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Chef Kevin adds final ingredient of EUR5,000; EXCLUSIVE JIGS 'N' REELS STAR GIFT.

Byline: By MAEVE QUIGLEY

CHEF Kevin Dundon has handed over EUR5,000 of his own money to the charity he danced for on Celebrity Jigs 'N' Reels.

Kevin's moves raised EUR17,500 for a new kitchen at Multiple Sclerosis Ireland's respite centre.

But because the Government took VAT from the total, Kevin paid EUR5,000 of his own cash to finish the job.

The 39-year-old said: "We finished the kitchen last Thursday and I'm over the moon that we managed it.

"The John Duffy Design Group who made our champagne bar in Dunbrody House came on board for the respite centre project too.

"They did all the work for free which was very generous.

"I promised MS Ireland I would help them with their kitchen so I wanted to make sure I kept that."

Kevin begins a new reality show tonight when he is the first chef to take part in Guerilla Gourmet.

The series, which begins on RTE1 at 8.30pm, sees Ireland's top chefs setting up restaurants in unusual places. And Kevin took his team to a boxing club in Waterford.

He added: "I jumped at the chance because it was such a good idea and so very different to my restaurant.

"It's all about the food and exposing people to what you are about.

"They get the chance to try foods that they maybe wouldn't normally eat." On his first night Kevin didn't pull any punches as he sparred with some the kids from St Saviours Boxing Club in Ballybeg.

He said: "I was expecting it to be a bit like Rocky - a dark, dingy, grotty place.

"But it was a new building and a fantastic place to have our restaurant.

"We had our own generators and cookers. And when we were looking around for a place to put the kitchen, the ring was best.

"That way everyone could see what was going on when we were cooking. And we could see all the customers too so it was quite cool."

Kevin enlisted the help of six kids aged 12 to 14 as his junior chefs who helped him cook cappuccino of tomato and poitin soup, breast of pigeon with game, chips and duck roulade and fillet of beef with oxtail cottage pie.

Kevin said there was a wealth of talent among the kids in the club - and not just for boxing.

He added: "They helped me out at the ring restaurant on the big night.

"And there are definitely a few budding chefs there - they were fantastic. Their discipline was amazing - boxing is a disciplined sport.

"Anything I asked them to do was no problem, there was no messing or dossing and they just got stuck into it.

"When I showed them presentation on a plate, they copied it straight away.

"They were better than a few commis chefs I've had."

'I promised MS Ireland I'd help with their kitchen'

showbiz@irishmirror.ie

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WHAT A TREAT: Kevin Dundon and, below, the chef on his new RTE show Guerilla Gourmet
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 11, 2008
Words:505
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