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Saturday 21 July 2018

I just laugh at all these TV chefs...

SO BUSY: 16-hour working days are the norm for me

MY BIG focus this week has been the Dublin Bay Taste and Music Festival but there is plenty going on behind the scenes too.

I'm working on a new iphone cookery app, turning up at athletic events to support my son and doing some magazine writing too.

Of course when you combine all that with working in the kitchen, it means I'm working around 15 or 16 hours a day.

It hasn't left much time for the family but hopefully next week I'll get a chance to head down to west Cork with them for a few days.

Yesterday I was up bright and early to get set up for the festival, where I was doing demonstrations from around half four.

I had been working the entire day and night before so I was really tired and left everything to the last minute. But honestly I don't really think about what I'm going to cook until I actually get to where I'm supposed to be. I haven't even thought about what I'm going to cook today. I'm always very last minute with these things.

This morning I went out to see my son racing. He's in the 14-17-year-old group. It's a big deal to him so it was great to be able to support him.

After that I was off again to the Dublin Taste Festival which has been a great success so far. There were huge crowds out enjoying the cooking demonstrations which was great to be apart of. I like to support local businesses.

I've had a busy few days leading up to the festival. On Monday morning I did a photoshoot for AMD awareness week, which was good fun.

Later in the day I attended a few meetings about this year's Electric Picnic which is taking place next weekend. I'm looking forward to working there. We are going to have a theatre of food demonstrations and a few other chefs like Mark Shanahan will be there and we will be cooking some tasty dishes.

The attractions at the festival this year are going to be great. We're doing a big press launch on the site next Tuesday so that should be fun.

It's nice to get down to festivals like these and meet ordinary people who want to cook.

I've noticed that there is a new phenomenon of celebrity chefs in the last year or so. And I have to say there is quite a mixture of characters out there.

Some people have much higher standards than others, and I don't want to name any names or anything but you can see some of them are just out for the fame. It makes me laugh sometimes. Most of the celebrity chefs are getting their day in the limelight because of all the new TV cooking shows. It's easy TV, it's cheap to make.

But despite not having my very own cooking show I have been keeping extremely busy in the restaurant business. Things are definitely starting to pick up.

I've just kept my head down and worked hard to get through this recession. I've been working in the business for the last 10 years and I have always been doing 15 or 16-hour days.

But thankfully I found some time to get away with this summer. I brought the family to France for a week and then down to west Cork for another week which was great.

It was probably one of the best holidays I have ever had, being honest.

I have another few busy months ahead but I'm looking forward to it. I have been working on a phone app which I'm hoping to get out by Christmas where people can download my recipes and get some cooking tips.



Accessible

I have also just got a monthly spot in Woman's Way magazine. I want the new segment to be real and accessible to everyone, I will be cooking simple food people can do at home.

There is no point trying to show people how to cook extravagant meals you would get in a restaurant, there would be too many steps to it. I want people to by able to do these recipes by themselves and have fun with it.

With the effects of the recession, everyone has gone back to basics, especially with food. And younger people are definitely cooking a lot more. I know for a fact that after this weekend people will take home recipes and cook them. One thing people will be able take with them is that smoking fish is so easy. Mackerel is probably the cheapest and best fish out there and so many people don't know that.

A great way to learn is to take up cookery classes, I would definitely recommend it to people of all ages. It's a great thing to be able to cook something great yourself.

I wrote a couple of cookery books over the years and they have done really well but they took a full year to do so I don't know if I would do that again right now.

Next year I'd like to get hold of a small hotel in the Dublin area and make it a wedding venue and do some functions. I think that would be really cool but who knows what's going to happen in the future.

After my hectic week now and cooking demonstrations at the Dublin Bay Taste and Music Festival I will be taking some time out with my family.

We are heading to Cork because we have a house down there, it's really great to get away down the country and have some quality time with the family.

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