The Restaurant

Angeline Ball

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Actor Angeline Ball first became famous for her role as Imelda Quirke in the iconic Alan Parker film 'The Commitments'. That was twenty years ago, and this year for the first time, she and the rest of the original Commitments reformed for a series of gigs culminating in a show at the O2. The Dubliner is married to a Frenchman Patrice, and they live in London with their two children.

Angeline loves to cook and it is one of her great passions. She spent many weeks planning her menu for The Restaurant and practiced her various dishes in her home while entertaining friends and neighbours. However, cooking at home is one thing, cooking for dozens of people in a strange kitchen is something else entirely. But award-winning actress Angeline has a plan.

"I'll have to approach it a bit like acting, so I'll have to try and be bossy, which I'm not really. I'll have to adapt a character in there, a chef in a movie maybe."

For her starters Angeline will serve 'Raviolo with cep sauce and black truffle shavings' and 'Dublin bay prawns with a tomato and basil granita' When is comes to her starters she has very definite ideas and has planned these dishes with one thing in mind.

"It's the start of what's to come really and I'd like them to be very attractive on the plate. I mean that's the whole thing of an appetizer, to keep them wanting more."

For her main courses Angeline hopes to impress the diners and critics in The Restaurant with her 'Pan-seared duck with colcannon, red cabbage and green beans' and 'Rack of lamb with herb crust, Dauphinoise potatoes, Parsnip Purée, Artichokes, Tomatoes and vegetables' - she didn't go for the classic fish and red meat that many chefs do .

"I think with Patrice's family, my husband's family, they eat a lot of meat, its very rare that we'd have fish. So it's meat based."

Angeline has really pushed the boat out with her desserts and has brought a dish that we have never had in The Restaurant before. Angeline's Tarte la Belle-Mère, is a walnut tart with an Armagnac and Mascarpone Cream, and this is a dish that was given to her on one of her frequent visits to her husbands family, by her French mother-in-law Vivienne.

"Its called La Belle-Mère, the mother-in-law. So people will think it fantastically French, but it's really mother in law tart!"

Another dish that has not been made before at The Restaurant is Angeline's Lavender ice cream, which she will serve with Meringue. She knows that it's not to everybody's taste and is slightly concerned that people don't think it's a bathroom product!
"If you get it wrong it can taste really like soap, so I really hope that it's not going to go wrong."

All in all, however badly Angeline's day in The Restaurant might go, she will demonstrate just how far she has progressed in culinary terms in the last 15 years.

"I used to do this fantastic, well I thought it was fantastic, Cowboy Pie. It was just basically corn and beans with potatoes on top and grated cheese. It was terrible. And then I met my lovely French man, Patrice, and I had to certainly raise my bar with what we ate."

But when it comes to the star ratings, Angeline is in it to win it, she has worked hard for weeks planning her menu and practicing her dishes, and only one result will really cut it for her.

"I would be very pleased if I got 3, I would be very happy if I got 4, and I would be ecstatic if I got 5!"

Tune in Sunday 27th March on RTÉ One at 7.30pm


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