Cava was established in May 2008 by JP McMahon and Drigín Gaffey in order to introduce Galway to the wealth and breath of Spanish cooking. Its Tapas menu is famous for its representation of many aspects of regional Spanish cooking. It showcases over 50 regional Spanish Tapas. Cava is committed to supporting the local infrastructure in terms of food and wine and purchases it fish, meat, and vegetables locally. Cava is also equally famous for its drinks menu which is entirely devoted to Spanish wine, beer, cider, and sherry. It has over 100 varieties of Spanish wines and beers in its cellar from the inexpensive to the absolutely expensive. Cava holds awards from the Bridgestone and Georgina Campbell, and has been heralded as serving the “Best Tapas in Ireland” by the famous food and wine gourmand Tom Doorley.
JP McMahon is a chef, restaurateur and author. He is the culinary director of the EatGalway Restaurant Group, which comprises Aniar, Cava Bodega, and Tartare café + wine bar. He also runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School. Jp is committed to the educational and ethical aspects of food, to buying and supporting the best of local and free-range produce, and engaging directly with small farmers.
Founding chair and director of the Galway Food Festival, JP is an ambassador for Irish food and Spanish food in Ireland, in particular promoting the wines of Rías Baixas (Galicia) and Jerez.
JP is currently a commissioner for Euro-Toques Ireland and sits on its Food Council.
JP also lectures in Art History in UCC and is currently finishing his PhD in Art History, which focuses on twentieth-century American art. In conjunction with this, his restaurants regularly hosts exhibitions, sponsors local arts festivals and events, and promotes the arts on a local level in Galway.
JP is currently organizing an international chef symposium entitled ‘Food on the Edge’. This event will take place annually in Ireland in October. This event features the best international chefs across the globe. He also has a weekly column in the Irish Times on Saturday.
Drigín is co-owner of Cava Bodega, Aniar and Tartare café + wine bar. She has a passion for good food and wine and has worked in the catering industry since she was 16 years of age. Drigín also has many years of experience working in human resources, accounts and payroll. Her main focus in Cava is to manage the business side of the restaurant. Alongside Drigín’s love for good food and wine is her fondness of the arts. Drigín has an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and has worked as a director and acting teacher. She says that, “running a restaurant is like putting on a different performance every night”.
More recently, Drigin took on the challenge of project managing and overseeing the interior design of Cava Bodega. Drigín enjoys the challenge of working in different areas of the business from front of house to financial control. She maintains, however, that her biggest challenge to date is being a mother to her two gregarious girls.