Sunday 21 January 2018

When Enda Kenny was on The Restaurant: 'His robust salad was a bit lackadaisical'

What the judges said, what he cooked and how he scored

Enda Kenny on The Restaurant in 2005 Photo: RTÉ
Enda Kenny on The Restaurant in 2005 Photo: RTÉ
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

From leader of Fine Gael, to leader of the country, to head chef on RTÉ's The Restaurant - Enda Kenny has had his fair share of grillings.

In 2005, he appeared on the hit TV show as the surprise celebrity chef.

His bio read: "When it comes to food, Enda Kenny knows what he likes! He is a firm believer that the best of ingredients are the foundation for good dishes."

Here's how his leadership skills fared in the kitchen.

What was on the menu?

For starters, Enda gave his guests three options; black pudding with native Irish oysters, honey and apples; crab rolls with coconut and ginger sauce; and a robust salad with crispy Parma ham, avocado and warm tomato dressing.

The latter really had the judges talking - for all the wrong reasons.

For the main course, Enda kept it country with a marinated fillet of beef "straight from the heart of Mayo", served with truffle roasted vegetables, steamed green beans and smoked bacon lardons.

The second option was a wild Atlantic salmon with oriental flavours, stir-fried vegetables and noodles.

While for dessert, guests could choose from roasted nectarines with lemon scented mascarpone mousse or a rich chocolate torte with red berries and vanilla ice-cream.

What did the judges have to say?

Tom Doorley:

"The barbecued beef was excellent and showcased the best of Irish beef. Enda's robust salad, on the other hand, was a bit lackadaisical."

Paolo Tullio:

"The crab rolls were really very good, I enjoyed them. But the wild salmon was overcooked and hard, I just couldn't eat it."

Paul Rankin:

"The beef was great. The garnishes, the sauces - it all worked well on the plate, but I wasn't wild about the mascarpone cream. I'm convinced there was condensed milk in there somewhere."

How did he score?

It soon became apparent that the Fine Gael man should stick to politics, as he scored just 2/5.

He described his contribution to cooking as more along the lines of "a good commis chef," than that of a fully-fledged head chef.

Online Editors

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