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Catherine's woe as US Congress dinner axed at last minute

Chef Catherine Fulvio has told of her disappointment after a special Irish meal for the US Congress was cancelled at the last minute.

The star of RTE's Catherine's Family Kitchen was honoured to accept an invitation to be the first guest chef from outside America to cook at Washington's annual Taste America reception on Capitol Hill in September. But the top chef told the Diary that things didn't go according to plan once she began preparing her special Irish feast.

"I was supposed to cook for Congress but while we were over there ready to film everything, Congress closed a day early. I couldn't believe it. I had already been over to the US in March to meet everyone, I was treated like royalty over there. The day before the dinner I was filming with RTE and preparing for it but on the day I knew something was wrong.

"I had a feeling that it wasn't going to go ahead and it didn't. I was disappointed, I was so looking forward to cooking for them," she said.

"In the end we did a huge event for the Army Navy Club, a very prestigious club near the White House. We had a massive event with over 150 people. I did a lovely lamb dish and I still got to spread the message of what Irish food is really all about," she added.

Meanwhile, just as Catherine's show is set to come to an end, with just two episodes left in the series, the top chef says her show is being picked up all over the world and she is hoping to film another season in the new year.

"The show is doing really well, I won't find out if there will be another series until January. In the meantime it has been sold to the BBC Food Channel, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, France and a few other countries, it's amazing," she said.