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A Tale Of Two Foodies
The word on the street is that RTÉ has a major hit on its hands with the new cookery competition show, MasterChef Ireland. It features two of the country's leading restauranteurs – the fiery Dylan McGrath of Rustic Stone and the genial Nick Munier of Pichet – who adjudicate on the efforts of 16 aspiring culinary stars. It’s a series in which the sparks are guaranteed to fly – and on occasion the tears to flow.
Olaf Tyaransen, 16 Sep 2011
Conrad Gallagher has just had his restaurant closed by the taxman. Do you have any sympathy?
DYLAN: Look, nobody likes to kick anyone when they’re down. We are all accountable for the choices we make, and we have to have integrity and work through business and try our best to look after our customers and look after our employees and our businesses and what we do. Nobody likes to see anybody go down. I’ve had to liquidate and get on with it, and you have to re-adapt and be smarter. Recessionary times can force us into being more innovative and more creative and adapt and understand our weaknesses and our strengths and try and develop as human beings and make our life better. The restaurant business is full of insecure people who like to look and point their finger and say, ‘Oh look what happened to him’, but who really cares? Real people, and real men with some character, actually want to see people do well. They don’t want to point and say, ‘Haha, you fucked up again!’, or ‘You did shit!’. They’ve enough problems to deal with. I’ve no interest in gloating at anyone less fortunate, to be honest.
Did either of you watch the RTÉ drama series Raw?
NICK: Yeah, I loved it.
Was it an accurate portrayal of the business ?
DYLAN: Well, you know… gay chefs kissing food critics (laughs). Some fucker sent me a DVD back when I was in Mint asking me the same question, ‘Was it accurate?’ Some homosexual head chef who goes around shouting at everyone and kissing food critics! Quite funny. It’s a good drama.
NICK: To do an accurate show on a restaurant is to put a fly on the wall. Raw is an entertainment TV show, and is about what happens to the characters as opposed to what happens in a restaurant. But I thought it was a great drama for Irish TV. The characters were very good, the storyline is also very important as well. There’s drama, there’s sex…
Have either of you ever had sex in the kitchen? Not with each other, mind...