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  • Huge congrats to my buddy's Matt and Elaine who got married on Monday at the very cool Tunnel's beaches in Ilfracombe! Such a brilliant day, so much love, amazing weather and had a ball capturing it all on camera! :)
  • Had such a brill time cooking with Mr. Gennaro Contaldo in London a few weeks ago- you can check out our collab videos on my youtube channel this morning! :)
  • How to make Irish soda bread over on my youtube channel this morning! Check it out feat. @gennarocontaldo! :)
  • Max does Onsala- beautiful swim in the saltwater this evening! :) #maxsummerholiday
  • Sunset stroll in Sweden... #sweden
  • Evening lake swim with Max... #sweden #maxsummerholiday
  • Walks in the forest with Max... #maxsummerholiday #sweden
  • Happy Friday folks! Check out this Lemon Marshmallow Cake up on the blog! Tag a friend who deserves a big slice! :)
  • Brilliant lunch as usual at @gunneboslott! Cod with organic garden veggies, fennel & crisp rosti potato cake! So worth a visit! :)
  • WE ARE FAMILY! I GOT ALL MY SISTERS WITH ME! Sing it with me now! Sorry I’m a little excited this morning as I’ve just signed up to Mr. @jamieoliver's fantastic @jamiesfoodtube family! My youtube cooking channel will now be a part of the network which is home to Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall’s River Cottage Food Tube, @myvirginkitchen spandex clad DJ BBQ & baking sensation Cupcake Jemma to name just a few! Big thank you to Jamie and his team and everyone who has subscribed to my channel- just about to hit the 60k mark! :)
  • Swedish lake... #sweden
  • Learning to black pudding on tonight's episode of Rediscovering The #IrishKitchen at 8.30pm on RTÉ One! Not for the faint hearted! This is Mary from Muckross Traditional Farms in Killarney- a brilliant teacher of traditional Irish cooking methods! :)
  • Incredible meal in Göteborg harbour this evening in #Sjömagasinet- simply stunning seafood courses- brill with chanterelles, cod with pata negra, and delicious milk chocolate panna cotta with strawberry sorbet and roast white chocolate dessert... #sweden
  • Särö Trädgård- beautiful garden centre just outside Göteborg... #sweden
  • Afternoon spent in the forest in Sweden picking mushrooms!
We got 1kg of chanterelles and just cooked them up in a simple risotto- so delicious and incredible fruity and earthy flavour from the mushrooms! Best part of Swedish summer! :) #sweden #svamp
  • I think Max has turned Swedish!
  • Sweden's beautiful west coast- Great day swimming off the island of Marstrand! :)
  • Cycling in the forest! :) #sweden #koster
  • Lunch outdoors under a birch tree at Kosters Tradgård Cafe- quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and a tahini dressing.
  • Spent the day cycling on the beautiful Koster island in Sweden! So beautiful and a real summer spot! :)
Blog Archive
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The Pleasures of Theodora…


Between the reprint of Theodora FitzGibbon’s recipes in The Pleasures of the Table, and cooking through her recipes on my RTÉ One show, it has been so wonderful to hear from those with fond memories of one of Ireland’s most important food writers.  Last weekend John Bowman’s Radio One show, focused on radio archives of interviews with Theodora.  A superb insight into her eccentric life and personality.  It makes for brilliant listening and you can find the full piece here at about 12 minutes in.


Theodora’s recipes were the focus of another great Irish food writer’s regular Irish Examiner column last weekend also.  Darina Allen gave a wonderful write up of Theodora’s life and included recipes from the new book which you can find over here.  I’ll be cooking many more Theodora’s recipes in the upcoming episodes of Rediscovering The Irish Kitchen, so make sure to tune in on RTÉ One at 8.30pm on Tuesday nights.


