Meet our food champions...

Donal Doherty

I am really proud of where I come from and genuinely believe our food is amongst the best in the world. By giving this to people, we can offer them something unique. People come to our restaurant from all over Ireland. It’s a great honour to be honest, but it took us a long time to get here and we are always having to up our game.

Donal Doherty

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Donal Doherty

Portrait of Donal DohertyHard-working Inishowen inspiration | Bridgend, Donegal

It is safe to say that what Donal Doherty has achieved on the Inishowen peninsula in recent years has been a massive inspiration to others in the Irish food community.

Several years ago, Donal and his brother Kevin decided to take their family business, Harry’s Bar & Restaurant in Bridgend on the remote Donegal peninsula of Inishowen, in a new direction. They wanted to create a unique experience, focusing entirely on local sourcing, and producing a taste of Inishowen on the plate. In the process they created a food destination.

The concept may be simple, but the execution was a lot of work. It involves travelling to Greencastle several times a week to buy direct from fishermen, hanging their own beef, and the set-up of their own two acre walled kitchen garden.

Donal has harnessed the power of social media and told his story to everyone who would listen, in the process creating a name and a brand for ‘made in Inishowen’ food. Harry’s now plays host to a Saturday food market selling produce from the garden and providing valuable additional outlet to Harry’s other suppliers.

In 2012 and 2013 Donal was behind Inishfood, a very special kind of food festival, centring on food skills which attracted chefs, artisans and food lovers from across Ireland. There is a real sense that Harry’s has created a food community in Inishowen.

Donal has recently become a ‘master of both sides of the border’ with the opening of Harry’s Shack, a beach side restaurant at Portstewart strand in North Ireland. Donal sees this as providing a link between Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland Causeway Coast and his job now is to champion the food of that northern coastline.