Social media star James Kavanagh has an interesting ambition that might come as a surprise to over 100,000 of his followers.

“I can’t wait to have a nice house in the middle of nowhere … and finally lock my phone away forever,” laughs the co-founder of Currabinny, the food and catering company he runs with his partner William Murray.

For the time being, however, the pair are taking the industry by storm with their company that caters events and sells produce at Irish food markets. With food unashamedly full of flavour, the pair never shy away from real butter, Maldon salt and seasonal, fresh vegetables. Currabinny caters for every taste, with dishes ranging from ruby chard korma to lemon and lavender cake.

“Our whole vision is tinged by nostalgia. I am from Currabinny and it is that sort of place where it is surrounded by forests and the sea. It’s very wholesome,” says William.

Life Before Currabinny

Before meeting, William and James came from two contrasting walks of life. Living in Churchtown, Co Dublin, James was not always accepted for who he was and experienced difficulties with being bullied while in school. James’ parents were always proactive in helping James with his concerns, suggesting boarding school as a solution.

“It was around the time of Harry Potter, so I thought maybe it was going to be like Hogwarts. I was really into it,” James laughs. “I settled in really well and it is where I first became comfortable with myself. It was totally the beginning of me being me.”

James studied communications in college and half way through his course, was offered a job with Think House. Having always been the organiser of events and a lover of people, James’ step into PR was a natural progression.

William, a reserved and creative soul, studied sculpture and combined media in Limerick, having also undertaken a master’s in sculpture in NCAD.

“Art was the thing I felt would sustain throughout my life. I think that no matter what I do, I will still be an artist. Creativity definitely lends itself into something like cooking,” says William.

Diversifying in his career, however, William completed a cookery course with Ballymaloe Cookery School. The couple became obsessed with the food world and after coming upon an opportunity they couldn’t refuse, Currabinny was created over a year ago.

Central to establishing the brand has been James’ following on Snapchat.

“At the minute I am surviving off Snapchat,” he says. “We never know how long it will last but we have used it to create a brand – something that is much more lasting. People may not always need to see me, but they will always need to eat.”

The Relationship

This dynamic duo are a recipe for success, each offering something unique to the relationship. James is a larger-than-life personality who is “refined but aesthetic”, while William is a calculated hive of creativity who offers a “messy and whimsical dimension”.

The countryside takes up a large piece of James and William’s hearts in many regards. Their favourite way to step away from the hustle and bustle of their lives is to “visit a gorge little country house”.

In the future, the pair hope to move out and live in the peace of the countryside

“I am mad about interiors,” admits James. “The dream would be a country farm house. I’d love to have some big dogs, like a mad big Irish wolfhound, and take them for a walk in the countryside with my Hunter wellies.”

William smiles: “I like being close to the sea. I think somewhere near there with a bit of land would be ideal.”

Growing Currabinny

The couple are currently working on a cookbook with Penguin, with the expectation of release in 2018 and a plan to open a cafe early next year.

James speaks of their hopes for the future: “We would love to have two cookbooks and maybe two cafes – one in Cork and one in Dublin. I would love the cafe to be a working cafe with an area of homewares like Currabinny candles. We are talking with some retailers with the hope of having a line in the supermarket, chutneys or something.”

“I would love to see us trying something unexpected. I like the idea of getting involved with the very basic production of food, then we could have something that was start, middle and end with us,” William adds. CL

Find James and William on their website or follow James on Snapchat at jamesksnaps to get an insight into all of their adventures.

James & William’s Dream Dinner Guests

• Nigel Slater

• Princess Diana

• Goldie Hawn

• Anne Doyle

• Stephen Fry

• David Attenborough