The last year has sent Donal Skehan’s star into the stratosphere, seeing him team up with Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and launch his own range, Skoff Pies with his parents. We nabbed the Howth native for a few minutes so that we could pepper him with the questions we know you want to know….
It has been a pretty big year for you so far, what with getting engaged and coming on board Food Tube – what are your biggest food memories of 2014 so far?
My first taste of Peruvian food, ceviché and Pisco Sour!
Have you planned your wedding menu yet, and if so, can you let us in on some of the details?
No, nothing planned yet, we’re looking at a date next year though so we need to get our act together soon.
You and Sofie seem to entertain quite a bit – what are your three top tips to entertaining without freaking out?
1. Choose recipes that can be cooked before your guests arrive, this means you can enjoy time with them when they’ve arrived and you’re not stuck in the kitchen.
2. Choose recipes where everyone helps out, like homemade pizza where everyone assembles their own toppings. 3. If you have chosen recipes that needs to be done last minute, make sure to have snacks like olives or bread and toppings on the table so everyone can pick away at things while they’re waiting.
What meal did you woo Sofie with?
A Swedish seafood platter!
Your family is in the food business, so you must have grown up around amazing grub. What’s the dish that catapaults you back to childhood?
My mum’s Coq Au Vin Blanc, definitely a childhood favourite.
When did you know you wanted to work with food and what started you on your journey?
My Granny gave me an Asian-inspired cookbook when I was younger that I loved to cook from and my mum always cooked a lot in the house too so it happened very naturally. I started my first blog when I moved to my first apartment and from there, the books happened so I’m very lucky to be working with what I love.
What five items are in your weekly shop, week in, week out?
Halloumi Cheese, Chorizo Sausage, tinned tomatoes, pasta and Parmesan cheese.
What’s in your fridge right now?
Very little, I have to go shopping soon! Rhere’s some fresh pasta, coriander, buttermilk and a few veggies.
What did you have for dinner last night and what are you having tonight?
Last night we had a lovely lemon and fennel porcetta and for lunch today we’re having pesto lasagne.
What’s next for Donal Skehan?
The Homecooked tour in November, new series on RTÈ going out in November called Donal’s Irish FEAST and we’re recording a Christmas special too. We’re adding two flavours to my pie range “SKOFF Pies”
Donal will be heading out on his Homecooked Tour around the country this November, for more details and to buy tickets, check out his website. Skoff Pies are available in supermarkets nationwide and you can catch up on all his news by following him on Twitter.