‘I have a freezer full of dead deer’

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - YOU ARE NOT ALONE -

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

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