‘Food is fuel, but also to be en­joyed’

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

What did your mother make you? Ever since I can re­mem­ber, our din­ner ta­ble has been laden with the most de­li­cious dishes — tra­di­tional Moldovan, mostly. What was your defin­ing food ex­pe­ri­ence? This goes back to Moldova. One win­ter’s night, while trav­el­ling on foot to my grand­mother’s house, my mam and I got caught in a thun­der­storm. Upon ar­rival, we sat by the fire — our only source of light and heat — munch­ing on freshly baked bread, dipped in oil, with crushed gar­lic and salt. Pam­pushky, we call it. Di­vine. What is your com­fort food? Plac­inte — a Moldovan dish, which can only be likened to cal­zone. Sweet or savoury, this baked pas­try dish can be filled with what­ever you fancy. What is your han­gover cure? I’m not much of a drinker, but if I find my­self in need of a pick-me-up af­ter a late night, any­thing in­volv­ing eggs and av­o­ca­dos does it for me! If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be? Wa­ter­mel­ons; plac­inte; and Ben & Jerry’s Peanut But­ter Cup ice cream. You can go any­where and have any­thing to eat with any one per­son. Where, what and who? This one’s sim­ple. Back to Moldova with my mam, to have a feast with my grand­mother. We’d pre­pare ev­ery­thing our­selves — that’s just as fun as eat­ing! What’s your favourite restau­rant in Ire­land? Chap­ter One — al­though re­served for very spe­cial oc­ca­sions only! And abroad? The Lon­don Steak­house Co, owned by Marco Pierre White, wins, hands down. I’ve only be­gun eat­ing steak in the last two years, and Marco Pierre’s is by far the best I’ve ever had. Worst meal ever? On hol­i­day on the Cote D’Azur, we were din­ing al fresco at a beau­ti­ful restau­rant, and I was tuck­ing into a crisp, fresh salad Ni­coise, when I spot­ted what looked like a mil­li­pede wrig­gling in my greens! What is your guilty plea­sure? I have a sweet tooth and a life-long bat­tle with bak­eries. The smell alone is enough to send me gaga — I’ll have one of ev­ery­thing! Are you care­ful about what you eat? Food, for me, is fuel; but it’s also there to be en­joyed. I tend to eat quite healthily — mostly pre­par­ing dishes with fresh in­gre­di­ents. Luck­ily, I’ve never been too fond of or­der­ing take­aways, so it’s not a bat­tle I have to fight. In say­ing that, though, I love a good pizza and burger as much as ev­ery­one else!

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