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Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube Family…


WE ARE FAMILY! I GOT ALL MY SISTERS WITH ME! Sing it with me now! Sorry I’m a little excited this morning as I’ve just signed up to Mr. Jamie Oliver’s fantastic FoodTube family! Jamie’s FoodTube is Europe’s largest and fastest growing YouTube channel with nearly one million subscribers in just over a year.  My youtube cooking channel will now be a part of the network which is home to Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall’s River Cottage Food Tube, My Virgin Kitchen’s Barry Lewis, spandex clad DJ BBQ & baking sensation Cupcake Jemma to name just a few.

Since my channel launched 3 months ago I’ve had such great support so a massive thank you to the 60,000 subscribers who have been liking and sharing my recipe videos and spreading the word.  There’s lots coming up on the channel with an extra special collaboration with Jamie’s mentor Gennaro Contaldo this Sunday and great recipes all lined up, so make sure to head over and subscribe! :)

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Top 5 tips for the Perfect Burger…


Time for another edition of top tips! If you missed the first two posts in the series, you can check them out here and here.  The idea behind this series is to get the best of the best in their fields, to share their tips and tricks of the trade. From flower arranging to setting the perfect dinner party table, I want to tap into the knowledge of the some of the most passionate producers. With BBQ season in full swing, I thought no better time than the present for our next installment.  Bunsen Burger blasted on to the Dublin restaurant scene last year offering real burgers done right!  With a business card sized menu, Tom Gleeson, founder of Bunsen Burger on Wexford St, is passionate about keeping it simple and creating quality American style burgers.  Tom agreed to share his tips on creating the perfect burger.

Bunsen 2

1. Know your meat…

It’s got to be freshly ground! We mince our burgers fresh every morning in our cold room. We use three specific fore-quarter cuts minced to a precise secret blend. Don’t have your own cold room?  Just ask your butcher to grind some fresh…. chuck steak is a good cut to start with! Alternatively pop in to us and we’ll sort you out with some fresh meat/buns.

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Video Recipe: Summer Berry Pavlova…


This week’s youtube video features a super dessert for summer entertaining- a summer berry pavlova!  It has crisp, chewy, marshmallow meringue layers, stacked together with perfect soft whipped cream and sweet, summer berries. It’s a showstopper that really celebrates all things summer but can be adapted for any time of the year by swapping in different toppings.

This recipe for meringues is one I use all the time and rather than using caster sugar added gradually to the frothy egg whites, you place icing sugar in with them at the start and whisk on high until you are left with stiff white peaks.  It’s a fool proof method and can be used to make pavlova bases and normal meringues also.  We’re coming close to hitting the 60k subscriber mark on youtube so don’t forget to head over and ask a question on my Q&A and make sure to tune in this Sunday as I will be cooking with the godfather of Italian cooking, Mr. Gennaro Contaldo!


Continue to the recipe for Summer Berry Layered Pavlova…

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Black pudding & Holy Buns…

Muckross Traditional Farms TV_9

Black pudding is serious business here in Ireland and as a result we have some of the finest blood pudding in the world.  A traditional addition to the famous Full Irish Breakfast, black pudding has been made in Ireland for hundreds of years.  It was traditionally made in small farmhouses in rural Ireland as part of the process of slaughtering a pig.  Meat from the animal would be divided out and cured or eaten fresh while the blood would be collected and saved to make black pudding.

Monatage Black Pudding

Neighbors were often involved in the work and in return for helping out, they would get a share of the fresh and cured meat and puddings.  This was an important part of the process as it meant fresh meat would be available more regularly.  Often to subsidise the modest farmhouse income black pudding would be sold to village shops along with eggs, butter and milk.  Nowadays quality Irish black pudding is readily available and butchers like McCarthy’s of Kanturk and Kelly’s of Newport make some of the best you can buy.

Muckross Traditional Farms TV_11

Despite eating copious amounts of the black stuff, I have never made it.  It’s a tricky process (gruesome for some!) involving fresh blood and intestines, so as you can imagine, not the type of ingredients most of us have in our kitchens.  I got the opportunity to make some with Mary, the Bean An Tí from Muckross Traditional Farms when we filmed for this week’s episode of Rediscovering The Irish Kitchen.  She gave me a first hand demonstration, which turned out to be a lot easier than I imagined.  The blood is mixed with oats, onion, salt and spices and then loosely stuffed into the intestines, tied in rings and then boiled in a large pot of water.  A brilliant Irish ingredient that can be used in so many different ways.

