Monday 21 October 2019

Irish chef wins World Cookbook Award with "achievable, affordable" recipes

Brian McDermott has cooked up a storm at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Macao

Brian McDermott (Brian McDermott/PA)
Brian McDermott (Brian McDermott/PA)
Lost opportunity: Brian McDermott from the Foyle Hotel. Photo: Lorcan Doherty
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Donegal chef Brian McDermott has bested some of the world's top chefs, winning a prestigious prize at the World Cookbook Awards.

Donegal Table, a collection of recipes inspired by childhood memories of the kitchen at his home in Burt, Co Donegal, was recognised as this year's best cookery book written by a restaurant chef.

McDermott, who owns the Foyle Hotel in Moville, Co Donegal, beat off a tasting menu of world-class chefs, including Mauro Colagreco of Mirazur - which topped this year's list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants - to take first place.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards took place this week as part of the Macao International Book Fair. They aim to recognise global excellence in food writing - from writers, publishers and tourism promoters.

Best Cookbook by a chef/restaurant (shortlist)

  • Argentina: Mirazur, Mauro Colagreco (Catapulta)
  • Belgium: Gert De Mangeleer Unplugged (Luster)
  • France: La Cuisine de Guy Legay, Henri Bouniol (De Boree)
  • Hong Kong: Chicken and Charcoal, Matt Abergel, Lindsay Jang (Phaidon)
  • Ireland: Brian McDermott's Donegal Table (O´Brien)
  • Singapore: A Dash of Szechwan, Chen Kentaro (Marshall Cavendish)
  • South Africa: Mile 8, A book about cooking, David Higgs (Marble Group)
  • Spain Castellano: Unánime, Bernd Knöller, Xavier Mollà (Deia Books)
  • Uruguay: Hugo Soca Cocina (Aguaclara)

“It’s an absolute honour to see ‘Donegal Table’ recognised on the global stage,”McDermott says. “As a chef, all my inspiration comes from Donegal, from its traditions, its produce, and its people, and this award is above all a testament to them.

“I’ve spent my career trying to showcase the fantastic food we have in my home county, and I’m delighted – and very grateful – that the judges have recognised that we have something special here that deserves worldwide recognition.”

Donegal Table is published by Ireland's O'Brien Press, where MD Ivan O'Brien congratulated his author, and said McDermott's "dedication to sustainability and respect for local, natural produce is clear".

McDermott is well-known as a TV chef on RTE's Today show, as a regular MC and guest at nationwide food festivals, and a passionate Donegal man.

"Donegal Table showcases the best of my home county’s warmth and traditions through a collection of achievable, affordable and accessible recipes," he says.

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