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20 Questions With Clodagh McKenna Ahead Of Her Demo At The National Ploughing Championship Tomorrow

A fun Q&A with the much-loved Irish chef and author.


The National Dairy Council (NDC) has something to please all food tastes at this year’s National Ploughing Championships in County Carlow with an exciting programme of events, including a cooking demonstration and talk with Clodagh McKenna.

Milk It!

Ever heard of a milk sommelier? Bas de Groot from Holland is the world’s first Milk Sommelier and he will be chatting with food writer John McKenna and conducting a special “Milk Tasting”.

Cheese Glorious Cheese!

From gorgeous Gouda to magnificent Milleens – Cheese addicts will be well catered for at the National Dairy Council's stand this year. Donal Skehan will be in attendance to show visitors how to make some of his delicious European cheese recipes and there will also be cheese tastings throughout the festival and a discussion on the history of cheese with Kevin Sheridan and food historian Regina Sexton.

Chefs Brigade

On Day 2, the fabulous Clodagh McKenna who will also be cooking up some delicious recipes from her new book Clodagh’s Suppers at the demo area and talking about her role as Food Ambassador for the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards. Lilly Higgins will also be cooking up a storm with some delicious dishes in our demo kitchen on Day 3.

20 Questions with Clodagh McKenna 

When are you happiest? 

In our newly restored walled garden planting vegetables.

What’s your most treasured possession? 

My notebook that I write ideas for recipes, gardening and everything that I am passionate about.

What excites you most about your work?

Creating new recipes and encouraging people to cook more. 

Past, present or future, who are the five people you’d invite to dinner, made by you?

My boyfriend Harry Herbert (of course!) 

Tina Turner 

Dalai lama 

Chief Sitting Bull 

Clint Eastwood

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a chef?

Connect with farmers and food producers in your area.

How would your friends describe you in three words?

Energetic, fun and passionate.

A film you’d watch again tonight? 

The Bridges of Madison County.

What living person do you most admire? 

It’s not one specific person, it would be farmers and fishermen, in general.

You’re on Death Row, what’s your last meal? 

Irish Oysters and Irish farmhouse cheeses.

How did you get into cooking?

I have always loved cooking, but it was when I was spending my summers in France with a french family that my passion grew.

What is the most important lesson cooking has taught you?

Not to waste leftovers! 

When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

About a week after I started the three-month cookery course in Ballymaloe. 

What quote do you live by? 

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal!

What is the best part of your job?


How do you stay inspired?

It’s easy, I love eating.

What did you have for dinner last night?

A Wagu beef burger – the meat was given to us by a farmer in Montana (cousin of my boyfriend Harry). We are in Wyoming at the moment!

What is your favourite ingredient to work with?

Butter – I couldn’t live without Irish butter. 

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

A dancer.

What’s the most impressive dish you can throw together with three ingredients?

A soufflé.

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Being dropped from a helicopter onto a boat in the Irish sea during a storm – it was for TV and terrifying!