If you’ve stumbled upon our blog for the first time, we’d just like to say thank you for visiting and hope you enjoy looking around.
We are GastroGays, a blogging duo consisting of Russell James Alford and Patrick Hanlon. We’re both originally from Ireland. We met while studying in Dublin City University (DCU) in 2010, and have been inseparable and insufferable in equal quantities since.
From then to now…
We started the blog back in 2013 with the intention of reviewing a bucket list of restaurants around Dublin city. However, our work circumstances changed and the opportunity arose to take on a bit of an emigration adventure. As you can imagine, having been fresh-from-university graduates during the recent financial crisis, Dublin was a really tough place to be professionally. Though our blog found its feet in the tough times of austerity Dublin, it flourished in London and we really found our voice.
In addition to writing reviews, readers wanted to know how we moved to London, what it was like, who we were meeting, where we were eating, so our story encompasses everything about our lives in London (and lots more about our travels and trips back to Ireland, where our finger is still definitively on the pulse).
We’re constantly cooking in our kitchen in South East London, and love to share all of our eating adventures on our Instagram and our Twitter pages in particular, alongside original recipes on here, of course. We’ve also diversified and added different dimensions to the blog with a monthly playlist called “Songs of Proves” of our favourite songs on our YouTube page, which we encourage you to listen to while making something delicious- exactly how we do! We’ve also dabbled in Soundcloud too, more of that to come (likely sporadically) in future.
As well as writing here, we’re also food columnists for Gay Times magazine since 2014 and write a bit for Huffington Post Lifestyle and BuzzFeed. and have appeared in videos for Waitrose TV alongside Paul Hollywood, published in Guardian Cook, Aer Lingus Cara Magazine and Flybe’s Flight Time. We’ve also been guests on Gaby Roslin’s show on BBC London 94.9 in September 2015 and there’s a couple of other TV and radio gigs in the pipeline…
What we do…
We’re not trained chefs; we’re proud home cooks. While our parents offered us an insight into the basics of cookery, it was when we were released to the world living away from home that our interest was heightened, passion piqued and our abilities developed, pretty much hand-in-hand. We believe that food should delight your tastebuds, satisfy your hunger and feed your soul, but it’s worth being very smart about what you’re eating too. Eating, drinking, cooking and preparing isn’t a chore (though the clean-up is always a nightmare) – it’s a joy and we want to make it as pleasant and easy as possible for everyone.
We have an ever-expanding bookcase of cookery books which we love to read, flick through and explore. But we often use them as inspiration for cooking, a base to jump from and add our own twist. Patrick, in particular, rarely sticks to a recipe: take a tip from here, a method from there, mash it all together and see what you get!
We love to dine out, and do so as a treat, but it’s not an overwhelmingly regular occurrence. If we love it, you’ll see it on our Instagram. If we really love it, we’ll drop by again and again then write up a little review for here. More about our press and review policies here.
As a bit of an aside interest, we are also Eurovision fanatics. We are the type of people who re-watch old contests every week and listen to tracks on repeat even though the contest isn’t on until May each year.
The best part of blogging is being in constant conversation with people who love food and drink as much as we do.
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