WHAT DO YOU DO AND HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
I have my own drinks creative consultancy, Mr Lyan, which I started with my sister, Natasha, and Karen Langley, who's also pretty much family. Food and drink have always been at the forefront of family gatherings and very important to me. Add to that a mixed background of fine art, biology and philosophy studies with cooking and here I am today! I'm currently working with Morgans Hotel Group on a few bar development projects.
WAS HOSPITALITY SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO? WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
No actually, I grew up within a medical family. I think my dad realized very early on that I was far too rebellious for the profession and discouraged us all away from that path. We had a lot of freedom and hospitality is a good balance of arts with sciences.
WHAT'S YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
Family and friends. My sister Natasha is truly one of the most inspiring and talented people I know. I know I'm biased, but it's true!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE HOTEL IN THE WORLD AND WHY?
The Savoy in London. It's an institution rather than a hotel and an important part of London. When you step inside you can escape to a bygone era. It's iconic and grand in a nostalgic way.
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU'VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY IN THE PAST 5 - 10 YEARS?
I think service has really improved, the focus is now always customer first. From my side of the bar, there's certainly a more considered and careful selection of ingredients. Produce is key.
WHO ARE YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRING IN THE INDUSTRY AND WHY?
Nathan O'Neill from Milk and Honey. He's young, passionate and creative. The time he invests in research is astounding. Also Robin Honhold from Lucky Liquor in Edinburgh, he has a different outlook on the world of drinks.
WHERE WILL YOU BE ON YOUR NEXT DAY OFF?
I'll be in New York. We've just re-launched the bar at Hudson Hotel, Henry's. I love the city, it's the true home of the cocktail bar. I'll head down to Atta Boy and Dead Rabbit to catch up with the guys there… they're both my current favourite places to stop by for a drink.
WHAT'S THE NEXT BIG IDEA? WHAT ARE HOTELS MISSING?
Anticipation. Hotels need to be aware of guest needs and go beyond average service. What are we missing? Covering all bases. And robots.
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING IN A FEW YEARS FROM NOW?
As many things within the world of food and drink as possible. I want to constantly push the boundaries and creative ways of exploring the Mr Lyan brand.
CAREER ANECDOTE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?
When I worked at Bramble in Edinburgh I began to dislike muddling spoons. This was only added to by Jason Scott, who I worked with at the time, telling me his woeful tale of impaling his hand with one when the spoon part fell off. Lesson learnt - it's good to be practical.