Neven watchable but not memorable

I’ve always been a huge fan of Neven. Anyone who can run a successful restaurant in the middle of nowhere in rural Cavan gets my vote. His energy is always fantastic too. This new show is ok but nothing amazing.

I’m surprised to see cookery programmes still being made that refer to “dinner parties”. Does anyone still have those?

His three dishes in the opening episode were asparagus and smoked salmon tartlet, confit duck and a tiramsu variant.

Whilst I loved the look of the first dish, it seems a bit ridiculous to have an asparagus recipe in January. Or a salad with Nasturtium flowers whilst we’re on the subject. Have the producers of the programme missed every single Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall espisode ever made? Where did the idea of seasonal produce go?

The trip to the organic egg farm was enlightening and provided another one of those interesting tid-bits. The farmer supplies most of his eggs to Lidl and Aldi. Weird then that most of the organic eggs in those shops in Cork seem to have either UK or German markings on them.

The confit duck looked gorgeous but I’d love to know how much the average punter would have to pay for a few litres of duck fat. I think I’ll stick with the canned one like most French people do.

The show has great potential given the presenter involved but it doesn’t feel fully formed or thought out. The show that RTE needs to make, that would become legendary, is to have Darina do one based on her new book. Show people how to cook lovely food frugally. “Feed your family for a tenner a day” or something. Review of that book coming soon. Summary: One of the top ten cook books of all time.

Neven is on RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland