Thursday, November 30, 2006

Borat he like my pie!!

Raised so far $38.67

Well its been a pretty quiet day apart from lots of shopping today! The boat is stuffed full of the freshest most exotic food you could imagine. I have been shopping all day and picked up fresh lobsters, 45 different fruits, wild berries and Kobe beef from Japan amoungst other things. The guests arrive tomorrow night for a one week charter so everything is ready to go! They pay $125,000 to charter the boat for a week so everything has to be of the higest standard. That price by the way is only for the boat it doesn't include fuel, food, or alcohol! It's an expensive business chartering super yachts!

So seeing as it's quiet i thought i would show you all another little recipie that i have used for the rich and famous!

When Sacha Baron Cohen was in Cannes to promote his movie Borat recently he wanted something sweet towards the end of the night, i gave him some of this pecan pie and he liked it so much he said"eehm i like, in kazakstan we make with goat but this very nice"
Try making it, there really isn't an easier or tastier dessert!
It is an American recipe so weights will need to be converted, do this on the internet, very easy.

Oven: 325° F 45 minutes
Yield: 1 (9- inch) pie

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

Allow butter to soften at room temperature. Mix sugar and flour. Cream butter with sugar and flour mixture. Add corn syrup and eggs. Beat with mixer until frothy. Add salt, vanilla, and pecans. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake 45 minutes at 325°

Sitting in the Hot tub after a hard days work!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another big leap forward

Raised so far $37.50
The blog might sound exotic but there is nothing glamorous about the life these kids lead. Getting water for the day is a bonus

Well as you can see with the total things are starting to move along very nicely now. Today has been another excellent day and i am happy to announce that i have just signed a deal to act as the excluxise chef author on the site
It is a well established yachting industry site and i will be providing advice to readers as well as writing e books of recipes and stories that will be available to download. It is also a major step forward for the blog as it will increase traffic here and as a result earn much more money for us and the African project. This is a big day for the blog and along with the TV and print media coverage we are really starting to get somewhere now.

If you want to download recipes like this langoustines with avocado go to

Basically the blog will stay the same with my day to day stories and accounts of cooking for the rich and famous but now you will also be able to go to to access large amounts of practical recipes. The amounts raised are starting to increase significantly as well which can only be a good thing. I really can't thank you guys enough for supporting this so far and urge you to keep doing so, it will make a difference.

Today has been quiet as we are getting ready for a charter on Friday, i have just been stocking up the boat today and making lists for a huge days shopping tomorrow! I'll have to buy $10,000 worth of food tomorrow and you will be able to read about me doing so if you read the blog in the morning!

So thank you all for following me during a very successful week for the blog, lets hope it keeps going like this and before we know it you will be reading about me going to Africa to lay the first bricks of the centre.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I knew something big would happen today!!

Raised so far $31.67

When I was writing last night I said something big would happen today and I was pretty much right! I woke up today to an e mail saying BBC wanted to do a piece on TV about me and the blog, so i guess i was right about something big happening! I need to speak to them tomorrow and hopefully something good will come of it but either way it is good news for the blog and the people of africa who this is all for in the end!

When i started this blog I knew it had the potential to be big and i think i can see the start of it really happening now. Even though the amounts being raised are still very small it is heading in the right direction. Its been running for 5 weeks now and a month ago we were making 10/20 cents a day now we are making 1/2 dollars a day. Hopefully in another month we'll be making 10 dollars a day and so on, but it really does depend on you guys passing it on to everybody in your address book, reading it and supporting it. I am determined to make a big difference in Africa with this and i feel confident we are heading in the right direction! Cheers guys!!

Well nothing much else happening today. We took the boat out for a little spin to check a few things but the weather was a little overcast, still warm though!

Spent most of the day shopping, for myself today, not the boat, am on a retail binge at the moment for some reason, bought a new phone/ipod thingy all in one today, been playing with it like a typical boy all evening! Ok have to keep this short as am off out with the boys to play pool.

I was trying out some desserts for guests for next week today and made some chocolate fondants for the crew to try. The recipe is below, try it, really really easy. Its the warm chocolate cake you bake where the chocolate pours out of the middle for those of you who don't know what a fondant is!!It's very sinful and bad for you but tastes awesome!

