My Donegal - Interview this week is with Chris McMenamin, head chef at Harvey's Point Hotel, in Lough Eske

Chris has spent most of his working life the award winning hotel starting out washing the dishes as a fourteen - year - old

My Donegal - Interview this week is with Chris McMenamin, head chef at the highly acclaimed at Harvey's Point Hotel, in Lough Eske

Chris McMenamin, head chef at Harvey's Point Hotel

A native of Donegal town, Chris is the executive head chef at Donegal’s luxurious  award winning Harvey’s Point Hotel, on the shores of Lough Eske

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Donegal?

A perfect day in Donegal for me is going to Sliabh  Liag with my family and stopping to eat in one of our many  nice restaurants on the drive home.

I also love going for walks in the countryside taking in the wonderful scenery that Donegal has to offer and maybe popping into Whoriskey’s pub in Cashelard for a quiet pint.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Donegal in your lifetime - and why?

There are lots of influential people and communities that contribute to Donegal but for me Noel Cunningham stands out for all the work he does for local charities and good causes.

He is a patron for Cancer Care West and gives up a lot of his time hosting different charitable events.

Noel is a proud Donegal man and ensures that everyone knows that Donegal is the coolest place on the planet.

What's your first Donegal memory?

My first vivid memory is when Donegal won the All-Ireland in 1992. I remember the excitement in Donegal town that day and everyone was on cloud nine.

The day the Sam Maguire Cup came to our school, St Francis NS,  is still a day that lives long in my memory

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?

Lough Eske is my favourite part of the county. I was born and raised here. I remember when I returned from a three months spell in Australia when I was 21 , I realized just how stunning this part of the world really is. I think I didn’t appreciate it until I spread my wings and saw other parts of the world. It shows how special the Lough Eske area really is when two of Ireland’s most renowned hotels are situated on its shores.

What do you think gives Donegal its unique identity?

Although Donegal has some of the best landscape and scenery in the country I believe that it’s the people that give Donegal its unique identity. The welcome and friendliness of our people is second to none.  It is hard to beat the good Donegal hospitality.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author, artist or musician?

Goats Don’t Shave are  my favourite Donegal band and '’The Hills of Donegal' is my favourite Donegal song.  

What’s the biggest challenge facing the county today?

The uncertainty and unknown of Brexit is a worry and challenge in the near future. Our lack of infrastructure in and out of Donegal is also an issue I believe. For example people in Dublin and other places are used to motorways and don’t appreciate or like the idea of travelling on roads such as the Pettigo road. This is an issue that needs to be addressed to make Donegal more accessible to the rest of the country.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Donegal, what would it be?

Definitely upgrading the roads infrastructure.

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