Chefs & Experts

Brian Mc Dermott
Brian Mc Dermot

Brian Mc Dermott is an award-winning celebrity Irish chef and author from Donegal. His latest book, Donegal Table, won Best Cookery Book in the World at the Gourmand World Book Awards in China. Brian has built a national and international reputation as a chef on one simple belief – that tasty, healthy food based around traditional recipes and local produce is something everyone should enjoy. Fans of Brian McDermott will already be familiar with his passion for local food and his home county of Donegal which has made him a regular on television and radio and on the Irish food festival circuit.
Currently appearing on RTÉ’s Today Show for his ninth year, for the past ten years Brian has been the resident chef on BBC Radio Foyle. He is also a regular food commentator in the media in Ireland, the UK and internationally.

Peter Campbell

Peter Campbell has over 20 years experience as a professional chef. Since qualifying from Killybegs he has worked in establishments such as the K Club, Bang Cafe (Dublin), Castlemurray & Head Chef in Mountcharles Village Tavern up to 2016.  Since 2017 Peter and his wife Briege created their professional catering business, providing a wide range of  catering services to South Donegal and beyond.  Their business specialises in using locally sourced produce to create dining experiences for their clients which range from private events, corporate events and at home gatherings.  

Zack Gallagher
Zack Gallagher

Zack Gallagher – The Irish Food Guide, is from Donegal Town, is a professional chef, a food blogger, social media advisor, food tourism mentor and Fáilte Ireland Food Ambassador. He is a judge at the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, a judge for the Foodie Destinations of Ireland competition and has recently completed a HDip in Tourism Destination Management & Marketing. Zack’s Twitter account @IrishFoodGuide collates and shares Irish Food and Tourism news and was recently voted as one of the Top 10 Irish Twitter accounts to Follow. Zack has been a driving force in the potential of Irish Food Tourism and recognises the importance of the use of social media in developing this industry. His blog, The Irish Food Guide, at www.IrishFoodGuide.ie, shares information on all aspects of food, food producers and food tourism, on the island of Ireland, to over 2.5 million readers.
Zack will be cooking up some local Donegal dishes using the finest local produce and as he always says, “Recipes are only a guide – they are not written in stone. Take a Recipe and Make It Your Own!”

Anthony Armstrong
Anthony Armstrong

Anthony Armstrong is head chef at An Ghrianan Hotel, Burt, Co. Donegal. Anthony was the culinary director of the Panel of Chefs and demonstration chef with the N.I Seafood/BIM and Ulster pork forum. This talented and innovative chef has also been associated with some of the best restaurants in Ireland and the UK including The Tower in Knightsbridge, The Lobster Point in Warrenpoint, the Filet of Sole in Donegal Town, and most recently the Nesbitt Arms Hotel, Ardara. Anthony is a member of the World Association of Chefs Society where he is an accredited judge and attends many events in this rol

Martin Anderson
Martin Anderson

Martin Anderson, Chef/Owner at Sonder, Letterkenny is a native of Donegal and began his career at the Tourism College Killybegs, graduating in 1986. Martin worked his way around Ireland and then on to Paris, France, where he completed his training in the prestigious four-star hotel Lotti. In 2001 he opened Hillcrest Bed and Breakfast and followed its success with The Crest Cookery School. At the invitation of highland radio breakfast D.J. John Breslin, Martin began a very popular weekly cookery question and answer programme. After the publishing and the success of the highland breakfast cookery book, Martin set up The Crest Catering company in 2005. In 2012 Martin Began a weight loss journey in the guise of Fat Chef Slim, promoting a healthy lifestyle through his cookery demos & through his menus at the Moonshine Coffee Shop, Letterkenny. He has also published his own lifestyle Cookery Book, ‘Fat Chef Slim Recipes From The journey’.

