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Falling for Food : Angeline Ball

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely actor and singer, Angeline Ball, when I worked with her on a recent series of RTE ‘The Restaurant. She deservedly took away the coveted five stars for her beautiful menu. She worked a tough day in the kitchen on the recipes, which drew on her own love of cooking and food from her travels, and the influence of her French husband’s cooking. I still remember the taste of her Tarte la Belle Mere with Armagnac and Mascarpone cream. It was sweet and decadent and mischevious and unforgettable.

She is best known for her role as Imelda Quirke in ‘The Commitments’ and she also plays Gloria in the TV series ‘Shameless.’ She lives in London with her French husband Patrice and their two children.

She is the kind of person who disarms you in her utter grace and sweet charm. She is wonderful to the core, and a tremendous cook.

Here, in ‘Falling for Food’, she reveals some of her favourite food passions and memories……….

Falling for Food

My first food memory is………

Creamy mashed potatoes. Of course, I’m Irish.

The first dish I remember making is….

Well it isn’t a dish, but it was bread.

The first food I remember as my favourite is….

Again, creamy mashed potatoes. My ultimate comfort food as a child, and it still is.

The first dish I remember hating was……

Those awful steak and kidney pies you got in tins, and tomatoes.

The first time I remember being proud of dish I’d cooked was…

Bread. And I even made a raspberry jam to go with it.

The first time I fell in love with an ingredient was…

When I started baking cakes (aged 5 or 6) and bread. It’s kind of magical what can emerge of a little flour, butter and eggs. Oh and the smell of baking……just yummy.

The first time I remember making people happy with food was…

When I cooked my first stew. I think I was about 8 years old. I thought it was wonderful with fresh herbs and I even made dumplings.

The first I eat in the morning is…

I love fresh carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice. Then I’ll have a cup of builder’s tea with either a croissant or home made muesli.

The first time I remember food being heaven was ….

Home made ice cream at my Nana’s house when I was about four years old. Also, I remember the magic of butter when I was small. Even the horrible vegetable, like kale, was edible with a good dollop of butter.

The first thing I’d save in my kitchen from a fire would be…

A really old French hand blender/mixer that has been passed down through my husband’s family. It does look a bit like a torture instrument, but makes the loveliest purées. And I’d also save my pasta maker

The first cookbook I was obsessed with was…

My school Home Economics book. Not very glamorous eh? But later on the “Larousse Gastronomique”…it’s my bible.

The first crush I had on a chef was…

It’s got to be bad boy Marco Pierre White.

The first meal someone cooked me who was trying to romance me was…...

Hot dogs. Needless to say, it didn’t last long!

The first thing I get my husband to cook is….

Well the first time he cooked it was pan-seared salmon with shallot cream and spinach. (Not a hot dog in sight).
There was lots of champagne and he’d filled his flat with lilacs, my favourite flower…

The first amazing restaurant experience I had was…...

In Paris many many years ago at ‘Le Meurice.’. The atmosphere, the food ,the company……….mmm

The first time I sent a dish back in a restaurant was….

It was probably when I was in my early twenties. I had started to get confidence in what was acceptable and not acceptable when dining out. It was a very leathery steak which I asked for medium rare.

The first people I would call for dream dinner party guest would be

Truman Capote, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, Jack Kerouac and Jack Nicholson. Oh and Jack Lemon.

The first thing I’d have for the ultimate/money is no object meal would be…….

My gorgeous man at my side…he makes everything even more palatable.

Angeline in her London kitchen

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