Friday 9 January 2015

An Interview with Mr. FFID

Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of Mr. FFID and I. It was an important anniversary that we actually spent apart, as I’m in Ballymaloe and he’s miserable enjoying life without me in Dublin. I’m just hoping that he isn’t feeding himself with bacon sandwiches and frozen pizzas while I’m away.

He’s the reason why I never left Ireland and I’m so happy that he changed my life in this way. I was only supposed to stay for a few months here, just the time to learn English. He’s very good let me tell you, it’s a hard job to cope with a French lady on a daily basis.

Anyway, Mr. FFID is pretty much mentioned in every single review, just because he’s my favourite dining companion: he lets me chose all the places. Many readers have asked me if I’d ever show him on this blog, well you never know but not today. Instead, here is a post where he gets to be more than just my fabulous hand model, as he shares with you his favourite spots. 

What’s your favourite pub?

Ok, so for many years I drank crap beer in crap pubs (Am I allowed say ‘crap’ on your blog?). More recently I’ve started to appreciate decent beer and good pubs. For favourite pub I’d have to give my number one vote to the Beerhouse at the top of Capel street. It's not flash or hip, but it has a nice fire, games, great craft beer and is run by some lovely people. 

What’s your favourite café?

No question, it has to be 147 Deli on Parnell street. I like coffee but to be honest it is not a deciding factor for me when choosing a café, I’m more about the food. 147 does the best sandwich in the city in my opinion and as it’s just around the corner from work I go there at least once a week. But even sambos aside, what I really love about the place is the staff and service. They know all the regulars and call us by name. It’s easy to feel like a worker drone in a city so being greeted by name when getting your morning coffee is a very special touch.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

That’s a tough one, probably changes several times a year but the one that really sticks out for me is La Maison on Castlemarket. I’m the stereotypical Irish male and almost always order steak when in a restaurant. Sometimes my food blogging fiancée gives out to me for ordering steak as “it’s impossible to get nice pictures of steak” but most of the time when I order something else, I end up wishing I had gone for the beef. Long story short I have had a lot of steak, and for me the Côte the Boeuf in La Maison comes out top. It is just so tasty, juicy, peppery and buttery, served on top of bread that soaks up all the flavours… I’ll stop now, suffice to say that do great steak!

What’s your favorite place for a romantic dinner?

Anywhere is romantic when you are there with the person you love but for somewhere with that extra intimate feel I’d have to go for Terre Madre on Bachelors Walk. It’s a tiny little place with an even smaller menu but they really pull it off. The setting is cosy and staff are lovely but what really stands out for me is how they take one very high quality ingredient and construct a dish which showcases it in a home-cooked simple manner. 

What’s your favourite cheese?

Ok so here I have to be honest. Before I met my fiancée I grew up in a household in Wicklow where cheese came served in pre-sliced plastic wrappers. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties and I had just started going out with a woman who would one day become French Foodie in Dublin, that I was first introduced to real cheese. The transition was not without its hiccups. On one occasion after returning from France to see her parents, my partner brought back a bag full of French Cheeses. She offered me a taste with a big proud smile, to which I pulled the face of a spoilt brat, exaggerating his dislike for Brussels sprouts. She was not amused (I know, you’re still are not amused… I’ve said I’m sorry!).

But that was almost a decade ago now and my tastes have changed considerably. The stronger and more pungent the better! It’s hard to think of a best cheese, it’s like choosing a favourite child: they don’t smell great but you love them all equally. If pushed I’d have to go with a Blue D’Auvergne, with a special shout out to my favourite Irish cheese: Milleens.

What’s your favourite Irish Craft beer?

I’m really excited by the Irish Craft beer revolution of the last few years. I really believe in supporting the brave and talented people who set up their own businesses and the Irish Craft Beer movement has been such a success story. I love the 8 Degrees brewing company, and their beers would be what I tend to gravitate towards but the beauty of craft beer is that there are so many out there to be tried. Trouble Brewing do a great Dark Arts Porter and I was very impressed by both the ethos and the rye ale of N17Brewery at the RDS this year. But my overall number one would have to be 8 Degrees Hurricane IPA or the Full Irish, when it’s available.

What is it to be a hand model on FFID?

Haha... it’s not a bad job at all. I have a good reason to eat out regularly and every once in a while we have to spend a whole afternoon sampling macarons or hot chocolate all in the name of research. I am still yet to be stopped in the street by someone who recognises my hands from the blog, so my cover hasn’t been blown yet.

What is it to eat out with someone who takes pictures of her food?

It’s not a problem at all, food is about more than just the taste so taking a minute at the start to appreciate the thought and effort that went into the presentation isn’t actually a bad thing. What’s worse is when I am asked to take pictures of my own food. I have taken hundreds and not one has ended up on the blog. I am a terrible photographer so every time the same thing happens: I am given the camera and told to take pictures, I duly oblige and then hand back the camera, I am scolded for my atrocious photography as if this was breaking news and finally she takes her own shot of my dish.

Photography aside, I love being Mr. FFID. It’s an honour to be part of the blog and I am so proud of Ketty for what she has created. I miss her while she is away in Ballymaloe but am so happy to call this amazing woman my fiancée. 

Merci Mr. FFID!

Image source: Pinterest