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Clodagh McKenna

Clodagh McKennaClodagh McKenna, born May 10th, 1975 in Blackrock, Ireland is a chef, author of cookbooks, columnist and television presenter. McKenna has demonstrated cookery on The Rachael Ray Show, hosted several television series and writes a column for the Evening Standard.

She recieved her culinary training at Ballymaloe Cookery School - a privately run cookery school in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland, that was opened in 1983.

It is run by Darina Allen, a well known celebrity chef, cookery book author and pioneer in Ireland of the slow food movement. The school is located within the grounds of an organic farm.

In Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails, a television series consisting of 13 episodes aimed at the American market, she traveled Ireland to such places as Skelligs rock, Dingle's sea caves and Fastnet Rock's lighthouse.

There, she explored various foods, farmers' markets and met local chefs, fishermen and farmers.

McKenna is a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and broadcaster who develops wholesome recipes using seasonal ingredients that are perfect for entertaining.

Clodagh McKennaThis year Clodagh celebrates 20 years working in food. Her recipes can be seen in any of her five best-selling cookbooks, on her YouTube channel or in one of her regular slots on Channel 4 Sunday Brunch in the United Kingdom.

Or the Today Show in the United States, The Rachael Ray Show in the United States, The Marilyn Denis Show in Canada or Your Morning also in Canada.

In spring 2018, Clodagh became a regular food columnist in the Evening Standard, sharing her recipes in the newspaper and online to over 18 million readers.

Clodagh wrote her sixth cookbook entitled, Clodagh’s Suppers, which was published in October 2018.

Clodagh also filmed a new television series in 2018. This series was created for Irish, UK, American and Canadian TV and was to be Clodagh’s fifth television series.

Her last series Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails gained more than 15 million viewers on the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States.

Clodagh started her career in food in her home country of Ireland, where she trained and worked at Ballymaloe Cookery School House in County Cork. Then she went on to develop farmers markets around Ireland as well as creating her own food range, which she sold via the farmers markets.

Clodagh McKennaShe lived in Italy for three years where she worked with the international organisation Slow Food. She now has a restaurant in Dublin called Clodagh’s Kitchen, where customers can sample her food ethos, which focuses on simple, local and seasonal produce with a fresh take on Irish cooking.

Clodagh has hosted pop-ups in collaboration with brands, including The Whitney Museum, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Cheyne Walk Brasserie and L’Or Coffee.

She is also a spokesperson for many different brands and has recently become the U.S. ambassador for Kerrygold and the Irish ambassador for the National Dairy Council and Tesco Ireland.

"I’ve been living in London for the past year and a half and I movedm there because the food scene in London is so great and I have a lot of friends there."

"I wanted constant inspiration. I also get it from Dublin too, but in London I suppose it’s on a bigger scale. It’s still so close to Dublin, so I do come back every 10 days or so to see my Clodagh’s Kitchen restaurant in Arnotts."

McKenna’s star status in the States catapulted to new heights after her RTE shows Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails were screened on PBS.

Clodagh McKennaWith 15 million viewers in the first 12 months, it led to her signing up to the panel of three day time programmes.

"I’m travelling to New York every month for the Today Show and the Rachael Ray Show, and I stopover in Toronto for the Marilyn Denis Show too," she said.

‘It happened completely organically, they approached me. All of my RTE shows, which I loved doing, were made into one for PBS and it became very successful there, so from there Rachael Ray brought me on."

"The feedback was so good that they then asked if I’d like to do it regularly. They helped me get my visa, I joined the union, and then after that The Today Show asked about me as well."

"So I’ve never actually gone after any TV show, ever. I feel very lucky. I’ve never gone and really pitched, so I do it every month and I spend a lot of my time developing all my recipes in my test kitchen."

McKenna insisted she has no plans to open another restaurant, but now hosts pop up dinner parties in her home every month.

Clodagh McKennaThe evenings were completely booked out for 2017. And next on the bucket list for the blonde beauty is her own range of tableware.

For Cork chef Clodagh McKenna, the idea of looking after yourself is paramount. She says that while kids need to be fed and parents work, people should put themselves first. "We tend to forget that. I look after everybody but myself all the time." Women in particular neglect themselves, she says.

"We tend to look after everybody. I am 100 pc one of those people, I look after everybody but myself all the time... but I have to do a check."

"They talk about your 'gut instinct' - there's a reason for that. If your gut is not healthy, your mind is not healthy," Clodagh says.

Clodagh thinks one of the reasons why people aren't cooking as much is the accessibility of takeaways. "It is so easy to call Uber Eats or Deliveroo.

There is a time and place for everything, if you're sitting in on a Saturday night watching 'Killing Eve', you deserve a treat," she joked.

"But on a day to day basis, it's really important to be cooking your own food. It's cheaper, and it's so much better for you."

Time poverty is a potential barrier to eating good food, but Clodagh maintains our individual choices also play a role. - "Cooking good food is definitely a decision."

