Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • 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
Blog Archive
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Swedish Summer and Boozy Bum Chicken…

It’s been a little quiet on the blogging front for the last few days, but I have good reason! After a couple of crazy months, I can well and truly say I have switched my mind to the standby position.  We’re spending some time in Gothenburg soaking up some Swedish sunshine and inspiration before work starts on the new book when I’m back.  It’s given me a bit of time to work through the notebooks full of recipe ideas I’ve been writing over the last year and over the weekend I managed to whittle it down to a really solid list of tasty recipes.  The whole book writing process has always been a learning process and I think now I have a really good idea about how I want to write the next one.  In lots of ways there is a detachment between writing the recipes, testing the recipes, and shooting the photography for the recipes and so for this next book I want to combine all three and really give a sense of real life cooking as I work through the production process.  I’m planning on cooking and shooting everything chez moi, so the next few months I’m sure our kitchen is going to look like a bomb hit it! :)

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Big Breakfast For A Big Week!

The excitement is definitely building at Chez Donal ahead of the show airing next week!  It’s been a long time coming so it feels so weird to think that very first episode airs on Monday night.  For the last few days we have had some of Sofie’s family over to stay so things have been fairly manic juggling entertaining, work, and a 2 day whirlwind trip to the south west of Ireland.  I tried to pick some nice little stops along the drive from Cork through to Killarney.  We had some really beautiful meals at The Fish Kitchen in Bantry Bay, Café Paradiso in Cork, and in particular and the real revelation for me was Chapter 40 in Killarney.  I’m fairly picky about making sure we end up in a nice restaurant, but I hadn’t got a chance to pick a place for Killarney, so in the pouring rain we stumbled fairly bedraggled into Chapter 40 where we had a really fantastic meal.  It was top quality food with really fantastic flavours, for really decent prices. If you are down that way soon make sure to give it a try!

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My Paris Foodie Guide

My Parisian foodie adventure, you’ll be glad to hear, went off without a hitch. Cooking for 500 outside one of the largest landmarks in the French capital for St. Patricks Day might sound like fun, but it’s always nerve-wracking cooking for large numbers and there’s a lot of prep work that has to be done beforehand to ensure everything goes to plan. Thankfully we had plenty of help from the amazing ladies at Bord Bia who organised the whole event and made sure everything ran smoothly. After all the work during the week, we had two days on Saturday and Sunday to take in the sights and sounds and, most importantly, eat everything in sight. I spent a week in Paris this time last year so I am fairly confident I can pass on some of my favourite foodie spots to visit. Paris really is a beautiful city which I fall in love with more and more every time. There is always something I haven’t seen before to keep me interested. If you are planning a trip soon, these are just a few of my favourite places to eat, visit and indulge in.

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My NYC Foodie Guide

Following on from my NYC report last week, I couldn’t move on with my life without telling you about the long list of places we visited during our stay. To be honest we didn’t eat out at as much during the evenings because we were so full from all the eating we did during the day.  The main eateries I recommend here are great little lunch and breakfast stops which are ideal with the amount of walking you’re likely to be doing. If you’re a food lover and are planning a visit to the Big Apple, I hope this guide provides you with lots of great places to try.

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