Born in Northern Ireland, Shauna Froydenlund spent 15 years with husband Mark working at Marcus at The Berkeley, in London. The couple started as commis chefs, eventually becoming chef patrons, along with Marcus Wareing. Now they have moved to Derry, where they plan to open their own restaurant.
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2022 issue of Hospitality Ireland Magazine, in October of 2022.
What do you plan to open? When and where? Give us all the details that you can.
We’re actively looking for a new restaurant site and have viewed a few potential places. We’re keen to have something under way later next year, but won’t be rushing into anything. We really want to find the right space for us. The type of restaurant will very much be determined by the space we’re in. We’d really love something that can offer two or more different concepts, depending on the time of day, and something that can offer quite an intimate dining experience.
Also, how does it feel to be back in Ireland after years in London?
Initially, being back in Ireland was so strange, as I haven’t lived here since I was 18, and my husband, Mark, has never lived here. Lots has changed in the city, but it’s all positive things, and we’re really excited to be here.
What do you enjoy most about being back?
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Leaving a busy and hectic career in London and taking some time to get ourselves settled has taken a bit of adjustment, but now we’re here, it’s like we’ve never been anywhere else. We have a four-year-old and a four-month-old, so spending more time with them has been really special, and we just love being so close to the coast!
What do you miss most about London?
The variety of food, probably the most. London is so multicultural, and the authentic local restaurants and variety of groceries on your doorstep was just incredible.
What are the biggest challenges to your project?
It’s a scary time to be in hospitality, and everyone is feeling the pinch. contemplating opening up a new business is even more daunting, but, nevertheless, we’re still excited and will move forward with it when we find the right space.
Do you miss working at the Berkeley?
Absolutely! We spent 15 years with Marcus at the berkeley, so it was a massive part of our lives. We both started as commis chefs and grew up through the ranks, spending the last five years as joint chef patrons, so it really has shaped who we are as chefs. Working at that level of fine dining is a privilege, and we’re so grateful to have been able to do it for so long. We’ve worked with and left behind some great people, who we miss. The aim now is to take some of what we’ve achieved with Marcus to our new venture.
What’s it like working as part of a husband-wife team?
We’re really lucky, as we both started in the same position and worked our way up together as a couple, so there’s always been mutual respect and absolutely no egos, which is so important. We also both have different strengths, so have always been able to work really well as a team, without too many fall-outs!
How different is it, going out on your own?
The most exciting part is being able to make all the decisions ourselves, and to be fully in control of what we do, however, like everyone else across the industry, we are being very careful with all our costs, as things are going to be financially tough for the foreseeable future.
What do you hope for your new project?
It’s a tough one, as our background is all Michelin, but we don’t want to be chasing Michelin stars. We just want to create a restaurant that people love coming to, that delivers warm hospitality and great food, and that represents all our hard work for the last 15 years.
How is your work-life balance these days?
It’s completely different, which is why we made this move. In London, it was all about work, and near impossible to fit anything else in. Here, we can still work hard and fit in all the other important parts of life.
Read More: Hospitality Ireland Autumn 2022: Read The Latest Issue Online!