Staff Corner: Chris Lawlor
Current location: New York, USA
Michelle's question to Chris:
What one food did you love growing up and what one food did you hands-down refuse to eat?
Food I loved
When I was a kid, my sister and I would go into Wexford town on occasion with our parents. The main street is a beautiful little winding round that meanders its way for a mile or so through the centre of the town, parallel to the quay. I always loved the colourful individual shop fronts and the fact that there were and still are (hopefully!!) so many independent shops. The large brands either had not found Wexford yet, or they were uninterested, preferring to build some concrete, impersonal, independent, business-destroying, monstrosity on the outskirts of town.
One restaurant that I always wanted to visit, if we were lucky enough to be in town at dinnertime was a basic Italian restaurant called Robertino’s. There was nothing really remarkable about it other than their colossal portions or the world’s best spaghetti Bolognese. I am not sure that the parents were too enamoured with either the restaurant or the food, but for a 13-year-old, this was fine dining at its best.
I went to boarding school when I was 11. We used to go home for the day on Sundays and once a month for the whole weekend. Often on the weekend we would visit my grandmom in Dublin and take her out to the local pub, the Dollymount House, for a slap-up Sunday lunch. It was a very well known pub and had a great carvery. I used to salivate for days before going, as I knew that I would be allowed to have my favourite meal – roast beef, chips and gravy. Nothing green or vegetable-like came within a meter of my plate! I got my own gravy boat to replenish the sea of delicious, thick, brown jus to my own taste.
My grandmother was well known in the area, and somewhat of a VIP in the pub. My uncle knew the owner well and all his staff were instructed to take extra special care of Kitty Lawlor. I remember on one occasion we were greeted at the door as usual (as far as I could tell, we were the only customers for which this was the case). There was some confusion, followed by a short wait while the owner moved another family that was seated at our regular table, but had not been served yet. We protested, but it was pointless. The owner would not hear of anything other than that Kitty was treated to her usual meal at her usual table. The embarrassment faded just as quickly as the beef and chips arrived!
Food I refused to eat
I refused to eat fish… of any kind… and largely still do.