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 his regular contributions to the sports column on 'Morning Ireland' and the 'Today with Pat Kenny'. 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 has fond memories of his last visit to 'The Restaurant' in 2008. 'I really enjoyed the experience the last time I was on, partly because it was good fun - they're a great team in the kitchen ... I had a tough tastings, but the criticism was given with good intentions, so I took their advice and learnt from it, and that's how I got the 5 stars'
Des was thrilled to get his 5 star rating and he had a lot of fun watching his family and friends react to it after the show was broadcast . 'The reaction to my getting 5 stars was fantastic. I didn't tell anyone - including a few people who had appeared on the programme before, I let them think they had done better than me. And then they were wow he got 5 stars! And yeah, I Ioved it - One of my sisters just didn't believe it, my wife didn't believe it, my mother could - Desmond can do anything'
On returning to the Wineport Lodge for the cook off, Des has no reservations saying he's. 'Back with a swagger! It'd be like the grand slam if I win the cook off - done it all, walk away, might announce my retirement from cooking afterwards'
Des faces architect Dermot Bannon in the cook off and he checked out his show again to see what he was up against.. 'I was intimidated by Dermot's show, his mother is a home economics teacher and his brothers a chef. Then I saw him carrying all the menus written out and I thought hey, that's not an expert, he might be closer to my level than he thinks.
On the cook off Des is philosophical . 'if you feel you've put in the training you feel you've a good chance. its like a boxer you can only beat the fella that's in front of you, as long as I don't do a Bernard Dunne on it today and I'm gone in 3 rounds I'll be alright.
On his warm chicken salad Des says 'I've been practicing the dressing and I've got it right now. The Cashel Blue has a great strong taste , it's the only dish I'm confident in that people who get it will enjoy it '
Des has some things to watch out for with his main course 'The key to this is keeping the meat pink and getting the colour of the pastry right. The first time I did this, the meat was tender, but it was grey, it was like it boiled or something in side. So I practiced it two or three times in the last five days and the last time I did it, it was spot on'
But Des has high hopes for his dessert 'If somebody has eaten a hearty dinner like I am presenting, it could be a nice light alternate, and if we can get it creamy and light and fluffy in the mouth, I think it could be a winner'