Chef Rachel Allen has opened up about how she still hasn’t brought herself to watch any of her son Joshua’s MMA fights due to fears of seeing him hurt.
Oshua, who made headlines after his conviction and imprisonment on drug-related charges, took up the sport last year and has won several fights.
Rachel admits she’s proud of all three of her children and their different interests, but admits she’s concerned about injuries to either Joshua at the octagon or son Lucca at the circuit, where he’s a Formula 4 driver .
“Isaac, my husband, goes to every single one, every single race and every single fight,” said Rachel, 50.
“I’ve gone to quite a few races, I can’t say I don’t watch the races behind my eyes. But MMA, I haven’t brought myself to it yet. I like to say I support him 100 percent while at home I pray to my father and husband that everything will be fine. I will definitely have to go for some time.”
Dublin native Rachel attended Ballymaloe Cooking School in Co Cork at the age of 18 to take a course where she met and fell in love with Isaac, who is of the Allen dynasty there.
She says her three children Joshua, 22, Lucca, 20, and Scarlett, 13, all have good cooking skills at her home in Co Cork.
“Scarlett, she bakes a lot, she always bakes,” she says.
“I’ve always been baking at that age too and it can just be a nice thing to do, alone or with your friends, they all love to bake together at someone’s or a cousin’s house. So who knows?
video of the day
“Josh likes to cook when he’s working out. He needs to eat certain things with a higher protein content. So in that regard he will cook himself well, and Lucca is the same. Quite often with the training angle too.”
Joshua first got into trouble with the law in 2018 at the age of 18 when he was charged with drug offenses.
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison, with the second half suspended and retrospectively dated, after pleading guilty in Cork Circuit Criminal Court to possession for the sale or supply of cannabis worth more than €22,000.
Despite entering rehab and seemingly getting his life back on track, he was caught using cocaine for personal use.
Even a direct appeal from his grandmother, Darina Allen, to the courts to give him another chance could not spare Joshua a seven-month prison sentence.
His issues were something Rachel first addressed publicly when she tearfully confessed to Lucy Kennedy on her TV show Living With Lucy that she was suffering.
Rachel admitted to Lucy that her public profile made her feel “really bad” and “really responsible” for the attention given to her son’s sentencing.
“With Josh, with the whole drug thing, it made me realize that parenting is so hard,” she said on Virgin Media’s program last November.
“He’s so young, I know we still have a long way to go, but anyone who’s been a parent knows you’re there for him. You will literally put your life on the line to support, help and do whatever you can.
“You just have to be there and try to put all your support into trying to get to a better place.”
The TV chef has not spoken publicly since Joshua’s last court appearance.
During the Living With Lucy episode, viewers were able to see Rachel swimming in the ocean, a hobby she’s taken up during the pandemic.
“I started swimming in the sea before lockdown. Every day. I just love it,” she tells us. “Living with Lucy was great fun, she’s just amazing.”
Rachel will return to our screens next week when she will judge six celebrities on Virgin Media’s The Restaurant alongside Marco Pierre White and a guest chef.
The new series will star Irish rugby star Devin Toner, actress Demi Isaac Oviawe – of The Young Offenders and Dublin GAA legend Philly McMahon, TV presenter and social media star Doireann Garrihy, Olympic silver medalist and world rowing champion Gary O’Donovan and comedian Deirdre O “Kane.
And Rachel admits she’s delighted to be back on the show. “It’s great. I was so excited when they said ‘it’s back and would you like to do it again,'” she says.
” I really enjoy it. When you sit in a restaurant you have a surprise menu, you don’t know what you’re going to get.
“I love that. I just love to sit and hang out with Marco and our guest judges are always great, it’s a dream job, it’s just lovely.”
She also enjoyed all the guest chefs.
“It was great. They must have cooked a lot about Covid because the standard was very high,” beams Rachel.
“There seems to be a fair bit of confidence. The judges weren’t too picky. Demi, I should have guessed her because she made a West African-influenced meal with some hints of cork, I should have guessed her because I love the Young Offenders. When she came out she said: “You should have guessed it was me, I’m from Cork.” She is exactly as she is on the programme, she made me laugh. As, of course, does Deirdre O’Kane.”
Rachel herself still loves to be in the kitchen.
“I love baking. I like to cook everything. I love working with fish because I love filleting it, I love preparing it. When I’m in a calming mood, it could be something as simple as fried chicken or spicy stir fry.”
The restaurant can be seen on Virgin Media One and on Virgin Media Player on Tuesday at 9pm.
- The restaurant can be seen on Virgin Media One and on Virgin Media Player on Tuesday at 9pm.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/chef-rachel-allen-says-she-cant-bring-herself-to-watch-her-son-joshuas-mma-fights-42024931.html Chef Rachel Allen says she can’t bring herself to watch her son Joshua’s MMA fights