2 Michelin Star Chefs: Isaac McHale, chef patron, The Clove Club

The Staff Canteen

Isaac McHale is the chef patron of two Michelin-starred The  Clove Club in Shoreditch, London

Isaac McHale was born in Orkney and grew up in Glasgow. His fascination for cooking stemmed from a young age; one of his earliest food memories was eating pakora at one of the many local Indian restaurants when he was seven years old.

The Clove Club

Image Credit: John Short

Address: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St,
London, EC1V 9LT

Phone: 020 7729 6496

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: www.thecloveclub.com

Opening Times:
Monday 6:30–11pm

Tuesday 12–2pm, 6:30–11pm

Wednesday 12–2pm, 6:30–11pm

Thursday 12–2pm, 6:30–11pm

Friday 12–2pm, 6:30–11pm

Saturday 12–2pm, 6:30–11pm

Sunday Closed

Instagram: @thecloveclub

Twitter: @thecloveclub

Facebook: The Clove Club


When he was 14, Isaac took up a Saturday job at the local fishmonger, where he discovered the wonders of Scottish shellfish. He later enrolled at Glasgow University on a food chemistry course but dropped out a year later.

He worked in restaurant kitchens across Glasgow from a young age but eventually decided to go travelling to gain experience in restaurants around the globe.

During his travels, Isaac spent time at Marque in Sydney, completed a stage at René Redzepi's Noma and worked under Tom Aikens at Michelin-starred Elystan Street, before joining Brett Graham's opening team at The Ledbury

Image Credit: Anton Rodriguez

During his six-year tenure at The Ledbury, the restaurant was awarded its first and then a second Michelin star. Isaac was eventually named a development chef at the restaurant.

Following his departure in 2013,  Isaac formed a collective with Ben Greeno and James Lowe, calling themselves the ‘Young Turks’ - a trio of London chefs who ran a series of experimental pop-up restaurants and supper clubs across London. One such event was hosted at a Dalston supperclub run by front of house duo, Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith. This eventually led to the opening of The Clove Club in Shoreditch later that year.

To this day, Isaac is an active part of the international chef community and appears around the world regularly, giving keynote speeches, cooking demonstrations and collaborating on special dinners and events.

The Clove Club

Crowdfunding using a website called Crowdcube, Isaac, Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith opened The Clove Club in 2013, at the Shoreditch Town Hall. 

They won their first Michelin star a year later, and earned a second star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022. In 2016, The Clove Club was the highest new UK entry to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List, and placed in 26th position in 2021.

The Clove Club is comprised of two rooms - the restaurant, which serves a five-course menu showcasing stellar ingredients such as Orkney scallops, Cornish lobster and dry-aged Middlewhite pork; and the bar, which gives guests the option to stay for a drink or have a bite to eat from the bar menu – an abbreviated version of the full dining experience.

The restaurant is known for its relaxed atmosphere – diners top up their own wine and water.

The Clove Club prides itself on serving organic ingredients with creative flair - René Redzepi’s creative influence on Isaac is noticeable in their quirky food style.

Image Credit: Anton Rodriguez

no shows and the TOCK ticketing system 

In 2015, The Clove Club was one of the first restaurants in London to use the TOCK ticketing system, where diners pay in advance so that in the event of a cancellation, the restaurant still receives the money. Other restaurants already using the system included Thomas Keller’s Per Se, The French Laundry and Alinea. Isaac told Bloomberg in 2015: “It’s going to ruffle a few feathers, but everyone has a problem with no-shows.”

Opening Luca

In 2016, the team behind The Clove Club has also opened Luca – a 1950’s inspired 'Britalian' restaurant  in Clerkenwell, described by Michelin as "less a little sister, more a distant cousin" to The Clove Club, with "a cheery atmosphere, a bar for small plates and a frequently changing menu of Italian dishes made with quality British ingredients." The restaurant also has a pasta-making room, where guests can watch pasta being made during the day.

Videos with Isaac McHale:

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd February 2022

2 Michelin Star Chefs: Isaac McHale, chef patron, The Clove Club