Could you be the next Donegal Chowder Champion?

Can Donegal Retain the Title of All-Ireland Chowder Champion?

Chowder Cook Off

Photo: Kieran Doherty of Nancy's Barn in Ballyliffin with his team picking up the trophy when he won the All Ireland Chowder Cook off in April 2016.

Local Enterprise Office, Donegal County Council is inviting chefs across the county to apply for this year’s All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off. Donegal is hoping to retain the title, after Inishowen chef and restaurateur, Kieran Doherty, brought the award home to the county for the first time last year.

The first stage of the competition is a regional heat, which takes place in Killybegs, as part of the Hooked! Maritime Festival on Saturday, 24th September 2016. Hosted by ‘The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative,’ the regional heat will see local chefs to go head-to-head in a bid to be crowned the regional winner. The winning chowder on the day, as voted for by the public, will go on to represent Donegal at the 7th annual All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off in Kinsale, Co. Cork early next year. The Donegal representative will join over 30 chefs, cooks and fishermen from all around Ireland to compete for the title of the 2017 All-Ireland Chowder Champion. The national winner will receive a trophy and travel to Newport, Rhode Island as a guest chef in 2018.

The current All-Ireland Chowder Champion, Kieran Doherty of Nancy’s Barn, is encouraging local businesses and chefs to apply: “I’m thrilled to be the current All-Ireland Chowder Champion and would recommend this competition to anyone. The regional heats are great fun and it’s a wonderful way to share Donegal’s food story with a wider audience. It would be brilliant to keep the title in Donegal for 2017.”

Adding to this, Eve-Anne McCarron, Local Enterprise Office, Donegal County Council, said: “The Food Coast is about encouraging people to work together to help make Donegal famous for food. Kieran Doherty’s success last year helps reinforce the message that Donegal offers an unrivalled culinary experience. This year, we’re going for two in a row, so if you’ve got a passion for seafood and think you’ve got the chowder recipe to take the crown, then we’d love to hear from you.”

Places for the All-Ireland Chowder Cook Off regional heats are limited and chefs are encouraged to apply for the competition as soon as possible. Closing date for applications is Tuesday, 6th September and the regional finalists will benefit from local profiling and marketing, while the winner will receive additional marketing opportunities both regionally and nationally.

Hooked! Killybegs 2016 is a family friendly event which allows people of all ages to experience aspects of the fishing and coastal life. Taking place on Saturday, 24th September, the festival includes talks on the history of boats, factories and people of the town as well as face-to-face interactive displays. Local businesses and craftspeople will also showcase their work and children will be entertained with live fish displays, games, competitions and performers.

Entry forms for this year’s competition can be downloaded via For more information on The Food Coast and how you can get involved, contact Eve-Anne McCarron, Local Enterprise Office on 074-9160735.   Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020