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 C unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 large eggs, room temperature
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
7 T sugar
1/4 C all purpose flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter inside of 8 4-ounce ramekins. Dust each with flour and knock out extra.

Put chocolate and butter in a pan over hot water, not boiling or simmering. Melt chocolate and butter until smooth and well-blended. Remove top part of double boiler and set aside to cool until tepid.

Put eggs, yolks and sugar into bowl of electric mixer with wire whisk attachment. Whip on medium high speed for three minutes until thick and increased in volume.

Add melted chocolate at low speed and mix until uniform in color. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in sifted flour.

Ladle batter into prepared ramekins. Bake on baking sheet, 12-16 minutes or until top is set but center is still molten

Monday, November 27, 2006

Another lazy day in St Thomas

My mate took this pic, crazy colors eh?

Raised so far $28.64 (very slow today)

Well I’m settling into the Caribbean pretty well and adjusting to the slow pace of life nicely! We are taking it pretty easy as we have some big guests coming on the boat on Friday so need to relax before then! I woke up this morning and for once thought it might be an idea to get healthy so went for a run! Got about half a mile up the road before feeling like crap and turning back for home! I’ll get better day by day that’s what I was telling myself!

Myself and One of the deckhands then took the bikes out and cycled around the island! It’s a beautiful place but you don’t have to go too far to see poverty, people only think of idyllic beaches in the Caribbean and often forget that the whole area is pretty much a third world country! We cycled all the way around and then stopped on a little beach where we witnessed one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life, the colors were incredible.

The captain then took all the crew out for dinner and cocktails which was nice but once again I am lying here writing this falling asleep and struggling to focus on the keys! You’re probably all getting bored of hearing my stories of lying around beaches and having fun so tomorrow I’ve decided something exciting will happen in the blog, don’t know what yet but I’ll make sure something dramatic happens!

In the absence of anything exciting happening today here are a couple of blond jokes to brighten up your day……

This is the boat i am currently working on

Q. What did the blondes right leg say to the left leg?
A. Nothing, they haven't met!
Q. What do smart blondes and UFO's have in common?
A. You always hear about them but never see them.
Q. Why did the blonde stare at the can of frozen orange juice?
A. Cause it said concentrate.
I’m off to get some well earned sleep after another hard days work! Wait till you see what happens tomorrow!!It’s gonna be big I promise!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back on land

Raised so far $28.50

God it's good to be back on dry land again, 4 days at sea does all sorts of things to the brain and we are all sick of the site of each other and arguing like crazy! We arrive at 6 in the morning and after i cook everybody a bit of breakfast we ae off for a day at the beach! God it is so good to back in the caribbean! A beer costs 2 bucks and you can get a taxi anywhere on the island for a buck!

We invented a game on the beach where one person throws the ball as high in the air as possible and the other has to catch it no matter what. It usually invloves trampling over a family with children, running through the bar,into the water, back out and then full length into a group of old age people having a picnic! By the time we left the beach we weren't the most popular people on the whole island and we've only been here for 8 hours!

I'm gonna keep this short as we have just been to a beach bar for a few sundowners and a burger and it's getting late and my bed is calling. It's great to be back here in the warm weather and it'll be hard to find stuff to write about as I intend to spend most of the week on the beach getting a tan, getting better at our new game and drinking quite a few Red stripes! I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Crossing to St Thomas

Raised so far $27.56 (keep it up guys!)

Ok its been a while! Not my fault as have been pretty busy and at sea for 4 days! We left Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday and have been making our way down to St Thomas which is an island in the U.S Virgin islands! Along the way we hit the mother of all electrical storms which was one of the craziest sites I have ever witnessed! It took us a couple of hours to pass through and it was scary as hell! We were the only boat within 30 miles and there was so much lightening that the whole sea was blue constantly. It got so bad that you couldn’t even look out the window, think of looking straight into a strobe light constantly!

