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The Restaurant
The Restaurant RTÉ One, Sunday, 8.30pm

Lisa Burke

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This week's guest critic...

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Lisa Burke was born in Ireland and grew up in Co Carlow until she was 10, at which point her family moved to Ilford in Essex. Lisa retains strong links with Ireland and her grandparents who live there.

Lisa was always academic and studied at Cambridge university, where she graduated with a first class Masters degree in Natural Sciences and Chemistry. She was ranked second in the university, won two college prizes and was made a scholar of New Hall. She took a year out and went to work in chemistry, with a pharmaceutical company and was set to start her PhD and a career in science, when the call came from Sky News to work there. Lisa had done some work experience there during college and was encouraged by her current boss, weather presenter Francis Wilson to join his team. Lisa took the job, feeling that it suited her personality and allowed her to work in the science arena. Lisa reports on global weather events and more recently on climate change and global warming. A career hight point was when she tracked the destructive route of 'Hurricane Rita', from the National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

Outside of work, Lisa's primary passion is music, she sings with the BBC Symphony Chorus and regularly performs at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican. Lisa is married to Sky News colleague, Adrian and they celebrated the birth of their first baby, a daughter in 2006. Lisa's wedding became a top rated TV show, when her wedding planner, Peter invited her and Adrian to take part on his first TV show 'Brides of Franc'.

Despite such a busy schedule Lisa still finds time to cook and spent days researching recipes for her menu at The Restaurant. She claims that her scientific background helped her 'My background is chemistry and I used to spend a long time at the lab bench, putting things together, measuring things out and I really do believe that cooking is chemistry'. That was particularly apparent in Lisa's dessert 'Night and Day Chocolate' which incorportates 3 different types of chocolate. She wanted 'A chocolate dessert, a combination of white and dark chocolate, hot and cold. One with a kick and one smooth and velvety'.

She also decided to post a small clue in her menu. Her signature dish 'Lemon Meringue Tart' confused some diners as the meringue was not on the tart, but sitting slightly to the side, revealing the yellow open tart. This represented the sun peeping out from behind the sun.

But will Lisa's sunny menu appeal to the critics at 'The Restaurant' or will they rain on her parade?

Lisa Burke
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