Kylemore Abbey_1

Another highlight of filming was a trip to Kylemore Abbey to cook with the Benedictine nuns.  The Benedictine order has resided at the abbey since 1919 and in that time for many years it was run as a boarding school with many of the nuns teaching there.  It is now one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations with its rich history and dramatic setting in the heart of the Connemara, Co. Galway.  

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Dinner’s On with Barry Lewis…

Dinner's On cover1

Barry Lewis is one of the many rising food stars on YouTube and a few weeks back I got hang out with him at the BBC Bristol Food Connections festival in Bristol.  We chatted food, YouTube and he mentioned he had his first cookbook coming out.  I’ve finally got my hands on it and it’s a super book filled with inspirational and quirky everyday dinner ideas, perfect for families.  If you watch Barry’s channel on YouTube you will know he has two young daughters and his passion for feeding his family great quality food comes shining through in his debut cookbook.

*This competition is now closed.* To celebrate the release of Barry’s new book, I have three copies of Dinner’s On to giveaway! To be in with a chance of winning a copy of this brilliant book, leave a comment below telling me your ‘go to’ dinner dish, and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter here. Entries close on Friday 18th of July 2014. The winner will be chosen at random that day- Good luck!  I’ve also got just some of the brilliant recipes from Barry’s new book below to whet your appetite…



Piri Piri Chicken Wings… }

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Irish Food Folk: The Pepper Pot


In the run up to the release of our 5th issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal, our 3rd print edition, later this summer, we are taking a look at some of the Irish food champions who have filled the pages of our previous issues.

The Pepper Pot was opened on 4 June 2010 by Marian Kilcoyne and Dervla James. It was the long-held dream of both to have their own place luckily they had plenty of experience to back up their dreams from Dervla’s degree in Baking and Pastry Arts to Marian’s Ballymaloe Certificate. The two became fast friends while working together and many nights were spent over pints planning and dreaming about their cafe.


They shared the same ethos and philosophies about good food, well made with real care and quality ingredients. But dreams have no currency at the bank and things were tight to start with so they foraged for second-hand ovens and upcycled old kitchen equipment, family and friends helped out for the princely reward of pear and bacon sandwiches. They opened their doors on a shoe string in what was once the home of the wealthy third Viscount Powerscourt and one of the grandest entertainers of the late eighteenth century.

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YouTube Recipes and a 50k Q&A…


I have had such a lovely reaction to my YouTube channel since we launched it a few months ago and I am very pleased to see that we’ve just hit the 50,000 subscriber mark! To celebrate I have just posted up a new recipe video for chorizo and spring onion quesadillas and a Q&A cookbook competition.  The idea is you can ask me any question in the comments section and then when I hit the 60k subscriber mark I will make a video answering them.

Also this week there’s a recipe video for one of my favourite desserts which comes from my first Kitchen Hero cookbook.  White chocolate and blueberries are a brilliant combination made even more of a treat in this easy summer dessert! This recipe couldn’t be easier as there is no baking involved and the results are beyond delicious.

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Look outside the lunchbox…

Za'atar Chicken with Shaved Fennel_5 Summer is one the best times of the year to enjoy food and while I love entertaining for friends outdoors, I am always on the lookout for interesting recipes for quick lunches, easy lunchbox foods and simple suppers which can be thrown together easily leaving you more time to enjoy the best of the season.

Donal Profile Images Summer 2014

Some of the most vibrant food to prepare can be the simplest and my highly impressive summer salad of salmon sashimi, creamy avocado, rocket, coriander and toasted sesame seeds is a perfect example. The whole salad is brought together with a pale green dressing humming with heat from wasabi paste, a Japanese staple ingredient made from Japanese horseradish, often used as a garnish served with sushi. It makes for an incredibly light and bright salad and makes an ideal treat if you’re dining solo as it is simple to prepare.

