Ali Honour, of Ali’s Kitchen at Paul Street, Cork, is originally from Oxford, and has been a participant in Cork’s Long Table Dinner since 2016. She also sits on the Food Council for Euro-toques Ireland and Young Chef Committee - promoting Irish produce and support for young talented chefs. Ali and her crew will be taking part in Cork’s Long Table Picnic at Home on Sunday, as part of Cork Midsummer Festival’s #MidsummerMoments.
Best recent book you've read and what you liked about it:
Hilary Mantel - The Mirror & The Light. I adore history, one of my favourite periods being Tudor England. So, in recent years CJ Sansom with his Shardlake series, and Hilary, have entertained me through murder mysteries and crime drama with the added bonus of historical fact.
Best recent film:
I have watched lots of classics and old favourites lately, but most recent would be Star Wars-The Rise of Skywalker. I’ve always been a huge fan since I was a child. This was excellent at tying up the loose ends.
Best recent show/gig you’ve seen:
Unfortunately, not so recent! Last show/gig was at Cork Midsummer Festival 2019, the fantastic Mick Flannery’s Evening Train at The Everyman. A superb album I loved when it was released, and I saw him play locally a lot. He wrote it as a play then and it was brilliant to see it finally on the stage.
Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):
I’ve been playing a lot of old favourites of late and I’m into a whole range of genres. Everything from Pavarotti, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, ACDC, Counting Crows, Creedence Clearwater, Abba, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Queen, to Nina Simone.
First ever piece of music or art that really moved you:
Renoir's 'Luncheon of the Boating Party'. My mum loves the Impressionists and had large prints everywhere. I loved watching the people in their groups, chatting, laughing, drinking and eating. It looked like somewhere you would always like to be.
The best gig or show you've ever seen (if you had to pick one!):
Tough very tough. But think AC/DC 2015 in Dublin because was the last gig before Brian Johnson left. I also randomly stayed in the same hotel as them that night. No crazy party that night though. But I thanked them in the bar later on.
Tell us about your TV viewing:
Food shows; History programmes especially Egyptian, Tudor, Renaissance and WW2. Comedy – too many amazing comedians to mention with present shows. Always good to re-watch classics to though Monty Python, Black Adder, Faulty Towers & Ab Fab. I love a good murder mystery like Inspector Morse or Lewis, maybe because I was born in Oxford. Then there’s the period dramas have watched far too many, but that will never change.
Who's your favourite TV chef?
Well I know far too many in Ireland, so to save on avoiding the “why not me” texts... I will say Keith Floyd because when I was watching him growing up he introduced me to foods from around the world and shaped my career I think, oh and my appreciation for good wine.
You're curating your dream festival – which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?
Queen, Prince & The Beatles.
Your best/most famous celebrity encounter:
Luckily, I get to meet many high profile chefs and people in the industry. Michel Roux Jr was our judge for Euro-Toques Young Chef Competition last year – a hero to all of us at Euro-Toques and an inspirational man.
You can portal back to any cultural event or music era – where, when, and why?
The Renaissance 15th to 17th century, where questions were asked and beliefs were questioned. Curiosity was encouraged and an awakening to the world and the beginning of all our curiosity today.
Unsung hero - groups not getting the praise they deserve.
All the SME’s fighting for their businesses right now with no help or support. Easy to say restaurants and food industry, but I want to include the Hairdressers, Gyms, Boutique clothes, beauticians etc. It’s really tough.