Chip­per van man with his aro­matic ex­haust is no worse than TV food shows af­ter 9pm

Irish Independent - - The Week - Billy Keane

THIS plan is cun­ning mar­ket­ing and it may even be il­le­gal if there is no ex­cise duty be­ing paid. The chip­per man from way up the coun­try who was nearly gone broke is har­vest­ing the money into round bales. Thanks to the plan. Or so I’m told.

The man from the chip­per van up the coun­try is a cer­tainty to be­come pres­i­dent if he runs in seven years’ time. He is strate­gic.

Here’s the plan, the one that saved his busi­ness from cer­tain ruin.

The man from way up the coun­try owns a fast-food out­let, I’m told the food re­ally is fast in that it’s barely cooked.

The chicken is red in­side but the lads are so full of drink they hardly no­tice and the bar­be­cue burg­ers are served with smoked sal­mo­nella, which is a vari­a­tion on surf ’n turf. His pizza crusts are as thin as a CD, and just as hard. There were ru­mours he was us­ing dog food as burger meat on the ba­sis that if it doesn’t kill dogs well then it won’t kill hu­mans.

The lads were so sick af­ter the drink they hardly no­ticed the oc­ca­sional dose of bot­u­lism.

I might just in­ter­ject at this point to all the fast food peo­ple I blamed in the wrong over the years. When I was a young lad it was the cus­tom to drink to ex­cess and the hang­overs were hor­rific on Sun­days. The mother would be go­ing to the trou­ble of cook­ing a lovely din­ner and I had to say I was too sick to eat be­cause I got a bad burger the night be­fore.

Back to the plan. The waste cook­ing oil from the chip­per is piped in to the fuel tank of the owner’s old banger and the car is driven around his town around clos­ing time.

The old banger vom­its and coughs out enough phlegm to negate the green­ery of at least 20 wind tur­bines.

But the emis­sions from the car ex­haust are pure chip shop smell, which is a Pavlov’s bell to any­one who is in the vicin­ity and they go mad for chips, es­pe­cially if they have a few pints in. Men who sleep with their win­dows open at night woke with an un­ap­peasable crav­ing for quar­ter pounders.

It’s like when you get the cof­fee aroma out­side the café and the im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion is to buy a cup of Amer­i­cano or a latte or a cap­puc­cino. I only do in­stanto in our pub. Here’s my barista recipe. Place one tea­spoon of cof­fee in an empty mug. Add boil­ing wa­ter.

The rea­son I gave the recipe is I was a taster at the open­ing of The Lis­towel Food Fair on Thurs­day night. Co­lette Twomey, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Clon­akilty Black Pud­dings, opened the fair, which takes place over the next few days. Co­lette is an em­i­nently prac­ti­cal woman. Her suc­cess is down to “a pas­sion for us­ing our own pro­duce which is com­pletely trace­able and is the envy of ev­ery coun­try”.

Si­mon De­laney and Lizzy Lyons, who cook to­gether on Si­mon’s Sun­day show, were funny and en­ter­tain­ing. Lizzy is a lo­cal girl who opened Lizzy’s Lit­tle Kitchen in Lis­towel with her hus­band. It is a phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess. Lis­towel has now be­come a food town. I know I’m a lo­cal boy, but come and visit. Our food of­fer­ing is up there with the best.

Si­mon’s cook­book is on the shelves right now. I woke up very hun­gry this morn­ing. I won­der was there some­one driv­ing a chip oil van? I chanced mak­ing the French toast and it was a great suc­cess. The book is easy to fol­low. The man is a born com­mu­ni­ca­tor.

We never got in to food in John B’s. Dad and my­self were chill­ing with our feet up on the stools one day. Mam must have been away be­cause women hate to see men stretched out when there’s work to be done.

We had some laughs. I so miss stretch­ing out with my stand-up dad. Then th­ese tourists came in and asked us if we served food. “No we don’t,” replies dad with­out ever get­ting up off the seat, “it gives us all we can do to cook our own din­ner”.

Most pubs do food now. They have to. It’s tough on the coun­try pubs who do not have the pass­ing trade to jus­tify the ex­pense of fit­ting out a kitchen.

We did man­age to serve up a one-off brought in din­ner for the food fair. Award-win­ning chef David Mul­vi­hill put to­gether a feast made from or­ganic Tam­worth pork. Mully is a ge­nius and does not do stress. One of the cour­ses was sweet and sour pork, but with all kinds of dainty culi­nary twists and sub­tle in­fu­sions.

I had no hand in cook­ing the food. I was told to stay out of the way, but I did get at the menu. The main course goes “Or­ganic Tam­worth pork piquillo ying-yang on saf­fron-scented rice, ac­com­pa­nied by the de­lights from fruits of the vine from For­re­stal Wines”. That’s sweet and sour pork.

Be­fore I for­get, Jame­son is do­ing a whiskey tast­ing in John B’s to­mor­row night at about 7.30pm. All pro­ceeds go to Breast Can­cer Ire­land.

I was think­ing of do­ing up a menu for the man from way up the coun­try with the aro­matic ex­haust. He’s no worse than the tele­vi­sion sta­tions who are killing thou­sands from obe­sity. There should be a cut off from all food pro­grammes at 9pm.

There’s no hope of mak­ing duck à l’or­ange from scratch at 11pm, af­ter some lad from Provence pro­vokes the juices down the crevasses of your cheeks like an alpine flood. It’s a case of I want it and I want it now. So what do we do? Or­der in a take-away.

I asked jockey Char­lie Swan, the rider of Istabraq, how it was he kept so fit... “I never eat late at night,” was Char­lie’s ad­vice, and it works.

I hope the man from way up the coun­try likes this cus­tom-writ­ten menu en­try.

“Flam­béed diced esca­lope of poulet du ferme, tossed and parsed in golden crumb, with a pi­quant en rose tangy pot­tage.” That’s chicken nuggets drowned in pink sauce.

The waste cook­ing oil is piped in to the fuel tank and the car is driven around town around clos­ing time. The emis­sions are pure chip shop and they go mad for chips

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