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The Restaurant

Francis Brennan

Check out the menu...

This week's guest critic...

Read what the critics thought...

First chef, Francis Brennan is the Proprietor of the award winning 5-star Park Hotel in Kenmare. The gregarious Francis, along with his brother John, has become a familiar face on Irish TV thanks to their hugely successful RTÉ One series At Your Service. In the series, the straight talking brothers travel around the country giving advice to struggling hoteliers to help them turn their business round.

Francis is never shy about telling people what's on his mind and what they are doing wrong when working, but his usual confidence in choosing menus was shaken a little when he realized that he might be on the receiving end of some criticism for a change...

My whole menu looks kinda stylish and five star - Oh God forgive me for saying that, I'll be in trouble at the end of the show now!

Never a man to resist a challenge, Francis jumped at the chance to be head chef in The Restaurant but when he put on his chef's uniform he realized it was a while since he worked in the professional kitchen...

The last time I wore chef whites was when I was in college, so that's a long time ago.. But of course I see cooking every day and I know what's right.

Francis' menu reflects his personal tastes and while some of the professional chefs at The Restaurant accused him of being stuck in a 70's time warp - Francis was not to be deterred.

Francis will make a mushroom and tarragon risotto for one of his starters, a dish that has regularly caused upset at the critics table, as it is hard to please the critics on the correct texture of the rice. But Francis is not worried about this dish..

Well, I've cooked Riostto a good few times at home myself and I've always been happy with it. So I hope they'll be happy with my riostto.

Francis has chosen a very unusual main course which is a first for The Restaurant, a coffee-rubbed beef tenderloin, but Francis insists that its easier than it looks ...

The coffee makes it sound exotic, so people think Oh God, that's very stylish altogether, but actually anybody can do it

Francis is not one for wasting money, and when it came to choosing desserts he found a clever way of saving a little money by creating dishes that use the whole egg, one has a meringue and another that uses a sabayon ...

I have always had this problem in life of egg whites and yolks. So what I've done is I've used the whole egg cause the yoke is in the sabayon and the egg white is in the floating islands so no waste and I love that.

How will Francis get on in the kitchen? Will his risotto impress the resident Italian critic Paolo Tullio? Will his money saving desserts prove tempting to the ever-tough critic Tom Doorley? And will the guest critic - Michelin Star chef Kevin Thornton - approve of the ingredients Francis brings with him to the kitchen?. Tune in to see watch Francis in a brand new series of The Restaurant the show where celebrities who love to cook, take on the biggest culinary challenge of them all - first in a new series starting on - RTÉ One, Sunday March 21st, at 8.30pm

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