Salmon And Avocado Salad_2

Scotch eggs are making a serious comeback and rightfully so, they make ideal picnic fare as they are essentially an individual self-contained mini meal. The new wave of modern scotch eggs are all about quality and flavor and there are plenty of variations to the normal coating of sausage meat (I have quite successfully added black pudding to the mixture). Chorizo scotch eggs will make you question why you ever had eggs in any other way, surprisingly easy to make and the perfect picnic food combined with a paprika spiced potato and mint salad.

Chorizo Scotch Eggs_7

Za’atar is a heady Middle Eastern spice mixture of toasted sesame seeds, oregano, cumin and sumac (which adds a wonderful unusual citrus flavor). It can be used sprinkled on flat breads hot from the oven brushed with olive oil, over poached eggs with lentils or as a punch of flavor to grilled meats. For a simple summer supper I like to roast or BBQ chicken drumsticks and thighs and roll the hot meat in the dry rub and serve it alongside a simple shaved fennel salad with toasted pine nuts. It results in really electric bursts of flavor and textures.

Za'atar Chicken with Shaved Fennel_1

These recipes are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds and hopefully prove that big bold flavorful dishes can be produced without a lengthy ingredient list or too much time spent cooking.


Salmon And Avocado Salad_1

{ Salmon, Avocado & Rocket Salad with a Miso Dressing }

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Homemade butter & retro hotel food…

Muckross Traditional Farms TV_37

Who, you might wonder are those three lovely ladies in the photo above?  Well if you’ve been watching my new series Rediscovering The Irish Kitchen on RTE One, you might have spotted them teaching me traditional Irish cooking skills at Muckross Traditional Farms in Killarney. The ladies are a wonderful source of information when it comes to older cooking methods and in this weeks episode I’m learning how to make butter.  It’s a method which is now trendy to do at home and I can understand why, after making it for the first time under the watchful eyes of the Muckross Bean An Tí’s, I’ve seen just how incredibly easy it is.  I put the butter to good use to make wholewheat scones sweetened with Irish honey and cooked in a pot over an open fire.

Muckross Traditional Farms TV_53

I also had the opportunity to meet Seamus Healy, a chef who worked in Killarney for over 45 years, many of them spent working at The Maltron Hotel, formerly The Great Southern Hotel.  Killarney’s rich history of hospitality and tourism began in 1854 when a direct train line from Dublin was opened by the Great Southern and Western Railway company, making it easier for tourists to discover some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery.  Seamus shared with me some of his hand written menus and recipes from meals he cooked in the late 1960′s, 70′s and 80′s.  I also cook Mutton or Dingle Pies, a hand pie made with lamb, traditionally made for the Puck Fair in Killorglin, and a brilliantly retro Treacle Sponge served with hot custard.  Make sure to tune in Tuesday’s 8.30pm on RTE One.

Muckross Traditional Farms TV_52



Honey Scones }

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Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon…


Over the past few years I have had some really wonderful opportunities in the world of food, but one of my proudest moments so far has been the release of “The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora FitzGibbon”.  A book which celebrates the recipes and culinary knowledge of one of Ireland’s greatest food writers.  I wrote the foreword, selected the recipes and photographed over 80 of them, which was an exciting and incredibly educational exercise in itself.  The book is one that I hope will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of Theodora fans, but one which will also provide a great insight to her wonderful food writing for a younger generation, new to her work.


*This competition is now closed* To celebrate my new RTE TV series ‘Rediscovering the Irish Kitchen,’ which features many of Theodora’s recipes, the kind folks at Gill & MacMillan have given me 3 copies of ‘Pleasures of the Table, Redicovering Theodora Fitzgibbon,’ to give away! To be in with a chance of winning a copy, all you have to do is leave a comment below and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter here and you could be the the lucky winner of this great book. Entries close on Friday 11th of July at 1pm 2014. The winner will be chosen at random that day- Good luck!  Check out some of my favourite recipes from the book below.


Theodora Lemon Marshmallow Cake_1

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