So, it seems I have been chosen as one of the two lucky “enthusiastic amateur” cooks lucky enough to cook our own 4 course menu for paying guests at one of Cork City’s popular resaurants!

Fenns Quay (@Fenns Quay) head chef Kate Lawlor (@FQchefess) is bravely (foolishly?) allowing me to take over her kitchen for one night only on 29th February 2012, during which I cook my own four course menu which will then be scored by a panel of experts. My competitor, who takes control a week later on 7th March, is Sarah O’Riordan (@yummynom), who describes herself as “a fanatic foodie who loves eating out and cooking”. Seems a bit serious to me, looks like I’m up against it!

To enter the event I had to send in a menu for scrutiny by Kate and her team. I am sure many entrants pondered long and hard about their offering, matching starters and mains, thinking about ease of cooking and wow factor and the like. I came up with mine in about 5 minutes while waiting for Lucie to finish work one day, so either I’m in the wrong job or just damn lucky!

Anyway, Kate likes it, in written form at least, and she informed me one evening by email to much hilarity in our house. Immediately there was a problem, I go skiing the day after the later date and hope that Sarah choses this date, or else I am in for a mad time! Fortunately she does so all is well. Then another bomshell, Kate wants recipes and methods! Now anyone who knows me and has eaten my food will know that I cook by sight and feel. Cookbooks are for looking at the pictures, if it looks nice I’ll try it, without really reading the “ins and outs” of it!

The ingredients were easy, amounts and describing what I actually did less so! I even considered videoing myself cooking it and sending Kate that! I honestly think that was scarier for me than anything that will be thrown at me when I’m actually cooking on the night, but I got through it in the end, but I remain confident that Kate will look at me on the day and think “thats not how he described it”!

My menu has to remain a secret until after the event, and it is the honest truth that I have not and will not “tweek” it in any way from my original entry (that would be cheating) unless of course the professionals in the kitchen eventually realise that my menu is infact comletely mad and change it all or risk their reputation! I did a trial run of the first course and main course last weekend, and going for the whole four courses this Saturday.

Am I looking forward to it? You bet I am!

Am I taking it seriously? You bet I am!

Do I want to beat Sarah? I was an international sportsman back in the day, I still don’t do losing!

Do I harbour a secret longing to be a chef? Not a chance!