Why he's named Cathal. "I was almost called Neil Armstrong, because I was born a few weeks after he came back from the moon. But then a reporter wanted to do a story on my being named after the astronaut and my dad said, 'No way.'"
First big risk. "When I was 19, I opened up my own restaurant in Dublin—needless to say, it was a disaster; we closed up shop after 10 months."
Most memorable cooking experience. "When I was at Bistro Bis in 1999, Julia Child came to town; she was launching her new cooking show with Jacques [Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home]. She surprised us and came in for lunch one day. The next day she cancelled her lunch reservations to come back to Bis. That night she came to the bar and drank a big snifter of brandy."