The second episode of Beyond The Menu, Mark Moriarty's new television show, aired on RTÉ last night, which saw the young chef travel spend time with Grainne O'Keefe, head chef at Clanbrassil House, culinary director at BuJo Burger Joint and our Best Chef Under 30.
The first episode in this new six-part documentary aired last week and saw Mark take a look behind the scenes at Pilgrim's in West Cork. In last night's episode, Mark visited Clanbrassil House in Portobello to find out more about one of the country's youngest head chefs, Grainne O'Keefe.
This week's episode flowed better than last week's, which could be down to the fact that Mark and Grainne already know each other, having competed against each other in the San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition, which Mark went on to win. There's an easy camaraderie between the pair from the get-go, which makes this week's episode a real joy to watch.
We start out with Mark visiting Grainne in her full-time home, Clanbrassil House, which was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand last year. Grainne is known as one of the hardest working chefs in the industry because as well as working at Clanbrassil House, she's also the culinary director at BuJo Burger Joint in Sandymount.
Mark's aim for this episode seems to be to highlight Grainne's amazing work ethic and her culinary journey. It's clear that Grainne is confident in her talent and position, stating that she has stopped caring about what people think of her because she knows that chasing success is what makes her happy. Highlighting her incredible drive, Mark acknowledges the fact that Grainne works seven days a week, between BuJo and Clanbrassil House.
Throughout the episode, Grainne doesn't sugarcoat her career at all. It's so refreshing to see a young, successful woman admit that she has had to work so hard to get where she is now and that she's determined not to burn out, even though it would be so easy for that to happen due to the pressures of her lifestyle. Being a chef is tough, and while we often hear about the stresses and the buzz, we don't often hear it from young, successful women, so Grainne's honesty and determination was truly inspiring.
As with last week's episode, the show ended with a pop-up. Grainne and Mark's menu honoured the food they had enjoyed as children, like fish fingers, spice burgers and beans on toast. Of course, these two chefs played with the dishes to produce delicious, unexpected food, which was received very well by Grainne's family and friends.
Overall, this episode flowed much better than the first of the season. It was fascinating to get some insight into Grainne's lifestyle and career, which highlighted just why she has become as successful as she now is.
Next week's episode will focus on Rob Krawczyk from Michelin-starred Chestnut in Cork, so check back in for our next recap.
Main image from RTÉ.