Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • Great meal this evening! Finally in Sapa after the longest bus ride ever today 8am-11.30pm! Up early tomorrow morning to film at Bac Ha Market... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ pork and pumpkin greens at the most rocking little restaurant in Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Wok fried lunch today! Lots of greens including Morning Glory or water spinach stir fried with pork fat and fish sauce... #DonalVietnam
  • Rice fields on the way up to Sapa... #DonalVietnam
  • We had a bit of an audience for filming earlier- Vietnamese kids in the hills of Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Breakfast in Vietnam! Beef Pho- deep broth with noodles, herbs and thin slices of beef! Bloomin delish! #DonalVietnam
  • These lovely ladies cooked us dinner this evening- just left Hanoi and on our way up towards Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • First meal after 36 hours traveling: Lau ga! A big dig in soup with noodles, tofu, veggies, herbs and eh... chicken feet! :) 🍗 #DonalVietnam
  • A little vlog from London feat. @mycupcakeaddiction plus HUGE NEWS: My youtube channel just hit 100K SUBSCRIBERS! Huge thanks for all the support- link in my profile! X
  • Truffled goats cheese with honey and almonds @copitatapas for lunch today- life just got better! 🍴
  • Peanut butter snicker squares from filming yesterday with @mycupcakeaddiction! Coming up on my youtube channel very soon! :)
  • My mom's creamy white wine chicken on the blog today! Great mid week meal! :)
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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

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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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Latest from my youtube channel…

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I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of September already- it’s been an incredibly busy month but I wanted to stick up some of the video recipes that I’ve been posting over on my youtube channel!  Have you subscribed yet? It’s free and there is a new video posted every Sunday morning!  You can check out some of the recent videos and their recipes below…

{ Pork Lettuce Cups… }

{ Raspberry Goddess Pie… }

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Irish Independent Weekend Food Issue…

COVERDONALI am so excited to tell you that I am the guest editor of the Irish Independent WEEKEND Magazine Food Issue out this Saturday!  It’s such a brilliant opportunity to feature some of my favourite things about food.

In the issue you will find exclusive recipe from my recent travels across Italy, a list of my top 10 places to eat in London, a great feature on a selection of Ireland’s finest food producers, a guide to what’s in season along with some recipes to inspire you.

All that plus the usual WEEKEND magazine features with a food twist.  The magazine is sold as part of this Saturday’s Irish Independent- I hope you enjoy! :)

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Book signing in Stockholm…

Boksignering

Calling all my Swedish friends- on Thursday I will be giving a book signing of my Swedish book at Leila Lindholm’s General Store in the MOOD shopping centre.  Come down and say hello!  See you there at 6pm!

Hej hej minna Svenska vanner! På torsdag kommer jag till Leila Lindholm‘s General Store i MOOD gallerian för att signera böcker, säga hej och kanske ta lite selfies!  Hoppas vi ses där kl 18.00!  Mumsfillibabba! :)

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FEAST: A Dinner Journal | Summer 2014

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Issue five of FEAST: A Dinner Journal has hit the shelves! This issue of FEAST is quite unique as I had the opportunity to shoot many of the features while filming for Donal’s Irish FEAST, a new television series which airs this autumn on Irish screens. The series saw us travel throughout Ireland stopping in Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Kerry and Kilkenny, in quick succession, staying in some of Ireland’s most historic homes. Needless to say we were cooking and eating some of the finest ingredients our country has to offer along the way.

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We couldn’t feature all fifteen fantastic producers in this issue but I know they all share the same pride and passion for quality Irish food as we do. On our journey of ingredient gathering we created a summer pudding using artisanal brioche; a fresh flavoured pea, mint and ham hock soup; Howth lobster cooked using a traditional Irish recipe; as well as some of the season’s finest Irish strawberries.

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As summer draws to a close, I hope the recipes and producers featured in this issue will inspire you to make the most of the abundance of seasonal and Irish ingredients.   Print copies of Volume 5 of FEAST: A Dinner Journal can be found in Easons and good food stores throughout Ireland. You can also purchase print copies online here. You can also purchase digital issues of FEAST: A Dinner Journal via our app available on iTunes and on Google Play for Android Devices.

FEAST Tomato Ricotta Tart

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SPAR Kitchen Hero Live Tour…

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Calling all Kitchen Heroes my brand new LIVE cooking tour is back on the road this November.  I’ll be heading out to theatre venues across Ireland, cooking up delicious recipes live on stage in front of your eyes, every night.  The show is jam packed with great fun and laughter, recipes and cooking tips along with my favourite part, the audience cooking competitions!  After each show I’ll be signing copies of my books, answering burning cooking questions and meeting you guys, we might even take a selfie!  It’s a brilliant show for the whole family so if you want to find out more about tickets and venues check out the full list below and let’s get cooking!

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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