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All the best: Chef Brian McCann on his favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 37-year-old is head chef of Shu, in Belfast, which has been named the best Northern Ireland restaurant at the National Restaurant Awards for the last three years running. He lives with wife Deirdre and children, Beth-Rose (8) and Luke (5).

My best moment

When both of the kids were born. You could say all sorts of things, but the reality is that your children are what’s important.

My best song

I love Heroes by David Bowie. It makes me feel happy and alive and it’s a brilliant feel-good song. In the last five years I’ve really got into Bowie.

My best way to relax

In our house every Sunday we have a dance-off. All of us — including the kids — dance around and my wife and I have cocktails. The kids dress me up in high heels and make-up and we listen to Bowie and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It’s amazing and great craic.

My best job

I’ve been at Shu for 10 years now but I was at The Square in London before that, working with Marco Pierre White. I worked with some wonderful people and it was like a finishing school for me. Everyone there had the same interests in food.

My best buy

It’s my first ever album, Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. I had a ghetto blaster with one speaker on it and me and my mate stood with it in the street blasting out the cassette.

My best bit of advice

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit and wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. I think my mum or someone like that gave me the advice. It’s saying that wisdom is about how to use your knowledge.

My best gift

Other than my wife’s patience for putting up with me? My Tag Carrera watch, which she bought, just because she loves me.

My best achievement

After London my then fiancee and I spent eight months travelling around the world.

We had no responsibility and went round south-east Asia, Australia and so on.

It doesn’t sound like much of an achievement but it’s something I can really look back on.

My best film

Primal Fear, with Richard Gere and Edward Norton. It has a great plot with a great twist. I’m a big movie person, but this one really caught me unawares, and I really enjoyed it.

My best book

It’s always the current book and at the moment that is Born To Run by Christopher McDougall. It’s about a tribe of Mexican runners and it’s piqued my interest because I’ve started running in the last couple of months. It’s an amazing story by a great author. I’m not a great reader and dip in and out of books but I haven’t been able to put it down.

  • Shu is located at 253, Lisburn Road, Belfast. For menus and bookings, visit or tel: 028 9038 1655

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