‘Food is fuel, but also to be enjoyed’
What did your mother make you? Ever since I can remember, our dinner table has been laden with the most delicious dishes — traditional Moldovan, mostly. What was your defining food experience? This goes back to Moldova. One winter’s night, while travelling on foot to my grandmother’s house, my mam and I got caught in a thunderstorm. Upon arrival, we sat by the fire — our only source of light and heat — munching on freshly baked bread, dipped in oil, with crushed garlic and salt. Pampushky, we call it. Divine. What is your comfort food? Placinte — a Moldovan dish, which can only be likened to calzone. Sweet or savoury, this baked pastry dish can be filled with whatever you fancy. What is your hangover cure? I’m not much of a drinker, but if I find myself in need of a pick-me-up after a late night, anything involving eggs and avocados does it for me! If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be? Watermelons; placinte; and Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. You can go anywhere and have anything to eat with any one person. Where, what and who? This one’s simple. Back to Moldova with my mam, to have a feast with my grandmother. We’d prepare everything ourselves — that’s just as fun as eating! What’s your favourite restaurant in Ireland? Chapter One — although reserved for very special occasions only! And abroad? The London Steakhouse Co, owned by Marco Pierre White, wins, hands down. I’ve only begun eating steak in the last two years, and Marco Pierre’s is by far the best I’ve ever had. Worst meal ever? On holiday on the Cote D’Azur, we were dining al fresco at a beautiful restaurant, and I was tucking into a crisp, fresh salad Nicoise, when I spotted what looked like a millipede wriggling in my greens! What is your guilty pleasure? I have a sweet tooth and a life-long battle with bakeries. The smell alone is enough to send me gaga — I’ll have one of everything! Are you careful about what you eat? Food, for me, is fuel; but it’s also there to be enjoyed. I tend to eat quite healthily — mostly preparing dishes with fresh ingredients. Luckily, I’ve never been too fond of ordering takeaways, so it’s not a battle I have to fight. In saying that, though, I love a good pizza and burger as much as everyone else!