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The big Italy V's Ireland Cook off!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Ireland play Italy tomorrow and in celebration of this, we want to have a cook off between afternoon regular Derry Clarke and Italian chef Laura Santtini.

We have restaurant critic Paolo Tullio to be the official judge.

Derry Clarke, L'Ecrivian Restaurant
Derry Clarke, has been Chef/Patron of l'Ecrivain for over 20 years. He started his career in The Man Friday in Kinsale under Peter Barry in 1972 and moved to Dublin in 1977. He then spent four years in le Coq Hardi and a further eight years in the Bon Appetit before opening his own restaurant in July 1989 with his wife Sallyanne.

Derry and l'Ecrivain have been awarded many accolades over the past twenty years, including a Michelin Star which was awarded in 2003.

Derry completed his time as Commissioner General at EuroToques, but remains actively involved with Eurotoque, and is also a member of the Restaurants Association of Ireland since 1989.

Derry promotes the use of Organic Food & Non Genetically Modified Foods.

Derry's food ethos is simple. He uses the finest of fresh local produce; he believes that a good dish can only be produced when each & every ingredient used for the dish is of the highest of quality. This is why he spends so much time sourcing his ingredients. He likes using smaller organic and artisan producers, and is very keen on the promotion of indigenous products. Derry believes in keeping food simple. He will not use more than four flavours on the one dish.

Derry and Sallyanne are constantly up-grading and changing everything at l'Ecrivain Restaurant to ensure they are offering the very best of Food, Wines and Service at all times.


Laura Santtini
Laura Santtini is a writer who cooks. Much of her passion for food came from her Italian grandmother, as well as her parents, who launched the renowned Italian restaurant Santini in London's Belgravia.
Famed for being Sinatra's all time favourite, remains synonymous with authentic Italian food, premium quality ingredients and simple understated designer surroundings. Laura's early career was in PR, with Lynne Franks, then at MTV Europe, where she worked with international stars all over the world. Laura later moved to Milan where she was a freelance event producer. In 2002 she returned to London to relaunch Santini, following her father's retirement. She is now also pursuing her writing, television and food consultancy work

Derry's Irish Recipe:
Irish Whiskey Cured Organic Salmon, Avocado Purée, Buttermilk Cream

. 1 Shot Irish Whiskey
. 1kg Salmon Fillet
. 50g Sea Salt
. 50g Sugar
. 50g Fresh Dill
. 1 tbsp White Peppercorns
. 1 Orange (juiced and keep rind)

1. Place salmon in deep tray. Mix the salt and sugar and sprinkle over salmon with orange rind.
2. Add shot of Irish Whiskey and juice of orange. Remove Dill from stalks and add stalks to salmon (chop dill and keep).
3. Cover salmon and refrigerate over night.
4. Wash off marinade and cover salmon in the chopped dill. Slice Salmon and serve with freshly baked Irish soda bread and a shot of Irish Whiskey.

Avocado Purée
. 1 ripe avocado, skinned, halved stone retained
. 2tbsp crème fraiche
. Juice of half a lemon
. Salt & freshly ground white pepper

1. Blend the avocado, crème fraiche and lemon juice together in a food processor. Season to taste, then transfer to a bowl and pop the avocado stone into the middle (this stops the avocado from going brown.
2. Seal with cling film and refrigerate.

Buttermilk Cream
. 100ml Whipped Cream
. 50ml Buttermilk
. 50g Chopped Chives
. Mix well.

Laura Santtini's Italian Job

Laura will cook a traditional Italian recipe from her book " Easy Tasty Italian"

Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce with Ricotta & Black Olive Tapenade

400g Spaghetti

For the sauce
. extra virgin olive oil
. 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
. 900g cherry tomatoes, halved lengthways
. large handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
. 1 tsp sugar
. salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
. 1 large knob of butter
. 150g ricotta cheese, crumbled
. 1 tbsp black olive tapenade
. More fresh basil leaves

Other requirements
. A pasta cooking pot (4-5 litres) ideally with a built in colander
. Big while bowl to display finished dish in

1. Heat 5 mm oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Toss in the garlic and cook, stirring, for a few minutes to flavour the oil.
2. Just before the garlic begins to colour, add the tomatoes, basil, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down but not totally lost their shape.Place the butter in the serving bowl, add the drained cooked pasta and toss with three-quarters of the basic sauce.
4. Top with the remaining sauce and some crumbled ricotta.
5. Drizzle with tapenade and scatter over some more basil leaves.