Monday 22 December 2014

The great Mother's Day cook off

On Sunday morning in kitchens across Ireland, many grown men will find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they endeavour to make a scrumptious breakfast for their other halves – with the assistance of little hands.

With mum usually given a sleep-in on Mother's Day, dads can be found beavering away downstairs, the sweat building on their brow.

The kids will offer egg-breaking and toast-buttering services. With the big day drawing very close, the Irish Independent's Joe Donnelly and I decided to get some tips from a leading chef.

With our respective broods in tow, we called in to see Andrew Rudd at his Medley cooking venue on Dublin's Drury St.

The supermarket chain Aldi supplied the ingredients and to spice things up Team Joe and Team Graham were asked to compete against each other with Chef Andrew judging which of the dishes scored most for presentation, texture and taste.

Here's how we got on....


Team Graham assistants: Molly (7), Aoife (5) and Aodhan (2).

On the car-ride up to Dublin, my eldest daughter Molly plucked up the courage to voice her concerns.

"But Dad, you can't cook," she said in her charming, straight-to-the-point style.

In fairness, her words did nothing to alter my confidence levels, which were already on the floor.

Since getting married, my wife Catherine has taught me how to make a few dishes. I do a mean leek and potato soup and am proud of my scrambled eggs and bacon, but I'm far from at ease in the kitchen.

Still, I'm determined that on Mother's Day, I will help my children produce a lovely breakfast for their mum.

Feeling like an imposter, I enter Andrew's kitchen and, when I discover Joe is a dab-hand in the culinary arts, my heart sinks. This could be embarrassing!

I'm to make a potato tortilla with tomato, onion and ham. If you're thinking that sounds easy, remember I have three young children running between my legs, I'm in a competition against a very competent Joe and we're against the clock – oh and did I mention I can't cook!

Molly and Aoife gather the ingredients while Aodhan plays with my apron strings.

From Joe's half of the kitchen, I get a great sense of calm and control, flavoursome aromas take flight. But on our side, confusion reigns and we haven't had the best of starts.

Irish Independent

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