About Time You Met: Justine Murphy, Founder of mymuybuenoBy Angelica Malin
Justine Murphy is a CEO and Founder of mymuybueno, a luxury food and lifestyle brand with multiple divisions, which is currently celebrating its 11th birthday. We chatted with Justine about her Chefs Get Personal podcast, returning to London and what’s next:
What is mymuybueno and why did you start it?
Founded in 2011, mymuybueno is a destination for luxury food and lifestyle. With many divisions within the group, the main one is our private chef agency, placing chefs on superyachts and private households globally. I started it as I was a private chef on superyachts and saw there was a gap in the market where representation for chefs was lacking. My vision however was bigger than this, and not only did I want to help chefs in their career paths, but I also wanted to help with their training, so I started my cookery school too, which I am busy evolving into an online academy launching next year.
My passion is for good food and good people, so running through the company we also have my chef interviews, which is now a successful podcast, my restaurant reviews and the mymuybueno chefs Instagram, where we share dishes of chefs globally. It’s all about community, and it’s also an eco-system as everything is connected, from chefs on land to yachts, and our client base too, so that you can truly eat, live and learn with mymuybueno.
How’s the mymuybueno journey been? Have there been many challenges along the way?
It’s been a journey for sure, one with many lessons along the way. The biggest challenge was, of course, the pandemic. It hit at a time when I had just released my cookbook, I had 7 sites and 32 staff over in Mallorca, which had been home since coming off working on yachts.
Having to make hard decision after hard decision, letting go of sites and my team, and ultimately scooping my family up and making the decision to return to London, was a very testing time, but ultimately one that has led to a far better place, and direction and made me stronger than ever, restructuring my life, and the company to adapt and evolve in a far better way. I wouldn’t be where I stand now had it not been for all the hardship that took me here. Everything happens for a reason, I believe and fully trust in that.
Have you always been entrepreneurial?
Yes, in fact, I have one very clear memory of being a child in Pitshanger Park in Ealing, collecting small and large Sycamore leaves as they had fallen, and once I collected them all, I stood on the path telling everyone walking past that small ones were 1p and large 2p, I sold them all. It’s a memory I had forgotten about until just a few years ago, and it’s this that made me realise that it has been ingrained in me for some time.
You’ve just moved back to London, what do you think of the London food scene?
I moved back to London permanently in July 2020 as the pandemic changed a huge amount, but as I was born in Hammersmith, and my new beautiful mymuybueno HQ is now there too; I feel like I have come full circle. I adore the London food scene, so many amazing chefs, talent and restaurants- just not enough time to visit them all!
What’s your favourite restaurant in London?
That’s easy, it’s HIDE, (ground floor) it’s my happy place. I love the food, the service, and the atmosphere, I can relax and talk freely and the walls don’t have ears. It is consistent, just good food, cooked well, presented nicely, and always uses seasonal and excellent ingredients. I can take my boys for breakfast, have a business meeting for lunch, or go with my team for dinner. I eat there often and am always welcomed so warmly like family, with my regular table too.
If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Green Thai Chicken Curry – I love Thai food and spice. I trained in Thailand many years ago, so can make a really good authentic curry, I share my recipe in my cookbook, and it is my favourite.
What are your plans for the future?
I will be launching mymuybueno Academy of Culinary Arts early next year, which is an evolution of my cookery school. Same concept, with guest chefs sharing their signature dishes, courses aimed at our yacht chef market, and modules of skills and techniques for chefs to hone specific skills where they may have gaps in their repertoires.
I will be heading into season two of my chef podcast, interviewing different chefs but asking the same questions and getting very different and inspirational answers. I’ll also be launching season four of my women in business podcast, sharing my journey as a woman in business, and bringing on different guests to share theirs too. Plus, lots more restaurant reviews, hunting down the best food and expanding my private chef industry even more.
Photo Credit: Food Story Media