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The Restaurant
The Restaurant RTÉ One, Sunday, 8.30pm

Dermot Bannon5 stars

Check out the menu...

This week's guest critic...

Read what the critics thought...

Dermot Bannon is best known as the charming, straight talking presenter of the hugely successful RTÉ makeover show 'Room to Improve'. Dermot is a qualified RIAI architect and has just launched his own his practice ‘Dermot Bannon Architects’.

Dermot’s talents aren’t just confined to designing beautiful buildings, he is also a passionate cook and the love of food is a family affair as his mother was a home economics teacher and his brother is a chef. Dermot never does things by half and when he visited ‘The Restaurant’, his attitude was no different and he set his sights firmly on the big prize  ..

‘I’m aiming for 5 stars, you have to don’t you?’

On devising his menu, Dermot shared his thoughts on getting it right when entertaining with a 3-course menu..

‘I think you should spend more time on the starter than you do on a main course, that’s my theory anyway, cos it’s the first introduction as a chef to your diners, its more of a chance to impress people         ‘

For his starters at the restaurant Dermot chose a confit of duck inpired by a holiday in France..

‘Myself and my wife did a road trip from La Rochelle down to Biarritz, and stoppied in a little town called Cognac which is famous for the Brandy. One night we had confit of duck. I thought it was absolutely amazing and I asked the chef, can you show me how this is made. So she brought out this huge big tub, just with solid fat in it I thought that’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen, but I’d already eaten it’

When it came to his two main courses, Dermot chose Beef Wellington and Sea Bass, and the reason was simple ...

‘These are two things that I would eat in a restaurant, so it’s a selfish menu, its for me’

But when it comes to desserts, Dermot found the going a little bit tougher..

‘I would nearly skip a whole meal to go straight to desserts. I’m a sugar-kinda-holic’

And it seems the chocolate obsession runs in the family..

‘I come from a chocolate obsessive family. My granny had a little sweetshop and when we were all kids, We used to ask could we mind the sweet shop . You used to always go down there with your combat trousers which had 5 pockets in it to rob and then you’d go out and sit outside the church and we’d shovel it in’

But when he wasn’t eating contrabrand sweets, Dermot showed his entrepreneurial side as a youngster..

‘When I was a kid I used to pick strawberries and make homemade strawberry ice cream and I used to work in a supermarket at the weekend, so whenever I was packing a bag I used to tell people to taste that new home made ice cream over there, so I was promoting it while I was packing …I made enough money to go skiing’

Dermot likes star ratings the way he likes buildings, lots of storey’s high and when the critics Paolo Tullio, Tom Doorley and guest critic Neven Maguire ate his meal, they were unanimous in awarding him the highest accolade of 5 stars..
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