Luckily things are better today! Being at sea when the weather is nice on your own private mega yacht is a pretty relaxing experience! We get all the perks the owners have without having to pay hundreds of millions to enjoy it! I’m actually sitting up on the top deck writing this wirelessly listening to U2 so loud that I reckon the locals in Puerto Rico 6 miles away can hear it!

We have a week in St Thomas before picking up guests on Friday for a trip around the Us and British Virgin Islands and then it’s off to St Martin and St Barts for some hard earned R&R.

The job does sound ideal with lots of perks and heaps of fun but sometimes it does have a downside! Sometimes you meet a really cool person, somebody you’d like to get to know better and before you know it you are off sailing in the opposite direction, that’s when it has a knack of kicking you in the teeth and making you think you have lived enough of the good life and need to get a reality check! You don’t normally hear me speaking like that…but she was special!!

Ok enough of me moaning about my bad luck, am sure that is the last thing you think I have sitting here in the middle of the Caribbean! I’ll be writing every day now that I am moving and will have heaps of cool stories to tell! We get in to St Thomas tomorrow at 6 A.M. and if we’re not too tired will hopefully be able to get some diving in and maybe even a sundowner to get that first taste off the year of Red stripe beer! I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Working with Conrad

Raised so far 20.76

The name Conrad Gallagher will be famous among Irish readers both for his cooking and for his notoriety. I first met him when i was fresh out of cooking college and walked in the back door of his Peacock Alley Restaurant on St William Street. At the time he was a walking legend and had a feared reputation. Chefs waited months for a job and were handed picked, i took a gamble and went to the back door. Luckily i met the man himself and told him i was keen and would do anything to learn about food. He told me to be back in an hour with my knives and that there were 4 bags of potatoes needing peeling. We have talked about it since and he said it was the northern accent and having the balls to walk in that got me the job!

People remember Conrad for the wrond reasons in Ireland, what they forget are all the good things. before he started cooking in Ireland the food was dreadful, really really dreadful! He was perfect with his timing with the Celtic tiger just starting to purr. People in Ireland had never heard of things like black truffle risotto or honey glazed fois gras. He was a sensation overnight!

I worked hard with him and learnt so much about food in 2 years, and watched as he built his empire to 6 restaurants. After just turning 21 he approached me one day and asked me to become head chef in his bistro LLoyds. It was a huge challenge because of my age but one that i enjoyed hugely. Highlights were cooking for Robbie Williams and his band before his Slane concert gig and getting drunk with the Corrs one night after dinner service!

I helped Conrad with his book "One Pot Wonders" which gave me an appetite for developping my own book one day and i guess this blog is the first form of that!

No matter what people say about Conrad i have only ever know his warmth and have to this day never worked with a better chef. He is an inspiration to all Irish chefs and should be held in the highest regard for dragging Ireland out of the middle ages in a gourmet sense.

He did of course court controversy during his career in Ireland with plenty of financial difficulties and several other issues. One of the funniest stories was one day in the restaurant a rather large tough looking guy came in to collect a debt for one of the suppliers. Now this was when Conrad was at the height of his fame and in every newspaper, magazine and on TV. The guy was obviously not a big food fan and walk up to Conrad
"sorry mate I'm looking for Conrad Gallagher to collect some money"
Conrad pauses and thinks for a split second before looking over to me and says
"Niall, have you see Conrad today?"
I shake my head.
"No i think he's out for the day"says Conrad.
The tough guy looking annoyed and ready for action isn't gonna give up.
"why don't i get you a nice coffee and a biscuit and you can sit there and wait for him"says Conrad
Conrad personally makes a beautiful coffee and delivers a few biscuits over to the man.
"I'll go and call Conrad now and get him here asap for you."Says Conrad
"My name is Johny if there is anything else you want, tea, coffee, anything, just give me a shout, I'll be over there" says Conrad.
He walks around the corner as if going to the phone, gets into the lift and down to his car which he drives off in and isn't seen again for 3 days!
Classic Conrad!

He also had a caring side, making sure I always went home with him and the family for Xmas dinner and looking after his friends like no other! I just wouldn't want to be doing business with him!

Monday, November 13, 2006

My all time top 10

Raised so far $19.33 (come on guys we can do better!!)