Maurice Mc Geehan
Maurice Mc Geehan

Currently performance chef with the IRFU and member of the National Chef Advisory Council with Chef Network, Maurice Mc Geehan, from Fintown, Co. Donegal, graduated from Killibegs Tourism College in 1998. In 2003 Maurice moved to London, and worked with chefs from all around the world. He completed his BSc Degree in International Culinary Arts, studying under professor David Foskett MBE.  After 8 years in the UK, Maurice opened his own Irish restaurant in Brazil. Currently as the Executive Chef for Airbnb EMEA headquarters in Dublin, Maurice has created a food program based on authentic healthy food, sourced from sustainable producers and suppliers, seasonal as much as possible sourced from within our own Irish shores. His aim is to create a sustainable and workable template that, in the future, other businesses can apply to their operations. He believes that it’s important to Ireland to develop its national food identity, working and supporting the Irish food producers and as a member of the National Chef Advisory Council with Chef Network, Maurice is able to use his experience to help develop a strategic vision for Irish chefs.

Chefs Chris Mc menamin & Colin Mc Kee
Chris Mc Menamin & Colin Mc Kee

Executive Chef Team at Biddy’s O’Barnes, Co. Donegal. Colin McKee and Chris Mc Menamin with their combined 40 years experience in the industry recently set up C&C Food & Drink Consultancy offering consultation to Hotels, Restaurants & Gastro Pubs. Both chefs studied at the catering college in Killybegs and went on to work as Executive Sous Chef and Head Chef at Harvey’s Point. They are renowned for using top quality, locally sourced Irish produce in their cooking. Biddy’s O’Barnes won the best Gastropub in Ulster in the 2022 YesChefIreland Awards.

Shines Irish Tuna
Shines Irish Tuna

Shines Seafood are a Multi Award Winning Family Business and named SEAFOOD STORE OF THE YEAR by the Republic of Ireland Prestige Guide. Based in Killybegs, Co.Donegal, they sell Irelands only Albacore Tuna, Irish Sardines & Mackerel to both the retail & food services sectors. Having been involved in the fishing industry for a combined 50 years John Shine is passionate about the consumption of seafood and the overall sustainability of the industry. His aim is to make the best quality Irish Seafood in the world more affordable and available to the nation. Shines are the experts in all things Tuna, once tasted always loved! The Shines Sea Food product range is available in all Supervalu stores, all Dunnes Stores and selected Tesco stores, as well as many independent retailers across Ireland and the UK. Shines partner with responsible Irish fishermen who fish in Irish waters only when the fish is in season. Their fishermen are committed to preserving the natural ecosystem by fishing strictly within quota limits. 

Dr. Prannie Rhatigan
Dr. Prannie Rhatigan

Prannie Rhatigan is a medical doctor with a lifetime experience of harvesting, cooking, and gardening organically with sea vegetables. Born and raised in the Northwest of Ireland where she still lives, she has a lifelong interest in the connections between food and health. Hailed as “Ireland’s leading seaweed expert” in Food and Wine in June 2012 she has represented Ireland’s finest food abroad on many occasions and has given workshops and lectures on sea vegetables and cooking. She delivered the President’s address to the PSA (Phycological Society of America, Seattle) in 2011 and facilitated a workshop on seaweed cooking with seaweed researchers in the USA. She shared her knowledge and gave a seaweed cookery demo at the Nordic Food Lab in Denmark when it was the research arm of Noma (awarded Best Restaurant in the World on three occasions). She has been featured on many TV and radio programmes both nationally and abroad.

Jean Smullen
SuperValu Wine Tasting

Kavanagh’s Supervalu has been at the heart of Donegal Town for almost 20 years, employing over 60 local people. SuperValu has a reputation for fresh food quality, strong value offering, consistent support of local producers and generous sponsorship in the local community. Jean Smullen WSET Dip has been working in the wine industry in Ireland since 1991 and will be hosting the SuperValu Wine Masterclass at Savour The Flavour of Donegal Town.