Clodagh McKennaShe says a family-based approach where everyone helps with the cooking will save time. "I grew up in a really busy household, both my parents worked."

"When we got back from school, we had lists of chores that we had to do. I think that we can really learn from the past."

For Clodagh, the initial costs will result in savings further down the line. "For the first couple of weeks you might have to buy spices, olive oils and other basics, but that cost will all fizzle out once you have your stocked cupboard."

The Ballymaloe-trained chef also believes in doubling up on recipes. "On a Sunday night do a cook ahead, so you're freezing one for the following week, and then just build up stock in your freezer."

Clodagh thinks that simplicity makes a good cookbook. "Doing a baked potato with cottage cheese and herbs, or a chicken curry with six ingredients... they are accessible and easy to make, that is what this new Unislim cookbook is all about."

"I really love the recipes in the book, 'Delicious'. They're all tuned into the things we like nowadays like Italian, Asian and Indian food," 'Delicious' is available online and in Unislim classes for €12.99.

Clodagh McKenna"I was at a friend's party," says the Irish chef, author and broadcaster. "And Mick Jagger walked in and grabbed me up to dance. It was really cool. I was like, 'This is a dream'. It was brilliant. I can't remember what we danced to, actually, because I was so in the moment."

On another day from her office on the grounds of Highclere Castle - where they film Downton Abbey - Clodagh McKenna had just spent a few hardworking hours tending to her culinary empire duties.

She had attended meetings about her new Channel 4 show, Beat the Chef, which will see her pit her skills against members of the public; she's written up her Evening Standard column, and now she settles in for interviews to promote Taste of Dublin, at which she will be hosting cooking demonstrations.

"I've been involved with Taste of Dublin since the beginning, and I think it's the best food festival there is," she replies.

"The venue in the Iveagh Gardens is incredible, the best setting in Dublin, and you get to enjoy all these little small plates with your friends. I can't think of a better way to enjoy food."

It's a ringing endorsement from a woman who has become a national arbiter of all things food-related, as well as the newly minted emissary from Ireland in aristocratic England.

Clodagh McKennaThis latter status came her way courtesy of her boyfriend, the Honourable Harry Herbert. Herbert is the grandson of the Earl of Carnarvon, who, along with Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt in 1922.

Herbert's brother-in-law and father were bloodstock advisors and racing managers to the Queen.

They've just finished filming Downton, the movie, in the house where he grew up, and he and Clodagh share a home in the grounds of the castle.

Join Clodagh on Instagram

Subscribe to her YouTube Channel


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Clodagh's Suppers

As Clodagh says, 'My biggest passion is to host suppers at my Coach House in London. Whether it's for friends, family or strangers, my heart fills with joy when I see everyone sat around my table enjoying my food. For me this is what cooking is all about; sharing a memorable moment together'. With Clodagh's expert advice and experience you too can create stunning suppers that take advantage of the best seasonal produce. Including the best ways to prepare, what to serve and her handy tips for finishing your meal in style the book covers.

How to create a well-balanced and delicious menu, writing your shopping lists and creating a beautiful table to set the scene. 120 recipes to take you through the year from Wild Garlic & Potato Soup to start a spring supper to autumnal comfort food like Roast Butternut Squash, Cashel Blue & Saffron Pappardelle and warming winter treats such as Marmalade Rice Pudding. Plus ideas for easy nibbles to serve as soon as guests arrive, simple cocktails and even edible gifts to ensure everyone leaves with something to remember the evening by.

Clodagh's Home Cooking

With a strong focus on using local produce and eating together, this cookbook brings together recipes and ideas gathered from years of travelling and taking notes. It is filled with household tips, notes on food producers, farmers' markets and Clodagh's favorite restaurants, cafes and bars.

Chapters on aperitifs, lunchbox ideas, baking, mid-week suppers, home-made fast food, Sunday roasts, preserving, dinner party menus and edible gifts mean there really is something for everyone. Recipes include Fresh Mint Mojitos, Spiced Butternut Squash, Homemade Focaccia, Sunday Roast with all the Trimmings, Autumn Spiced Apple Chutney and Hazelnut Fudge. Practical and popular as well as delicious and nutritious, Clodagh hopes to get every family sitting down together for a meal.

Deeyah - Listen to the Banned

The international compilation album produced by Deeyah titled Listen to the Banned featuring banned and censored musical artists from The Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Deeyah - Sisterhood

Sisterhood was founded by Deeyah to help empower young Muslim women by giving them a platform to express their creativity through music and other art forms.

Deeyah - Memini

Deeyah founded Memini in early 2011 as a digital memorial for the victims of honour killings worldwide. Memini means remembrance in Latin and it features the stories of young women around the world who have lost their life in the name of family and community honour. Memini aims to include as many stories as possible of these tragic cases to acknowledge what has happened to these women by raising awareness about the extent of the problem of honour killings.


Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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