A Lon­don star comes home

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - CONTENTS -

The per­son

Let’s say the per­son is a chef . . . Myrtle Allen. Da­rina is a close sec­ond. I grew up watch­ing my mother pre­pare recipes from the Al­lens. But it’s their ef­forts in pro­tect­ing Ir­ish recipes and shar­ing their knowl­edge that im­presses me the most

The mem­ory

Wak­ing up on a week­end to Bob Dy­lan’s mu­sic, while a full-Ir­ish was be­ing cooked. Be­ing greeted with, ‘Morn­ing love, want a sausage on a fork?’ Yes, ma’am. Yes, I do!

The mo­ment of the day

First, my morn­ing cof­fee, and last, when my head hits the pil­low, melt­ing with ex­haus­tion into the bed

The hol­i­day

A cruise on the Riviera with my sis­ters. I was work­ing 80 hours a week at The Square [in Lon­don], I saved the few ex­tra pen­nies I had each month and went on an amaz­ing, glam­orous trip with strong, in­spir­ing women

The song

Got To Go Back by Van Mor­ri­son. When I first moved over to Lon­don, my sis­ter was al­ready here. This was of­ten the first song she would play as I would walk in the door — she could be open­ing a bot­tle of wine or mak­ing a cup of tea. It re­minds me of home, it re­minds me of my fam­ily. It make me feel happy

The movie

The Heat. I love to laugh. The script and Melissa McCarthy kill me

The hero

My dad. I’ve learned more from watch­ing how my dad has lived his life than any­thing I could read in a self-help book. He’s a great man

The piece of ad­vice

Don’t be self­ish; if you can help some­one, you should. We all need help on many oc­ca­sions in our lives. What goes around, comes around

The book

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Mo­ran. She is funny, smart, and kind

The out­fit

Chef ’s whites. I feel com­fort­able, neat and strong in my whites

The ac­ces­sory

A knife. I’m al­ways cook­ing for fam­ily and friends, so I of­ten have a knife tucked un­der my arm or in my hand­bag, in­clud­ing the time I tried to get through air­port se­cu­rity with three large cooks’ knives and a blen­der. I’m lucky they didn’t Taser me on sight

The friend

Jan­ice and Orla. I can’t say one with­out the other. When I doubted my­self, they re­as­sured me. When I was sad or made mis­takes, they made me laugh and mo­ti­vated me to try harder. They made me feel like I never had to give up to feel bet­ter

The gadget

Apart from my most im­por­tant limb, my phone, I guess it’s the ra­dio. I al­ways have mu­sic on. I love to lis­ten to Esther O’Moore Dono­hoe, who’s on TXFM on Satur­days, while I pot­ter around with a cup of tea

The pet hate

Self­ish­ness. A per­son not giv­ing their seat on the bus to an el­derly per­son, or to some­one strug­gling with kids. It feels good to think of oth­ers

The beauty prod­uct

A hair­brush . . . wait, that’s not a beauty prod­uct. Hap­pi­ness? Damn, I’m fail­ing this one. Wa­ter, but­ter . . . I give up. Beauty is in the eye of the be­holder

The part of my body

My brain. In gen­eral, I’ve grown to ac­cept all my bits and pieces. I like most of it re­ally, so let’s change that to my skin

The drink

Dry sherry. Dry amon­til­lado or palo cor­tado. Once I got a taste for sherry, the smell now feels like an­tic­i­pa­tion

The ho­tel

Ho­tel France & Chateaubriand, Saint Malo, in France. All of my fam­ily have stayed here one time or another. It’s what you want in a small French ho­tel. Back in the day, it was a choice home for many pi­rates

The bar

Ely Wine Bar for sherry; Ho­gan’s for a pint; and 777 for mar­gar­i­tas (that get me in trou­ble)

The virtue

I love do­ing things — in­clud­ing work

The vice

I love do­ing things, in­clud­ing work; I never stop

The smell

An­tic­i­pa­tion, aka sherry. Also lemon, or­ange and grape­fruit zest. Oh, and freshly ground car­away seeds

The hobby

Walk­ing and laugh­ing; I search out any­thing that makes me laugh. Books, movies, peo­ple, songs, shows, friends, mem­o­ries, gifs

The celebrity

Crush? Ryan Gosling. Ad­mire? Amy Poehler. OK, I’ve changed my mind. She has passed away, but it must be Maya An­gelou

The taste

My mother’s cod­dle. She is an amaz­ing cook. I am grate­ful that she shaped my palate from a very young age. She’s a great woman

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