Two of the questions that I am always asked are: 1) what do I cook at home? And 2) what do my children eat?
The strange thing about being a well-recognised chef is that people often assume that my days off are spent preparing vastly elaborate dinners. Make no mistake: I am a simple eater. A roast Friendly Farmer chicken with potatoes. A shank of Connemara lamb falling off the bone into an unctuous gravy of cider and rosemary. These are simple things. You lay down your dish into the middle of the table and everyone serves themselves.
For me provenance is key. Before taste, I want to know where it has come from. Then, and only then, will I taste it. Not all local food is good. But it is always worthwhile giving local food a chance down at your farmer’s market or your local food store.
What my children eat is a difficult proposition. You would imagine they eat everything, as their parents own three very different restaurants. I will not lie to you. This is not always the case. Their palates are limited, to say the least.
Our eldest, now seven, often asserts that she “liked carrots when she was younger”. When was that?
I remember the glory days of her eating Serrano ham and Manchego cheese in Cava. Gone are those beautiful days. I can only hope that some day she will return to the fold of food diversity. Most of the time, all they want is pizza or chicken and chips.
Vegetables are always a negotiation. "If you eat this piece of cauliflower, I'll let you watch YouTube for half an hour."
But I’m not too concerned. They are surrounded by good food. They know the difference between bad meat and good meat, because I have told them. Once a week I would like to imagine that every family can reinvent the old meat and two veg: local, free range, and organic. That is all we can hope for.