People always ask me where is the best place you’ve ever been and it’ not an easy question, so many factors coming into the equation. I have judged this on where I would like to live, the scenery, the people who live there, the climate and lost importantly what the Guinness is like there!!

10th place

Wakeboarding in Bonaire
Little island off the coast of Venezuela, quiet, laid back and chilled. Love spending the days carving in and out of the water on the board before a nice sundowner in the beach bar


The natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands

Spend a couple of weeks here and you’ll understand what getting back to nature is all about. No smog, no crowds, no rush, perfect. Like walking onto the set of Jurassic park at times with the amount of wildlife


Dancing in the clubs of south beach Miami

The place to be for cutting edge music, fashion and beautiful people. There is a wonderful buzz about the place that is infectious and will having you believe you are as cool as the locals!

Surfing on the north Shore of Hawaii

Learnt to surf here and am hooked, the moment I stood up on that board and caught the first wave that was it!! Biggest waves in the world here but plenty of smaller ones for learners!


New Years in st Barts

Every big boat in the world, every celeb, the biggest parties, the wildest nights, if you can’t let your hair down here give up!

Snorkeling/diving in Tahiti

The most unimaginably beautiful place I have ever been. If the competition was judged on beauty alone this would have won easily


Mojhitos and salsa in Cuba

The locals have been repressed for over 50 years but still are friendlier and enjoy themselves more than any other nation on earth. Get here soon before Fidel goes and it changes forever!


Having a drink in St Tropez
Summer in the tiny village in south of France is awesome, its half French fishing port half Hollywood stopover for the month of august and makes a wonderful blend of charm and glitz rolled into one


Summer in Melbourne

Often voted the most live able city in the world and for good reason. They have everything you could want here, beautiful beaches, lots of sport, wonderful restaurants, nice bars, great vineyards, wonderful locals and lots of exciting events!!


Having a pint of the black stuff in Dublin

Its not just that my friends live here or that I’m Irish. There is something about the place. It’s always been a town that has had it tough until recently and those tough times are shown through it’s people today, resilient, hilarious, witty and charming. I’ve been all over the world and seen some of the most wonderful places but nothing would come close to sitting in a good pub with the boys drinking Guinness and looking out at the rain!Perfect!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Shopping for a 160 ft super yacht

Raised so far $19.23

All good things must come to an end and my 4 weeks in Miami living it up are over and it’s time to do some work, we’re heading off to the Caribbean. First stop are the Bahamas but before we go anywhere I have the unenviable task of filing the boat up with enough food for 10 crew and 8 guests for the next six months. We’ll be picking fresh fish, meat and vegetables up along the way but enough dry goods, drinks, condiments etc to last for 6 months have to be bought here and crammed into the boat!

Over the 2 days I spend well over $30,000 on all sorts of things from toothpicks to birthday candles to bin bags. Basically I can’t afford to forget anything. Get to a remote island and the guests ask for horseradish sauce and we don’t have it, I’m gone!! Captain doesn’t have his special coffee for night cruising, I can forget that bonus next year! Owners want a green olive in that martini… get the picture!

The 10 crew members are busy running around the boat making last minute preparations. The deckhands are scrubbing the boat making it look like new for the arriving guests, engineers are checking the engines making sure nothing could possibly go wrong and the stewardesses are cleaning the toilets with cotton buds and ironing the sheets!

I cram the stuff into the tightest of spaces all over the boat and pray that I have remembered everything! The deckhands let the ropes go, it’s 12.01 in the morning(unlucky to leave port on a Friday so we wait to the first minute of Saturday) and we are off down the river heading for the Bahamas.
I’m on the front of the boat looking at the sky wondering what the weather will be like, will we get smashed?

I am just about to drift asleep in my cabin by the waves when I snap awake! I’ve forgotten to pick up the croissants for the guests breakfast! Instead of getting up at 6 an hour before the guests I reset my alarm for 4.45, I’ll have to get up and make the bloody things!! See its not all sitting on beaches drinking cocktails I do occasionally work!

