Growing up, my dad hated being called dad – or, worse still, daddy. I put it down to his need to stay young and keep his Peter Pan-like status intact. Like me, Dermot has always looked younger than his years.
Having his kids call him by his first name meant he could quite happily disassociate himself from the two young brats he was forced to drag around.
He does feel terribly guilty about it when we bring it up now, though – and about his misgivings in the kitchen. So much so that to make it up to me, he has practically cooked through all the recipes in my cookbooks. In doing so, I might add, his cooking skills have seriously improved and he takes great pleasure in serving up his latest dish.
Dad now spends his time poring over cookbooks, trying out new ingredients and talking through meals with me. No mean feat for the man who used to serve up Bovril soup without blinking.
The recipes here are the perfect Father's Day treat, with two recipes ideal for the barbecue – a spicy jerk chicken with cooling, sweet mango salsa, and a surf 'n' turf salad – then a sweet treat of salted-caramel cookies to finish it all off.
So, on Father's Day – Dad, these are for you.
Recipes and photography: Donal Skehan, food styling: Sharon Hearne-Smith. Recipes from 'HomeCooked' (Harper Collins) due out October 10. Available for preorder online now. Donal's new series of 'Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked' airs Tuesday nights on RTE One at 8.30pm