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Posts Tagged ‘The Restaurant’

well for one night anyway! 🙂

I know it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!  And last Wednesday, three of us got the opportunity to be food critics for just one night!

The Restaurant programme has been running on RTE for 7 years now.  Each programme involves a celebrity being head chef in the kitchen and producing a 3 course meal for the restaurant diners.  The diners critique the food, and award a star rating – without knowing who the celebrity is.

I applied on line a couple of weeks back, and had an extensive telephone interview with Lisa (who was feeling guilty about keeping me from finding wayward hens!).  She also spoke to Farmer Alfie.  Hey, I wasn’t going to get to have a night out without him!  Then it turned out that Yvonne from Hey Pesto! had also applied, so we agreed to go as a threesome.  The excitement was mounting as the day came closer.

We had all agreed to make a night of it, so we booked into the Glasson Golf Hotel – at least that way we could all enjoy the wine and totally chill out.

We set off early to Athlone – having to drop off pups for the first ever night in kennels on the way!

What a beautiful setting the hotel is in… we were directly across a bay from the Wineport Lodge (where the programme is filmed).  The Wineport from the opposite side of the bay

There was just time for a cup of tea while painting the nails, and then it was time to get ready to go dine!  This is where I had the girlie crisis when I discovered I had forgotten my make-up!  You can visualize the scene – I am going to be on national TV and I’ve no make-up with me!!!!  Routing around in the bottom of the bag unearthed a little squeeze of make-up to save the day – thankfully!

Then we were off in the glad rags!

As we were leaving the hotel, we bumped into Tom Doorley (one of the regular food critics on the show), who told us that the chef the night before had produced an amazing meal!  This further added to our anticipation and I’m sure put our chef  under pressure from the start!

All the guest diners gathered in the Tattinger Lounge where Lisa chatted to us, and explained how the whole evening would work.  What a great team of staff work on the programme!  They were so delightful, chatting to us and explaining everything that would happen.

Yvonne from Hey Pesto!

Then it was finally time for us to make our entrance – guests arrival is all stage managed over a period of time!  It is totally weird sitting in a very brightly lit restaurant – the TV lights were everywhere.  There is no background music which is also strange.  We had been told there were hidden cameras, and, of course, you can’t help yourself looking about to try to located them!  And then there is the microphone in the middle of the table!  A strange centrepiece indeed!  Not the time to start gossiping about the boss or the neighbours!

Now we were into the serious part of the evening!  We had been given 3 pages of instructions/guidelines on how to approach every aspect of the evening from the menu, the wine, each dish, guessing who the celebrity chef might be.

3 pages of guidelines

Here’s how we did on identifying the wines and choosing our ‘best’ and our ‘worst’, awarding our star rating and guessing who the celebrity was….

  • White wine…. did think it was a New Zealand one initially, but then veered away from that, which of course was wrong to!
  • Red wine …. got that completely wrong!
  • Our worst…. was the tagliatelle with lightly curried prawns – it just didn’t work at all!
  • Our best…. the Bloody Mary served with the mini-burger starters and the Cointreau injected orange segments!
  • Our star rating…. 2
  • Celebrity Chef…. we got stuck on thinking it was Ryan Tubridy from a JFK reference on the menu – I suppose we had the right profession at least!

And the celebrity was….. Ian Dempsey…. general consensus was “Ian – stick with the day job”!

It was a great evening!  A wonderful insight into how the whole world of TV operates.  We didn’t think at the start that we would be able to talk only about food, and not food in general, but just the food before us, for 6 hours!  But we did! Maybe we could have a new career!

Myself and Yvonne with Tom Doorley

Airing of the show starts on 27th March…. I am not sure I want to see myself on TV!  That’s another hurdle to overcome!

And here is the link to the show!  Our 20 seconds of TV fame!

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