Donegal’s reputation as a destination for good food received a massive shot in the arm at the weekend when Ballyliffin’s Kieran ‘Duey’ Doherty won the World Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday evening.
Kieran who owns Nancy’s Barn in Ballyliffin, qualified for the prestigious competition last year when he scooped the overall Irish title at the All-Ireland Chowder cook-off in Kinsale. He had progressed to that competition by winning the Donegal title, amazingly the first chowder contest he had ever entered! However Saturday’s victory was the pinnacle of success for the Inishowen chef who was naturally delighted at the outcome.
“It is without a doubt one of the proudest moments of my life. We are ecstatic and I’m so grateful to all our fabulous family, staff, friends and customers for their terrific support. We cannot wait to see everyone back at home for the celebrations!”
Kieran travelled to the American destination last week with a full team while Eve-Anne McCarron from Local Enterprise Office, Donegal was also there to offer support. The Ballyliffin-based chef is a member of Donegal’s Food Coast Network and is under no illusions about the benefits that brings. “The Food Coast network is a great support for anyone working in a food related business in the county and it encourages businesses to collaborate and work towards a common goal of making Donegal famous for good food. Events like the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off are great fun, but they also have a serious role to play in helping us share Donegal’s food story with a wider audience and I was honoured to be able to do that when I travelled to Rhode Island.”
Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office, said everyone in the county is hugely proud of Kieran and his team for securing such a magnificent success. “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. Kieran’s success at the World Chowder Cook-Off in Rhode Island is a magnificent advertisement for the quality of Donegal food and will help further enhance the county’s reputation as a good food destination. We’re delighted for Kieran and his team after all the hard work they have put in and it’s fantastic that they will be returning home to Donegal as World Champions,” he concluded.