The Restaurant

Sarah Newman

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This week's guest critic...

Read what the critics thought...

Sarah Newman is a successful businesswoman who became a multi-millionaire when she sold her online company She started the company when she spotted a gap in the market on moving to Ireland from her native Essex in 1994 and used her years of experience of working in the travel industry to her business and it flourished.

Sarah's latest business project is a luxury chalet in Zermatt, Switzerland, named after her daughter Grace - The chalet is available for rent in the winter for the ski season, and she is planning a mind, body and soul experience in the summer. This was a passion of Sarah's, one that she plans to extend into Ireland and provide Luxury rental properties for the ultimate getaway.

When RTÉ's Dragon's Den went looking for Irish talent for their panel, it was inevitable that they would call on Sarah and she accepted the challenge. She has proven to be a tough Dragon to please and finally invested in one of the companies in the second series.

Despite all her business interests and burgeoning TV Career, Sarah also manages to play golf in her spare time and this year she holds the title of Lady Captain at the K Club and also likes to indulge in her passion for cooking.

When Sarah took up the challenge to run a restaurant for a day she jumped at the chance and bringing her business psychology with her...

'I don't really do pressure, I've run companies with other people and if you work as a team you won't fail'

But her business sense also kicked in when she thought about the star rating and realized that a low rating was not going to feature.

'Nobody wants one star - my life would be over if I get one star'

On her prawn starter, she is going for taste and doesn't care if it gets messy in the dining room...

'I really love really good pan-fried prawns and I think they are quite hard to come by. I hope these guys will be out of their shell 'cos its going to make for real messy eating for our diners'

A lot of Sarah's food ideas came from her family, she believes that what you learn at home, you never forget.

'There are certain things that I learnt to cook from my mum and grandmother and once you've been taught as a kid you actually never ever forget the methods'

When it came to dessert, Sarah fell back on family, pulling in her Nanny Gwen's Shortbread and naming it in her honour...

'I used to make shortbread with my nanny Gwen, she was a big influence on my life, she used to look after me when I was little. She used to make me cakes when I'd come home from school so she was a great baker like you Louise, and if she was here today, actually watching, she would be so proud you know'

How will this dragon cope with the Kitchen? Will the critics invest in her and give her a 5 star rating? Will Sarah get her coveted 5 stars?


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