Wednesday 22 May 2019

Me, myself & I

Clodagh McKenna

Clodagh McKenna

Me, Myself and I

CLODAGH MCKENNA

CHEF, RESTAURATEUR, FOOD WRITER

'I CRY WHEN I'M HAPPY, WHEN OTHERS ARE HAPPY. YES, I'M A BIG SOFTIE'

The book that changed my life

People change my life more than books But a book that has really helped me recently is 'The Art of the Restaurateur' (1) by Nicholas Lander.

The quote that keeps me sane

I love quotes. My favourite at the moment is 'Whatever's good for your soul, do that'.

The best advice I've ever received

'You can only do your best, and if you do that you should be proud of yourself no matter what happens' – my mum.

The film I've watched again and again

'Godfather' Part I and II.

The song I want played at my funeral

Italian composer Ezio Bosso's 'Seasongs'.

The scent that evokes pleasant memories

Coco Chanel (2). My mum has used it ever since I can remember and I always have a bottle of it in my dressing room that I spray when I miss her.

The piece of furniture that will become an heirloom

My chaise lounge that I have in our living room by the window that looks out on to the sea. It's where I sit to think.

The picture that is worth a thousand words

Myself and my brother in a blow up boat on our first holiday abroad when we were kids.

The item that takes pride of place in my wardrobe

I recently picked up a black leather skirt (3) from the new A/W Lennon Courtney collection at Arnotts. I love it – great during the day with a fitted sweater or for evening with heels and a crisp white shirt.

sentimental piece of jewellery

My sapphire necklace (4) that my boyfriend bought for me last Christmas. I had been admiring it at Appleby's and he surprised me with it.

The gadget that I can't live without

My 'Music Angel' (5) that I bought in Arnotts. The sound that comes from this little speaker is incredible. It's like having a mobile sound system.

The item I'd save in a fire:

My Smythson's notebook (6). I like to write in it every day and I can't imagine what I'd do if I lost it.

The characteristic I like most in myself

I always try to look for the best in people. It's important when you are managing a big team at work.

And least

Sometimes I can talk too much about work – but I am working on changing that.

My first kiss

When I was 13 years old at the Gaeltacht in Ballingeary. It was more like a swash lips together – I was so embarrassed and it lasted all of about three seconds.

The last time I cried

Oh, every day. I cry when I am happy, when others are happy, when I am sad, when others are sad, watching an inspirational moment on TV – yes, I am a bit of a softie.

It was the best of times

When I had my stall at the farmers' markets. I loved the excitement of producing the food for the markets and selling it directly and afterwards chatting with all the other stallholders.

It was the worst of times

The same as above in a funny way. My first start-up was so hard. It's not easy standing in the freezing cold all day. It was hard to wear all the caps in my little business, but I had to as I couldn't afford to employ anyone.

The person I call when things go pear-shaped

Oh I am very lucky to have a few. Peter, my boyfriend, Mairead, my sister and Erin my sister-in-law. I can tell them everything, and I do.

My death row dinner

For me it's about what's in season. So right now it would be Kelly's oysters served natural, black sole cooked on the bone with beurre blanc and chocolate fondant.

my pet peeve

Anchovies. I just can't get to like them.

My four-legged friend

Chaplin – my boyfriend's dog that has now become mine after four years. We love him like he's our child.

Clodagh is holding a Northern Italian cookery evening in Clodagh's Kitchen, Arnotts, Dublin, on Wednesday, October 23. The evening starts at 5.30pm and is €60 per person, which includes an apertif, canapes, three-course dinner, a glass of wine and recipe pack. To book, call 01 805 0571 or email bookings@clodaghmckenna.com

Irish Independent

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