‘Food is all-con­sum­ing, in a good way’

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES - Chris McGowan Renowned chef Chris McGowan and wife, Dav­ina, re­cently opened Wine & Brine in Moira, Co Ar­magh, com­bin­ing fresh, lo­cal pro­duce with tra­di­tional age­ing and pick­ling tech­niques to cre­ate a unique dining ex­pe­ri­ence. See wine­and­brine.co.uk In co

What did your mother make you?

My mother was a great baker — there were al­ways freshly baked cakes, scones and breads at home.

What is the meal you will al­ways re­mem­ber?

The two-star Miche­lin restau­rant Au Moulin de la Gorce near Li­mo­ges, France. It was the end of a won­der­ful culi­nary tour around the Dor­dogne with my wife. The restau­rant was in an idyl­lic set­ting by a lake, and it was my first time try­ing truf­fled eggs.

What was your defin­ing food ex­pe­ri­ence?

Food has been my pas­sion as I long as I can re­mem­ber. From cook­ing with my mum, to work­ing as Richard Cor­ri­gan’s chef di­rec­tor at the Miche­lin-starred Lind­say House, to set­ting up Wine & Brine. It’s im­pos­si­ble to pick one defin­ing mo­ment.

What’s the first dish you ever cooked?

Eggs Bene­dict — I’m glad to say that it has im­proved con­sid­er­ably since then.

What is your com­fort food?

My wife, Dav­ina’s, braised ox cheek — there is ab­so­lutely noth­ing nicer on a cold day.

What is your hang­over cure?

Al­ways a Bloody Mary; it works ev­ery time. Prefer­ably made with RubyBlue Vodka, the first potato-dis­tilled vodka in Ire­land, from Co Antrim.

What do you drink?

Bertha’s Re­venge Gin from Bal­lyvolane House in Co Cork, and Fever-Tree Tonic.

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

Freshly caught fish, good lo­cal beef (both are in abun­dance in this coun­try), and Alphonso man­goes.

How im­por­tant is food to you?

When you work with food, it is all-con­sum­ing, in a good way. I run the restau­rant with my wife Dav­ina, so we have a shared pas­sion.

What’s your favourite restau­rant in Ire­land?

JP McMa­hon’s Miche­lin-starred Aniar in Gal­way. And abroad? The fam­ily-run Arzak in San Se­bas­tian, Spain. It is worth plan­ning a hol­i­day around a visit to this restau­rant.

What’s your sweet treat?

My granny’s lemon curd and wild black­ber­ries. Lemon curd is on our dessert menu, and is a firm favourite with our cus­tomers at Wine & Brine.

What do you refuse to eat?

Badly pre­pared food.

Worst meal ever?

Prob­a­bly some­thing from my stu­dent days, best for­got­ten.

What is your guilty plea­sure?

Chi­nese food af­ter ser­vice on a Sun­day night.

Are you care­ful about what you eat?

Yes, in the sense that I try and eat the best-qual­ity in­gre­di­ents pos­si­ble, but I def­i­nitely in­dulge in the odd treat, too. I am a firm be­liever that ev­ery­thing in mod­er­a­tion is OK.

When you de­cide to eat healthily, what’s your regime?

Cut out bread, and no food af­ter 8pm.

What’s your per­fect meal?

That is easy. Good food and good wine in the com­pany of your fam­ily — enough said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.