Having said that after this weeks charter we have 10 days with no guests in the British Virgin islands, that’ll be tough!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dancing with Paris

$8.31 Raised so far

My friends are used to me coming home with exciting stories and are pretty bored of hearing them at this stage! The story about my travels that excites people the most and causes me to answer the most questions is the night I ended up on a table in a night club dancing alongside Paris Hilton……..

I’d been working on a boat all summer and the crew were getting tired and grumpy, 16 hour days taking their toll. We had one more charter and they ended up being young rich playboys in their 20s. We had a great week with them and got on very well with them all. Towards the end of the week they were more like friends and kept hassling us to go out for a drink with them. It was the second week in August and we were in St Tropez along with just about every celebrity in the world who descends on the little French fishing village for the month of August!

Earlier on the day in question I was in the tender and had seen Paris from a distance and was happy with my little glimpse. We came back to port and we cooked a massive buffet for the guest’s last night. You are never meant to drink with the guests but after they bent the captain’s arm myself and my then girlfriend were invited along for a drink after work.

We were headed to La Cave possibly the most exclusive club in the world. After being whisked past the long line of star spotters and paparazzi we were straight in. Our guests were big regulars and we were ushered to one of the best tables in the club where 3 Magnums of Dom Perignon were waiting for us at the table. It was the finest champagne you could drink but incredibly our guests were mixing it with red bull the latest trend, so not wanting to offend them I did the same.

The place is full now, beautiful models everywhere and before I know it bono is sitting in the far corner drinking wine, Roger Federer brushes past. Then In a blur I look over and here comes Paris. She is flanked by a huge entourage and has boyfriend in tow, also with her is Tara Reid who is making a T.V programme with her. They also have a table only yards from ours. Now not having had a drink for some time due to the busy season and being shattered the red bull and vodka went straight to my head and before I know it I am up on a podium dancing like there is no tomorrow!

Then is happens…Paris is up on a podium beside me, she is also strutting her stuff. I begin to throw out some of my best moves (not pretty) and she looks over at my mad flailing. We look each other in the eye and for a moment I can see it in her eyes, she likes the moves!! She thinks I’m some billionaire’s son or rich entrepreneur, little does she know that while she was at the beach sipping cocktails this afternoon I was running around sweating cooking for 25 people.

It was a great night, the bill for 8 people was 12,000 euros and luckily we weren’t paying. By the end of it I think Paris left gracefully and we all fell off the podiums we were dancing on and made our way back to the boat and a few hours sleep before waking up and making croissants for the guests with my first ever Dom Perignon and Red bull hangover.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Making Money!!

$5.80 Raised so far

Ok we been doing this for a week now and we have raised the grand total of $5.80. This is where i expected to be after a week. Thanks to you guys clicking on and the ads we are starting to make a difference. Its a small one but the blog has taken 1000 hits in the first week so cant be bad! This is going to be a long and hard process but one which i am determined to stick out to the end. The key is passing it on to as many people as possible and get the volume up!

In the past week i have also come up with another couple of ways to increase traffic! One of the major Irish newspapers have agreed to do a feature on myself and the blog so we will be reaching big numbers there. I have also agreed to become a consultant to a large established crew website with 10,000 active members as their expert on all food matters, with a series of e books, recipies and pictures being available. That should also be up and running within a week so will keep you posted.

Due to the interest in the story i have deceided to hire a compnay to design a professional website! It will also be ready in a week and will take the place of the blog. It will still have the stories of the rich and famous but will also have lots more advertising and generally be a lot more professional. It will also have a large virtual money pot on the homepage showing how much has been raised so far. The idea will be that you can go to the website and see how much money we have raised, what parts of the project are happening and what direction we are moving in. There will also be a place for donations, and a special page for sponsors to advertise.

If anybody has an ideas on how we can make this faster, more interesting to read or just make more hard cash please please let us all know by leaving a comment!!

So even though $5.80 might not seem like a lot the fact is we have started, the cash for the very first brick is in and we are on our way! With newspaper reviews, word of mouth, lots of clicks on the site and ads, and future sponsorships we will be there sooner than you think! Thanks for everything so far and keep it up, remember when this thing is huge, you are the guys who made it possible and were in at the start!