square and The Wallace Restaurant in the sculpture garden of The Wallace Collection. This was followed closely by a second eatery at the National Gallery - The National Café. Then in 2007 Peyton won the contract for the café-bar in the ICA, the British Library in 2009, Kew Gardens in 2010 and Royal Academy in 2011. More recently he took over the Bar and Grill at the Lyric Theatre in 2015.