Richard Finney
Richard Finney

In 2008 Richard Finney and his wife Olivia pursued their passion for wine and opened the Counter Deli in Letterkenny. Over the first 5 years Richard organised over 100 wine courses with a view to winning as many people over to good, single vineyard “clean” wines as possible and generate a County of wine lovers! The Counter is a one stop outlet for great Irish producers of Farmhouse Cheeses & Cured Meats, Irish Artisan Beers, Single Vineyard Wines, Freshly Roasted coffee, Slow Food Co., Wood Oven Baked Breads, and Valrhona chocolate. Winning several awards including Startup Business of the Year and Overall Business of the Year in the Donegal County Enterprise Awards, The Counter is included in the McKenna’s Guides for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018 and in Georgina Campbell’s guides along with a mention in her latest book “Ireland’s Best of the Best”

The Cool Food School
The Cool Food School - Deirdre Doyle

Established by BTEC-qualified Health Coach Deirdre Doyle with the mission to teach children of all ages about the joys of healthy eating, The Cool Food School has travelled all around to do just that. Deirdre set up The Cool Food School in 2018. She is a mum to 3 children who are in primary and secondary school, and they inspire her to make the world a better, healthier place for all children! The aim of her workshop is to introduce children to healthy eating through fun activities. The Cool Food School promotes healthy eating in a fun and interactive environment for kids of all ages. It’s all about encouraging children to enjoy wholesome foods for a happier and healthier life.

Sian Breslin
Sian Breslin

Sian qualified as a home economics teacher in her native country Wales before embarking on a teaching career for over 25 years. Just over a decade ago Sian along with her husband Michael designed and built Donegal Manor, a Bord Failte 4 Star Guesthouse in Donegal Town. In 2008 after a fun programme on RTE Master’s Apprentice on which she appeared with Derry Clarke and Catherine Fulvio she opened a small but busy cookery school. Sian has appeared on TV 3 AM, RTE and was a regular food presenter on Highland Radio. In 2012, Sian developed an award-winning App management system for busy mums and dads, which saved money on food shopping, reduced food waste and planned weekly meals. Sian is a committee member of A Taste of Donegal Food Festival and the Donegal County Council Tourism Committee. She is delighted to share her passion for food at Savour the Flavour’s Kids Kitchen. 

Susan Mc Grory
Susan Mc Grory

Local girl Susan Mc Grory has been involved with A Taste of Donegal since the very beginning, and she has been a valuable member of the festival committee since 2012. Susan is a very talented young lady and contributed enormously to the success of our newly introduced Cherrymore Kids Kitchen in 2019. We are delighted that Susan will be giving a Children’s cookery workshop on Cupcake Decoration at this year’s Savour the Flavour of Donegal Town.

Aengus Kennedy - Nature Northwest
Aengus Kennedy - Nature Northwest

Aengus Kennedy is NatureNorthWest’s lead nature guide, specialising in Field Ecology at University College Cork. He has worked with both young and old in the outdoors for over twenty years. For five years, Aengus worked as an education guide for the National Parks and Wildlife Services education programme in Glenveagh National Park. He has worked for An Taisce running school visits and guided walks for all, produced biodiversity action plans for communities and has worked with Donegal County Council on a number of environmental programs. Aengus is the environmental representative on Donegal’s local community development committee and Leader area group committee. He is currently producing a series of nature videos for schools and is a regular contributor to Highland Radio’s John Breslin show on nature topics both local and global. Explore the biodiversity of the bank walk by joining Aengus on a nature walk in Donegal Town.

Sue Glackin
Sue Glackin Donegal Food Tours

Sue is constantly on the lookout for the latest new products and best foodie destinations Donegal has to offer. This appetite for exploring new culinary experiences has brought Sue all over the world, from launching a new restaurant in NSW Australia to spending time in the wine producing regions of Hunter Valley and Margaret River. When she moved back to Donegal in 2014, she completed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Award Level 2 in Wine & Spirits and started working in the county’s most reputable wine shop. In 2016 Sue moved into marketing and events at one of the largest entertainment venues in the Northwest. Here she crafted out a unique club, namely ‘The Craft & Cork Club’ at House Wine Bar & Taproom which she used as a platform to educate local customers on the variety of wines and spirits available to them in the area. Noticing the struggle some of her clients had, in getting people to travel to their rural locations and being found by tourists, Donegal Food Tours was born. Its aim is to connect the dots, showcase the best produce in the Northwest and be part of the movement to revive old Irish culinary traditions and the food of our ancestors.