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All the best: Chef Noel McMeel on his favourite things


Noel McMeel

Noel McMeel

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman

Lough Erne Resort

Lough Erne Resort

Noel McMeel

The executive head chef at the Lough Erne Resort is in his 40s and lives in Fintona.

My best moment

It was at the Special Olympics when they were held in Dublin. I have two disabled brothers and I was able to share the moment with one, Owen, when I wheeled him onto the pitch during the opening ceremony. I loved being part of the whole thing with Owen and the team from the centre he attends.

My best song

Aria by Yanni as this song just sums me up. It became famous a few years ago when it featured in a British Airways advert. I also really like just about anything by James Taylor.

My best way to relax

Swimming - I would love to say I brave the open water, but instead I go to the local pool. I also love reading.

My best job

Here at the Lough Erne Resort where I have worked for over eight years - and it's been a real labour of love. We have been part of trying to turn Northern Ireland into a good food destination. My team and I know who grows the food and raises the animals here so we have some fantastic produce. Working at the resort has given me the chance to meet Barack Obama in the White House and cook fantastic meals all over the world.

My best movie

I have two - Ghost and Pretty Woman. I was working in Paris when they were both out so I went to see them at a cinema on the Champs Elysees. I'm a bit of a softie at heart so I like a good romantic story and both of those two blew me away.

My best advice

Love all, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. That was given to me by my mother. It's been quite amazing advice and I've used it in everything I've ever done.

My best gift

My mother gave me a leather bag for my 30th birthday and I take it with me absolutely everywhere now. There are some really wonderful memories attached to it.

My best achievement

Getting a good education which has lead me to my career and enabled me to study all over the world. I started off at Ballymena Technical College and went on to the Northern Ireland Hotel and Catering College and Belfast Institute. After that I studied at Boston College as well as in Paris and Rhode Island in New England. I even did my teaching qualification and taught for a year at Magee College.

I'm so glad that I had such wonderful opportunities. In life, it's not what you don't have, it's learning to appreciate what you do have every single day.

My best buy

As I am 6ft 3in tall my best buys are Ecco shoes. They're the best shoes you can put on your feet and also if you're walking all day long like I do. Good posture is very important.

My best book

The one that I've just written, Noel's Irish Pantry. Apart from that I love the cook book Chez Panisse by Alice Waters and my favourite fictional book is Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom.

  • For more information on Lough Erne Resort go to www.lougherne resort.com

Belfast Telegraph