‘I have a freezer full of dead deer’
What did your mother make you?
I had to teach myself how to cook. She couldn’t make Corn Flakes. (There’ll be war over this!)
What is the meal you will always remember?
My last one. My long-term memory isn’t what it was.
What was your defining food experience?
Realising there is no level of unhealthy trickery some food manufacturers will not stoop to.
What’s the first dish you ever cooked?
A curry. I added the powder so enthusiastically, my lips blistered.
What is your comfort food?
Anything I don’t have to make myself.
If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Anything I don’t have to make myself!
What is the most appetising smell in the world?
A full-Irish, sizzling on a pan.
You can go anywhere and have anything to eat with any one person. Where, what and who?
Roast-beef sandwiches on brown bread on East End Beach, Inishbofin, with Suzanne, Anna and Robin.
What’s your favourite restaurant in Ireland?
Chapter One. The best of Irish ingredients, done simply but expertly.
What’s your sweet treat?
Midnight-treat milk with soda bread and honey.
Worst meal ever?
A seven-course meal with a terminally boring politician. Stabbing myself in the thigh with a fork after the melon starter.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A pint and a packet of Tayto.
What’s your signature dish?
Slow-cooked venison pie with blackberries and ceps. That’s because I have a chest freezer full of dead deer.
Are you careful about what you eat?
Incredibly careful . . . about 50pc of the time.
Are there any foods you have had to cut out or cut down on that you miss?
I really should reduce the amount of butter I use, but it’s my crystal meth.
When you decide to eat healthily, what’s your regime?
Avoid snackification. My main meals are healthy — where I go wrong is what I do between them.
What’s your perfect family meal?
One where the kids wash up. As if. The new series of What Are You Eating?, presented by Philip Boucher-Hayes, starts at 8.30pm this Wednesday, March 1, on RTE One In conversation with Sarah Caden Photo by Ruth Medjber/Ruthless Imagery