Donal Skehan
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  • I have yet to meet a film crew who trust me behind the wheel so here I am with my buddy TT biking around Hanoi! Better him than me the traffic is nuts here! :) #DonalVietnam
  • Was up at 3.30am this morning to catch these Vietnamese ladies harvest young green rice- a delicacy in Hanoi at this time of year! Here they are using a machine to separate the rice from the stems... #DonalVietnam
  • Egg coffee for breakfast in Hanoi! Sounds very strange but a combination of egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, butter and laughing cow cheese is whisked until fluffy and thick and served with hot coffee! Incredible rich taste- like a liquid tiramisu! #DonalVietnam
  • Filmed at one of Hanoi's oldest and most famous restaurants today, Cha Ca La Vong, where they have been serving the same one dish for over 100 years- turmeric fish which is marinated for 12 hours with galangal and fish sauce then threaded onto bamboo skewers and chargrilled over hot coals- the fish pieces are then fried in shallot oil and served to the table on a hot plate where diners mix in dill and spring onions and serve over rice vermicelli noodles with peanuts, coriander, chilli and shrimp paste. Hugely popular here and I can see why! #DonalVietnam
  • Street food at the bustling market in Sapa- this lady was selling spicy pigs ear salad... #DonalVietnam
  • Morning market shopping in Sapa! On the way to Hanoi... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ Pork with ginger, turmeric, mint and toasted sesame seeds... #DonalVietnam
  • Just can't get over the stunning scenery here! Not bad for a Tuesday! #DonalVietnam
  • On the streets of Sapa making apple wine with apples grown by the Hmong tribe... #DonalVietnam
  • Sad to say goodbye to our fantastic Red Dao hosts for the past three days... Heading to Hanoi tomorrow to focus on street food! #DonalVietnam
  • The incredible dry store at the top of a Red Dao tribe house- here they store corn, rice and pumpkins through the winter. The kitchen is just underneath so the heat and smoke helps to dry the produce out... #DonalVietnam
  • Brilliant few days filming with the Red Dao tribe just outside Sapa! #DonalVietnam with @jonnyrocksville @lenocks...
  • Best experience of the day- a traditional herbal bath with herbs picked from the mountain and steeped in boiling water! It is used to soak the muscles after a hard day in the rice paddies! Nothing like taking a bath with a big group of strangers watching! :) #DonalVietnam
  • This little girl is eating sticky rice cooked in a bamboo shoot! The rice is stuffed into the hollow shoot and sealed with a banana leaf, then boiled until tender... Then the whole rice filled bamboo shoot is grilled over an open fire- it results in a chewy sweet rice cylinder with the most incredible texture! Really special! #DonalVietnam
  • The colourful and detailed clothing the women of the Red Dao tribe wear can take up to a year to embroider by hand... #DonalVietnam
  • Incredible day spent learning from and cooking with the Red Dao tribe in North West Vietnam- their are 5 different tribes in this area and each has their own language and distinctive traditional clothing... #DonalVietnam
  • View from my breakfast table! Stayed in Sa Pa last night high in the mountains, 1500 meters above sea level... Off to spend the day with a local Red Dao family to learn more about their traditions... #DonalVietnam
  • Have just eaten from this fairly intimating platter of mystery meat! You choose what you want from pig tongue, liver, heart and blood sausage and it gets boiled up and served with a fiery hot dipping sauce with chilli, meat broth, fish sauce and spring onions. Also interesting they eat it with potato noodles rather than rice noodles, in broth and mint... Swallow the fear, get in there and eat like the locals do! #DonalVietnam
  • Chicken for sale at Bac Ha market- incredible experience, like nothing else, have whiplash from everything I have to look at! #DonalVietnam
  • Flower Hmong tribe at Bac Ha market this morning selling fresh vegetables and sugar cane... #DonalVietnam
Blog Archive
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What to Eat Now: Gluten Free Brownies…

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A few weeks ago I began a brand new weekly column, What To Eat Now, in the Irish Independent’s Weekend magazine. It’s a brilliant opportunity to research and test brand new recipes and photograph them on weekly basis as well as sharing new products, restaurants and cookbooks each week.  This week it was all about Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies, a recipe which I have been making over and over again!

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My Little Black Book

Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food:
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, the highly popular Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food is celebrating its eighth year in the Marble City this year! It’s a fantastic event packed with cooking demonstrations, food tastings and fine dining events which attracts a whole host of dedicated food folk every year. If you are a lover of all things food, this festival is a must. Stick it in your diary- October 24th-27th 2014.

The Happy Pear Book:
Set up ten years ago by brothers Stephen and David Flynn, The Happy Pear  has become a shining star in Greystones offering a wonderful selection of the seasons best fruit and vegetables, in their organic shop and an inspiring wholefood menu of soups, salads & cakes in their restaurant. If you can’t get to Co. Wicklow, don’t despair, the brothers are spreading their health food revolution in their just released The Happy Pear Book which celebrates their tasty, healthy, whole-food recipes. The book is filled with delicious, doable dishes and a great addition to the cookbook shelf, especially for this with an interest in healthy eating.

