Donal Skehan
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  • Very excited to be filming at this brilliant little street food market tomorrow for lunch in Hanoi! #DonalVietnam
  • 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
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January 2013 Newsletter!

Hi folks,

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year celebration. Ours was really special as we had both events in our little house for the first time. On New Years Day we braved the Irish Sea and took a dip to mark the start of a brand new year.  Out with the old and in with the new!

The start of any year is always exciting, plans are made and lots of possibilities lie ahead.  For me, I was thrilled to finally put the last touches to my next book which I had been working on, full time, all the way up to Christmas.  As with all my books to date, I again got the opportunity to shoot the recipe images myself, which can be quite a nerve wracking experience but I had lots of help from Sofie my partner, the wonderful Sharon Hearne Smith and a few extra special helping hands who gave up their time to help during our shoot days.

I’m thrilled with the outcome and the book has now been sent off for editing and design.  Now comes the really exciting part of seeing everything come together.  Kitchen Hero: Home Cooked will be released later this year and I’ll make sure to keep you posted all about before then.

I don’t think you can ignore the fact that January is a month where all over the blogosphere, beautiful images of cakes and sweet treats make way for juices, healthy salads and soups while people make plans to get fit and healthy for the year ahead.  Considering the proper feast we had over Christmas, I think it’s a bit of a case of, if you can’t beat ‘em, join em’!  So with that in mind I’ve put together some of my favourite healthy recipes to keep you on the straight and narrow.

In this month’s update, two rather special food blogs, a beautiful cookbook from Anna and Fanny Bergenstrom, a great book for new food writers, lots of healthy recipes and some kitchen garden planning

Have fun!

Donal x

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September Update!

Hi folks,

I can’t quite get my head around the fact that we are smack bang in the middle of Autumn.  Where did this year go?  While long sunny summer evenings are more like a distant dream that never really happened, worry not as there are so many food related things to get excited about this harvest season.

For those who like to forage for their food, now is the one of the best times to get out and in to the forest and hedgerows to pick wild mushrooms and fruit.

I spent a few days in Sweden recently where we picked the most incredible giant golden chantarelle mushrooms, super green apples (perfect for an oat buttery apple crumble) and the juiciest plums, eaten right off the branches.

Since my new book came out in May, we have had a wonderful reaction with it spending quite a few weeks on the Irish Non-Fiction Bestsellers list peaking at number 2! A big thank you to everyone who has sent me photos on twitter and Facebook of the dishes they have been cooking from the new book “Kitchen Hero: Great Food For Less”.  It might sound ridiculously obvious but seeing people cooking the recipes you write is always the most rewarding thing about writing a book.

Lots of people have been asking me on twitter, when the next part of the TV series Kitchen Hero: Great Food For Less is coming out and I can tell you that it will be back in November for a 7 week run on RTÉ One.  There are lots more wonderful cheap and delicious recipes coming up to inspire you to get cooking in the kitchen, with visits to my grannies kitchen, my old school, BLOOM in the park and lots more.

One of the main reasons I’ve been a little quiet online this summer, has been due to a very exciting project which we filmed in London throughout August which will air this Autumn.  I’m literally bursting to tell everyone about it but I’ve been told I have to wait just a little longer.  Don’t worry you’ll be the first to know! :)

There’s also lots of exciting news overseas, where Kitchen Hero has now been released in both Swedish and German and the TV series has started airing in Brazil and France.  In July, I spent a day in Hamburg shooting with German magazine, “Fit For Fun”, for their October issue, they really did a lovely job and were great to work with.  I’m also going to be heading back to Stockholm in October to appear again on one the popular breakfast shows, “Nyhetsmorgon” speaking Swedish (hold me!) and to give cookery demonstrations at the “Hem Och Villa” exhibition.

Check out some of the things I’m very excited about this month below and keep checking the blog for updates!

Until then have a great September!

Donal x

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