What the chefs eat

Catherine Fulvio, Ballyknocken Cookery School

“I love tea but didn’t list it — suffice to say, lots and lots of mugs every day.! Plus at least one mug of Italian coffee, maximum two — any more and I get jittery.”


Breakfast: Porridge (made with milk) with chopped apples.

Lunch (leftover from photoshoot): Warm butternut squash salad.

Supper: Chicken casserole, mashed potatoes, wilted spinach, mango and pineapple fruit salad.


Breakfast: Yogurt and banana. Italian coffee.

Visitors in from Germany, so made lemon drizzle cake (any excuse!).

Late lunch: 4pm, pesto on batch bread (I love it, especially the crust) with melted mozzarella.

Dinner: Hearty vegetable noodle soup.

Snack: Got the munchies, so large bowl of chopped pistachios, apricots and chocolate — didn’t share!!


Breakfast: Very peckish, needed a hearty brekkie — porridge with honey, slice of toasted homemade brown bread (my mother’s recipe) with our special rhubarb and ginger jam.

Lunch: Tuna and sweet corn salad sandwich.

Snack: Cake testing in our cookery school. Can’t resist. Chocolate cake, delicious, but pear and blueberry crumble cake was so worth the second slice.!

Dinner: Homemade meatballs and spaghetti.

Nibbles: A slice of pear and almond torte (recipe testing!).

Serious sugar overdose today — must do better tomorrow, ie get colleague to hide the leftover cakes from me.


Breakfast: Very early start to Lisburn. Fruit salad. Took coffee in travel mug.

9.30am: In Costa Coffee — large scone, coffee.

Lunch (Simply Deanes, Banbridge): Penne with chicken and& mushrooms in a cream sauce — simple but so tasty.

Snack: Cadbury’s Caramel in car.

Tea: Rocky Road at children’s school event.

Late evening snack: ‘Dippy eggs’ with lots of toasted brown soda bread and lashings of butter. Me and the kids love them.


The plan today is eat healthy!

Breakfast: Banana and orange.

Lunch: Spicy lentil soup with ciabatta, half an apple muffin (there was fruit in the muffin!).

Supper: Pork chop, mustard mash, green salad.

Honey lemon tea.


Breakfast: Porridge with berry compote, coffee and Christmas mince pie.

Lunch: Chicken salad sandwiches on batch bread.

Afternoon: Popcorn at cinema — and borrowed some of the children’s treats!

Dinner: Lasagne and salad.

Snack: A bowl of chopped pistachios, apricots and chocolate.


Brunch: Family brekkie, with all the papers, lots of coffee, fresh orange juice and the children’s favourite — blueberry pancakes with yoghurt.

Late lunch: Asian style seabass, a few chunky chips from the kids’ plates; chocolate tart with raspberries.

Evening: Went to The Snowman in the NCH, nibbled on children’s treats.

Supper: Dippy eggs.


Birthday cake!! One of my colleagues surprised me with the most amazing traditional Lithuanian birthday cake. !

Lunch meeting: Chorizo and chicken panini with latte.

Snack: Sliced apple and cashews.

Dinner: Fish pie with spinach and orange salad.

Snack: Walnuts and dried cranberries and a small handful of chocolate chips.

Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School

“I spent part of week in Ireland, then travelled to the UK and back, then went on to Santa Fe in the US.”


Breakfast: Two cups of coffee with a dash of hot Jersey milk, fresh orange juice, half a bowl of porridge with sprinkle of soft dark brown sugar and milk.

11am: Coffee, half slice of barmbrack.

Lunch: French onion soup, homemade fish and& chips, tartare sauce, peas, green salad, slice of Gateaux Pithivier (puff pastry filled with frangipane).

6.30pm: Two cold goose sandwiches on freshly baked sourdough bread and homemade Jersey butter.

Charity demo later that night.


Breakfast: Coffee.

Picnic on plane: Ballymaloe brown yeast bread sandwich with cheddar cheese, country relish.

Lunch (Flinty Red, Bristol): Chicory, pomegranate and toasted almond salad, onglet with swede turnips, affogato, double espresso.

Dinner (Eden, Cornwall): Scallop and chorizo on mashed potatoes, fillet of Cornish lamb, squash, roast vegetables, quarter of chocolate coffee desert. Three glasses of Cornish apple juice.


Breakfast: Half cup of tea.

Lunch: Two bowls of winter vegetable soup, two bites of roast squash with caramelised onions and goat cheese.

Late afternoon: Tea, half Eccles cake.

