BY EMMA CONNOLLY
DIANA Dodog of Masterchef fame, and her husband Mike O’Donovan have just launched their first cookbook.
Called Favourite Recipes from the Food Truck, it’s compilation of 54 of their own favourite recipes – and some of their customers’ – who enjoy weekly visits to their Food Depot truck.
Hungarian born Diana arrived in Ireland in 2012 with Mike, from Courtmacsherry, after a number of years travelling and working together in New Zealand, North America and Central America.
Winning the 2014 Masterchef Ireland competition gave Diana the boost and the money to open their own venture. And having seen the growing trend for gourmet food trucks abroad, the couple opened the Food Depot, on the doorstep – literally – of Mike’s family home in Courtmachserry.
Now in their fourth year, long queues are regular fixtures at Diana and Mike’s truck in Courtmacsherry on Saturdays and Sundays (noon to 4pm) and in who Clonakilty Technology Park on Thursdays.
They are passionate about using local products including 30-day dry aged sirloin steaks, handmade sausages and their slow-cooked beef brisket which all come from the ‘gentleman legend that is Haulie O’Neill of O’Neill’s Butchers in Clonakilty.’
Seafood and fish are chosen directly from Union Hall or Courtmacsherry itself, while the greens and herbs are more often than not grown in the raised beds in their garden.
Diana says her cooking has been cultivated and inspired by her travels, her baptism of fire on Masterchef and her homeland of Hungary.
She says the book is made up of ‘simple, tasty, delicious recipes with easy to follow instructions – if something this good can be made within the confines of a food truck, then the regular domestic kitchen is a doddle!’
‘There’s a chapter of tasty starters that are ideal for making ahead for no-fuss dinner parties,’ she explains. ‘Another chapter is crammed with nourishing dinner ideas, with complementing side dishes to be found in a Grab & Go chapter.’ The Dressing Room chapter is the place to find delicious recipes like magic peanut dressing, Harissa mayonnaise as well as their favourite condiments and sauces – the things that set the Food Depot salads apart.
‘There’s no fancy techniques, complicated instructions or hard-to-find ingredients - just real food with real flavour, made with love, for you,’ said Diana who will be signing copies of her book on Friday November 3rd in The Olive Branch in Clonakilty from 2pm-4pm.
The book is available from the food truck; online at www.fooddepotireland.com; The Olive Branch, Clonakilty; Langford Row Cafe, Cork city; Organico, Bantry and O’Farrell’s Newsagents, Bandon.