Life Food & Drink

Monday 16 July 2018

Helen James: A Taste For Life

Our favourite interiors designer has turned her impeccable taste to the kitchen, though she still loves a Tunnock’s Teacake, who doesn’t?

Helen James at her home in Castlepollard. Photo: Tony Gavin
Helen James at her home in Castlepollard. Photo: Tony Gavin

What did your mother make you?

A lot of Middle Eastern food, as my parents lived there. I used to beg my mother for fish fingers and mashed potato.

The meal you will always remember?

A summer when the kids were small. A beach in Cork only accessible by boat, a large group of my favourite friends and mackerel just caught and thrown on to an open fire. All the elements were magic, and there is no finer food than mackerel moments out of the sea.

What is your hangover cure?

I don’t drink so don’t have to deal with hangovers, but if I’m feeling really bad after a late night I will try to fill up on something healthy to make me feel better like a bowl of quinoa topped with veg, avocado, a fried egg and Katie Sanderson’s White Mausu Peanut Rayu sauce.

What do you drink?

I know it’s very trendy but I’m just a little bit obsessed with kombucha. As I don’t drink alcohol, it is hard to find something to drink that feels grown up and isn’t incredibly sweet.

You can only eat three things for the rest of your life, what are they?

Plain yoghurt, roast chicken and Tunnock’s Teacakes.

Most appetising smell in the world?

Roast chicken or freshly baked bread.

How important is food to you?

Everything starts and ends with food!

Favourite restaurant in Ireland?

Fia Cafe in Rathgar, Dublin 6. Keith Coleman is a bit of a genius in the kitchen and Aisling McHugh makes the best and fizziest kombucha around.

And abroad?

Fiskebar in Copenhagan. Amazing food.

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