Monday 29 December 2014

My mum nearly blew surprise proposal in Paris – TV chef Donal

Eimear Rabbitte

Published 14/05/2014 | 07:25

Donal Skehan with his Swedish wife-to-be Sophie Larrson
Donal and Sofie have been together since 2006
Donal Skehan's easter menu includes hazelnut mud pie cake, lamb with wild garlic and beetroot hummus.
Celebrity chef Donal Skehan has enlisted the aid of a group of nuns along with a former Fianna Fail TD and the Irish Countrywomens Association for his latest series where he rediscovers the Irish kitchen. Donal Skehan with the Benedictine nuns of Kylemore Abbey.
Celebrity chef Donal Skehan has enlisted the aid of a group of nuns along with a former Fianna Fail TD and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association for his latest series where he “rediscovers the Irish kitchen”. Donal Skehan with the Benedictine nuns of Kylemore Abbey - Sr Karol

Champagne corks have been popping for culinary whiz Donal Skehan this week as he continues to celebrate his engagement with family and friends.

The chatty Dubliner pulled off the ultimate romantic proposal beside the Eiffel Tower in Paris last Friday and managed to keep the news a secret from his fiancée, long-term girlfriend Sofie Larrson.

However, Howth native Donal told the Herald:  “I had been thinking about doing it since Christmas so it’s been in the back of my mind and I was telling my parents about it in January,” he explained.

“Sophie booked a weekend away so I thought it was the perfect time to do it.

“My mom nearly let the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago, but other than that she was fairly clueless about it.

“We were sitting around dinner slagging my brother about how he needs to propose to his girlfriend and mom was about to burst out sure you’ll be doing it soon’.

“I panicked a bit, but thankfully it was fine and Sofie was completely surprised.”

Donal (27), who is currently enjoying a break after wrapping another cooking series for RTE, shunned a cliché restaurant proposal, instead deciding to go on bended knee in the city of love.

“I didn’t want to do it in a restaurant so we were down near the Eiffel Tower and I told her to walk over so I could take a picture,” Donal explained.

“When she turned around I had the ring ready; that was my little trick,” he laughed.

“There was a lot of gasping and she left me hanging for a while before coming over so I could ask her the question and then she said yes.”

The couple have been together for eight years and Donal said the proposal had been a long time coming.

“We are together for a long time so a lot of people are saying finally’.

“I would say we will start looking into wedding stuff soon enough, but there is nothing planned at the moment,” he added.


The 27-year-old said that his jet-setting lifestyle helps to keep the relationship fresh and they are in no rush to settle down and have a family.

“You enjoy a break from each other every now and then, but she does travel most places with me.

“A lot of the work I do is travel based so I would have to be able to do that.”

The busy chef was back in his home-town this week where he cooked up a storm of fish tacos at a special demonstration in Bord Bia’s headquarters.

“We are relaxing at the moment because there is a lot of things on the boil so we are trying to keep it all simmering,” Donal said.

He will start filming on Donal’s Irish Feasts, his next cooking series for RTE in June and broadcast later in the year.

Irish Independent

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