‘I’m best tend­ing the bar­be­cue’

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - KERRY GOLD -

What did your mother make you?

Ev­ery­thing! Joan is fa­mous for her Christ­mas din­ner.

What is the meal you will al­ways re­mem­ber?

A room-ser­vice din­ner with my wife, Jane, and our two small boys in the Ho­tel de Paris in Monte Carlo.

What was your defin­ing food ex­pe­ri­ence?

Vis­it­ing Dan Mul­lane in The Mus­tard Seed in Ballingarry, Co Lim­er­ick. He led us ca­su­ally around the gar­den, pick­ing up a few bits here and there, which be­came the fresh­est, most flavour­some salad.

What’s the first dish you ever cooked?

One of my early jobs was in Abrake­babra, so my prow­ess in serv­ing up a doner ke­bab is leg­endary.

What is your com­fort food?

A good spaghetti car­bonara is hard to pass.

What is your hang­over cure?

Nuro­fen, a 10k jog, prefer­ably in the lash­ing rain, a long, very hot shower and a bucket of tea.

What do you drink?

Less and less. Al­co­hol doesn’t like me very much. I do like Kevin Dun­don’s Arthurstown beers.

If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life what would they be?

Pizza; my wife’s Kil­beg­gan por­ridge; and dried apri­cots.

You can go any­where and have any­thing to eat with any one per­son. Where, what and who?

The Union Oys­ter House, Bos­ton, eat­ing lob­ster with War­ren Buf­fett.

What’s your favourite restau­rant in Ireland?

Hang Dai on Cam­den Street is a breath of fresh air. Rus­tic Stone with the fam­ily. L’Ecrivain for a posh meal. Bal­ly­maloe House for time­less tra­di­tion.

And abroad?

L’Oa­sis bistro in La Napoule, and La Colombe d’Or in St-Paul-de-Vence, both on the Cote d’Azur. Bar­ra­fina in Lon­don. Cob­blers Cove in Bar­ba­dos.

What is your guilty plea­sure?

Re­ally good, fat chips, fluffy in­side, with Bear­naise sauce, and an ice-cold Diet Coke, mud­dled with lime.

What’s your sig­na­ture dish?

I’m best tend­ing the bar­be­cue, with fresh herbs on top of the coals to bring out the sum­mer flavours.

What’s your per­fect fam­ily meal?

Late Sun­day lunch in Wineport Lodge with Jane and our two boys. Roast beef from CR Tormey’s butcher in Mullingar, roast pota­toes, York­shire pud­ding, roast root veg­eta­bles and good horse­rad­ish sauce. Ray Byrne is a hospi­tal­ity con­sul­tant and owner of in­de­pen­dent ho­tels in­clud­ing Wineport Lodge, Athlone, Co West­meath; Ec­cles Ho­tel, Glen­gar­riff, Co Cork, and Kilkenny Inn, Kilkenny. He also op­er­ates bou­tique town­house Stauntons On The Green, St Stephen’s Green, D2 Photo by An­drew Bradley

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