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Donal was born in Dublin, Ireland into a family of foodies. His parents own a food production company that delivers fruits and vegetables to restaurants and supermarkets. While this food aficionado admits that he has no plans on dipping into his family food business, his parents had a big influence on Donal’s passion for home- cooked meals. At the age of four, Donal learnt to cook his first dish – pancake! Two years later, he received his first cookbook from his mother.
Donal started his food career by working on an island restaurant off the coast of Gothenburg, Sweden for six months. The job involved ferrying food across the stormy seas in a small boat every day. In 2007, Donal started The Good Mood Food Blog, sharing his food adventures and recipes. In addition, he started dabbling in food photography. He worked alongside with his aunt, Erica Ryan, who is one of Ireland’s top food stylists.
The Good Mood Food Blog was named the Best Food / Drink Blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2009. Following the success of his food, Donal scored a deal with a publishing company and released his first cookbook, Good Mood Food: Simple Healthy Cooking, where he shares simple, tasty and healthy recipes. The cookbook was subsequently named the Best Irish Published Book at the Irish Book Awards 2010.
Besides food, Donal has also had two Irish number one singles with his former band Industry. Nonetheless, he has no plans on infusing music into his cooking. He says, “I’ll never be the singing chef. I’m clearly a brutal singer, so I’d only put people off their food!