‘I try everything. I’ve had fish heads’
What did your mother make you?
Salmon with noodles.
What’s the first dish you ever cooked?
Home-made vegetable soup — I made it during my first home-economics class.
What is your comfort food?
Tomato ketchup on anything.
What is your hangover cure?
I don’t do hangovers!
If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Roast chicken; mandarins; and tomato ketchup.
How important is food to you?
Very important, as I work in the food industry and I am interested in food. I also compete in a lot of sport, so food is vital. I help my mum preparing the food, and it’s a nice time to catch up with her.
You can go anywhere and have anything to eat with any one person. Where, what and who?
It would have to be sunny LA, with the actress Lea Michele from Glee. I’d order a hamburger with fries.
What’s your favourite restaurant in Ireland, and abroad?
Pinocchio in Ranelagh — I love the Italian food there and the great atmosphere. I have been to a lot of restaurants abroad, but my favourite place to eat outside of Ireland would be Nice in France.
What’s your sweet treat?
Chocolate Moons from Aldi.
What do you refuse to eat?
Nothing, I try everything. I’ve even had fish heads.
What is your guilty pleasure?
It has to be Cadbury’s Caramel. I love caramel.
What’s your signature dish?
A vegetable stir fry — lots of fresh vegetables, and I love making it for my family at home.
Are you careful about what you eat?
Yes, I have to be — I love sport, so I watch what I eat. My brother is getting married this month, and I’m best man, so the whole family is watching what we eat, as we need to look good for the wedding. I start the day with a bowl of porridge — good fuel for the day — something small for lunch, and, for dinner, chicken or fresh fish with a lot of fresh vegetables.
What is the meal you will always remember?
Any meals with my family, in the garden, in the sun. Cian O’Connor works in Pinocchio restaurant in Ranelagh, D6, tel: (01) 497-0111 If you’d like to host an ice cream party this month to support the 15th year of Down Syndrome Ireland HB Ice Cream Fundays, simply call: (1890) 373-737, or register online, see downsyndrome.ie, to receive your party pack, including vouchers for delicious ice cream
In conversation with Sophie White Photo by Gerry Mooney