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The Restaurant RTÉ One, Sunday, 8.30pm

How the Critics Voted

Starter

Which starter won over the critics – Mary’s Tasting of Prawns or Simon’s Smoked Salmon Blini?

Tom Doorley  - Simon’s Blinis
They were very, very different starters and they had a lot of merits in their own way and in the end, by a whisker, I came down in favour of the smoked salmon with the blinis, because it was simple and it was a kind of appetite enhancer to lead you into the rest of the meal.

Paul Rankin -  Mary’s Prawns
Like Tom, I enjoyed them both. I didnt think I was going to like the prawn starter, but I did like the prawn starter. What made it work for me was simply the quality of the prawn and the quality of the bisque in the middle. I wanted to eat more of it, so I chose the prawns.

Paolo Tullio – Mary’s Prawns
It was very hard to choose between them because they were both very fine starters, but it was the bisque that sold me. So I’m going to vote for the tasting of prawns.

STARTER WINNER – MARY KENNEDY with 2 VOTES

Mains

Which main course did the critics vote for– Mary’s Roast Brill or Simon’s Lamb Shank?

Paul Rankin -  Simon’s Lamb Shanks
Both of the main courses were excellend, really excellent. One in concept I didnt like and one in concept I thought was magnificent. The one I wasnt sure about was the brill and it came out they way the wording was and I thought that will be the more naive dish. But for me the fist was sparkling and beautiful and saved the entire dish. But for me still, I thought the lamb shank was the better dish.

Paolo Tullio – Mary’s Roast Brill   
Well for me, I just liked the brill. For me, it was just exactly as it said. It was light, it was fresh, it was tasty and perfectly cooked and I loved the mashed potatoes that came with it. So I’m going to vote for the brill.

Tom Doorley – Simon’s Lamb Shanks   
I was enormously impressed by the wild mushroom and potato cake. It had a wonderful savoury quality. I wasnt crazy about the lamb shank, but it only needed another 20 minutes or half an hour, it would have been Michelin 5 star, if I could have eaten that with a spoon.  So I’m going to vote for the Lamb Shanks.

MAIN COURSE WINNER – SIMON DELANEY with 2 VOTES        

Dessert

Which dessert swings the vote for one of the chefs – Mary’s Trio of Autumn Berries or Simon’s Banana and Caramel Cheesecake?

Tom Doorley – Mary’s Autumn Berries
I felt that the desserts were probably the weakest part of this meal, both of them in different ways. But I do have to say that the little trifle in the middle of the trio, in a shot glass, was absolutely outstanding and simply because of that, I’m going to give my vote to that particular dish.

Paul Rankin – Simon’s Cheesecake
The desserts again for me, were pretty much nearly a tie. For my taste, even though I’m skinny I’m a hungry kid. I would have left the berries aside and eaten the cheesecake because thats the kind of guy I am. I’m going with the cheesecake.

Paolo Tullio - Mary’s Autumn Berries
Well I thought the cheesecake was very well made, I liked it and I liked the fact that it was a baked cheesecake. I enjoyed that enormously especially the banoffi bit in the middle. But when I got to taste what was in the shot glass in the berries, I was totally converted the other way. So trio of berries did it for me.

DESSERT WINNER – MARY KENNEDY with 2 VOTES        

 

**OVERALL WINNER OF 2 STAR COOK OFF**
MARY KENNEDY

Guest Critic - Paul Rankin
Kevin Myers
Winner - Mary Kennedy