Chef – Neil Mulholland


The Man behind Peploe’s Menu

Neil is a man who likes to make a difference, he considers himself an environmentalist, he likes to shock, he abhors political correctness and he once shared the same air with none other than Angelina Jolie.

A nice starting point, now let’s dive in and get to grips with 20 minutes spent just before service, sampling coffee with Neil at Peploe’s bar.Coffee Tasting

The Dream

If Neil could take off and fulfill his dream, he wouldn’t fly to space or become a professional Golfer, no! he would plant loads of trees on the West Coast of Ireland, no particular type of tree, just lots of them.  Deforestation bothers him as does the crazy stuff us humans are imposing on our planet.  Had to veer off this topic or the precious 20-minutes allocated would have evaporated, but interesting ambition indeed.

Chef Neil Mulholland – The Boy

NeilApparently as a kid Neil harboured dreams of being a marine biologist but teenage angst took over and he took the often traveled road of parties and beer.  No complaints from Peploe’s that he took the culinary route in the end.

He would like to see Yo Yo’s back in fashion, hours of endless pleasure for him as a kid.  Sounds innocent, but I’m told Neil was a trifle troublesome so the toy and the story don’t quite match up!

His True Love (no offence to Gosia)

We talked about Neil’s affection for animals, he likes to play a little game with himself of associating people with animals.  He looks at the people around him and tries to work out what animal they remind him of, he classifies himself as a monkey, no surprise there!  I was generously (I think!) given a dolphin or a rabbit.  A certain food critic was given a seagull…

On to the cute and cuddly, referring here to Neil’s pet cats, none other than Pike & wait for it… Lili Von Shtupp.  I did enquire if he made the call out to Lili Von Schtupp in full title nightly, but apparently in those moments she will respond to plain old Lili.  What a relief for Neil’s neighbours.  Both kitties are in their twilight years, both rescues and both obviously loved dearly and spoilt rotten.


We chatted then about favourite parts of the world, Neil is drawn to Hong Kong for the extreme traits of modern v’s ancient and because simply you can get absolutely everything there.  Naturally we then spoke of travel influences.  It could have taken take several hours to cover his passion for food, so we had to settle him on one area, his obsession with vegetarian food.  Peploe’s has an impressive vegetarian menu, adapted easily for vegans and gluten free.

Peploe’s Wine Bistro

kitchenWe covered Peploe’s kitchen, Neils favourite part of his job is the camaraderie in the work place.  With a team of guys and girls totaling 23 up to 7 at any one time, there would have to be great buzz and banter.  Mind you when I enquired what his staff might deem his most used expression he said ‘John’.  Apparently Neil dispenses with the business of first names and calls male and female alike ‘John’.  Methinks there is a well-oiled machine running in Peploe’s if that level of address works.


Now, you all want to know what’s the story with meeting Angelina Jolie, well apparently it’s not all that glamorous.  At the time Neil’s nickname was ‘Dicky Head’ christened by a 9 year old actress whom he was chaperoning on set (his real job).  Neil couldn’t actually remember the name of the movie Angelina was featuring in, but he did say she was very pleasant and not another word did he say… hmmm…


Next question, if you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you like to meet?  Neils answer was Gore Vidal an American writer and a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing.  There you have it!

Favourite Quotes

He has two

Oscar Wilde’s parting shot from his deathbed

“That wallpaper is awful one of us has to go” dramatic to the end!


Groucho Marx the American comedian, film and television star

“I’m an actor” to which Groucho responds “Really? Which restaurant?”

Curtain Call

Travolta&LadyDiFinally, I asked Neil if he would admit to a guilty pleasure to amuse us and finish off the interview, I’m afraid I have had to censor his response..

However, his admission of his Karaoke special ‘You’re the one that I want’ from Grease complete with Danny & Sandy’s dance moves if you don’t mind, could be considered a pretty respectable guilty pleasure.

I have a suggestion for Neil of Bobby Fuller Four – I Fought the Law and the Law Won

We are going to be profiling all of the staff at Peploe’s so we want to invite a little bit of guest participation

Neil – Rebel without a Cause?? What do you think?

Your chance to name the autobiography of Neil’s life

Answers to and he will pick the one that he might be tempted to use when he’s rich and famous.

Neil’s Recommendations from Peploe’s Menu

Dry Aged Irish Sirloin Steak

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC, Venturini Veneto, 2011