Photo via RTE.ie.

Photo via RTE.ie.

Kitchen Hero Donal Skehan cooks up a storm in Galway

RTE One’s Kitchen Hero Donal Skehan will be hosted a live cookery demonstration in the Town Hall Theatre on Monday 4 November 2013 as part of his first live HomeCooked Tour.

The 25-year-old food blogger, cookbook author, food photographer and TV presenter cooked up five delicious recipes from his new book HomeCooked, copies of which were signed on the night.

“It’s the first time anything like this has been done in Ireland. It’s nerve-wracking but really, really exciting. I’m used to doing live cooking demonstrations but I’ve never done it in theatre before,” said Donal before the event.

During his HomeCooked Tour, which is sponsored by Spar, Bosch and Toyota, Donal showed his audience how to cook up delicious meals with foods that are widely available in supermarkets.

“I’ll be cooking five delicious HomeCooked recipes. The idea is to give people recipes to try at home. If you see them live you can recreate them at home,” he said.

At his demonstration, Donal invited members of the audience up on stage to cook with him and eat at the HomeCooked table. Audience participation was be encouraged and Donal was most looking forward to interacting with people.

“I’m looking forward to getting people involved and having loads of audience interaction. I’ll have people up cooking with me and if I forget to turn something over or leave something in the oven too long I’m sure I’ll have someone in the audience shouting up at me and giving out to me. I love the idea that there’s a bit of craic with the audience and I really want to get them involved,” Donal explained.

The tour followed the release of HomeCooked which, according to Donal, has been getting some excellent feedback.

“[The book] has had great feedback so far. It’s my fourth and probably the best one so far. It’s all the recipes from the TV show in May which starts just before the [tour].”

2013 was a busy year for the young chef from cooking with Jamie Oliver to his role on the highly successful BBC Junior MasterChef. He has also been busy with his show, Kitchen Hero on RTE One.

This year, Donal’s online series, Simple Suppers, began airing on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube, exposing him to Jamie’s 6.5 million online followers. After cooking alongside Jamie in London, he is now in talks to become a YouTube partner with Jamie and will launch his own YouTube channel this autumn.

“Cooking with Jamie Oliver was amazing. He is just such a nice guy. He’s really genuine. He’s exactly how he seems on TV. He took me under his wing and said he wants to see me do well,” Donal explained, adding that they had already recorded some Christmas videos on YouTube.

In the month leading up to his Galway show, Donal had been travelling across Italy recording a new cookery series called Grandma’s Boys in which he visits Italian grannies who teach him their classic recipes.

“It’s been great craic altogether and the grandmothers are brilliant,” Donal said.

“It was a pleasure to do. It was full of learning opportunities and it was a great opportunity to do something else.”

Furthermore, the young chef had recently launched an online quarterly food magazine called FEAST! A Dinner Journal which has been read by over one million people worldwide since the release of its first issue in May. The next issue is due to be released in December.

The 25-year-old food writer had written three cookbooks, at the time of publication (November 2013), and presented two 14-part primetime Irish TV cookery programmes which have also been broadcast in the UK, France and Brazil. His books have been translated into both German and Swedish.

Donal has always been in the kitchen and grew up with a love of food. As a child, his mother had him helping in the kitchen all the time.

“My mom would have always encouraged me in the kitchen and involved me in the cooking process which I think is key. When I have kids I’ll do the same. I think it’s great to have kids helping out and tasting the food and doing little jobs. I think it helps to avoid fussy eating. And you get help in the kitchen,” he said.

Donal Skehan’s HomeCooked Tour arrived at the Town Hall Theatre on Monday 4 November 2013. Tickets were €20 and could be booked by calling 091 569 777 or by visiting www.townhalltheatre.com.

**This article is two years old, but I wanted to post it as I really enjoyed interviewing Donal Skehan.

Written by Jessica Thompson