Donegal chef cooks up a treat at All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off

Second place for Brendan Conmy in Kinsale

Liam Porter


Liam Porter



Dungloe-based chef Brendan Conmy

Donegal’s reputation for amazing chowder was enhanced even further last week when Dungloe-based chef Brendan Conmy finished runner-up in the 8th All-Ireland Chowder cook-off in Kinsale.

Brendan, who is head chef at the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe, won the Donegal Chowder competition at the Hooked Festival in Killybegs towards the end of last year and headed to Kinsale in the knowledge that the county’s reputation for chowder is becoming rapidly more famous.

Donegal’s reputation for seafood chowder is at an all-time high after Kieran Duey Doherty from Nancy’s Barn in Ballyliffin brought home the prestigious title of World Champion from Rhode Island last year.

“On behalf of the Waterfront Hotel I was delighted to bring my personal Seafood Chowder recipe to the 2017 Killybegs Hooked Festival Chowder Competition and was thrilled to take the county title and progress to the national stage.  We are very proud of our chowder and especially the fact all of our ingredients are sourced locally within County Donegal,” said Brendan.

He added: “The Food Coast - Donegal's Good Food Initiative is assisting businesses like ourselves become recognised and this is vital for locals and visitors alike.”

The Waterfront Hotel chef also urged local chefs and restaurants to mark the Donegal contest in their diary for 2018.

“We would highly recommend local businesses to consider showcasing their Seafood Chowder and keep Donegal on the map. The event itself is down to public vote on the day and to be honest it was such fun, it's such a fun family day out with the best of the best in competition.” 

Brendan’s success in Kinsale is just the latest food success story from the county and food businesses in Donegal are still being encouraged to come along on Monday 30th April to Rockhill House to hear how and why they should craft their own food story.

Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise in Donegal says The Food Coast is about helping businesses work together to highlight the developing food culture in the county.

“The Food Coast Initiative gives new and existing food businesses in Donegal the opportunity to connect with fellow businesses while building the profile of Donegal. The ambition for the Local Enterprise Office is to encourage new food start-ups and the development of established businesses.”

Offering his congratulations to Brendan on his fantastic success in Kinsale, the Head of Enterprise urged Donegal Food businesses to make the most of the opportunity to hear how they can tell their own food story by coming to Monday’s event.

“More and more businesses have come to understand that creating a story for their business and product is a powerful way to connect with their customers and communicate the best qualities of what they have to offer them. We are keen for our food businesses to have the tools they need to ensure they can communicate that to a wider audience and I would urge as many as possible to come along on Monday,” he said.

Businesses in the food sector, producers and food service businesses are invited to attend the ‘Creating Your Food Story’ seminar by registering at donegal or calling the Local Enterprise Office on 074 9160735.