Catch Ireland’s answer to Jamie Oliver, Donal Skehan, as he shares his passion for home cooked meals in Kitchen Hero: Bringing Cooking Back Home and Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less, only on the Asian Food Channel! Despite being only 25 years old, Donal already has three cookbooks under his belt, with another one on its way. With his inspiring and accessible approach to cooking, the 25-year-old self-taught chef makes it possible for anyone to be a Kitchen Hero!
Donal was born in Dublin, Ireland into a family of foodies. His parents own a food production company that delivers fruits and vegetables to restaurants and supermarkets. While this food aficionado admits that he has no plans on dipping into his family food business, his parents had a big influence on Donal’s passion for home-cooked meals. At the age of four, Donal learnt to cook his first dish – pancake! Two years later, he received his first cookbook from his mother.
Donal started his food career by working on an island restaurant off the coast of Gothenburg, Sweden for six months. The job involved ferrying food across the stormy seas in a small boat every day. In 2007, Donal started The Good Mood Food Blog, sharing his food adventures and recipes. In addition, he started dabbling in food photography. He worked alongside with his aunt, Erica Ryan, who is one of Ireland’s top food stylists.
The success of the blog subsequently led to a book deal with Mercier Press six months later. Comprising of simple, tasty and healthy recipes, Donal’s first cookbook, Good Mood Food: Simple Healthy Cooking, underscores the benefits of cooking with fresh ingredients and healthy eating. The cookbook was named the Best Irish Published Book at the Irish Book Awards 2010. Furthermore, The Good Mood Food Blog was named the Best Food / Drink Blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2010.
2011 saw Donal launching his Kitchen Hero cookbook series with Harper Collins. Filled with quick yet delicious home-cooking recipes, the series includes Kitchen Hero: Bringing Cooking Back Home (2011), Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less (2012), and the upcoming Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked!, set for release at the end of 2013.
Besides food, Donal has also had two Irish number one singles with his former band Industry. Nonetheless, he has no plans on infusing music into his cooking. He says, “I’ll never be the singing chef. I’m clearly a brutal singer, so I’d only put people off their food!”