Dinner: Goat cheese and rocket salad, spatchcock quail with celeriac purée, green salad.


Early departure to airport for flight to Cork, no breakfast.

10am-ish (airport): Pancake with maple syrup and banana.

Dinner: Traditional roast chicken, roast potatoes, gravy, kale, Swiss chard, green salad, a few slivers of our own cheddar cheese, Medjool date tart.


4am: Two cups of coffee before leaving for Shannon Airport.

Picnic on plane to Newark: Smoked salmon and cucumber sandwich, cheddar cheese and Ballymaloe country relish sandwich, slice of Gateau Pithivier, banana and another sandwich, a ginger biscuit.

Random nibbles from my ‘survival kit’— 26 hours travelling to reach my destination. No dinner.


8.30am: Dreadful coffee, small piece of toast and a banana.

Lunch (Cafe Pascuale, Santa Fé): Hippy Dippy (scary green drink made from kale, lemon, apple, coriander), smoked trout hash with coriander, several double espressos with a superb canelé (baked custard dessert) fresh from the oven.

Dinner (Harry’s Road House): A classic Margarita; Mexican blue corn turkey enchilada with red and green chilli, tomato salsa, guacamole, cowboy beans.


Can’t take another dreadful cup of coffee, moving into another hotel.

Breakfast (Sage Bake House): Brilliant double espresso with hot milk and maybe the best almond croissant I’ve ever eaten.

Lunch (Chocolate Maven): Half smoked turkey salad.

Pre-dinner: Nipped into Cafe Pascuale for another super delicious Hippy Dippy.

Dinner (Cafe Sena): Venison and celeriac, green salad.

Snack: Nibbled tortilla chips and guacamole while listening to C&W music and watching people dancing the ‘two step’.


Breakfast: Ham and cheese crepe, a biscochito, coffee, freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Lunch (Jambo, an African restaurant): Goat curry with coconut lentils, rice and roti.

Dinner: Smoked Shanagarry salmon on Ballymaloe brown bread (brought with me as a gift), Santa Fé Frittos pie, green salad, one bite of super-rich chocolate birthday cake.

Gary O’Hanlon, VM at Viewmount House, Co Longford

“This has been an eye-opener for me. It’s incredible. I knew the Red Bull was a problem, and I’ve cut back on that, but I never, for a second, thought I went through so much other crap. Hard to believe, but there was exercise fitted into this, as well, including road-running, weights and swimming. I dread to think what I’d be like if I didn’t do that. There’s definitely going to have to be some big changes in the months ahead, especially with the wedding coming up.”


1 can of coke

1 slice of toast and two tins of spaghetti hoops

1 orange

1 apple

1 Starbar

2 cans of Red Bull

1/2 a Carmello

3 bags of Banshee bones (crisps)

Chicken picatta with baby potatoes, broccoli and carrots

1/2 bottle of sparkling rose

1 peach

1 brunch ice cream

Some monkey nuts


1 can of coke

2 tins spaghetti hoops

2 slices toast

1 toffee crisp

2 cans of Red Bull

1 packet Hunky Dory’s salt and vinegar

1/2 family pack Haribo jellies

Large portion shepherd’s pie

Some monkey nuts

1 bottle Penny Black wine

1 tub ice cream


1 can of coke

2 peaches

5 Rivita with sunflower seeds (spread with butter)

2 cans of Red Bull

2 oranges

Tasting of a chocolate dessert (approx 3 spoonfuls)

1 duck leg confit

1 bowl of roast sweet potato and ginger soup

1/2 family pack Haribo jellies

1 packet soft mints

Some monkey nuts

1 bottle beer


1 can of coke

1 pint of water with Berrocca

3 Weetabix

1 bowl vegetable soup

3 cans of Red Bull

Grilled chicken sandwich with glebe brethan cheese and fries

Tasting of a new dessert — creme brulee

2 packets of Johnny rings (crisps)

1 chocolate Feast ice cream

1 packet of sesame sticks


1 can of coke

1 Berrocca

2 peaches

2 tins spaghetti hoops

1 slice of toast

1 yoghurt

2 Carmello bars

1 packet Tayto cheese and onion

2 cans of Red Bull

1 12oz sirloin steak with red onion-mustard seed compote and crozier bleu cheese

1 bottle of sparkling rose

2 apples

Some monkey nuts

Few jellies


1 can of coke

1 orange

1 whole egg and 4 egg whites (boiled

1 baked potato with bacon and glebe brethan cheese

3 cans of Red Bull

1 portion of chicken curry and rice

1 tub ice cream

1 can of Smithwicks

Some jellies

Some monkey nuts

1 bag smoky bacon crisps


1 can of coke

Full Irish breakfast: 2 sausages, 2 slices bacon, 1 poached egg, 1 slice of black and white pudding terrine