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A Big Thank You! 100K Subscribers…


Exciting news guys….I have just passed 100,000 subscribers on my youtube channel!! WOOOT! I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has liked, shared and subscribed in the past few months. Without you guys, there would be no channel so thanks so much for making it happen! It is such a blast making the videos and reading your comments every day so keep it up and make sure you hit that subscribe button if you haven’t already! With all of the excitement, I thought it was time for another roundup of everything that has been happening over on my channel! This time around, I have been having great fun collaborating with some very talented chefs and fellow youtubers and even my MOM! From wonky spoons in Jamie Oliver’s kitchen to my nationwide Spar Kitchen Hero Live tour, it’ s all happening so make sure you check out all the madness below:

{ 100k! Hello from London… }

{ Mom’s Coq Au Vin Blanc… }

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Kitchen Hero Tickets Up For Grabs…

Donal-Tour-Profile-Image_qw1There’s not long to go until I hit the road at the start of November with my Spar Kitchen Hero Live Tour! Woohoo! I will be hitting theatres across Ireland to cook up some of my favourite recipes live on stage and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way! The show is jam packed with recipes and cooking tips, fun and laughter and of course the all important audience participation!  If you’re interested in coming along, check out each of the locations I will be stopping off below and keep reading for details on how to enter!

Dates and venues:

Sat 1st Nov: Town Hall Theatre, Galway
Sun 2nd Nov: Spiegeltent, Wexford

Thurs 6th Nov: Theatre Royal, Castlebar
Fri 7th Nov: Venue Theatre, Ratoath
Sat 8th Nov: Dunamaise Theatre, Portlaois
Sun 9th Nov: Langtons Ballroom, Kilkenny
Mon 10th Nov: Opera House, Cork

Wed 12th Nov: Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray
Thurs 13th Nov: An Glor, Ennis
Fri 14th Nov: Mullingar Arts Centre, Mullingar
Sat 15th Nov: Riverbank Theatre, Newbridge
Sun 16th Nov: An Grianan, Letterkenny

Thurs 20th: Source Arts Centre, Thurles
Fri 21st: Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick
Sat 22nd: GBS Theatre, Carlow
Sun 23rd: The Helix Theatre, Dublin

Fri 28th: Briery Gap, Macroom
Sun 30th: Solstice Arts Centre, Navan

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Recipe Video: My Mom’s Coq Au Vin


If you have subscribed to my youtube channel, you’ll know that I am often joined in my kitchen by some very talented cooks and food folk who share their favourite recipes with me.  This week was no different as I was joined by a VERY special guest….MY MAMMY! My mom Liz dropped by to cook up one of my favourite childhood dishes, her take on Coq au Vin. This was a regular winter dish in my house when we were growing up.  Check out the video below if you want to see me getting bossed around in the kitchen by the lady who taught me everything I know and make sure you subscribe or Mammy Liz will be heartbroken!

Continue to the recipe for Mom’s Coq Au Vin Blanc…

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Blackberry & Custard Doughnuts…

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Every year in Autumn it is a ritual for us to head out to the woods behind our house and pick ripe and juicy blackberries from the hedgerows.  This year was no exception and armed with a basket and our chief blackberry sniffer dog, Max, myself and Sofie set out to find enough berries to make jam & jelly.  The end goal was to make enough to fill some custard doughnuts which was to be the treat for all the “tough” picking work.

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Blackberries are one of Ireland’s true wild superfoods with high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants.  We have been eating them since Neolithic times and they are incredibly popular baked into cakes, pies and tarts.  There is a myth in Irish folklore that blackberries should not be eaten after Michaelmas Day (October 11th) as the berries will have been cursed by the devil or púca (a ghost in Irish folklore).  However on my last inspection there are plenty of beautiful looking berries ripe for the picking, devil or púca or not!

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A wander in the woods and hedgerows made it quite clear that there is an abundance of wild foods ripe for picking and beyond blackberries we came across rosehips, elderberries and damsons, all of which can be preserved and made into syrups or used to flavour alcohol.  If, though, that all sounds too complicated, blackberries are the easiest of Ireland’s wild foods to tackle and to eat straight away.  They can be plucked straight off the bush and munched on there and then.

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Mambo Italiano…

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Travel is good for the soul- that’s what they say and after spending eight weeks traveling through Italy last year I can whole-heartedly agree. I was there filming a series called Grandma’s Boy for FOX International. The premise of the show was that I would learn classic Italian recipes from the queens of the Italian kitchen, the grandmothers, the nonnas! Every three days we would travel to a new town, meeting a new nonna and learning classic dishes specific to the region.

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The catch was that I had to cook a recipe using local ingredients under the watchful eye of nonna and more often than not she had something to say about it! From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the rugged and altogether different landscape of the South, I learnt a great deal about a country that prides itself on the quality of its produce and its passion for traditional and regional cooking.

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While we had great fun on camera, it was often off camera where I was lead by the hand to taste something extra special, learn a secret technique or just to see old family pictures, the truly special moments! One of the memorable treats on our travels was Porchetta, a rolled boneless roast of pork stuffed with herbs, it can be found throughout Italy sold at roadside stalls and in some butcher shops. It makes for a brilliant Sunday roast and is easy to achieve great flavour and crispy crackling at home.

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Recipe Video: Thai Fish Cakes…

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I absolutely love South East Asian recipes and I have been making these Thai Fish Cakes for years.  They are incredibly easy to prepare and make a great starter or perfect finger food.  Over on my youtube channel I have just stuck up a video on how to make them.  I hope you’ll give them a go, so head over, take a look and make sure to subscribe! :)

Continue to the recipe for Thai Fish Cakes…

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Meanwhile over in Sweden…

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I’ve been working away over in Sweden on Mitt Kok and I can’t believe it’s nearly been a whole year presenting my slot on Swedish screens every Saturday morning. I’ve had such a lovely reaction despite my so so Swedish, in fact they seem to like it! I’m just back from Stockholm after recording 13 more episodes but you can check out the latest few that have gone out:

{ Chilli & Lemongrass Chicken }

{ Flavour Bomb Salad }

{ Spinach and Mushroom Cannelloni }

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