... as celebs get stuck into 'tiny' meal that left them starving at €300-a-ticket event
IT'S meant to be our version of the Oscars -- a night of glitz, glamour and some fine dining.
But guests who forked out over €300 for IFTA tickets were left hungry after their meal.
Celebrities were less than happy with the portion sizes that were served up at the high society event on Saturday night.
RTE presenter Aonghus McAnally hit out at the "tiny amount of food" served up at the corporate function, saying only an "A-list anorexic star" would be happy with what they served up.
He said that although the service at the function in the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) was above par, the food was not.
"I'm all in favour of supporting the arts. I was thrilled to get two nominations for my programme about my father," Aonghus said.
"But I do think it was an extraordinarily expensive night.
"It is a long time since I have seen as bad a meal at a corporate function."
Because the presenter was nominated, he received two free tickets, but others had to pay €250 per ticket plus VAT at 23pc, which came to €307.
"I was very disappointed. At a proper function I like nice food, well presented," he told the Herald. "But the beef was really tough, it was served on a bed of lentils and diced carrots.
"There were boxty potatoes too but no side serving of vegetables. The service was very good and the presentation was good but it was just a tiny amount of food. It's all very well if you are an A-list anorexic star, but I would have been hungry afterwards. It was not a good meal."
Aonghus said that attendees had been getting ready since early afternoon, but had to wait through a long awards ceremony before eating a morsel of food.
But he was at pains to point out that his comments had nothing to do with "sour grapes" and said overall he enjoyed the night.
"I hope they (IFTA organisers) do pick up on the comments for next year," he said.
"I was talking to a few people afterwards who said they were starving.
"I think particularly at an event where there is alcohol served, there should be more substantial food served for soakage.
"The award ceremony and the whole night, the ambiance was lovely. But it was not good value."
Well known Dublin chefs were also overheard discussing the quantity of food served.
"It was all anyone was talking about," said one source. "A lot of people were starving afterwards. Food experts were particularly disappointed with it.
"The steak was as tough as old boots -- there was no choice about how you would like it done and I don't remember seeing any side vegetables served with the mains."
Former Miss Ireland Emma Waldron was invited to the event and said she was in a "dream world" on the night, chatting to Michael Fassbender and Laura Whitmore.
But the model said she was still hungry after the food had been served. "One of the waitresses told us that most of the girls, who don't usually, asked for more," she said.
A representative for IFTA said that they were not aware of any negative comments about the menu.