- 31 Oct 18
Who would be the first person you would invite to your birthday party?
My wife Sofie and our baby Noah – he hasn’t been to any birthday parties yet, so it would be his first.
You gotta make mistakes to learn along the way.
‘Rosa Morena’ by Joao Gilberto – it’s my go to chill-out music when I’m cooking. I grab a glass of wine, start to chop some onions, and it always brings me to some sort of delicious dish.
Too many to mention. I’m always on the go and haven’t much time to read, so I listen to a lot of audiobooks – I’m currently listening to The Underground Rail Road by Colson Whitehead.
I love Amelie. It’s a beautiful film celebrating love and creativity.
Favourite actor / actress?
Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men.
I’m a huge ABBA fan – I love a bit of retro music.
Most embarrassing moment of your life?
Being an ABBA fan…
Anything Asian – I love Pad Thai, which is my favourite noodle dish. My favourite drink is a whiskey sour, and as for a stimulant, I’m big into mushroom coffee. It’s a big thing in LA: it’s good for your immune system, and gets you focused if you have a lot on work-wise.
Meals In Minutes… Ah no, joking aside, I’m watching Manic and Ozark on Netflix at the moment. I also love Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, which is based on a brilliant cookbook that everyone should have in their house.
Favourite TV personality?
Dermot O’Leary and Graham Norton – they both have great TV presence. I’ve loved Graham Norton for years, He’s brilliant.
Favourite item of clothing?
I have an All Saints leather jacket that has been everywhere with me. It was expensive but I’ve got great wear out of it.
Most desirable date?
Myself and Sofie have rediscovered date night recently – we got a great babysitter! – so we love exploring new places to eat in Highland Park, which is close to where we live.
Favourite method of relaxation?
I love a good Thai massage. It’s quite cheap to get one in LA, so I go as often as I can.
If you weren’t pursuing your present career, what other career might you have chosen?
I wanted to do art in college and I’d have loved that. I love doing stuff with my hands, so that creativity is still there in some shape or form.
I used to be in a band called Industry and our two songs went to No.1. We also supported the Pussycat Dolls in Fitzgerald Stadium in front of 16,000 people. That was one of the biggest thrills of my life. My hair still stands on end when I think of it.
Being beaten by Dustin the Turkey in Eurosong 2008 – although on reflection I think I dodged a bullet!
Your concept of heaven?
Complete switch-off on a Thai island: no phones and beautiful sunshine.
What would be your dying words?
Just be kind to people and give them love.
To teach as many people as I can to cook, and to keep my passion alive for cooking.
Period of history you’d most like to have lived in and why?
The ’70s because I love the music, the bell bottoms, and of course the hair!
If you weren’t a human being which animal would you have chosen to be?
A dog, for the undivided love and attention.
Your nominee for the world’s best-dressed person?
Favourite term of abuse?
I was watching the stand-up comic Greg Davies the other night, and his father called him a ‘fuck pig’, which I thought was the funniest thing ever. So that’s my new favourite term of abuse – I give full credit to Greg Davies for it!
Probably worrying about Sofie, the baby and the dog, and making sure they are safe. I do so much travel and I worry when I leave them.
Humanity’s most useful invention?
Potato peeler – I use it for everything when cooking, not just peeling potatoes. I also shave cucumbers, cheese – anything really!
Humanity’s most useless invention?
We love eating popcorn after dinner while watching a movie. We actually had a popcorn maker. Unfortunately, however, it just shot popcorn across the living room. The dog enjoyed it, but it was a pile of crap!
Donal’s show Meals In Minutes airs on RTÉ One every Wednesday at 7.30pm. The book of the series is available in all good bookshops.