2 cans of red bull

2 slices of aged featherblade of beef with peppercorn sauce, horseradish potato and crispy onions

1 bowl of vegetable soup

1 bowl of fries

1 chicken curry with fried rice and fries

1 brunch ice cream

2 packets of smoky bacon crisps

1 apple

1 Berrocca

Paul Flynn, The Tannery

“Sunday evening, 5pm, is my favourite time of the week as I’m off Mondays. I usually have a pint with the paper before dinner. I’ll generally have gotten a few things ready at work so I’m not cooking much at home. It always has to be nice — I don’t mean fancy — but I get a puss on if I have a disappointing dinner on my day off. The fire is on, I open a bottle of wine, we watch some TV, mind you, we can’t go that crazy because the next day is a school day. During the working week, I rarely have breakfast, usually just a cup of coffee. Actually, I drink a lot of coffee during the day. I have whatever the staff are having for dinner but only have a half portion so I’m not sluggish while Maire cooks something completely separate for the girls at home. But the problem is when I get home at night I’m hungry again. It’s the only time of a working day I relax so I pour a glass of wine, put on Man V Food, which makes me more hungry so I wind up picking at whatever’s in the fridge.”


Breakfast: Make porridge for the girls, bring them to school, come back, boiled eggs, toast, marmalade.

Snacks: 2 apples (I always try to eat two a day).

Lunch: Toastie cheddar cheese, ham, mango chutney, English mustard, glass of milk.

Dinner: Coq au vin, low and slow, mashed potatoes, bacon and onions, wine. Our Austrian au pair tells us she is going to make Hot Love but before you get any ideas it is frozen raspberries, pinch of sugar to taste, microwave until collapsing and hot and then pour over vanilla ice cream – it is unbelievably more than the sum of its parts!


Breakfast: Cup of coffee.

Snacks: 2 apples.

Lunch: Sambo, a bit of corned beef from McGrath’s butchers, glass of milk.

Dinner: Fish and chips, water.

Supper: Glass of wine, leftover pasta and a bit of chilli roast chicken and mayo.


Breakfast: Coffee, little bit of porridge.

Lunch: Bowl of wild mushroom, parsnip and chestnut soup, white sliced pan bread, an apple.

Dinner: Chilli con carne with extra chilli, I love heat.

Supper: Cream crackers and Kilmeaden cheese.


Breakfast: Special K, I’m aiming to be the curvy one in the swimsuit, coffee.

Snack: Apple, coffee

Lunch: Ciabatta sambo with salami, coffee, glass of milk.

Snack: Afternoon sweet cravings, a square of chocolate.

Dinner: It’s quieter in winter so I can get a midweek night off. Early dinner with the girls, traditional roast chicken with peas, spinach, roast potatoes, apple tart and cream, glass of water.

Two to three pints with my mates, taxi home, pick at the chicken.


Breakfast: Coffee.

Lunch: Brown bread, cheese, apple, milk. 0

Dinner: Chicken thighs with sweet potato, red onions, chickpeas, water.

Late snack: Couple of biscuits.


The busiest day of the week with the cookery school — in for 8am to prepare for 10am start. No breakfast.

Snack: Two coffees.

Lunch: Usually pick at the demo dish – today, couscous, lamb tagine, glass of water.

Dinner: No time on a Saturday, a couple of apples as soon as we’re finished and straight into the restaurant. Leftover chips from staff dinner.

Late night snack: The girls always have pizza as a treat on Saturday night and there’s some left when I get home. Pizza and red wine are just fantastic so I stay up too late, winding down. I also have some of my favourite comfort food – a spoon of crunchy peanut butter sprinkled with Maldon salt and washed down with a glass of cold milk.


Sunday breakfast is our most important staff meal of the week as it’s not the most pressurised day. Scrambled egg and bacon with croissants — there’s always trouble if anyone overcooks the scrambled egg, it must be soft and runny, a well-cooked egg is the best thing in the world. Lovely coffee with hot milk.

Lunch: None after big breakfast.

Dinner: Pint first then take choc mousse and dauphinoise potatoes home from restaurant and have with steak, crispy cabbage with garlic and ginger and a Lidl crumble.

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