On The Table: Executive Chef Gary Beynon – Doc Magilligan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub

Bringing a little taste of Ireland to Niagara Falls, Doc Magilligan’s Restaurant and Irish Pub is successfully serving up traditional Irish cuisine with a creative twist, both to hungry locals and tourists alike looking to sit back, enjoy a pint and warm their stomachs with a real, home cooked meal.

Thick, rich steak and mushroom pies with a side of soda bread, savoury and seasoned to perfection Shepherd’s pies, traditionally marinated chicken curries with mango chutney, corned beef and cabbage and more.

This food and restaurant, simply put, is good for the soul.

In the tradition of most authentic Irish pubs, Doc’s is said to be founded on a strong commitment to team-work and comfort inspired fare; backed by a long family history of providing a laid back, fun-loving place to meet for a few drinks and food after a long day.

“What Doc’s is all about is comfort food and teamwork,” says executive chef Gary Beynon. “It’s the reason people come back. The food is something your mother may have cooked for you, or your grandmother.”

Though Beynon is not Irish in ancestry, the chef said he has “comfort cooking running in his veins.” Beynon has no formal training in Irish cuisine and says to have taken an unconventional path into the kitchen (he learned to cook on the job by a number of chefs—all through a self-proclaimed “hard-knocks culinary education”).

“I’ve owned very different restaurants; from barbeque restaurants, gastro pubs, I’ve owned everything,” said Beynon. “But the one thing I always come back at is comfort food.”

Attached to the Best Western Hotel on Lundy’s Lane, Doc’s also offers a full a-la-carte breakfast, lunch and dinner menu seven days a week and brunch on weekends in their 300 seat Victorian inspired restaurant. Beynon said 90 per cent of the food at Doc’s is made in-house and all of the main dishes are made from a raw product.

Always looking to improve, Beynon travels to Ireland every year; the chef said he attends seminars in order to improve his techniques and to talk with other chefs from around the world about Irish avours.

Though Doc’s dedicates a portion of their menu to traditionally Irish dishes, Beynon said he enjoys putting a twist on some of the classics to make them his own. For example, the famous Irish Boxty: traditionally, an Irish pancake which is stone-baked and then stuffed or wrapped around ingredients, Doc’s Boxty takes on a wrap appearance, but maintains similar flavour profiles.

And then you have the mouth-watering Irish Pierogi—a Boxty which has been filled with cheese, wrapped in bacon and baked.

“You have to take recipes, and put your own twist on it,” said Beynon. “That is how I approach Irish cooking. Everything has been done, I need to make it my own and make it so people enjoy it.”

Doc’s as well offers an extensive selection of premium, craft and local beers and wines which pair with the hearty menu items.

This successful spin on Irish cooking has even garnered attention beyond Niagara borders; Doc’s was named one of the top 10 Irish pubs in North America in 2017 by the Irish Pubs Global Federation—a group that works to connect pubs around the world.

While most Irish pubs often bring to mind loud bars over owing with rowdy, Guinness filled bar hoppers, Doc Magilligans replaces this stereotype with their warm and inviting atmosphere which caters to every age bracket.

“There is something on the menu for everybody,” said Beynon. “Families can eat here; kids can eat here. We have traditional items for people who want something authentic; but if someone wants lamb, and you don’t, you don’t have to worry. You can come here and be okay with it, because we cater to everyone with each menu.”

The executive chef has a number of accolades under his belt; Beynon was named the “Best Chef at an Irish Pub Anywhere in North America”, as decided by Irish Pubs Global. Beynon, humbly, enforces the fact though that he is nothing without his team.

“It’s not me; it’s the team of people that make Doc Magilligan’s what we are,” said Beynon. “I am only as strong as the guy standing next to me and that’s the truth. I can’t say enough about my team; the guys in the kitchen, my suppliers… when we win awards, it’s not one guy who just goes into that. Yes they are my dishes, but if they can’t execute it, we are nothing.”

Embrace the family atmosphere and celebrate at Doc’s. The expansive restaurant is also available for private parties, family events and more. The restaurant as well hosts live music nights and events throughout the week.

Visit docmagilligans.com for more information.

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