Black Axe Mangal’s Mr Lee Tiernan On The Origins Of His Singular Restaurant

November 2019Words by Mr Tom M Ford

Mr Lee Tiernan. Photograph by Mr Ed Schofield, courtesy of Phaidon

How many chefs could call up rapper Action Bronson and legendary chef Ms Angela Hartnett to ask them for a quote to adorn their debut cookbook? How about getting a heartfelt foreword from one of the world’s most influential restaurateurs, Mr Fergus Henderson, too? Very few. Perhaps none, in fact – apart from Mr Lee Tiernan.

The chef and owner of Black Axe Mangal – one of the most well-respected and singular restaurants in London, where the flavours are as loud as the music – has won fans in the upper echelons of music and Michelin-starred cooking for good reason. His food – foie gras and blackberry doughnuts, century eggs with anchovy dressing, and shrimp-encrusted pigtails have all featured on his ever-changing menu – is famously irreverent, yet satisfying. But you get the sense his personality has been instrumental to his success, too. In Black Axe Mangal, his book, which is out today, Mr Tiernan provides his restaurant’s origin story and, in the process, reveals that he would still be a removals man living with his parents were he not the sociable, endearing guy that seemingly everyone is happy to help. And a little bit lucky, too.

Mr Lee Tiernan (right) and Action Bronson. Photograph courtesy of Black Axe Mangal