Donal Skehan, the Irish “home food” cook, blogger and food writer, has spoken of his delight in his most recent cookbook having been shortlisted in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2012.
His book, Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less, is one of six books up for the inaugural Avonmore Cookbook of the Year category of Ireland’s annual book awards.
The new category was announced last month. According to the award organisers, “[It] celebrates the wealth of food writing on our island.”
On his food blog, Skehan says of his rivals, “There are some truly wonderful cookbooks in the category from Rachel Allen, Aoife Carrigy, Catherine Fulvio, Domini Kemp and Neven Maguire which are all a real testament to the great selection of cookery writing Ireland has to offer.”
Of his own nomination, the 26-year-old says, “I’m so excited that [Kitchen Hero] has been shortlisted [and] I’d be thrilled if you’d support my book by voting for it.”
According to his official website, “[Skehan] started blogging about food in 2007 when [on] The Good Mood Food Blog [which] has since become part of [this] website.”
On the RTÉ website, Skehan describes himself as “a self-taught ‘home cook’ who writes and photographs food for a living”.
Having been cooking from an early age, the young Irishman says, “I was inspired by a family of foodies [and] food quickly became a way of life.”
The success of his first book, Good Mood Food – which was released in October 2009 – led to a host of radio and television appearances, in his native Ireland and the UK, and regular columns in The Cork News and Independent Weekend Magazine. In 2011, his second book, Kitchen Hero: Bringing Cooking Back Home, was accompanied by a 13-part TV series.
Skehan recently joined John Torode as a judge on the BBC TV cookery contest series Junior Masterchef, which is airing at present.
Skehan is also an accomplished musician and was once a member of the global boy-band project Streetwize, alongside Lee Mulhern (also from Eire), the UK’s Lee Hutton and Sweden’s Jonathan Fagerlund. After leaving the band, Skehan went on to join the Irish pop band, Industry, and joined the Irish digital TV station Bubble Hits, as a presenter. In 2008, he entered his country’s selection process to represent Ireland in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest but, incredibly, lost out to Dustin the Turkey!
The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards – now in their seventh year – “are dedicated to honouring Irish writers across the entire publishing spectrum [and are] open to any title published between 1 November 2011 and 31 October 2012”.
Anyone interested in voting can do so through the organisations official website. This year’s winners will be announced on Thursday, 22 November.