He started his career in The Man Friday in Kinsale under Peter Barry in 1972 and moved to Dublin in 1977. He then spent four years in le Coq Hardi and a further eight years in the Bon Appetit before opening his own l’Ecrivain Restaurant in July 1989 with his wife Sallyanne.
Derry and l’Ecrivain have been awarded many accolades over the past 26 years, such as Best Restaurant and Best Chef Awards since 1999.
Derry reached international acclaim having been inducted into Food and Wine Magazines “Hall of Fame” and been granted a five-star review by The New York Times describing his restaurant as “superb” and “a good spot to linger” whilst in Dublin. Eminent UK foodie A.A. Gill, not known for dishing out rave reviews, gave a rare rave review of L’Ecrivain. He noted that Derry’s Wicklow venison was among the best deer I’ve ever tasted”, going on to describe L’Ecrivain as “a very decent, hospitable, friendly, stay-a-while hybrid restaurant”.
He has written two successful cook books. “Not Just A Cookbook” and “Keeping it Simple”. The recipes confirm his commitment to the very best local, fresh produce cooked with flair and imaginationl’Ecrivain is the proud holder of a Michelin Star which was first awarded in 2003. When The Dubliner Magazine in 2011 gave Derry the gong for – Chef’s Chef where he was voted the outright winner by a jury of his peers he was extremely humbled. In 2015 Derry won ‘Best Chef in Ireland’ from the Good Eating Guide and Best Chef Dublin from Food & Wine Magazine.
Derry spent over 3 years as Commissioner General for EuroToques Ireland, and still remains actively involved with the organisation today. Derry promotes the use of Organic Food & Non Genetically Modified Foods – His food ethos is simple. He uses the finest of fresh local produce supporting small farmers and artisan producers in others ‘The Best of Irish.’