Friday’s Child: Paula McIntyre

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This week’s Friday’s Child is Paula McIntyre, food writer, broadcaster, one of Northern Ireland’s best loved chefs and Director of Slow Food NI, who will be returning to the city to take part in the Slow Food Festival next weekend.

Paula, from County Derry, is resident chef on BBC Radio Ulster, delivering regular recipe spots to a dedicated listenership on the Saturday magazine show. Northern Ireland’s only Slow Food Festival takes place in Guildhall Square on October 7 and 8 from 12 noon until 6pm. For details, visit

How would you describe yourself?

Someone who doesn’t take life too seriously, has a sense of humour, is a lover of good food and passionate.

Happiest childhood memory?

Holidays in County Clare.

What was your first job?

Working in the kitchen of MacDuff’s restaurant in Aghadowey. I was 14.

Favourite film?

Steel Magnolias.

Favourite book?

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey, about the dark underbelly and equally sinister A list of Los Angeles, interwoven with the history of the city and its formation.

Favourite food?

Homemade pasta with white truffle shavings.

Favourite method of relaxation?

A walk on the beach in Portstewart, followed by a nice glass of red.

Favourite holiday destination?

The village of San Andrea in the Lazio region of Italy.

Who would you most like to meet?

The singer James Taylor.

What makes you angry?

Parents who feed their children a constant diet of fast food and ready meals, mistreatment of the vunerable, general social injustice.

What makes you happy?

Spending time eating good food with family and friends and travelling to new places.

What human quality do you most admire?


What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

I don’t really get embarrassed – I like to think I’d make light of a situation that would cause embarrassment.

What was the worst thing to happen to you?

Losing my grandparents.

What is your greatest fear?

Being late! I’ve never believed other people’s time is any less important than mine.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

Working on BBC Radio 4’s iconic Food Programme. I’ve gotten to work with and get to know my food heroes.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a bit of craic.

What is your most treasured possession?

My car.

If you won the lottery what would you do with it?

Buy a house on the coast of Italy with a small vineyard attached and a boat moored on the bay (or a private jet if it was the Euromillions…)

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

Continued health and the ability to do the things I love.

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

She lived life to the full!