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Alan Reid - Proprietor

Alan Reid has had the hospitality business in his blood from an early age. As a teenager he could be found working on the family farm and lending a hand at Greenmount Lodge, his mother’s restaurant and guest house in Co Tyrone, while studying at catering college.

Alan set out on his own career in 1985 with Stakis Hotels in Scotland before moving to Cairns in Australia to take up a position with the Southern Pacific hotel chain, and then relocating to Brisbane to work in a fine dining restaurant during World Expo.

He returned to Northern Ireland in late 1988 with the specific intention to launch a restaurant in Belfast. Situated on the site that Shu now occupies, the Terrace ran for ten years and was one of the pioneering restaurants of the era, a popular meeting place and part of the social fabric of the city.

By early 2000 Alan had created the framework for a new restaurant, and after expanding the Terrace into the property next door, he launched Shu.

Brian McCann - Head chef
Brian's career journey began in earnest when he left Belfast for the kitchens of London in 1998. There he had spells at the Mirabelle and Criterion restaurants working for the celebrated Marco Pierre White.

In 2001 he joined the team at The Square, a two Michelin starred restaurant in Mayfair, west London. Working under Phil Howard, a chef who had a profound influence on his career, Brian became aware of the impact and importance of the provenance of food – meeting the growers and producers, of knowing and understanding suppliers, and of sourcing and using the very best seasonal ingredients. This is still an integral and very strong part of his ethos today.

After taking a year out to travel the world and experience different food cultures, Brian returned to Northern Ireland in 2003 to help head up the team at Shanks restaurant under the late Robbie Millar. He joined the team at Shu in September 2004 and immediately raised the culinary bar in Belfast.

Today Brian appears on TV cookery broadcasts, including the Great British Menu, and contributes articles to newspapers such as the Belfast News Letter and the Irish News. He has received several chef of the year nominations, and gives regular demonstrations at events and educational institutions.

Brian is married to Deirdre and is the proud father of Beth and Luke.

Julian Henry - Restaurant manager
After graduating from the University of Ulster in 1994, Julian spent various spells at the Jurys, Stakis and Hilton hotel groups before moving to Australia in 1999.

He spent a year in Sydney prior to the Olympic Games before returning to Belfast. He took up the reins as restaurant manager at Shu in the summer of 2000, launching the business in October of that year.

A natural team leader, Julian is the public face of Shu, playing a vital role in all aspects of service and customer relations.


Mairead Donnelly - Financial controller
A key player in the Shu team, Mairead has worked with Alan Reid for almost 20 years. She was the restaurant manager at the Terrace, before moving on to take care of the financial side of the business after the launch of Shu in 2000.

As well as steering all budgeting, forecasting and financial analysis, Mairead brings an important level of continuity and industry knowledge to the team.

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