Words: Emily Mullen
“I want everyone to cry at my funeral… I want to have a chief wailer in the corner and someone climbing onto the coffin.”
In our series called the Last Supper, we ask people from all across Ireland what their last meal would be their chosen city before they departed for St. Peter’s pearly gates. Handpicking starters, mains and desserts and everything in between, from the vast store cupboard of indigenous cuisine, past or present.
Completely fictitious and absolutely ridiculous it’s an unlimited budget series that relies purely on imagination. In mining the brains of these people, we hope to uncover some hidden gems, forgotten food slingers and make everyone a bit emosh in the process. Next up is Crossy (christened Thomas Crosse) award-winning radio presenter and producer on FM104, a guy who takes potatoes in all their various forms, likes his oysters torched for some reason and his soup solely from funerals.
First off where are you having your Last Supper?
I’d have it in The Butcher Grill, because I love their big window, it’s a nice little view out and you can see all the people milling around Ranelagh.
Who are you having your Last Supper with?
Tom Holland because he is going to fall in love with me and that’s how that’s going to work. Tommy Tiernan, Hector and Laurita, they’ve got a podcast out at the minute and I love it, their stories are absolutely mad. Celine Dion because there’s something a bit mad about her, I love how you don’t know which way she’s going to go. Then, Emma Thompson and Meryl Streep, I love the two of them.
Would you worry that Tommy and Hector might dominate the conversation?
Absolutely not, I actually think they would be terrified of Emma Thompson and Meryl Streep. I think they would need a couple of Guinness to get into it and then they would be grand.
There’s a real mix of people here so what will be the topic of conversation?
It’s my Last Supper so they will be toasting me goodbye. I always say I want everyone to cry at my funeral, everyone should be all wearing black it should be a sad occasion. You know when people say they want people to wear bright colours to remember me, I’m like “get out” I want to have a chief wailer in the corner someone climbing onto the coffin.
Bottled or tap?
Bottled sparking water and two cans of diet Coke, because you have one can with a meal like this you will neck it so you need another one to enjoy.
What are you having for your starter?
I would like a collection of starters from The Butcher Grill which I only discovered a while ago. My self and my friend have been there about four times when they opened up last year, we first went there pre-covid then we went a few times when they were half opened up. There’s nothing better than a collection of starters and sharing mains with a friend, you can mix and match everything, and have a taste of everything, it’s kinda like being pigs. They have this mushroom risotto, I also weirdly enough had the mash with gravy as a starter as well. There’s something about proper mash from a scoop, that tastes so good I also have it for mains. I’d also like oysters, which I never liked oysters until recently, I have to have my oysters hot, and sort of torched with a crème brûlée-style crust on top. I love the taste of oysters but I don’t like the look of them, so I need to have a tiny bit crispy on top of them so it looks like I can eat it.
So the oysters are raw on the bottom and singed on top?
When you have the oyster in the shell, they just sort of blow torch it for a couple of seconds and it just sort of makes it crispy. It just means that it’s not that kind of cold, slithery oyster that everyone seems to love. I was at an event a couple of years ago and I tried an oyster and didn’t like it at all, but I knew I would have to eat loads of them, so I saw someone getting theirs blowtorched and I tried that with mine and it tasted gorgeous. It doesn’t cook them it kind of just fries them.
So you have like a deconstructed main for your starter?
I kinda feel like when your out, your kinda out and if it is your last meal you have to live it up. I’d like the collection of starters, all three of them in a little circle together. I’d also love some funeral soup, which is the nicest soup you will ever get anywhere around Dublin. It’s a proper homely cream of vegetable soup, there are no bits it’s really smooth and it’s usually served with a white really hard bread roll. I call it funeral soup because you only seem to get it at the afters of a funeral. The Goat Bar & Grill in Goatstown, The Grange in Dean’s Grange do it, The 51 Bar on Haddington Road, they have the top three funeral soups in Dublin, but you can also get it in proper old Dublin pubs. People have started to tag me in places where they find funeral soup, I love it so much it’s like funeral soup without the sadness.
Are you having any drinks with your starter?
We would kick off with margaritas, maybe two or three, we would have the chats and nibble on all the starters. I’m absolutely starving thinking about this. Classic margaritas from 777, they are the main ones, I have been there loads. Because those starters are quite heavy, the margaritas are a little lighter on the stomach so you’ll be able to eat a lot more and feel a bit more buzzed.
Mains, what are you having?
The Butcher Grill’s proper Sunday roast dinner, I am mad for carvery and Sunday roasts, I remember going into that place and mother of God it was unreal. Everything about it made me want to sit there for the whole evening and just stuff my face with roast chicken, gravy, mash, fried cabbage with bacon, duck fat roast potatoes. I was looking up all the ingredients earlier and I just thought “omg I want to be there now”. It’s kind of like a posh carvery, it has more of a Sunday roast sitting down in a restaurant feel. But I would be a fan of a carvery, carveries to me are just the best thing to eat, everything about them is just perfect. It’s a warm hug, it brings you back to your childhood, you know when you’re in your parents you’re going out to watch a match and then you have your dinner out. Sitting there with your pint of Miwadi, with everything on your plate, carveries now just bring me back to those times. I don’t think they do them but if you could get garlic potatoes from The Halfway House. I would also like a surprise plate of pub chips with thick carvery gravy. This main is terribly unhealthy because there are so many potatoes and the only type of vegetable on the plate is fried.
There’s a lot going on there
I know The Grange did this thing before when I got their turkey and ham carvery, one of the guys that works there asked me if I wanted the skin of the turkey deep-fried. He went out the back deep fried it for me, brought it back and was like “you know the end bits of your dinner? You put them into that, roll it up like a wrap and you eat it”. This sounds horrific but it’s actually gorgeous. I only ever had it once but I will never forget it. Tasting it made me understand why The Grange has won so many carvery awards through the years.
Are you sticking on the margaritas for your main?
No, so when I go on to the main I’ll stick on the red wine. Any thick-bodied merlot will do, I just love the setting of having loads of food in front of you at the table, with friends and there’s a big red wine opened and it just keeps being poured into big healthy glasses.
Who is serving you?
I’d like to have Richard Corrigan, Gaz Smith from Michael’s and Gareth Mullins Executive Chef of The Marker Hotel. I’d say they all hate each other but absolutely the three of them. They are going to be cooking it and they are going to be serving it, they will be telling us what’s in the food, how they’ve done it. I’d say Richard Corrigan will be all about the carvery, Gaz will be about the devilment of the chips and Gareth would be about the oysters and he will be attempting to make it a tiny bit posher than the way I would have it.
I’ve gone over the top for starters and mains so I’ll have to go over the top and have two pints of Guinness from Kehoes and The Long Hall for dessert. Desserts aren’t for me, I would rather four pints of Guinness and a little glass of Dingle Whiskey or a Redbreast Whiskey, and that’s it your done. Well poured as well I want them to have had a day of beating so the taps are nice and clean.
I would like people to be chilled and sad so, Neil Young’s Heart of Gold, a load of Fleetwood Mac and round it off with some Johnny Cash. The last song should be Hurt, I want the last half hour to be uncomfortable and sad.
You can find Crossy on FM104’s The Breakfast Show each morning from 6-10am, visit the website for more information.