‘One of the plane’s pro­pel­lers was still ... we’d lost an en­gine’

Belfast Telegraph - - LIFE -

My first choice would have to be James Tay­lor so he could sing to me the whole way through the trip. To talk to though, I would like to sit next to the chef Dan Bar­ber, so I could ask him about his book The Third Plate. It’s changed my whole way of think­ing about food as he talks about ev­ery­thing from farm­ing to cook­ing and how it’s af­fected the food we eat. It’s a most in­spir­ing book and I would love to have the chance to dis­cuss it with him more.

I fly all the time these days and I’m fine with it but for a long time I was pet­ri­fied with the idea of be­ing in the air. I was fly­ing into Manch­ester about 20 years ago on a snowy day. It was a prop plane — you could see the pro­pel­lers. All of a sud­den the plane got very quiet and I looked out the win­dow to see that one of the pro­pel­lers was still. The next thing the cabin crew came around and said the worst pos­si­ble thing — don’t panic. We had lost one of our en­gines.

We were on our fi­nal de­scent any­way but as we landed we could see the fire en­gines and emer­gency crew al­ready as­sem­bled.

It was all fine in the end but after­wards any time I flew I was ter­ri­fied. I got over my fear of fly­ing af­ter a trip to London with Food NI when they of­fered to book my flights. I told them I would just get the ferry to Stran­raer and then a train down to London — but I was told not to be so stupid.

The flight was booked for me and it was prob­a­bly one of the best things to do be­cause it was fine. Ev­ery time I fly it gets easier but the best thing to do is fall asleep and just wake up when you get there.

Be­cause I do some work for a cou­ple of Ital­ian com­pa­nies, I’m over in London all the time as well as the United States.

Check­ing in early for my flight means I don’t get into a flap if I get stuck in traf­fic en route to the air­port. I usu­ally try to take carry-on lug­gage but if I’m go­ing to cook some­where I bring my own knives and I have to check those in.”

James Tay­lor

Paula McIntyre (50), who lives in Port­stew­art, is a chef and cook­ery writer. She says:

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