'Celebrity cook' Monica Sheridan long before term even existed

LONG before television cooks such as Darina Allen, Delia Smith or chef Richard Corrigan, Monica Sheridan was RTE's 'celebrity cook', a term she probably never even heard of.

It is over a decade since she passed away at Ashcroft Nursing Home in Navan, having lived in her latter years in Ratoath, and she has been largely forgotten, apart from those who continue to delve into her cookbooks 'Monica's Kitchen' and 'The Art of Irish Cookery'.

However, her memory is being revived tomorrow (Thursday) night in RTE's new six part nostalgic series 'Home'.

Sheridan is best remembered for her TV cookery programme of the 1960s, 'Home for Tea'. She often licked her fingers while cooking or baking, and this became her trademark, often causing controversy.

She won a Jacob's Personality Award in 1965 for 'putting personality into cooking'.

'Home', which starts tomorrow night, is new six part nostalgic and light hearted series in a 'Reeling in the Years' style, which looks back at the changes in Irish life over the last 40 years

It traces the leaps Irish society has made over the last forty years and in the face of the Celtic Tiger. Looking back at the pleasures and agonies of home life in Ireland of forty years ago, the series uses archive footage to reflect on a time when indoor toilets, croissants and coffee were unknown to many of us, and when the average family boasted at least six children. Programme one looks at home cooking.

Gone are the vol-au-vents our mother's served at buffet suppers. Veuve clicquot is more likely on the lips of the aspiring Irish yummy mummy. While in the 1960s, Irish women were at the cooker coalface, and men avoided the rattle of all those pots and pans. Surprisingly, while crème brulee from today's Rachel Allen may sound new, Monica Sheridan was producing all these delicacies long before celebrity chefs were ever heard of.

The series begins at 7pm on RTE 1 tomorrow, Thursday.

Monica Sheridan features in 'Home', a new nostalgia series beginning on RTE1 tomorrow (Thursday) night.