Taste Factor Journey

So the past few weeks have been amazing for me. I got the opportunity to cook live on Ireland AM as part of the Philadelphia Taste Factor Competition. I spent a week canvasing for votes {it's hard work I'm not sure how politicians keep going for so long!} and then with great delight I won the competition. Last Wednesday week I travelled back to the TV3 studios and cooked another dish, again incorporating Philadelphia. I felt surprisingly calm for my second appearance on Ireland AM. I really didn't mind cooking on television and I think there was more pressure when I had to start talking about myself. For each slot I had to be there an hour before, the slot was approximately 5 minutes long and once filming stopped it was a race to clean up as quick as possible to have the kitchen ready for the next cookery slot. On my second morning Catherine Leydon was in the kitchen and was every bit as friendly as she appears on television.

The next morning I had to travel again to Dublin. This time for a quick interview with Ireland AM in the grounds of The Iveagh Gardens. I had Millie and Jack with me and since it was such a beautiful day we didn't mind hanging around watching all the activity. A small crowd had gathered in one of the green areas mostly consisting of press, TV3 and others that were involved in the PR for Taste. They were each very welcoming offering me coffee and the likes and really they couldn't be nicer. Louise Lennox, from RTE's The Restaurant was having some promotion pictures taken and then the star attraction of the show Gino D'Acampo arrived. Immediately he had a group of swooning ladies by his side. He was interviewed by numerous radio stations and Ireland AM and after about an hour he left for another interview elsewhere. A lot of interviews for one person!!

Eventually I got to have a little chat on camera with Anna Daly, one of the Ireland AM presenters. After which Millie undoubtedly had watched enough interviews so we headed off to check into our 5 star hotel The Westin - another part of my prize! It's a beautiful hotel right beside Trinity College.

We started the next day with a very impressive buffet breakfast. I always find breakfast is what I enjoy most about hotel stays just the choice of delicious dishes and the fact that I don't have to make it myself! As I was plating up some delicious Waffles who was next to me only Myrtle Allen. We exchanged a brief 'Good Morning' and headed back to our tables. This was then a cue for Miss Millie to start misbehaving. For a lady who normally enjoys nothing more than tucking into a vast array of finger foods she decided that she was having none of this 5 star malarkey. This led to a quick exit from the dining room with a bowl of porridge in hand to try and coax this little Miss into eating later.

It was soon time to make our way to Taste of Dublin.We met up with the rest of the family- Tiarnan missed out as he was on a school trip. I was so excited to announce at the gate that I would need to get in early as I would be cooking at the event.  I have given cookery demos before and generally spend some time before shopping for ingredients, packing the car, unloading the car and then setting up. It was such a treat to arrive {as Edward Hayden said} with one arm longer than the other!! Billy O' Shea from The Fairyhouse Cookery 
 School had everything in place ready for my cookery demonstration with Edward.

There was a marvellous buzz around the grounds of the event with a exceptionally big crowd for a Friday afternoon. The sun was shining, the wine flowing and there was plenty of yummy foods to tantalise the taste buds.

When Edward introduced me on to stage and I responded with a 'thank you' hearing my voice booming through the mic I suddenly felt nervous. I had never spoke in front of such a loud crowd before and I wasn't sure at that point how I should start. Thankfully Edward chatted a little and eased me into cooking my dish which was Roasted Tomato and Pasta Soup with Philly.  I looked through the crowd and saw many familiar faces. I felt at ease and the rest of the demo went as well as I could of hoped. It was so much fun and I was over joyed that so many people came over to me at the end with questions and good wishes.

This was just such an amazing adventure. Demonstrating on stage at Taste of Dublin was like a dream come true for me and thankfully it was really positive experience. I really have to thank anyone who voted for me in the Taste Factor competition. Also the organisers of Taste of Dublin, Ireland AM, the team behind Philadelphia and Kennedy PR especially Laura and of course Edward Hayden not only for this fantastic prize but for many lifetime lasting memories.  As if this wasn't enough we will also be heading to Philadelphia with $1,000 spending money. I feel so privileged to have won such an outstanding prize.

All photos in this post, from Taste of Dublin, were taken by the very talented photographer Harry Weir.


MissCakeBaker said...

Congratulations Nessa! I'm excited for you reading this post.

Brownieville Girl said...

Well done Nessa - well deserved!

Hope you continue to enjoy all your prizes :-}}

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Congrats Nessa! I hope you get your own show! Have fun!

Nessa Robins said...

Thank you so much for your well wishes. It was just a wonderful experience!

Charenn29 said...

great post, I really like it. Thanks for posting. :)