James Nolan, butcher and Transplant Team Ireland athlete
It is a great time to be a butcher .. . People are recognising the unique value of having a butcher that they can trust and knowing where their meat is being sourced from.
The most important thing we need to do to address “burger gate”. . . is to investigate the full extent of what has happened and enforce regulations to ensure that it does not happen again.
My customers know exactly where their meat is coming from . . .We have a full traceability system in place. All our beef and lamb is sourced from our own farm and local farmers and goes through our own abattoir and then to our shop in Kilcullen.
It gives me a buzz . . .when we have the shop set up on a Saturday, the place is full of people and the chat and banter is flowing. It is a great atmosphere to be working in.
The best advice I have been given is. . . reach for the top of the mountain in all that you aim for in life.
If I wasn’t doing this . . .I’d be a renal consultant.
When I am not working .. . I train for athletics as I am a member of Transplant Team Ireland, and I also run the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund, a registered Irish charity which I established and which has raised €1.2 million to date.
My dream dinner guests would be. .. Jessica Ennis, Keira Knightly, Steven Gerrard, Michael Johnson, Padraig Harrington, Johnny Doyle, my wife Emma, and Neven Maguire to help me in the kitchen.
And I’d cook them .. . Nolan’s cranberry black pudding with grilled goat’s cheese to start, rib-eye steaks with some nice marbling through them for the mains and sticky toffee pudding with Murphy’s Caramel Crunch ice-cream for dessert.
Five things I always have in in my larder are. . . porridge, Glenilen yoghurts, Reddy’s honey, Kerrygold butter and Nolan’s sausages.
If I had only a tenner to go shopping. . . I’d buy streaky bacon, cabbage, potatoes, and parsley for sauce.
My ideal day off is spent . . .with an early morning run on the Curragh, followed by my wife Emma and I going to watch the Kildare footballers in action.
I’m really good at. . . rising early in the morning and being focused when I need to.
Not many people know this about me but. . . I have trekked Everest, the Rockies and the Andes, represented Ireland at three-day eventing and in athletics and golf at 15 international Transplant Games, ridden as an amateur jockey at Ascot and Newmarket, and have ridden a 50/1 winner of the Punchestown Festival Sweepstakes.
My guilty pleasure is . . .a trio of desserts from my three sisters: Catherine’s rocky road, Elaine’s Eton mess and Sally’s raspberry soufflé.
In conversation with Marie-Claire Digby