Jason Byrne Interview

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“Learning to cook great food goes straight to a women’s heart. It’s going to be great in the bedroom. I’m going to get way more sex!”


Irish stand-up comedian Jason Byrne, 37, reveals he is learning to cook with Marco, so that he can impress his wife Brenda.


“My wife is such a good cook. She has herbs and oils and cook books everywhere, and cooks stuff I’ve never even seen. She watches all those TV cookery competitions, and understands the pressure in the kitchen. So that when they present their meals to the judges, she goes all weepy.


“I never have anything to dish up for her. I put out the candles and the roses, and out come the potatoes and a bland steak. My wife tells me, ‘The food tastes alright, but there’s no love in your carrots.’”


“What Marco can do is create taste explosions in your mouth. So that’s what I want to learn so I can cook those really cool meals for her.”


Cooking for 25 diners, he says, will give him the confidence to throw a large dinner party in his farmhouse kitchen in Ireland.


“What is going to be brilliant is to invite at least ten of my friends and cook for all of them. And as well as that, it’s going to be great in the bedroom, isn’t it? I’m going to get way more sex.  Food can go straight to a woman’s heart…and maybe other places.”


When Jason was first invited to take part in Marco’s Kitchen Burnout, he turned it down.


“I said, ‘There is no way I can do that show. I can’t cook like that.’ I sat down with my wife Brenda and she said, ”Sorry? What did you say? Who? Marco Pierre White? Get back on that phone and tell them you’re doing it whether you like it or not.’


“She said, it’s like if Pele rang you up and said, ‘Do you want to be taught football for three days?’ You’d say ‘Yeah’, however rubbish you were.”


The comedian’s ignorance on the food front has already shown him up in front of Marco.


“Yesterday I held up a red cabbage to Marco, and said, is this the beetroot you need. And he said, ‘ What?’


“I’ve got to keep it calm. Listen to the shouting, but ignore the shouting. He’ll just be shouting orders. He looks like a scary man. He is quite big. In fact he is massive. He is really a strong person with a warm heart. But he does look menacing. I thought he was going to hate me, because I am such a bad cook.“


Raised in Dublin, Jason blames his ignorance about food on his childhood fads.


“My diet comes from my processed food family from the 70’s and 80’s . For 16 years I was such a fussy eater, I ate the same food every day. Cheesy toast and Neighbours for lunch everyday.  Potato, beans and meat for dinner. I couldn’t even touch sauces, and didn’t eat a pizza until I was 20. It’s such a waste. Luckily my wife has taught me to love food. “


Father of two sons, Devon, 10 and Daniel, 3, it’s Jason’s wife who prepares all the family food.


“When I told Devon I was coming on the show, he said, ”Oh well, daddy. All you can do is your best. But you’ll never be as good a cook as mummy.’


“Even if I offer to prepare the Ready Brek, he says, ‘Please could mum do it?’”


“We’ve got an expresso machine which can make hot chocolate, and he’ll say, ‘No daddy, don’t do it.” And I say, ‘But it’s only hot milk and chocolate’. He’ll say, ‘You don’t even know how to mix it into the milk.’”


So determined is Jason to do well in Marco’s Kitchen Burnout that the worry keeps him awake at night.


“I haven’t slept since I’ve been here in London. All I can see when I close my eyes is Marco’s huge head with that thing on it, just floating around in front of me, going ‘No! No!’, ‘Why would you do that?’ and ‘I told you this already!’”


“From what I’ve seen so far though, he’s got great humour. He doesn’t really talk when he is cooking, and I keep asking him stuff, kind of teasing.


“I asked him why there was no music in his kitchen, and he said because it would distract people. And I said, ‘Yeah you wouldn’t want dancing chefs in here.’ But he didn’t even hear me.


“He’s a football fan though, so perhaps we can talk about that.


“I think most of the food we get to cook will be fairly simple dishes. I just hope when I make mine, he doesn’t say, ”I didn’t mean that simple!”


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