I’m Not Eating That!
Whether it’s the over-cooked Brussels sprouts that you were forced to eat as a kid or the raisins in the pudding that made you sick one Christmas – it seems it’s a common Irish trait to avoid certain foods like the plague. “Offal is definitely something people tend to avoid,” said Gareth Roache, chef at Darwins restaurant, Dublin 2. “Chilled soup would be another thing Irish people tend to hate. They don’t like to go for anything too adventurous!”
But, Gerard Carthy from Taste of Ireland, says in his opinion Irish people might be taking their food aversions one step too far – avoiding food they haven’t even tried yet. “Here in Ireland we are rubbish when it comes to eating anything that isn’t steak. Put tongue in front of an Irish person and they simply freak out, yet it’s a staple in places like Spain or Italy. “When it comes to fish – if it’s not cod, it’s trying to kill you and should be avoided at all costs! We will eat cod, occasionally a salmon. As a result, much of the fish caught off the coast of Ireland such as mackerel which we have tons of and razor clams have to be exported.” But don’t worry if you’re a ‘play-it-safe’ eater – from the extravagant oyster right down to the modest aubergine, even our favourite Irish celebrity chefs, have foods they simply can’t bear to see put on their plate…
Oliver Dunne, Chef and owner of the Michelin star restaurant Bon Appétit in Malahide, Co Dublin.
“I just think they’re repulsive. When I was a child my mum used to mash them in a cup and force feed me! To this day I can’t eat them. And the other one is oysters, I don’t like the texture. People say they’re an aphrodisiac but I wouldn’t eat them for love nor money!”
Nick Munier, Co-owner of Pichet restaurant in Dublin’s Trinity Lane. Presenter of Masterchef Ireland, alongside Dylan McGrath
“I just never liked the texture and I never understood why they would be part of a dish. They used to call it aubergine caviar, in the oak room when I worked for Marco; it’s like a puree of aubergine that enhances the fish. I never got it because I find aubergines quite bland. That would be my pet hate. Another one I don’t like is parsnips, my mum used to disguise them as roast potatoes for Sunday lunch and I’d be like – oh no!”
Patrick Guilbaud, Chef and proprietor of that country’s most award winning restaurant, the Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
“I just don’t like it. My mum made me eat it when I was a young kid and I just didn’t like it!”
Rachel Allen, TV Chef, Cook and Author
“I‘ve just never liked it. I know loads of people love it, my dad likes it, and I’ve tried but I can’t!”
Ross Lewis Irish Michelin star winning head chef and co-owner of the restaurant Chapter One in Dublin.
“Made from pigs blood and spices; it’s got a very chalky texture. It’s a real Cork dish and I shouldn’t be saying that because I’m from Cork but it’s the only thing I’ve ever eaten that I didn’t like, and I’ve eaten plenty of very diverse things! That and Humble Pie – they’re the only thing I don’t eat!”
Derry Clarke, Chef, reality TV judge and proprietor of the restaurant L’Ecrivain.
“Caraway seeds, because of the taste. Bad food. And big portions, I can’t stand big portions, less is definitely more!”
Kevin Dundon, Chef, TV personality and author. Chef and Proprietor of Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant.
“Its something about the smell, it’s very perfumed and pungent. I can smell it as soon as I walk into a kitchen. If someone puts nutmeg into mashed potato or spinach, it can overpower the whole thing. For me it just turns me off the whole plate. The other dish I don’t like is gratin potatoes. I put it in the same boat as creamy pasta sauce – I find as soon as I have one mouthful, I get full straight away.”
Dylan McGrath, Chef. Owner of ‘Rustic Stone Restaurant by Dylan McGrath’ and presenter of Masterchef Ireland, alongside Nick Munier.
“Spinach. I just find it a very lazy ingredient. A lot of chefs rely on spinach. It’s not that nice and it doesn’t really do anything for me, so I don’t use it that much. I find it’s just a ‘filler-in’ vegetable.”
Catherine Fulvio, TV Chef, food writer and cookery tutor. Catherine Fulvio, runs Ballyknocken Cookery School and Ballyknocken House.
Avocado Panna Cotta
“The modification panna cotta! It’s quite an American thing to do but I think how they play around with panna cotta and make it savoury rather than dessert, I find it very unpalatable. In America you can get a buttermilk squash, panna cotta, avocado panna cotta and the likes – panna cotta is a delicious dessert, let’s just keep it that way!”