Today Fm Broadcaster and TV presenter Ray D'Arcy is coming back to "The Restaurant" kitchen for the 3 star cook off. Ray first hit our screens when he presented 'Jo-Maxi' back in the 80s's. He thenreplaced Ian Dempsey in 'The Den' and since then, Ray has presented many shows on RTÉ including 'Blackboard Jungle', '2 Phat', 'You're a Star' and has also presented the hugely popular 'Rose of Tralee', like his competitor Dáithí Ó Sé. Ray continues to present his morning radio show 'The Ray D'Arcy Show' on Today FM.
Ray wants to get back in the kitchen for another chance to show the critics his culinary skill. He enjoyed his day in the kitchen last time but knows what to expect this time around. "I found it quite stressful, but I enjoyed it. It was an eye opener really, cause you see all these programmes now and they show you a little glimpse of what goes on in a restaurant kitchen when they're in service. But until you're there and you can feel the heat, get the smells, feel the tension, see the customers' reaction, you don't really know what it's like."
Ray was thrilled at how his main courses went down with regular critics Tom Doorley and Paolo Tullio and special guest critics John Burton Race. Tom said his main course of Smoked haddock, black pudding and champ was the best thing he'd ever eaten across any series of "The Restaurant."
But despite the good reports on his main courses, his desserts and starters didn't seem to go down as well with the table of critics and Ray was disappointed when it came to his three star rating. "I suppose that was the most difficult part of it, cause you've slaved all day in prep and then somebody comes in and they diss your dish. There's nothing worse than someone dissing your dish."
Ray is feeling his competitive side come out on this return visit to 'The Restaurant', and hoping Dáithí Ó Sé won't forget who recommended him for "The Rose of Tralee." "I am competitive, I'm not as competitive as I used to be but I am a very competitive person. When I decided not to do the Rose of Tralee anymore I suggested to the people that Dáithí would be a good fit. So I'm hoping he's gonna take a dive on this one, let me win. "
Ray is slightly nervous of his choice of starter, not only does it have to look
good but it requires precision timing. "If you undercook them they're raw in the
middle, if you overcook them, they're chewy. For myself and Dave, it's to get
the scallops perfectly cooked and to make sure that they look well as well.
Presentation will be very important."
Ray has chosen a nostalgic dish for his main course in the cook off. 'I'll bring you back to my childhood and every Thursday evening, without fail, we had pig's bum, cabbage and potatoes. I've taken that and given it, I think, a lift. It's sort of an analogy for the country, we need a lift at the moment. Because it's so simple, if it doesn't look good, people could be disappointed. It could go horribly wrong.
When it came to desserts, Ray went retro and has a risky tactic for ensuring
his trio of desserts is the winner. "Maybe I was a potential alcoholic, but
anyway, they all seem to have booze in them.. So I'm trying to sort of get
them drunk so they'll think it's great. The flavours will sort of compete with
each other and it could be car crash."