Sunday 28 May 2017

Love in the mixture

Trevor Hart had to work hard to woo Dorcas Barry but, as Andrea Smith finds, it was worth the effort

Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

MOST people, when looking longingly in the window of a French delicatessen, would be entranced by the food and cakes inside, but when photographer Trevor Hart spotted Dorcas Barry through the window of the one she worked at in London, he instantly knew that they would end up together. Her face, he says, seemed familiar to him, and even though he was just out of a relationship and romance was the last thing on his mind, he fell for her and set about winning her over.

It was late 1986, and he was 21 and she was 23, and although he asked Dorcas out three times, she turned him down. This, she claims, was because she was busy and he kept waiting until Friday to ask her out, when she already had plans made for the weekend. Nonetheless, Trevor presented her with roses on Valentine's Day, with a card saying that he hoped that she had the time to put them in a vase. After that, she finally relented and went out with him. Mind you, she put the flowers aside and they were half-dead by the time she got around to putting them into water! The following year, he presented her with roses already in a vase.

"The card made me laugh and I like the fact that even though I had said no a few times, he made a joke of it," she says. "It was a slow-burner, but from the moment we started going out, that was it. And of course, I thought he was gorgeous."

They were engaged within five months, and came home in 1988 to get married in Stillorgan, where Dorcas had grown up as the eldest of four sisters. Trevor is from Reigate in England, and he began working in photography from an early age. Having served an apprenticeship with various UK photographers, his career steadily built up. Actually, writing and photography form a bond for the couple, as Dorcas' dad is Norman Barry, former publisher of the Irish Marketing Journal, and her grandfather was Dermot Barry, former chief photographer with the Irish Times. Trevor's late father Maurice Hart was a business journalist with the Telegraph.

Dorcas and Trevor continued living in London during the early years of their marriage. She decided to pursue a degree in home economics, as although she had been working in various admin and banking jobs since school, food was her true passion. Having been trying for a child, she got pregnant while she was studying, and did her finals when the baby was five months old.

During this time, Trevor came over to Dublin by himself for a few months to try to establish a career here. The recession had hit the industry in London, and as he and Dorcas had planned to move over anyway, he came ahead and started doing some work for Image magazine and various advertising agencies.

Dorcas joined Trevor in Dublin after she finished college. They now have three children: Bethany, 18; Ethan, 16; and Keziah, 8. The biblical names are a nod to her own, as she wanted to keep up the family tradition. The age gap came about because having decided after a few years to try for another child, Dorcas had two miscarriages. Then little daughter Keziah came along to complete their happiness.

Dorcas put her food ambitions on hold for a few years while the children were small, but she is starting to make a name for herself on the food front these days. She studied culinary arts and began doing some food styling work with Trevor, and also began teaching.

Dorcas is now teaching cookery classes, eat-to-lose-weight classes and detox programmes, and most people she encounters cannot believe that the food she makes is so healthy, as it's also delicious.

She recently started doing slots on TV3's Ireland AM, and is a natural on screen, with her warm, gentle manner. She also works with restaurants, cafes

and companies such as Sodexo, a large food and facilities management company, meeting with chefs in order to improve healthy eating on their menus.

The family has recently moved to Wicklow, from Kilkenny, where they lived for the past five years. It's been bedlam, they say, laughingly adding that there are still boxes to be unpacked.

Trevor's career is also flourishing and he primarily works in the advertising industry. He has done a number of editorial covers and features for Aer Lingus's Cara magazine. Other clients and campaigns he has worked on recently include the Crafts Council of Ireland and ESB.

When asked about what makes their relationship work, Trevor says that Dorcas is the most loving person he has ever met in his life.

"Dorcas is seen as this sexy, Mother Earth figure. I think that what I saw that day in the deli was that she looked like a very passionate person. She adores feeding and nurturing people through food. The worst thing about her is that she has this incredible ability to ask me to do something while I'm halfway through it already," he chuckles, while Dorcas protests that Trevor has a marvellous ability to do 80 per cent of a job around the house, while leaving the other 20 per cent unfinished.

"He has a fabulous sense of humour and is very kind," she smiles. "After 22 years of marriage, we have had our good patches and bad patches and all of the rest, but there is a thread of complete trust between us where I would never, ever worry about Trevor not doing the right thing by me and our family."

Dorcas is hosting detox, healthy eating cookery classes, and eat-to-lose-weight classes in Select Stores, Dalkey, and Pink Ginger cookery school in Sandymount. For more details see www.dorcasbarry.com. Trevor's website is www.trevorhart.com

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