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Donegal TDs in 'Cook Off'

TWO Donegal TDs are lined up for a face-to-face “Cook Off” on Friday 9th March to help promote The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative.

The evening will begin with Community Chef Brian McDermott demonstrating a classic fish dish using Greencastle fish and other Donegal produce.

Next up will be TDs Pádraig MacLochlainn and Charlie McConalogue going head-to-head to cook a main course using local ingredients from a mystery basket of produce.

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The Dáil deputies will be assisted by two students from the Letterkenny Institute of Technology’s Tourism School. It isn’t the first time the TDs have met in a competitive cooking event, with Charlie McConologue coming out on top on the previous occasion when he cooked an omelette in under 42 seconds.

The event is being organized by the Donegal County Enterprise Board food initiative “The Food Coast” and will take place in Redcastle Hotel at 7pm as part of Enterprising Donegal
Business Week 2012. The evening will finish with a tasting of local produce.

“It should be great fun” says Michael Tunney, Chief Executive of Donegal County Enterprise Board. “Brian McDermott always provides superb demonstrations that showcase local produce and we’re expecting great things from Charlie and Pádraig”.

Brian McDermott has achieved national recognition as the Community Chef working with community and sports groups to raise awareness of healthy food made from fresh local ingredients. Cooking professionally for 20 years, Brian has worked in product development with Kerry Group before setting up his own award-winning restaurant “Finnegan’s”.

He has also cooked in the award winning “Harry’s” in Bridgend and “Kealy’s Seafood
Bar” in Greencastle and more recently with Raymond Blanc at the Michelin-starred Le Manoir. He launched his first book, “Reunite with Food”, in October 2011 and he has a weekly radio slot with BBC Radio.

The common theme of his work is using fresh local ingredients that help keep us all healthy and that support the local economy at the same time.

‘The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative’ is a campaign to establish Donegal as a county with a vibrant food culture and food economy. The initiative has four main goals – to encourage new food businesses, support existing food businesses, promote the sourcing of local produce and drive awareness locally and nationally of the fantastic
food we have on our doorstep in Donegal.

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The initiative is open to anyone with an interest in the County’s food sector, from start-up businesses to part-time food producers, from on-farm artisan food producers to
manufacturers, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs.

To attend the free ‘cook off’ and demonstration or for further information about Enterprising Donegal Business Week 2012, contact Celine Carroll, Donegal County Enterprise Board on 074 9160735 or email ccarroll@donegalenterprise.ie Alternatively, you can visit the Donegal, County Enterprise Board’s website at www.donegalenterprise.ie and register online.

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