Des Cahill is one of Ireland's best-known broadcasters presenting popular TV shows such as ‘The Road To Croker’ and ‘Up For The Match’, as well as hosting ‘Drivetime Sport’, a daily magazine sports show on Radio 1. His work in sport has taken him round the world working on top sporting events, including the Olympic Games, the World Cup and the Ryder Cup.
Des loves his food and eats out a lot, but the challenge of cooking up a 3-course menu to impress The Restaurant’s diners and critics in a ‘fine dining’ environment was daunting, and it posed some difficulty at first..
‘I like bacon and cabbage and stuff like that, but I felt it wasn’t sexy enough for the restaurant and the critics’
Des was also torn between putting on dishes he likes or giving the usual meat and fish options, he went with his gut instinct of two meats, but it left him troubled throughout his day at ‘The Restaurant’, he knew this was a high risk strategy..
‘The fact that I didn’t go for a fish, that’s been on my mind more than anything else maybe’
When it came to the final menu, Des took inspiration from his many visits to Asia and his love their cuisine. The oriental influence is evident in his starter of ‘Crispy Chicken Pattie with Thai Relish’ and his ‘Beef Malay with Pineapple Salad’ main course.
‘I love my Asian food and I’ve gone for a Malaysian curry and I’m confident that I can do that quite well’
On the chicken pattie, Des was concerned that it was stilll a work in progress and they didn’t look good enough the last time he prepared them ...
‘I made them too big, they were more like burgers. They were tasty but they were too big. The taste was nice ... but it didn’t look pretty’
Des is a big fan of desserts and put a lot of effort into this course. He wanted to lift his desserts and give the diners and critics a wow factor. He came up with ‘Champagne Berries with Lemon Meringue Ice Cream’, and something a little special, and ice bowl with leaves frozen into it...
‘My idea was that in the bowl, if we make it, that it would give an autumny, wintry feeling to it .... I’ve gone for what I think is a very sexy little ice bowl, if my ice bowl works I’m going to be thrilled’
Overall, on his menu, he says ...
‘Its not earth shattering, but its simple and strong, a bit like myself’