ImageWhen did you first realize that you wanted to become a food writer and television presenter?
I was always interested in food growing up.  My parents have been in the food business for the last 30 years so I grew up with it.  I don’t think I realised I would make a career out of it until my blog took off in 2007.  From the world of food blogging, I got a book deal and then a TV series on RTÉ and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind ever since!

What makes you different from other colleagues that have their own TV shows?
I think the success of the books and the TV show has been the fact that all the recipes are easy and doable.  Their is a lot of food on TV these days which can look quite intimidating for the every day home cook and I always try and keep my ingredient lists as simple as possible while still being inspirational.

What is that one ingredient you consider basic in any kitchen — the one thing that can transform a bland meal into a banquet?
That’s a tough question because I think any good home cook will have a collection of staple ingredients which together can make a meal out of just a few ingredients.  It’s a true skill to be able to take cupboard ingredients and transform them into delicious meals day in day out!  For me standard ingredients like rice, pasta, noodles, oils, vinegars, soy sauce etc are a good starting point and then you just need to add fresh meat, fish or vegetables.  The one ingredient I can’t get enough of right now though is sriracha, a korean hot sauce.

What is your guilty pleasure? What do you snack on when no one else is around because you don’t want anyone to know?
I love hot buttery salty popcorn! I can’t get enough it! I even went as far as buying a mini popcorn making machine, which was a complete waste of money.  Just a big pot with butter does the job! 🙂

If you hadn’t become a food writer and television presenter, what would you be doing right now?
I would probably be working full time in the job I do part time right now as a food photographer.  I love the creativity it allows and I get a great sense of enjoyment from shooting food images for my books and for others too.

What can the audience expect from the Kitchen Hero: Homecooked tour when it comes to The Civic in Tallaght this November?
Lots of cooking and lots of fun! I will be cooking 5 delicious recipes live on stage and the smells will have your mouth watering!  We have a big screen up on stage so you won’t miss a minute of action.  I’ll also be out in the audience and grabbing people to cook with me on stage for our cookery competitions.  After the show I’ll be doing a book signing and meet and greet so I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone!  We always have great fun and theres lots of audience interaction! 🙂

Tickets for Donal Skehan: Homecooked Tour are €20 and can be booked online here or by calling our box office on 01 4627477!

Keep an eye out for the competitions running in your local Spar!